If you are like most attorneys, you have some experience with the cloud. While some lawyers use the cloud for nothing more than a “to-do” list and perhaps a calendar, others have embraced the cloud and have what is considered a virtual law office. What are they doing that you might want to do too?
A Hosted Exchange
Of major concern to law offices is the need for privacy between clients and their lawyers. Accordingly, a hosted exchange, in which your email is part of your website, is a good way to maintain communications among your law office, your client, and other attorneys or experts. With a hosted email exchange, you set the policy as to who can:
- Access files;
- Share files; and
- Download files
Also, with a hosted exchange, it is easy to set up new mailboxes and calendars for new employees. This makes collaboration between client and attorney or attorney to attorney go smoothly. In fact, some firms may set up a special email account for each of their active cases. Of course, email services are also available today in the cloud. Providers such as Google and Microsoft are also available with good security and great ease of use. But cloud-based email may not be right for every legal firm.
Before there was the cloud, there were programs like SharePoint by Microsoft, which allowed for easy collaboration. Today, offices can run programs like MS Office where collaboration in the cloud is built right into the program, making for sharing with authorized other users an easy task. Online collaboration allows anyone who can connect to the internet and holds the proper security authorizations to be able to collaborate no matter where they are.
Phone Service (Voice over Internet Protocol) VoIP
VoIP providers of phone technology can connect to you wherever you are – the office, the car or a courtroom corridor. VoIP is less expensive than landline phone services and more flexible. If you are away on a brief vacation, you can call forward your line to that of your assistant. VoIP service also makes it easier to keep a record of phone activity, both incoming and outgoing, as well as making transcription easier too.
One of the most important issues for lawyers is keeping records and files in archives. Paper files take up too much space and are difficult to work with. Many attorneys store their files in the cloud where they can be retrieved easily and quickly.
Does all the talk about ransomware, viruses and malware have you thinking that your data might be in danger? If you store a backup of your data in the cloud as well as store backup copies of your software in the cloud, you can weather any disaster, from a flood to hacking. All you need to do is reboot your computer, connect to the internet, and you can restore everything straight from the cloud.
Easy collaboration between you and your staff and other attorneys makes for better results for your clients. While the tools outlined above lowers your IT costs, it is a benefit to all who are involved. Using the cloud has you working better, faster, and smarter than ever. Have your legal practice soar by taking to the cloud.