During the past year, the firm underwent significant changes, to say the least. In January, 2012, it would have been a challenge to differentiate Michael F. Brennan Law Offices from any other small firm just finding its roots. I initially started the firm because I saw a lack of options for young professionals and families to get legal help for themselves, their families and their businesses, and I set out to change that.
I encountered far too many people who didn’t realize there was more to estate planning than just getting rid of your things when they died. They’d be surprised when I explained that it was through estate planning that they could make their wishes on life-sustaining medical treatment and feeding tubes known or ensure responsible people raised their children in the event of some tragic accident taking them out of this world.
Similarly, the brilliant young minds of today are a wealth of great innovative ideas waiting to be put into action. I wanted to act as an asset to these individuals by providing an affordable means of getting legal advice and assistance necessary to turn those great ideas into great businesses.
But, often times, hectic professional and personal lives left little time to make numerous trips to an attorney’s office or commit to set meetings long in advance.
I wanted to find a way by which I could better serve my clients in way that was convenient and accessible for them. Generation Y grew up with technology everywhere. From buying a new pair of shoes to paying an electric bill, practically everything can be done online cheaper and more efficient than it can be done in person. I never believed that the delivery of legal services had to be any different.
So, during 2012, Michael F. Brennan Law Offices transformed into The Virtual Attorney- an entirely virtual firm serving clients throughout Illinois, Minnesota and Wisconsin. As a firm with a progressive eye, my aim was to provide a means of serving today’s professionals on the move for a cost that fits their budget. I aimed to keep services accessible by enabling communication- whether via chat, video conference or phone, document review and collaboration to take place when it was convenient for the client. Most importantly, I wanted to make sure that any exchange was secure, so I developed methods to encrypt documents and communications and safeguard personal information and sensitive data.
Over the past year, the Virtual Attorney has been able to help numerous families and individuals structure estate plans through this model that give them a safety net for the future. The firm has also been able to advise some brilliant and creative young entrepreneurs and assist in the formation of some tremendous new businesses. Heading into 2013, I’m looking forward to helping those businesses grow and servicing a new group of small businesses with their in-house legal needs through the firm’s Outside In House Counsel program.
The goal at The Virtual Attorney has been and will always be to use the latest technology to provide clients with a secure, convenient and accessible means to plan for their businesses or plan for their families estates. With that ultimate goal in mind, my hope is that all of my clients can come to realize that what they need in a lawyer and what they want in a lawyer don’t have to be different.