Running a solo legal practice has its pros and its cons. On the one hand, going solo means that you are able to give clients a more personal treatment and offer more competitive prices; on the other, there are costs and risks associated with running and maintaining a successful solo business.
Real estate and office costs are usually the main expenses of businesses and freelancers. Whether you are working solo or with a partner, chances are that rent for a traditional office space is quite high and too much of a risk for a small practice. Yet, lawyers know that they can’t have a home address listed on their site and business cards; the same goes for residential or lesser known neighborhoods. In order for lawyers to close client deals they need to portray a professional image at all times, and having a premium address can go a long way when it comes to establishing credibility and professionalism.
That is one of the main reasons why virtual offices are a smart move for solo lawyers or small legal practices. But the benefits of virtual offices for lawyers go beyond having a renowned address.
1. Premium address at an affordable price (and flexibility)
The cost of virtual offices is significantly lower than that of traditional space and it helps present a professional image to potential clients. There is also the added benefit that virtual offices can be hired on a month-to-month basis, and they usually require only a few days’ notice if you are going to cancel the service.
2. Mail and reception services (including live-answering)
Virtual offices often bundle additional services like mail handling and forwarding and reception services. Reception services are particularly important for when you are meeting a client and want them to feel welcome and comfortable. Virtual office staff are trained in hospitality and customer service, which guarantees that you and your clients will receive amazing treatment at all times. Moreover, virtual offices also offer the option of having a live-answering service, meaning that someone can take your calls and messages and forward them to you if you are unable to take the call.
3. Fully equipped offices and meeting rooms
For those days when you need to ‘go into the office’ or meet with someone, virtual offices are designed to have members come in, plug, and get to work immediately. Additionally, these offices integrate cutting-edge-technology including cloud storage, A/V platforms, VoIP numbers, SaaS, and secure network connection. Again, all of this helps create an image of professionalism which clients seek in their legal representatives.
4. Community (referrals)
Individuals in different lines of work benefit daily from the use of virtual offices. As an independent lawyer, you likely enjoy the possibility of working from home several days a week; however, there are always times when you will need to go into the office--to meet with clients, pick up mail, or simply to be more productive. Interacting with other virtual office users will help you expand your network and find new business opportunities; community plays a strong role in the development of relationships, both personal and professional, and individuals are more likely to trust you with their legal matters if they’ve had previous interactions and encounters with you.
In the end, virtual offices are a strategic move to help position your independent legal practice while lowering your expenses and maintaining your professional presence.