TOWARDS THE VIRTUAL LAW FIRM: TOOLS AND CHALLENGES

VirtualLAW

TOWARDS THE VIRTUAL LAW FIRM: TOOLS AND CHALLENGES

Although, in the popular imagination, the legal sector is associated with piles of printed documents, stamps and seals -with the pandemic and the lockdown measures- 2020 seems to have marked a turning point.

Law firms are going digital and discover new ways to interact with customers, manage documents, archive files, access relevant records, make and receive payments. Dematerialization and digitization are becoming the new normal, as is the Virtual Law Firm.

Compared to the traditional law firm, the virtual one does not require a physical location and makes use of the online channel to carry out all its activities. The professions and skills linked to this sector get rid of physical structures by adopting digital tools and management solutions.

In its virtual version, the law firm becomes more efficient by optimising time, cost and resources.

Customers interact with lawyers and experts virtually through videoconferencing tools and have access to online real-time updates.

As far as documents is concerned, all files are used in digital format and managed electronically thanks to effective management software solutions. An example is provided by the tools offered by the Italian company Open Dot Com, a software house founded in 2003 that today provides a wide range of smart solutions for lawyers: the Consolle Avvocato platform allows you to interact with the Justice System, file documents at the Judicial Offices, consult the registry records, carry out jurisprudential searches, extract copies of documents of full legal value, make notifications on your own and make electronic payments.

The efficiency and competitiveness that come from virtual management also go through payments, something that in the past was not a time-efficient task as it required going to dedicated offices in person. Today, any justice-related and legal costs can be paid online.

In Italy, payment methods integrated on the e-platform of the National Judicial Offices include MyBank – also offered by Open Dot Com to its customers – which is an irrevocable and immediate wire transfer solution already fully compliant to GDPR, PSD2 and AML.

MyBank enables easy and secure transactions directly from the payer’s online banking, without any amount limit and with immediate confirmation for both parties involved.

This solution also allows lawyers and law firms to receive e-payments even if they do not dispose of a website. Pay-per-link solutions allow you to request customer payments by e-mail or text message: a versatile “ready to use” tool, which does not require businesses to perform any technological intervention or make significant investments.

In short, law firms willing to embrace the virtual channel and go fully digital have a wide range of choice in terms of supporting tools and solutions: from cloud to virtual secretariat and electronic signature, from management to electronic payments.

But what are the big challenges for the virtual legal activity?

Cyber-security and data protection are crucial elements, which require a careful selection when it comes to choose the tools to adopt.

With the right solutions and partnerships, the benefits of the virtual law office are significant in terms of time and cost efficiency. Moreover,  the online channel removes any geographical limits – making it possible for lawyers to address themselves to a much wider audience.

 

 

 

 

27 Nov 2020

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