Digitization has reshaped several industries. It’s not uncommon to order your morning coffee through an app and read the newspaper on your phone before digitally hailing rideshare to work (if your job isn’t online, as many are).
In that sense, it comes as no surprise that the legal sector is moving increasingly into digital spaces. Still, few could have predicted how significant the shift toward online legal services would be.
Online law firms were already gaining traction in the past decade, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the transition accelerated. All of a sudden, there was an immense demand for a virtual, contactless way of conducting business. According to analysts, that change isn’t a flash in the pan either; clients can expect online legal services to become the norm post-COVID.
In this article, let’s discuss online law firms. What are they? Why are they gaining popularity? And how are online law firms responding to broader digitization across industries?
What Are Online Legal Services?
In some ways, online law firms are just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts. They boast professional, experienced lawyers offering a range of services.
But they differ in a few key regards. Obviously, online legal services are remote; clients conduct business with their lawyers over the computer as opposed to in person. Trusted online law firms like Axess Law also provide transparent pricing and flat/predetermined rates for services (as opposed to opaque pricing). And most dedicated online law firms work hard to make communication accessible and easy (addressing a common complaint with traditional firms).
Why Clients Prefer Virtual Law Firms
The list above – of key differentiators between online and traditional law firms – should illustrate why the online model is becoming so popular.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, clients sought a contactless way of attaining legal counsel. While many traditional law firms tried to accommodate clients with an online presence, they simply hadn’t perfected the infrastructure yet. Online law firms had a head start and were, therefore, able to offer higher quality service.
Transparent pricing and accessible communication, which were tenets of some online law firms long before the pandemic, subsequently won over several new clients (who hadn’t had experience with online law firms prior to the pandemic).
Following Digitization in Other Industries
Popularity alone doesn’t explain the massive shift toward virtual services in the legal industry. The digitization of law is also a response to digitization in affiliated sectors.
For instance, as the real estate sector moves increasingly online, there is a growing need for real estate legal services that also exist in a digital space. In this way, the legal industry’s digital transformation is part of a widescale sea change affecting almost all businesses.
To summarize, online law firms are here to stay. The pandemic may have accelerated their popularity, but the novel approach to doing business (including offering transparent pricing and accessible communication) will ensure that online law firms remain popular. The next time you need a lawyer, whether you are writing a will or closing on a home, you may be hiring one from the comfort of your home computer.
Interesting Related Article: “10 Best Ways to Market Your Law Firm Online“