The ABA Journal for March, 2007 has a feature Fantasy life, Real Law. it is about lawyers who participate in the virtual community Second Life. I became interested in Second Life several months ago when I read that some people werre actually supporting themselves in the real world by their business activities in this virtual world. They design clothes for avatars or provide other goods and services and receive compensation in the local script, Linden dollars.

The article quotes several lawyers who are active Second Life participants, with online characters who are legal professionals. “ ‘Many people have active fantasy lives in which they want to pretend to be things they are not because it makes their real life more bearable,’ says Benjamin D. Cushman, the lawyer behind [online character] Beathan Vale. ‘This really is a tool to enhance the daydreaming experience.”

Another lawyer reported generating real life clients and income via Second life

My son and I tried Second Life a few months ago. We had fun designing a character, but lost interest as a basic skill tutorial, moving a beach ball around, didn’t perform as we thought it should.  We complained to a few others who were there having the same problem and left. That was just as well because neither of us really has time for any new hobbies right now. (Learning to fly was fun, though.)

But Second Life clearly is not a second class operation. According to the website there are 4,558,662 residents with 1,629,589 having logged in during the last 60 days. The assertion that $1.770,716 in U.S. dollars was spent or exchanged there in the last 24 hours is attention-getting. Setting up a virtual law practice in the context of a game has many ethical and practical concerns. Read the ABA Journal article. You never know whether you might need a Second Life sometime.