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 calling carpooling to work (if your job isn’t online, as many are).
In this sense, it is not surprising that the legal sector is moving more and more towards digital spaces. Yet few could have predicted How? ‘Or’ What the shift to online legal services would be significant.
Online law firms were already gaining traction over the past decade, but when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, the transition accelerated. All of a sudden there was a huge demand for a virtual, contactless way of doing business. According to analysts, this change is not a flash in the pan either; clients can expect online legal services to become the norm after 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 wider digitization across all industries?
What are online legal services?
In some ways, online law firms are like their traditional counterparts. They have professional and experienced lawyers offering a range of services.
But they differ in a few essential points. Obviously, online legal services are remote; clients deal with their lawyers by computer rather than in person. Trusted online law firms like Axis law also provide transparent pricing and fixed / predetermined tariffs for services (as opposed to opaque pricing). And most dedicated online law firms work hard to make communication accessible and easy (responding to a common complaint with traditional law firms).
Why clients prefer virtual law firms
The above list – of the main differentiators between online and traditional law firms – should illustrate why the online model is becoming so popular.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, customers sought a contactless way to get legal counsel. While many traditional law firms tried to welcome customers with an online presence, they just hadn’t perfected the infrastructure yet. Online law firms had a head start and therefore were able to offer better service.
Transparent pricing and accessible communication, which were principles of some online law firms long before the pandemic, subsequently won over several new clients (who had no experience with law firms in line before the pandemic).
Following digitization in other industries
Popularity alone does not explain the massive move towards virtual services in the legal industry. The digitization of law is also a response to the digitization of affiliated sectors.
For example, as the real estate industry moves more and more online, there is a growing need for real estate legal services that also exist in a digital space. Thus, the digital transformation of the legal industry is part of a large scale sea change affecting almost all businesses.
In short, online law firms are here to stay. The pandemic may have accelerated popularity, but the new approach to doing business (including offering transparent pricing and accessible communication) will ensure that online law firms stay popular. The next time you need a lawyer, whether you’re drafting a will or closing a house, you might just be able to hire one from the comfort of your home computer.
Interesting Related Article: “10 Best Ways To Promote Your Law Firm Online”