from The Atlantic
VLP Law Group is a successful young firm by just about all measures: It employs about 50 attorneys. Its business is growing, and it counts startups and Fortune 500 companies among its clients—some of them even Fortune 10 companies.
And its lawyers never go to an office.
VLP is one of several “virtual” law firms that are seeking provide legal services on the level of a traditional firm’s while dispensing with office space and having their attorneys work remotely, whether from home, a coffee shop, or a coworking space. On top of saving firms money on rent and reducing the pressure lawyers feel to be constantly present in order to appear busy, this arrangement has another, more basic benefit: It’s making many lawyers’ lives better.
Michael Moradzadeh left a career in “Big Law” and in 2008 launched Rimon PC, which he calls “a truly virtual law firm, meaning distributed attorneys working from their homes connected through the cloud.” This model appeals to lawyers looking for a better work-life balance. “Instead of spending two hours commuting, I spend that two hours with my family,” says Moradzadeh. Options for remote work have become more common in the legal industry, but at firms where remote work is the exception, telecommuters can feel stigmatized. But when everyone is working virtually “there’s no stigma because it’s standard,” explains Debbie Epstein Henry, the founder of the firm Bliss Lawyers.
In addition to providing lawyers more control over their schedules, law firms that forgo the overhead that comes with office space can pass those savings onto clients—a major selling point of virtual firms. “We provide sophisticated legal advice in a wide range of practice areas, but our overhead is low, our staffing lean, our fees flexible and value-driven,” touts VLP’s website.