For most lawyers, those with brick and mortar offices, when you get a call from a potential client, you ask the “usual” questions: What’s the case about? Who is involved? Do I have any conflicts I have to resolve? Can I do this work competently? But lawyers and law firms who have a virtual law office presence on the web have another issue to address: What jurisdiction is the law suit in? If you are not admitted in the relevant jurisdiction you have a problem. The state Bar Associations have the same rules for Virtual Law Offices that they have for “usual” ones and if you are practicing in a state where you are not licensed that’s the “Unauthorized Practice of Law” or UPL. The Bar Associations take this seriously and you ignore those rules at your own peril.
So, if the potential client is located in your area, great. If their need matches your firm’s strengths, even better. If not, then offer the potential client names of local counsel who can recommend good attorneys in the in the jurisdiction and in the particular field of law they need.
Kaufman Law Group, PLLC has this jurisdictional issue happen all the time. We are licensed in the District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia but are happy to help people find help in other jurisdictions if we can.