Semi-Virtual Associateship: OVERVIEW
“SEMI-VIRTUAL” means that the lawyer associate takes advantage of software and the internet to carry out the bulk of the functions and tasks necessary to engage in the practice of law.
The “semi” part is that the associate has access to physical office premises located on Victoria’s West Shore. Physical offices are used on a shared basis to meet clients and others for interviews, meetings and document execution purposes etc. Boardroom facilities are also available. The physical office is the “face” of the lawyers practise seen by clients and others, but not the primary work-space of the lawyer.
The “virtual” part is that the associate lawyer carries on most of the daily work of lawyering from his or her own home office and computers utilizing software and systems located on Dogwood’s Server, which the lawyer connects to remotely via the internet from his or her own “home office” (or any other remote) location. The practical reality is, that your “office” really becomes your presence on the hard drives of our server, not any particular physical office. Our system is cross-platform friendly – Microsoft, Mac and Linux users can all participate, so you can use the software you want, but we encourage you to adopt and use the production software provided.
From an external perspective, our associate lawyers are a part of a “downtown” law firm (WHICH YOU WILL BE!), fulfilling the general perception of the public that top-notch lawyers work in nice downtown offices. Despite the perception, you know that most of your work as a lawyer is quietly done in private anywhere you have the available resources to do it! Your actual working environment therefore, will not require the cost of “downtown” commercial office space as fixed overhead. This will yield substantial cost reductions to you in delivering services to clients, resulting in INCREASED INCOME for you by KEEPING MORE OF YOUR FEE RECEIPTS FOR YOURSELF, rather than paying the high cost of full time commercial office space, employees and other expensive fixed monthly costs necessary to practice.
There is a modest initial start-up & licensing fee and our service package offering enables and empowers our eLawyer Associates to run their practices their way.. However, if you wish to have secretarial or paralegal support this can be arranged through Dogwood OR if you have a tried and trusted “person Friday” you wish to keep, you can do that via whatever arrangements you wish to make for that support, and Dogwood will only require a license and usage terms agreement (at no cost) from your support people.