Earlier this summer I wrote about how law offices in New Jersey won’t let attorneys use virtual offices. But the New Jersey State Bar Association (NJSBA) is now suggesting to the state’s Supreme Court Committee that virtual offices might not be such a bad idea for lawyers after all.

The NJSBA wrote a letter to the New Jersey Supreme Court suggesting that it rethink its stance on virtual offices. Here’s an excerpt from the letter, which sheds a positive light on attorney use of virtual offices.

"We do not at all mean to suggest that the 'traditional' law office is a relic of a bygone era ... But for many attorneys and their clients, mobile telephones, personal digital assistants, e-mail and video conferencing offer opportunities for communication and information-gathering far more suited to their client's needs than a physical office location," states the Bar report.

That’s good news for attorneys, especially those just graduating from college who can’t afford the burden of a traditional office space. Virtual offices are a small fraction of the cost of a traditional office space, and also offer professional reception service. So if a client needs to drop off or pick up paperwork, a virtual office provider can accommodate that request.

Virtual office providers do have physical locations, and can therefore host client meetings in conference rooms or day offices on demand. And virtual offices in Princeton are typically located in prestigious business areas, which make clients feel right at home. Virtual offices offer all the amenities of a traditional office space, including fax machines, break rooms and copiers. The client may never know the difference—and doesn’t really need to because this is a professional option.

Attorneys in other states are actively using virtual offices. It is the NJSBA’s hope that New Jersey will relax its stance on the use of virtual offices. Says  State Bar President Richard H. Steen in a letter to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner, “Our proposal for a rule amendment seeks to add flexibility to the bona fide office rule, without sacrificing the important requirements that serve as the rule's foundation, such as accessibility to clients and courts, and the safeguarding of records and files.”