Stephanie teaches about all aspects of a virtual law practice in the 21st century at Solo Practice University®.
Stephanie Kimbro, MA, JD, is the author of Virtual Law Practice: How to Deliver Legal Services Online(2010, 2nd Ed. 2015), Limited ScopeLegal Services: Unbundling and the Self-Help Client (2012), Consumer LawRevolution: The Lawyers’ Guide to the Online Legal Marketplace (2013), and Online LegalServices for the Client-Centric Law Firm (2013). She was a Fellow at Stanford Law School Center on the Legal Profession and Co-Director of the Center for Law Practice Technology. Her research and work involved the use of gamification and games to increase engagement with the public around legal issues and to increase productivity in law firms.
Stephanie practiced law for ten years in North Carolina delivering unbundled, online legal services to clients through a virtual law firm. In that time, she also founded a legal technology startup which was acquired by a larger legal tech company in 2009. She wrote about ethics and technology issues of delivering legal services online and examined the use of tech to increase access to justice. Over the course of her career in the legal profession, she presented and guest lectured for many state bars, law schools and other organizations across the country on the topic of legal technology and law practice management. Stephanie was also a member of the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services and a recipient of the ABA Keane Award for Excellence in eLawyering. She taught as an adjunct professor at several law schools.
Currently, Stephanie no longer practices law. In late 2016, a squatter posing as a fake law firm took control of her popular blog related to virtual law practice, removing ten years of research and writing from the public as well as messing up the many links on other legal technology blogs and ethics resource websites that had linked to that work. Stephanie is now focusing on her family and building a second career in a new field.
Syllabus – Virtual Law Practice
General Course Goal
At the end of this course, my goal is for the students to have the resources that they need to open a virtual law office and to operate that virtual practice with strong ethical and professional standards to provide quality online legal services to the public.
Outline of Course (order may be changed depending on feedback from the students or some topics may be divided into two parts)
What is a Virtual Law Office?
- Discussion from other Virtual Attorneys operating VLOs
- A brief history of virtual law practice
- Where we are today
Understanding the Technology to Run a VLO
- Secure HTTP
- SSL Certificates
- Best Practices
Complying with your State Bar
- Ethics and Professional Rules of Conduct regarding Websites/Advertising/Collection of Data/Online Payments, etc. and how to interpret those rules into a virtual law practice.
- A look at some State Bars’ opinion specifically addressing virtual law practice and the different compliance issues
Remote Lawyering with a VLO
- Mobile Device Options and Secure Practices
Secure Practices with a VLO
- Internet Security
- How to stay safe when you have to use email
Electronic Discovery and the VLO
Creating the Attorney Client Relationship with a VLO
- Clickwrap Agreements
Defining the Scope of Representation
- Engagement and Disengagement Notices
Virtual Law Office Management
- Hiring a VA for your VLO
- Using other software programs with your VLO
- Adding a VLO to a traditional law office
Online VLO Payments
- PCI Compliance
- PayPal vs. Other Credit Card Processing Companies
- General and Trust Accounting Issues
Marketing Best Practices for a VLO
Alternative Billing Methods and the VLO
The Future of Virtual Law Practice