Lot #651 on Somnium Space belongs to Zannes Law, a Toronto-based law firm. In this seven-level metaverse office, principal lawyer Madaline Zannes conducts private consultations with clients, meets people wandering in with legal questions, hosts conferences, and gives guest lectures. Zannes says that her metaverse office allows for a more immersive, imaginative client experience. She hired a custom metaverse builder to create the space from scratch—with breakout rooms, presentation stages, offices to rent, an art gallery, and a rooftop bar.
The Somnium Space office was Zannes’s first in the metaverse, but the firm now has multiple properties on other platforms, including a penthouse suite in Spatial’s version of New Caledonia.
Qualifications needed: Technically, none; the metaverse isn’t an actual jurisdiction. There’s no “metaverse law,” and it’s not an area that lawyers can be licensed in—at least not yet. But those with a law degree can use the technology to stand out. “What’s most important is having an open mind,” says Zannes.
Current challenge: Law doesn’t move as quickly as technology does, and lawyers are limited to the jurisdictions where they’re licensed to practice. At the same time, Zannes says, there are “bad actors” who attempt to offer legal services in virtual spaces without any sort of certification. Some go as far as to keep their identity hidden from clients.
To help address the problem, this year Zannes and her team created the international Metaverse Bar Association, which aims to provide a registry of verified licensed lawyers who work in Web3.
Job perk: It’s a fun and more engaging way to meet clients remotely, as opposed to a flat, 2D Zoom interaction. “We can do our meeting while walking through the building. We can chat at our NFT gallery, at the rooftop bar, or in my office,” Zannes says. “There are more ways to find common ground and spend quality time together.”
There’s an area in the main office called Quantum Leap where clients can review the portfolio of Zannes’s metaverse properties to explore. She even provides her clients with a private link so they can hang out in the metaverse and use the space whenever they want.
Commercial prospects: Zannes says her “satellite offices” in the metaverse are great exposure for the firm. She also reaps monetary benefits from owning property in the metaverse by renting out the space, just as a landlord does IRL.
How a tiny Pacific Island became the global capital of cybercrime
Despite having a population of just 1,400, until recently, Tokelau’s .tk domain had more users than any other country. Here’s why.
Procurement in the age of AI
New capabilities unlocked by advanced analytics, AI, and machine learning enable smarter business buying.
Climate tech is back—and this time, it can’t afford to fail
A decade after the high profile bust of cleantech 1.0, venture-backed firms are again flourishing. We need them to succeed. Will they?
Why Hong Kong is still bullish on crypto
In a bid to find new economic growth, Hong Kong’s government is busy setting up legal frameworks to court Web3 companies.
Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review
Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.