As I write, it’s a gray day and a persistent Seattle spring rain gently taps against my window. I’m pleased to be cozy and comfortable at home, and grateful for the advantages of a home-based law practice. As I explained in my January newsletter, I am writing a four part series for the American Bar Association’s GP|Solo eReport on running a virtual law practice. My January newsletter included Part One of my first column, providing the first three recommendations for how to run a virtual business. Part Two, which sets forth the final portion of the column, is reprinted below with permission from American Bar Association’s GPSolo eReport. Already, since this article was originally published on November 18, 2013, one change is evident: I now have two Of Counsel attorneys on my team with the addition of Sherry Bosse Lueders!
Is a Virtual Law Practice Right for You?
Seven Factors to Consider before Making the Move
Factor 4: Staffing
Factor 5: Costs
Factor 6: Time
Factor 7: Personal Priorities
This tops my list of factors to consider when contemplating a virtual practice. As a former college tennis player and a lifelong athlete, I currently work out six days a week. My fitness program, although time consuming, creates a foundation for my life. Having a home-based office allows for the extra flexibility I need to meet my fitness goals. As an additional component to my law practice, I speak frequently to groups, teach continuing legal education courses, and publish articles. Additionally, I serve on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization Tennis Outreach Programs. My days tend to be jam-packed and time pressured. I appreciate every bit of time saved and flexibility achieved with my virtual structure, and I put it to good use! Spending time commuting or in office chatter would seem unproductive and frustrating to me. And despite my outside activities, I’m an introvert at heart. I love being at home, enjoying the calmness of being around pets during the day and the luxury of concentrating on work without continuous interruptions.
Not everyone is wired to work virtually. Are you an introvert or an extrovert? Do you enjoy daily personal interactions with colleagues or do you often shut the door to your office, hoping to have quiet uninterrupted work time? If you were to work at home, would you consistently be able to stop working, shut the office door, and relax when it’s time for your workday to conclude? What are your personal aspirations outside of work? Would a virtual model help you achieve these goals? Take an honest look at yourself, and visualize how your life might change—for better and for worse—if you were to have a home office.
If you have any questions or comments, please let me know!
I was thrilled to participate in my first Google Hangout on March 4th thanks to LexisNexus, Business of Law You Tube Channel. We spoke on (what else!?) Virtual Law Firms. You can check out the video below, or read their follow up blog post.