When it comes to the practice of law, the Internet is changing everything.
"Our message to you is to become a 21st Century digital lawyer," said members of the American Bar Association eLawyering Task Force at a California Western presentation on November 7.
What is eLawyering?
Simply put, it is delivering legal services to clients using the Internet.
The speakers emphasized that the entire economic model of law practice is undergoing a seismic shift and that digital lawyering using secure client portals is becoming the new normal.
It's a revolution," said presenter Adriana Linares, a legal technology trainer and consultant with LawTech Partners. "It began 15 years ago, but it is accelerating now. You should look for technologies that are built specifically for lawyers."
There are hundreds of self-help legal websites, such as LegalZoom, but sites like this don’t necessarily offer the legal advice of an attorney. That's where eLawyering comes in.
"There are tumultuous changes happening," said presenter Richard Granat, CEO and founder of DirectLaw, a virtual law firm platform provider, and co-director, Center for Law Practice Technology. "The legal profession serves only the top 20 percent of the U.S. There are 57 million millennials who need legal services—and these clients want self-serve options."
"Successful lawyers in the emerging legal market will be those who are able to effectively deliver legal services both in person and over the Web," said Matthew Lab, Assistant Director of Career and Professional Development, which presented the event. "Through the effective use of internet-based technology, lawyers will be able to provide legal services to a large pool of prospective clients whose legal needs were previously unmet."
The presenters offered several resources to lawyers who want to know more about how they can become elawyers, including elawyering.com; digital-lawyer.com and neotalogic.com.
To learn more about a California Western alumnus practicing in this area, read this: profile of Alison O. Dearden ’09 from Res Ipsa online.