Essential tools for a virtual law practice [Top Picks]

Running a virtual law practice?

You’ve probably had difficulties choosing the right technology to make it happen. I know I did.

Over the last 5 years, I’ve gone through iterations of different solutions, only to arrive at my current favorites. Below, I’ll walk you through the 5 most important tools that I use as the backbone of my virtual law office.

Let’s go.

Tools for your virtual law practice

Law Practice Management: MyCase

When you’re running a small or solo law practice virtually, you’re going to need something to tie it all together.

This could mean any number of things, like:

  • keeping track of who your clients are,
  • the important dates in your cases,
  • how much time you’ve spent on your matters,
  • sending bills out and getting them paid, and
  • keeping your documents secure and shared with the clients (where appropriate).

This is where a law practice management service comes in.

Trust me, it’s a life saver!

There are a ton of different popular ones, like CLIO, Practice Panther, Rocket Matter, and my choice, MyCase.

I’ll be honest – I didn’t do a comprehensive review of them all before deciding. I started out using Rocket Matter, but found it lacking in some ways. I then moved to MyCase, and love it. That being said, all of them offer essentially the same features, so your choice may depend on “feel” and comfort with the particular service.

It handles my timekeeping, tracking my clients, and billing. In my practice, most clients just want to email documents, but some prefer a secured storage method, which MyCase offers.

Additionally, while I use Google Calendar for tracking deadlines and appointments, MyCase also offers this useful feature.

If I wasn’t already ingrained in a number of other services, I’d probably just go with MyCase’s version.

They also have a client portal, which allows clients to log in and view invoices, documents, and secure messages. They can also pay their invoices with a credit card or bank transfer (as well as fund their trust account).

A law practice management service really is an invaluable tool to have for a solo virtual practitioner. It’s the cornerstone that everything else is built around.

Just starting out?

You probably don’t need to go this far just yet. But once you have a dozen or so clients, you’re going to want something more sophisticated than a spreadsheet and some hand-filled invoices.

Read more about MyCase here.

What tools do you need to run a virtual law office?

Virtual Office: Regus

As an attorney who works completely virtually, working out of coffee shops just doesn’t cut it.

Believe me – I was a digital nomad for years while running my practice.

Sometimes you need a relatively quiet office setting in which to get some serious work done. If you don’t have a good home office, or just want to move your work outside of the house, I highly recommend using a service like Regus.

Regus offers a couple different options, from a dedicated office space for your firm to a “business lounge,” which is a shared lounge area that has a few desks or tables on which you can work.

Personally, I just have business lounge access. It’s about $50 a month, and I can pop into an office literally anywhere in the world to get some serious work done. An actual office will run you more, but you’ll have a dedicated space where you can work in peace and quiet.

Having worked at Regus offices all over the world (from China to Europe to Silicon Valley, for starters), I’ve never really had many issues with noise. People are generally pretty respectful, but in the more active centers, you may have to get their early to get a prime spot in the business lounge.

You can also rent conference rooms by the hour, if you have an in-person meeting to host or need a quiet space for your calls.

It’s an amazing value, and beats having to work at a tiny, crowded Starbucks table any day.

Read more about Regus and their plans here.

Conferencing and Scheduling: Zoom plus Calendly

As much as I hate getting on the phone, in our line of work it’s a necessary evil.

For scheduled meetings, I’ve switched to Zoom conference calling, and couldn’t be happier. Even better, it integrates with a service called Calendly, which allows clients to schedule time for their call without me having to deal with it.

I just connect my Zoom account with my Calendly account, and send a link to a Calendly event page I’ve set up. There, I’ve specified the times where I’m available for calls (just a few afternoons a week for initial consultations and more broadly for existing client calls). Calendly reads my Google Calendar to block times when I’m busy, and offers up any available time slots for clients to schedule their call.

Once they do that, it sets up a Zoom conference call automatically, and emails the information to the client. To get on the call, they can use their computer, smartphone, or just a regular phone call to join.

It’s super convenient and takes the task of scheduling calls off of my plate.

I’ve even got the Calendly system embedded on my website’s Contact page, so prospective clients can sign up for a free consultation right there on my site. Again, it removes the need for a time-wasting back and forth prior to setting up the call. If I look at the description of their needs and it’s not a good fit, I can then email them about it.

Now that I’ve got this set up, I have no idea why I took so long to do it!

You can read more about Zoom’s great service here (affiliate link) and about Calendly here.

Backup Tool: Skype plus AnswerAmerica

What about a phone, you ask?

As you may know, I’ve been running my practice as a “digital nomad” for years. I currently live out of the country, but still need to have the normal trappings of a law firm.

One of these things is a phone number.

My solution? Use Skype’s landline phone number as my “office” number. It will ring on my phone and computer so I can answer when I’m up (which is in the afternoons, California time, given the time zone difference).

What about when I’m not around?

Good question. I use a service called Answer America to pick up calls I miss and take a quick message. There are other services, as well, but this one works well and costs $1 a call.

I only pay when someone actually calls. In my particular practice area, they rarely do. If you’re in a type of practice where you get a lot of calls, you may want to seek a different solution or a dedicated virtual legal secretary.

I’ve set my Skype to forward calls over to Answer America if I don’t pick up in 20 seconds. This is enough time for me to pick up if I’m around, in my experience.

Seems to be working smoothly so far!

Read more about Answer America here.

Tools for a remote law practice

Document Automation: WebMerge

Another huge time sink in a transactional law practice is drafting documents that are going to be mostly the same with each client.

One issue I was running into was with small mistakes in my contracts, despite having reviewed them multiple times: missing things like the correct state or leaving an old client’s name or address in a document.

Definitely a no-no.

The solution is to create great templates that I can populate with the specific information for each client. As a simple example, I put the {$Client_Name} field throughout the document, which will be replaced by the client’s name in the final version.

That’s just the beginning, though.

You can add conditional formatting with if/then/else statements, so I can have multiple options in my template that I choose from when automating the document.

For example, if I’m doing an independent contractor agreement, and I want to choose whether the contractor is going to get royalties or not, I can make this appear or disappear from the document automatically based on my input.

This is an invaluable time saver and has streamlined a part of my practice that really needed it. There are other tools out there which are specifically tailored for law firms, but they are unbelievably expensive and unnecessary for solo and small firms.

I’ll be writing up a tutorial on automating your documents with Webmerge soon. It’s really one of the more essential tools that I use all the time in my practice!

Check out more info about Webmerge here.

I’ve even got my assistant set up in it, so they can create attorney-client retainer agreements and get them put into my e-signature app quickly.

Speaking of that…

E-Signatures: SignNow

One last essential tool for the virtual law practice is e-signatures.

In the beginning, clients had to print out their documents, sign them, and scan them back in. Or, god forbid, get in a room with the other party and sign for real.


I moved on to using my Macbook Air’s “Preview” software to pop on signatures for myself, but that didn’t alleviate the problem of clients having to do the print and sign and scan process on their end.

Luckily, I soon moved into using e-signatures with SignNow (formerly CudaSign) (affiliate link)

There are many e-signature services out there, but SignNow is the cheapest one I’ve found. It’s easy to set up documents and I haven’t had any issues with clients and the other side signing.

You can even do things like set up 2-step signing, where one party has to sign first, and then it gets sent to the other party.

I use this for my retainer agreements my assistant sets up, so that I can give it a look first before signing and it being set to the client to sign.

It’s another invaluable service that provides convenience to clients and streamlines things on my end. If you run a virtual, paperless office, you really can’t afford NOT to have something like this on hand. For something like $8 a month, you can’t go wrong!

Check out more info on SignNow here.

What tools will help your online law firm?


There we have it.

Those are the five essential tools I use in my virtual law practice, but it doesn’t stop there. There’s things like Slack for team communication, WordPress for running your website, various keyword research tools for content marketing, and your web host for making your online practice run smoothly.

As always, these are just tools to make your law practice work more smoothly. You need to make sure you’ve got the fundamentals down, as well.

Have you got a favorite? Maybe an alternative to some of the tools I mentioned above?

Let me know in the comments below.

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