Monday, July 14, 2008

Talk about outsourcing - law firm travels to cyberspace to market services

Some law firms are desperately hanging on to traditional ways of doing business, but some are boldly going where no law firms have gone before. I am talking about Davis LLP, a Canadian law firm whose Video Games & Interactive Entertainment Law practice group has opened a branch office in cyberspace.

No kidding! Davis LLP, who prides itself on creativity, has opened a law office in a virtual world called "Second Life."

“The virtual world of Second Life gives us the opportunity to interact with our current and potential clients in a unique way,” says Dani “Lemon Darcy” Lemon at Davis LLP. “We also aim to generate business leads and attract job candidates for our bricks-and mortar business through Second Life,” according to a story on the blog Law Vibe blog.

Maybe the virtual world is a great place for law firms to test innovation. The Second Life world has a fully-integrated economy architected to reward risk, innovation, and craftsmanship. Residents create their own virtual goods and services. Because residents retain the IP rights of their creations, they are able to sell them at various in-world venues. Businesses succeed by the ingenuity, artistic ability, entrepreneurial acumen, and good reputation of their owners. The legal profession sure could use some ingenuity.
Second Life has over 14 million “residents” and 65,000 virtual acres to develop, so I am sure they will need many more legal professionals.

I couldn’t resist a visit to the future and checked out the cyber Davis LLP. After teleporting to the closest town square, I made the short walk to the Davis waterfront offices. I didn’t find any attorneys, but settled into a comfortable leather couch in the lobby. As I sat down to relax, hoping that an associate or paralegal would peek around the corner at any minute, I suddenly began laughing at the irony. This modern, cyber law office still had massive bookshelves with legal books!

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