It is all over the legal press like it is something new and amazing -- and it is amazing. A law firm that is virtual, it is web-based and it forgoes bricks and mortar, and where all of the attorneys work from home. Wow, I wish I had thought of that.
But, I can tell you what makes me feel better about the new kid on the block -- Virtual Law Partners (VLP). They are doing it up so big and so bold and so high profile, I can tell you that I feel vindicated for spending all of these years doing the same thing. Maybe not on the level of VLP, but everybody has to start somewhere.
Here is where VLP is better -- Branding. They are out to build a brand. They are also out to build a firm that caters to in-house legal counsel. They are competing with Big Law, where with me -- not so much. They promise 85% of collections to go to their attorneys, and they promote a better work-life experience.
We cannot adopt trade names in Texas, but I like the name because it identifies what the law firm really is and represents. In the future virtual might not mean much as every lawyer is doing it (remember Electronic Realty Associates - ERA - and how different they appeared when they started out), but for now it helps us all blaze the trail.
I was a tad disappointed that the firm is basing much on a traditional website. That is so Web 0.0 or 1.0. I would have like to see a launch full of blogs and Twitter and YouTube and more social networking sites and avenues. That is marketing that in-house will and can now sink their teeth into. Why? Because it is marketing with content and all of us, including in-house counsel, are looking for content. There was a good chance for the website to be a portal to some static information and to be the entry point of the operating platform the lawyers need to work together. But, it could have also been the hub to feature the law firms assault on the world via social media.
We do wish Virtual Law Partners all the best because for them to succeed means all of us who have been doing this for so long succeed as well.