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Opinion / Columnist

Zimbabwe must push for virtual law firms

16 Apr 2021 at 07:38hrs | Views
WITH technology being a catalyst for change, it has empowered various business sectors to increase productivity. With all the negative impact that COVID-19 has come with, we can all admit that it has played a key role in rapidly speeding up the process of virtualisation.

In the first period of the lockdown in Zimbabwe, people were restricted from visiting one another to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The only sector that has not adopted the virtual work concept is the legal sector and it should now redefine how legal practices operate and how they can deliver their services to the general public without meeting physically.

Cloud technology can leverage virtual law firms to operate digitally without a brick-and-mortar office.

Virtual law firm operations can reduce overheads, which makes it possible to lower the fee structure, while providing the same high quality service.

One might assume that when lawyers operate virtually, they no longer meet clients in person and only provide services through an online portal.

Lawyers who operate virtually have more flexibility during their workday to meet with clients in more familiar settings, around their schedules, where they can forge stronger relationships.

In lieu of walking down the hall to confer with colleagues, lawyers operating virtually can use cloud-based case management software that supports secure online collaboration on cases and documents.

This method is more effective as the most updated versions of case documents, contacts and emails are organised centrally, and access is granted to only the colleagues who need to work on the specific case.

Added to the ability to track tasks and deadlines in the same software for lawyers, you can better manage each other's calendars and set up automated workflows to ensure you meet all of your obligations.

Its mobility brings about its flexibility since traditional firms are using on-premise enterprise applications can find it difficult to work effectively when not in the office. When you are set up as a virtual law firm, you can literally work from anywhere.

To remain competitive, law firms need to keep a keen eye on profitability and overall financial performance and refine the way they work when required. This can help to identify where you need to invest time and energy so that you can enjoy increased profitability.

Virtual firms tend to be more entrepreneurial and are supported by technology that allows them to be more agile.

With more time and energy to implement change, virtual firms can keep abreast with clients' rapidly changing needs, maintain a healthy profit margin and ensure their firms are working in the best way possible.

In conclusion, building virtual firms in the cloud is a great alternative to a more traditional firm, thanks to reduced overhead costs, increased agility, mobility, flexibility and time, enabling lawyers to run a more competitive firm and deliver quality service that meets client demands.

Gracious Kaunda

Source - newsday
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