The best annual planners create goals for themselves in 4 separate categories: (i) personal; (ii) professional; (iii) financial; and (iv) health. Separating goals into these categories helps people visualize where they’ll be at the end of this new year while reflecting on how far they’ve come since the previous year. It’s a great strategy, but there might be an even easier way to do this with one goal that fits into nearly every category… a career change. So, if you’re like the 57% of Americans that are looking to change jobs in 2024 and you’re a partner-level attorney, keep reading to see why you should consider joining a virtual law firm this year.
What is a virtual law firm?
A fully virtual law firm has no centralized offices – your entire practice can be accessed with a laptop, and you can work with clients from anywhere in the world.
No centralized office means no localized technology, libraries, or commutes. A key to virtual law firms is the successful, strategic use of cloud-based technology. This technology supports attorneys and the administrative work behind being a lawyer, which allows these modern law firms to operate in parallel capacity to a traditional firm.
In short, virtual law firms allow attorneys to work from anywhere thanks to the strategic use of legal technology.
Making the switch to a new law firm can be challenging for attorneys because of obligations to clients and legal staff. Choosing to join a virtual law firm after years of practicing at a traditional law firm can seem like an even bigger challenge.
The truth is we’ve found that making the leap to a virtual law firm tends to be a smoother process for both attorneys and clients compared to a lateral transition to another traditional firm. Of course, the key is finding a law firm that will make the transition as smooth as possible.
At Practus, we’ve grown from 11 attorneys and 5 professional staff to more than 45 attorneys and 20 professional staff members, so it’s safe to say we’ve worked with many attorneys making the leap to change their legal career. That’s why #1 on our list of reasons to join a virtual law firm in 2024 is the smooth onboarding experience:
1. Seamless Onboarding Experience
The practice of law is a service-based profession. Attorneys are responsible to provide legal counsel to their clients and carry that responsibility with them when they transition to a new law firm. That means changing law firms must be as seamless as possible so that attorneys can continue representing their clients even during a lateral transition.
To create a seamless transition, we developed an onboarding system that combines personal touchpoints and the use of technology to create an efficient process. Approaching onboarding in this way helps attorneys feel confident in their decision to make the change to a virtual law firm and sets them up to hit the ground running so they can continue representing their clients while starting at the firm.
Here’s what one of our legal recruiting partners has to say about the process:
“Working with Practus is synonymous with efficiency and excellence; their prompt feedback and open communication significantly streamlines the recruitment process.”Brian Haugh – Senior Partner at Shapiro Legal Search
A critical factor in streamlining the onboarding process for attorneys is our dedicated recruiting and onboarding team. This team works with each attorney to coordinate logistics and answer questions, being as transparent as possible throughout the hiring process so that new partners know exactly what to expect once they join the firm (you can find answers to our most commonly asked questions in our Lateral Transition Guide).
“I have been placing attorneys nationwide for more than 30 years, and I can confidently say that the hiring team at Practus is among the most helpful, cordial, and responsive of any group of hiring professionals I have ever known or worked with.”Nick Kokoris – President at Juristech Associates, Ltd.
In addition to creating a seamless onboarding experience, we also introduce new partners to fellow attorneys in their practice area or complementary practice areas. By creating these connections from the moment you join the firm, you immediately start with opportunities to collaborate. You have an instant intra-firm referral network plus new colleagues for potential joint engagements.
That brings us to the #2 reason to join a virtual law firm in 2024: collaboration.
2. Collaboration Across Time Zones
Onboarding introductions set new partners up for success by connecting with people they’re most likely to collaborate with while giving clients access to full service legal counsel. Strategic use of technology in virtual law firms provides comprehensive representation to clients without the geographical limitations of a traditional firm, meaning clients can have access to top-tier legal services regardless of where attorneys are located.
That said, collaboration isn’t found in all virtual firms. Many virtual law firms operate in a model where attorneys work in silos; partners join the firm primarily based on the fact they can work remotely instead of developing a full-service platform. To put it frankly, a silo model isn’t sustainable long term, and those working in isolation will eventually burn out or struggle to grow with their clients’ needs.
Collaboration is one of our core values at Practus because it means attorneys leverage their collective experience across various practice areas and industries, resulting in innovative and comprehensive solutions for our clients. Afterall, most clients have… or will have… legal needs that expand beyond a single practice area. Clients expect a law firm where they can receive legal counsel on each matter that arises, and our goal is to remove barriers for attorneys so that they can meet (and often exceed) client expectations.
“I love to talk about Practus to my candidates! When my candidate was looking for a full-service platform to move his practice, he wanted to join a firm that offered an attractive platform. The Practus platform met all the requirements you would expect from a top AmLaw firm. Partnering with the Practus recruiting team was seamless and professional. It was a pleasure to advocate for Practus as a solution for candidates looking for both quality and flexibility.”–Carmen Grossman – Managing Director-Operations & Recruiting at Audrey Golden Associates Ltd.
By removing barriers like location, overhead expenses, and out-of-date software systems, the virtual law firm model makes sense for attorneys wanting to continue to grow their established book of business while handling a variety of matters – from a simple transaction to complex legal issues. The best part is collaboration is easy in a tech-forward environment; it only takes the click of a button to meet with attorneys across time zones, states, and even countries. You can learn more about how our platform promotes collaboration in this article.
Collaboration and onboarding are the foundations of why you’d want to join a virtual law firm in 2024, but the flexibility and autonomy that inherently comes along with this platform is the top reason attorneys who make the transition decide to stay at virtual law practices for years to come.
3. Flexibility and Autonomy
At this point, working remotely isn’t a new concept to attorneys. Most law firms (even the traditional firms) implemented some sort of remote working capacity back in 2020. The difference between a firm that has remote working capacities, and a fully virtual firm is the culture of flexibility and autonomy. Traditional firms created temporary solutions while modern firms embrace a tech-forward, flexible model on a permanent basis.
Flexibility and autonomy are ingrained into the DNA of our firm because we launched as a fully virtual law firm back in 2018. That means while other firms adapted their existing infrastructure and culture to allow for remote work, our systems had already been operating in a remote capacity for years.
Attorneys work when and where makes most sense for them… and have been doing so for a while now. We trust that partners at our firm know how to best represent their clients, set whichever fee arrangements make the most sense, and choose how to do the work. This approach works because each attorney’s practice is unique to them. We find that providing a platform of autonomy and flexibility for attorneys encourages them to think out of the box, resulting in more innovative and creative solutions for their clients.
Working at a modern law firm is not for everyone. It requires a level of self-accountability, an entrepreneurial mindset, and the desire to learn new technologies. That being said, for attorneys wanting to make a big change across all categories of goal setting (professional, personal, financial, and health), it could be exactly what you need going into 2024.