Internet Newsletter for Lawyers
by Marcus O'Leary
NetworkLaw, www.networklaw.org was launched in February 2006 and is run by a team of five experienced solicitors with many years of private practice and in-house experience behind them. The firm operates from very pleasant offices in the heart of the Thames Valley. It is growing quite quickly and already has 14 fee earners on its books; there are around 40 more applications from solicitors wishing to join the firm currently being processed.
Our core areas are IT/IP, Employment, Corporate/ Commercial, Commercial Property, Life Sciences, Personal Injury and Family. These will expand quite rapidly.
It is also apparent that more and more lawyers are becoming disenchanted with the long hours culture of City firms, with unpleasant travelling conditions and with the administrative burdens being placed upon them.
We therefore saw an opportunity for adopting a new approach in the delivery of legal services, cutting out many of the overheads that affect traditional law firms and allowing lawyers the flexibility to work in a location and at a time that works best for both them and their clients.
We provide our lawyers with the following services:
Our Consultants typically meet their clients at the client’s offices but can also use the Thames Valley HQ; the firm can also arrange an office for meetings, if needed, around the country. Consultants are also encouraged to drop into the Thames Valley HQ whenever they like and the management team also travel around the country to keep good face to face contact and to carry out audits.
NetworkLaw Consultants keep 80% of fees recovered from their own client base and 70% of fees recovered from NetworkLaw-provided work. Any Consultant passing work to NetworkLaw to be carried out by another Consultant is entitled to a 10% referral fee.
Thus, when a Consultant logs in, they are presented with their own Windows XP based desktop and they can access all of the standard Microsoft office applications as well as the firm’s internal network, including an electronic library containing in-house precedents, standard clauses, newsletters and updates, the Outlook email system, the practice management system PC Law (on which all clients and matters are entered, documents and correspondence are saved and time recording and billing are undertaken) and other electronic legal resources provided by the firm.
This solution ensures that our Consultants are not tied to any particular location as they are able to access their own personal desktop from anywhere in the world - provided that they have a means of accessing the internet.
Through our website we try to address the requirements both of clients and of potential Consultants. For the former, we have developed an e-commerce element, allowing standard legal documents and presentations to be downloaded either free of charge or very cheaply. For the latter we formulated a very comprehensive set of FAQs, which we also provide by email if requested.
We believe that this is just the start of a new and exciting journey - and one which we embrace enthusiastically!
Marcus O'Leary, MOLeary@networklaw.org
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