American Bar Association
Law Practice Division: eLawyering Task Force

Law Practice Division:
eLawyering Task Force

What is eLawyering?

eLawyering is doing legal work - not just marketing - over the Web. Practitioners have found new ways to communicate and collaborate with clients and other lawyers, produce documents, settle disputes, interact with courts, and manage legal knowledge. ELawyering encompasses all the ways in which lawyers can do their work using the Web and associated technologies. Think of lawyering as a "verb" - interview, investigate, counsel, draft, advocate, analyze, negotiate, manage, .. - and there are corresponding Internet-based tools and technologies.

There are exciting initiatives underway now that deserve attention by all lawyers - present and future. While admittedly just a subset of the vast legal technology world, eLawyering and its lawyer-less analogs present fundamental challenges for our profession. There are great dangers, but also great opportunities for attorneys. To be successful, lawyers need to know how to practice over the Web, manage client relationships in cyberspace, and ethically offer "unbundled" services.

Best Practice Guidelines


Best Practice Guidelines for Legal Information Web Site Providers

Elawyering Task Force, ABA Law Practice Management Section and ABA Standing Committee On the Delivery of Legal Services

February 10, 2003 Approved by Action of the House of Delegates, American Bar Association,

Many sites on the web provide legal information. Government departments, non-profit community organizations, private companies, educational institutions, individuals, and law firms publish sites. Users of these sites have varying levels of knowledge of the law and the Internet.

It is essential that legal web sites providers give users sufficient information to make assessments about the accuracy and the quality of the legal information that is published.

The purpose of the guidelines is to establish "best practices" for website develpers, lawyers and other web site providers who offer legal information, documents and other services to the public. These guidelines do not address the additional requirements that would be applicable to individual lawyers and law firm sites that provide legal advice. Individual lawyers and law firms should also consider whether the rules of professional responsibility apply to any aspect of their operation of a legal information website. When providers adopt the guidelines, users will be less likely to be misled.

It is important to understand that compliance with these guidelines does not constitute approval or certification by the American Bar Association of the content and operation of the web site and no one is authorized to represent that it does. Instead, the guidelines encourage publishers of legal web sites to provide information about the legal content of their sites that assists a user in making a judgment on the quality of the legal information that appears on the site. Read the Complete Guidelines...

eLawyering Basics

"How can I practice law over the Internet?" This web site helps you find answers to that question. The Internet presents us with unparalleled opportunities and powerful new tools to provide legal services. Innovative law firms and web-based companies (many run by lawyers) sail successfully in these largely uncharted waters. Their web sites go far beyond a list of partners, practice areas and a map to the law firm.

Lawyers are not just advertising but finding new techniques to deliver legal services on-line. They are using client intakes forms or document drafting systems that clients fill out and the lawyer adds value. They use e-mail, discussion forums and even private "chat" or "deal" rooms to keep their clients informed and well advised, at significantly lower costs than traditional service models. These lawyers have the vision to see a wholly new market of un-met legal needs. These new "net" and "mobile" technologies enable lawyers to service the huge "latent market" for legal services. At the same time, these technologies will increase opportunities for communication and mentoring among solos and small firm practitioners, while improving the quality of life and economic viability of practitioners who want to work on "people" problems and still make a decent living. The is the heart of what eLawyering is all about.

As lawyers we are able to provide legal assistance from anywhere in the world at any time of the day and so our paradigms for how we go about our work must necessarily change. No longer are we simply "Main Street" lawyers or "Wall Street" lawyers. We must be ready to practice in a way that allows our clients a new method of access to legal services by using the technology and communications tools that surround us.

James I. Keane Memorial Award


External Links


Committee Roster  

Programs, Meetings and Events

Section Events

Modified by Austin Groothuis on January 13, 2015

Back to Top