Zoom took over in the remote work environment, and it’s here to stay in today’s increasingly hybrid landscape. Could the virtual world of the metaverse be the next iteration of this?
That’s just what Washington, D.C.-based AG Immigration is betting on. The boutique law firm announced its foray into the metaverse this week, with a new office that it expects to enhance interactions with existing and potential clients around the globe.
“We saw that remote work can work, but [people] still appreciate an in-office feel,” said founding principal attorney Felipe Alexandre. “When you’re on a big Zoom call, you can’t always see everyone in the squares [on your screen]. With the metaverse, you really feel like you’re in the same room with the other participants.”
The firm has set up shop in AltspaceVR, a Microsoft-owned platform for live and virtual events for artists, brands and businesses that is accessible via VR headsets and PCs. Like other metaverse platforms, participants interact as 3D avatars.
ArentFox Schiff, the first Big Law firm to enter the metaverse, followed its clients into the virtual world in February. More recently, Pennsylvania’s largest workers’ compensation and disability law firm Pond Lehocky Giordano opened two virtual offices to target its consumer audience.
The moves come as other household-name businesses build sizable presences in the metaverse, including PwC, Adidas, Samsung and Miller Lite.
For AG Immigration, the expansion is a differentiator for its base of consumer clients in more than 30 countries, according to Alexandre.
“It’s exciting to be there at this stage of the game,” he said. “It appeals to our clients, many of whom are engineers, tech workers, athletes or others with a professional background who can contribute to the U.S. economy.”
The firm’s largest market is Brazil, which last year set a record for the number of immigrants to obtain American citizenship and was also one of the top 10 countries to receive the most green cards in 2021, according to the firm.
The metaverse office is generating interest from consumers in several of the firm’s largest markets. ”To my [initial] surprise, this is very hot in Brazil and China. It’s a growing movement,” Alexandre said.
The firm’s metaverse locale will initially offer consultations, status updates and free lectures and workshops.
“Almost all of our cases are initiated from a distance, with the client yet in their home country. Now, instead of holding videoconferencing meetings, we will be able to offer a much more immersive experience, enabling a more affectionate approach that will generate more trust throughout all the immigration process,” CEO Rodrigo Costa said in a statement.
In addition to its foray into the metaverse, AG Immigration is looking to grow its physical offices in Florida, Texas, California and Nevada.