As much as I would like to be able to say otherwise, as SL is now, it would make a poor VLO. A VLO, or Virtual Law Office, is the new wave of legal entrepreneurship. There are many programs available to assist in building a VLO, and I hoped that with a few minor modifications, SL could be one. As the software currently is, it can not.

This post will ignore totally the major issue of privacy in SL and the inherent lack of lawyer-client confidentiality. Even assuming that this is not a problem, there are many other reasons why SL would make a poor VLO.

First of all, a little info on the VLO. I first heard about VLO’s here. A Virtual Law Office is, in short, the combination of an interactive website and software that allows a lawyer to perform legal task for clients. The distinctions between a VLO and an online service business, as they are currently, are few for the client. A VLO allows them 24 hour access to their lawyer and gives them the ability to purchase and pay for services online. It is secure and has a quick response time. For the lawyer, there are many distinctions to be made simply having an online presence. Most of these differences happen in the software. VLO software (I reference though don’t endorse the software sold here) offers conveniences for creating and organizing documents, client information, and accounts receivables. There is also collaboration management, a document library, and a way to check for jurisdictional and conflict of interest issues.

********   I have been working on this for too long, researching and clarifying my meaning, so I have decided to publish the first half and publish the rest as a follow up. Thank you guys for sticking with me. I am really trying to balance a full life as a law student, a full second life, and keeping this blog relatively consistent. Please continue to bear with me. The next post will come in a week or two and will be the follow up to this. Then I hope to introduce a few interesting topics in cyberlaw that I have recently come across. If you have any suggestions about what you want to read, just leave it as a comment and I will try to post about those things.

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