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8 Ways To Use Legal Video Conferencing For Lawyers

Published on December 8, 2021 • Updated on June 7, 20221 min. read

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Legal conferencing with video tools is a powerful way to save time and complete legal work more quickly. By conducting a legal meeting by video, lawyers and their clients can save on travel time. To add video conferencing to your legal work, use these eight legal conferencing ideas.

Before using legal video solutions in your work, check with local requirements. For example, check with your professional association and courts. In New York, the courts have used remote video in several ways, including family court and criminal arraignment actions. Some of these options may change as traditional in-person court activities resume. Since legal video conferencing expectations and rules are still evolving in many places, take the time to research requirements in your jurisdiction.

Meet with clients

Holding legal calls with your clients is an excellent way to improve the client experience. Offering a legal meeting by video conferencing is particularly powerful for distant clients and those unable to travel easily. To meet with clients via video conferencing, keep the following tips in mind.

Start by being mindful of confidential information. Clients expect lawyers to take steps to protect confidential information at all times. If you are using video conferencing, other people may overhear the conversation. To address this concern, take precautions like closing your office door and using headphones instead of speakers.

Next, consider recording options. Taking notes during legal calls can be difficult. Therefore, you may wish to invite an assistant to your legal calls or suggest recording the video conferencing calls. Before recording a call, make sure you ask for permission first.

Tip: Some clients may be unfamiliar with how your firm uses legal conferencing. To design your firm's guidelines, use our video meeting checklist.

Meet with your legal team

Legal video solutions can also help your firm improve internal collaboration better. For example, you may have a daily meeting with your assistant to review the day's schedules and significant deadlines. To improve your collaboration, use the following tips.

The first way to make the most of team meetings is to start with an agenda. After all, internal legal calls may not be billable. Therefore, it is wise to use agendas to keep your discussion focused. Review our guide on how to write a team meeting agenda to fine-tune your internal meetings.

Once you have effective team meeting agendas in place, take a look at your firm's employees' equipment. You may want to buy ring lights for everybody to minimize poor lighting conditions. Giving everyone backup microphones and headphones is also wise. 

Hold court arraignments

Conducting court arraignments through video conferencing is another way to save time in your legal work. An arraignment is likely to be a successful experience for your clients. Therefore, you may want to meet them in advance to prepare them for the court arraignment experience. Clients may be used to dressing casually for video conferencing meetings. Court arraignments are different – dressing formally is a way to show respect for the proceedings.

In addition to preparing clients for the court arraignment, prepare yourself for the session as well. For example, you might ask a few colleagues to act as your lawyer during the call. 

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Film depositions with video conferencing

Planning video conferencing depositions takes a few steps. Your initial preparation effort, such as creating questions and reviewing documents, will likely be unchanged from traditional dispositions. However, there are a few points to keep in mind when you film dispositions.

It is smart to request technical support for this type of legal meeting. You want to be able to focus on the questions and answers – not solving technical glitches. A technical support person can give everybody suggestions in advance on how to ensure a stable video call.

In addition to technical support, invite an experienced court reporter to take notes during the session. If the person is new to using video conferencing in a legal context, consider organizing a practice session to prepare.

Get witnesses into the room

Tracking down witnesses to participate in a legal proceeding is difficult. For example, expert witnesses may be busy with other projects and may not be available when you need them. In other cases, witnesses for a criminal trial may fear being in the same room as the accused person. In these situations, legal video solutions can help in a few ways.

Legal video solutions reduce the need for travel time. By giving witnesses the option to testify from a comfortable place like their home, they may be more willing to participate. For example, they may be willing to join a 30-minute court appearance if they do not incur travel expenses.

What if your jurisdiction has limits on legal video meetings? In this case, video conferencing can still play a valuable role. Specifically, you can organize preparation meetings with a witness by video conferencing. Furthermore, you may want to offer a post-court appearance video conferencing call as well. Remember that witnesses may be anxious about giving evidence and facing the pressure of cross-examination. Offering to meet with the witness before and after their appearance as a witness to explain the legal process may make the difference between a witness supporting your case or not.

Upskill with distance learning

As a lawyer, ongoing professional development is vital to your success. For example, ransomware attacks have recently increased – some companies are paying ransoms over $100,000 to settle these cases. Studying these newer issues by attending webinars and online conferences is essential. Without ongoing professional development, you might be unable to offer the best legal advice to your clients.

Fortunately, there are multiple ways to access legal education through video conferencing and video courses. The American Bar Association (ABA) has a library of webinars and other video programs on civil rights, intellectual property, and alternative dispute resolution.

Attend legal webinars

Webinars are a powerful way to share insights internally and advance your professional development activities. Some law firms regularly hire law students and new lawyers each year. These new hires may struggle to learn how your firm operates unless you provide training. Offering a new lawyer orientation training webinar is a great way to bring new people up to speed and invite questions.

You can also use webinars as a team bonding experience and training at the same time. For example, you might invite a communication expert to provide a session on speaking. Such a session could involve practicing your "lawyers on-call" skills – imagine a client calls you at midnight and you have to respond! Taking the time to practice this type of high-stakes conversation in a safe training environment can help lawyers improve their listening skills and relate more effectively to clients.

From a professional development standpoint, many legal organizations offer training webinars. The American Academy of Estate Planning Attorneys offers educational webinars on business topics and estate planning. Attending legal webinars is an excellent way to expand your knowledge. Just remember that you don't have to limit yourself to traditional legal topics. You can also find webinars on related professional skills like public speaking, networking, and leading.

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Advertise your legal services

Many jurisdictions impose limitations on how lawyers can advertise their services. The State Bar of California has several rules in place on lawyer advertising. For instance, you can pay marketing experts and publicists to market your services, but the lawyer must supervise their conduct. What if you want to advertise your services personally? There are only so many hours in the day, limiting how many meetings you can attend to meet new prospects.

Video conferencing is a powerful way for a lawyer or law firm to promote its services. For instance, a tax law firm might prepare an annual tax law webinar ahead of tax season to help clients understand changes to tax law. An estate planning lawyer could organize an estate planning tips webinar for new parents. To attract attendees to your webinar, consider inviting guest speakers to your presentation. For example, a tax firm might choose to invite a tax accountant to share their point of view on tax planning. 

There are multiple ways lawyers can use legal video solutions to save time, attract more clients and engage with the legal system. When choosing a video conferencing platform, there are a few points to keep in mind in order to find the best virtual meeting platform for you. Security is a top concern because clients and other stakeholders need to know that their confidential data will be protected. In addition, the video conferencing tool should be browser-based so that there are no delays when somebody has an urgent call. These tips are sure to help you open your own virtual legal practice!

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