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The concept of “ online lawyers ” was already gaining popularity before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the arrival of this global crisis ended up definitively promoting the idea that lawyers should be able to provide their legal services through the Internet. For this reason, with the rise of legal tech today, various digital media have become a fertile ecosystem for the proliferation of online lawyers.
Thus, in the new normality characterized by social distancing, customers demand the use of online digital tools by firms. Therefore, lawyers need to begin to function as lawyers online. Only in this way can they continue to be competitive in a legal market that is very different from the one we knew before. Where it is already more and more common to talk about digital justice.
How can online lawyers provide their services?
Online lawyers, also called virtual lawyers, rely on digital technologies to provide their legal services effectively and efficiently over the Internet. This new type of lawyer with new technologies must develop skills to streamline administrative tasks, manage judicial processes, and advise and communicate with clients. Work collaboratively with their peers in the sector (partners, lawyers, legal managers.), but all this through the Internet. In other words, they are activities that the online lawyer can (or should) carry out from home or anywhere in the world.
In this way, to implement teleworking and provide legal services online, online lawyers must identify what tools are helpful to them according to each type of process they must carry out.
Consultations to lawyers online via WhatsApp and social networks
At first, it may seem that using digital media requires a programming expert. However, everything is more straightforward than it looks. Online lawyers can use standard tools such as WhatsApp and Telegram applications or social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.
Each platform offers different functionalities: text messages, audio messages, sending files and documents, and calls and video calls. Other options help communicate with your clients at any time.
Also, with some of these tools, you can set up “away responses” and automated messages. On the one hand, absent responses allow you to leave a message for a customer when they want to contact you, but you are unavailable. On the other hand, with automated messages, you can speed up sending specific responses to certain quick customer queries.
In this way, teleworking as a digital lawyer consumes less time for the lawyers themselves and their clients.
Online legal advice through video meetings
If the communication you need to establish with your clients goes beyond a few messages and is more of a consultancy, then you should use specialized tools for virtual meetings. In this sense, online lawyers have options such as Skype and Zoom, two very accessible and easy-to-use online platforms.
These tools give you a time and participant limit, as well as certain specific functions. Which you can take advantage of depending on the characteristics and needs of each digital consultancy. For example, Zoom sets a limit of 45 min and 100 participants per video meeting on its free plan. However, you can make a new video meeting right after 45 minutes.
On the other hand, these types of tools work in the cloud. Which allows you to organize or participate in a video consultation using any device with an internet connection (PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone ). Also, you can share files and documents securely with your clients. Since these systems have a shared storage cloud between the participants of each meeting.
Administrative management of online lawyers
Today, online lawyers can streamline administrative processes more than ever before. It is possible thanks to online tools specialized in reducing the execution time and organization of tasks such as invoicing or collecting payments from customers.
In this sense, administrative processes require a lot of time and effort from the lawyer. When they carry out manually can now be executed digitally and automated using tools such as TimeBillingX. It is an administrative system of the legal tech sector that supports online lawyers thanks to its functionalities of:
- Automatic registration of hours worked by lawyers, clients and projects.
- Rate administration.
- Electronic invoicing in different currencies.
- Collection management.
In this way, by using TimeBillingX as an online lawyer. You can simplify administrative tasks and thus have more time to dedicate to more critical studies. Such as document and contract review, litigation planning, etc.
Judicial management of online lawyers
One of the most significant advances in legal tech is the possibility of managing judicial processes and consulting files through the Internet. It is because of online lawyers, thanks to tools such as CaseTracking. They can work all their legal activities without visiting an institution physically.
As an online lawyer, the Case Tracking platform allows you to automatically connect and synchronize with the pages of the Judicial Powers of your country. This way, you can control any legal process online from anywhere in the world.
In addition, this system allows you to schedule tasks, reminders, hearings, and events, among other options, establishing greater control and visibility of legal duties. Thus, priorities can install within the firms, and functions can delegate fairly agilely.
online lawyers currently have the means to maintain the continuity of all their legal services. Even amid situations as adverse as the global crisis, we are experiencing due to COVID-19. Digital tools empower firms to make them capable of increasing their levels of productivity and profitability.
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