The Virtual Law Firm Model

NOV 17, 2021 | PRACTUS LLP

The Virtual Law Firm Model

Authored by Stephanie Recupero

The Not-as-New-as-You-Thought Way to Practice Law

Amidst the events of the last two years, the virtual law firm concept – previously uncharted territory in big law – has taken center stage. Pioneer virtual law firm, FisherBroyles, cracked the AmLaw 200 earlier this year, bringing the idea to front of mind in the legal community. And for us at Practus LLP, that’s what we like to see. Instead of playing catch up during the pandemic like many traditional firms, we improved on our already virtual infrastructure and culture. This global virtual transformation allowed us to evolve even more and further develop the best team of virtual lawyers. 

Practus wasn’t started to get around COVID protocols; Co-founders John Lively and Bob Elwood started planting the seed for a fully virtual firm back in 2009. Together, they launched the firm’s predecessor in 2010 which later evolved into the Practus we know today. Each step towards the creation of Practus had a common goal – to create a better way to practice law, inspired by their personal experiences of toxic firm cultures, spending 12+ hours in the office, and chasing an increasingly high number of required billable hours. 

Fast forward to the start of the pandemic – Practus didn’t need to rush and throw together systems to support our virtual lawyers and their clients. We already had that in place. Instead, we took this as an opportunity to make Practus even better and to support our attorneys even more. If anything, the rest of the world caught up to where we already were before the pandemic.

Now that the world is starting to open up, more and more people are looking to stay at home with over 4.3 million people quitting their jobs in August. We’re realizing as a society what our team at Practus knew from the start – our health, family, and loved ones are the core of what makes us happy AND our work product is better when we’re happiest. But the question remains… 

Can You Run a Law Firm From Home?

Absolutely yes; Practus provides the virtual infrastructure and work culture that allows you to flourish as a virtual lawyer. 

Working from home is more than just logging into a laptop. To truly enjoy being part of a virtual law firm, you need the technology and work culture to help you do your best. Some of the ways Practus ensures you can be a happy, successful virtual lawyer include:

  • Welcoming you to Practus with our dedicated onboarding team to make your transition as smooth as possible and have you up and running on day one.  
  • Connection with other lawyers in Practus through collaboration, celebrations, and events like virtual wine tastings
  • Technological infrastructure that helps you practice more efficiently and more effectively 
  • The ability to set your fee structure – you know your clients best, so you can work out your fee arrangements on your own terms
  • Freedom to work when and how you want because we all work best at different times or places 

How Practus is Different

There are plenty of virtual law firms out there, but what sets us apart is our company culture. We strive to create a healthy, collaborative, and supportive work environment where people feel connected and part of a team rather than on an island by themselves. Practus was built by attorneys who knew there was a better, smarter way to practice law that allows attorneys the opportunity for a healthier and happier work/life balance. 

When it comes to a virtual law firm, some lawyers think they have to give up workplace relationships and networking for autonomy. At Practus, we value autonomy just as much as collaboration and connectivity. You’ll be introduced to attorneys that you’re likely to collaborate with during onboarding, so you connect with like-minded people from the start. But that’s just the beginning…

We stay connected with virtual events and friendly competitions to build our internal community and give you that sense of comradery from being part of a team. This month alone, we’ve booked our virtual holiday party with a gaming group – Weve, launched a No-Shave November contest with fun prizes from clients, and celebrated a Practus partner’s recent wedding. Practus team members end up forging great relationships virtually and visiting each other in person across the country, making your network more expansive than ever before. 

Don’t just take our word for it; here’s a quote from Practus partner, Diane Melnick:

“Having experienced life at both a large general practice firm and an IP boutique, I believe that Practus represents the best of both worlds.  Practus affords me the independence of a small IP firm, together with a sophisticated general practice, which is a valuable resource for my clients.  Day-to-day, this means that there is more flexibility for me to structure my matters in the way that my clients prefer, and the opportunity to do more of the work that I love to do. That, coupled with management and administrators who are consistently kind, enthusiastic, and effective, makes Practus a great place to work. I have experienced a better quality of life than in any other position (law firm or otherwise) that I have ever held. I have truly landed in clover!”

-Diane Melnick, Practus partner 

Culture, community, and collaboration make Practus a connected and united firm while giving attorneys the autonomy they want and need to be their best. Part of what makes this all possible is the support that Practus provides from the business and technology standpoint. We take care of the stuff you don’t want to hassle with so that you can focus on what you do best – practicing law and taking care of your clients.

Our non-legal team at Practus is made up of some of the most talented marketers, accountants, business executives, and developers around. These Practus team members support you by offering their expertise in:

  • Strategic marketing and communications approaches
  • Best-of-breed technology for doc management, doc review, billing, virtual meetings, board communications, etc.
  • Streamlined billing and invoicing 
  • Benefits and retirement packages
  • Optional personal tax preparation
  • Shared or exclusive support staff
  • Responsive and efficient operations 

Practus understand that only you know how you best practice law, and we are here to remove barriers and back office work so that you can do just that.

The Practus virtual law firm approach is simple: you determine what you need to best run your practice, and you can add on individual services as you need them. This approach leads to less inflated bills for your clients and fewer layers of bureaucracy.

At the end of the day, our goal is that you feel part of a collaborative and connected team of attorneys and non-legal staff that supports you when you need it and steps back when you don’t. By accomplishing that goal, you get control and balance back in your life and your work. The result? Your clients are happier and so are you. If this sounds like the firm you’ve been searching for, reach out me, Stephanie Recupero, to learn more.

The Authors
Stephanie Recupero
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Practus, LLP provides this information as a service to clients and others for educational purposes only. It should not be construed or relied on as legal advice or to create an attorney-client relationship. Readers should not act upon this information without seeking advice from professional advisers.

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