By: Michael Worthington
The internet is rapidly changing our way of doing things in virtually every aspect of our business and social lives. Iíve been interested in this for the past fifteen years since I formed the Interactive Law
Center in 1995 and opened my first web page in 1999. It is still a fictitiously named sole proprietorship with trademark pending. During the past two years Iíve become a participant in the social media.
There is an Interactive Law Network on Ning that is designed to tie sprawling aspects of our web presence together. There is a companion network and groups are being set up on LinkedIn. The formation of groups lends a structure for focus on legal practice areas or subject matter. There is a blog, Michael Worthingtonís legal articles on JD Supra. The various social media applications interconnect to a large extent on Facebook and Twitter.
The general public and in particular clients - past, present and prospective are encouraged to become registered on at least one of the ILC web facilities, preferably the network. For them, itís a
way to gain access to articles, news feed and blog discussions pertinent to their legal issues (Knowledge BaseĒ).
Attorneys and other professionals are invited to display their credentials and contribute to the Knowledge Base. California attorneys in particular are requested to join a panel of
their peers, subject to qualification by personal reference, background check and verification of malpractice insurance.
In its next phase, the ILC will be changed to a separate entity organizational form (eg corporate, LLC) and application may be made for certification as a California State Bar lawyer referral service.
Significant aspects of the ILC enterprise are to engage in marekting and to oversee the careful management of client relations for consumers of legal services. This is done in a low key manner that maintains
professional decorum while reaching a broad audience with a number of separate series of messages according to legal practice area or other focus point.
Like many businesses, we scan everything in our files so the customary paper file, while still often the best resource, is not indispensable, and when the case is closed the paper file can go to the client or
the dumpster, not to storage (except for required paper originals under electronic filing rules, etc). Rather than come in personally, or send things to us in the mail, we prefer to exchange documents as electronic files. Even faxing is
becoming obsolete, but incoming faxes are captured as electronic files, eliminating the step of scanning them. This has the advantage of being easier for the sender.
Links to other interactive law resources are on the Home Page (Interactive Law Network) and/or via the Social Media (blog, Facebook, Twitter) and Articles (JD Supra) links.