Future-Proof Your Law Firm

Use the Cloud to Keep Up with the Pace of Technology

It’s no secret; technology has accelerated the pace of change – in work and in life. There are a few ways that your law firm can go about adapting to these changes.

You could:

1. Bury your head in the sand and insist on the traditional ways of doing things.

2. Throw money at the problem, amassing all the new software and gadgets available and hiring experts to teach you how to use everything.

3. Make a simple change to the way you do work and handle your data.

Of course, the third option is making the change over to using a cloud environment, such as Legal Workspace. Using the cloud is an easy way to set up your firm for any future tech innovations, in addition to the other advantages it promises, like security and flexibility.

Why the cloud allows for rapid change

When a law firm operates from on-site servers, it lacks the kind of agility that using a cloud environment can provide. For example, what would happen if your biggest client suddenly placed regulations on your firm? How would you go about making sure you could meet those requirements? How much time, effort, and money would it take to give them what they wanted?

And if you were able to pull it off, would the client still be there, waiting for you to bring your security to their level?

Taking advantage of law firm cloud services removes that worry. Legal Workspace, because it was created specifically for law firms, utilizes military-grade security for all of its clients and can accommodate special requests from firms who use its services. HIPAA compliance obligations and any other high-level security requirements can be quickly applied to ensure that your clients’ data is protected.

That kind of behind-the-scenes agility is important because it also allows you to make changes to the way you do business. For example, if you’re not already taking advantage of legal document generation automation to streamline your attorneys’ workloads, you can select one of the applications that is compatible with Legal Workspace, work with its team of experts to customize the program to your preferences, and increase your efficiency.

Beyond that, the simple fact is that workplace culture is changing. Many attorneys are putting in the same number – or even more – hours than they ever did before, but they’re not necessarily doing it from the office. A cloud work environment, like Legal Workspace, allows attorneys to access their workspace from anywhere, on any device, at any time. If an attorney has a big realization while watching their kid’s soccer game, they can grab their smartphone and get moving.

The future is in the cloud

When you migrate to the cloud, a big chunk of worry falls away. No fretting about your data security’s adequacy. No concern about making the right software and application choices. No restrictions for your attorneys with regard to when and where they choose to work.

Now, which of these three options sounds like the best strategy:

1. Stick to tradition and hope your firm remains viable?

2. Throw money at the problem and try to do it yourself?

3. Or, lean on experts to take care of your technology issues by using a cloud environment?

Boost Law Firm Productivity & Revenue

Law firms and technology have made some giant leaps in the last decade or so. Now, there are applications made specifically for law firms that track time, facilitate billing, generate and manage documents, and even help you manage your practice.

We know that you want to take full advantage of the efficiencies and transparency that legal applications can provide to a law firm. That’s why, at Legal Workspace, we make it a priority to host and support the most popular and most effective legal apps on our cloud environment.

 

How it works

Because Legal Workspace was created specifically for law firms and their unique challenges, we understand that firms need certain legal applications to be available anytime and anywhere in order to be able to function at full capacity.

Working with Legal Workspace provides law firms with the opportunity to migrate their existing legal applications to the cloud – or to strategize and make new decisions about what technology they want and need to make work and life easier (and more accurate).

Legal Workspace’s engineers are certified in the top legal applications, so they can provide support if and when it’s needed. They can also consult with clients to identify which apps might work best in their particular situations.

And, Legal Workspace can even license certain legal apps, which simplifies billing.

 

What apps does Legal Workspace host?

Legal Workspace hosts a wide variety of legal applications. Law practice management software includes Amicus Attorney ®, Time Matter®, Needles®, Practice Master®, Thomson Reuters ProLaw®, Juris®, and LawBase®.

Legal document management software includes Worldox® and Microsoft SharePoint®.

Time and billing software includes PCLaw®, Timeslips®, Tabs3®, and Quickbooks®.

Legal document generation automation includes Hot Docs®, ProDoc®, and Amicus Attorney®.

You can find out more about how you can customize your Legal Workspace cloud environment with a variety of legal applications and software here. 

And, what if you have your own proprietary software that you use for practice management, for example? That’s no problem. Legal Workspace can host the software law firms develop.

 

Cloud benefits

When you work with a cloud environment that hosts the legal applications you need, you are using technology to your advantage. And, you get so much more from using the cloud.

Your attorneys and staff can access the programs and data they need from any location at any time. Remote access isn’t the only benefit: You’ll save money on hardware – and its set-up and maintenance. Instead of laying down big money to get started, you’ll have one simple monthly bill.

Your data is continuously monitored and protected. Beyond that, working in the cloud means that recovery of data – if a disaster were to occur – would be that much simpler.

Working with a team like Legal Workspace’s enables you to get the most from your technology. The legal applications that it hosts can propel your law firm to new levels of efficiency and accuracy. With Legal Workspace’s engineers’ help, your law firm can take another giant leap by allowing technology to work for you – so you can concentrate on the business of law.

 

 

Who Wants Budget Stability? A New Year, Better Predictability

The year’s end is a time for reflection and projection. You look back at what happened over the past year, and you think about what the future holds. Some of this process is subjective, and some of it is speculation – but some of it is hard numbers.

Take your law firm’s budget, for example.

How was your IT spending in 2017? Did you stay within the parameters, or did you experience any major technological fall-out that caused you to dip into another line item?

What about next year? How’s your server holding up? Will this be the year be the one that results in multiple repair bills or the cost of a replacement server (and the associated migration costs)?

Good news: There is a way that you can stabilize your law firm’s IT budget for 2018. Migrate to a cloud environment, such as Legal Workspace, and you will experience predictable monthly costs instead of highly variable IT repair and maintenance bills.

Consistent bills, consistent budget

Because a cloud environment like Legal Workspace is constantly upgrading its software, servers, and security, those costs to your law firm – and that worry – can just disappear.

The responsibility is on Legal Workspace’s shoulders, not yours. No longer will you have to pay for upgrades. You won’t have to stretch a dying server’s viability until its last gasp. Instead, your data will be stored on up-to-date, state-of-the-art equipment.

You’ll simply pay for a predictable, unchanging monthly bill. Now that’s easy to budget.

Quicker client payments

Not only will you be able to stabilize your law firm’s IT budget, but you can utilize Legal Workspace’s tools to get paid faster, too.

Administrators can spend hours reviewing invoices. They might allocate a significant portion of their day to sharing invoicing information with attorneys – and attorneys might be wasting their time on clunky timekeeping and pre-billing. The Legal Workspace team can work with law firms to determine the best technology and processes for streamlining billing.

Working with Legal Workspace on this issue results in faster payment. As Diane Kuhre, firm finance manager for Davis Schilken, PC, puts it, “Since I can complete monthly billing in half the time, invoices get out the door in two days. The firm gets paid much more quickly now.”

 

All-in-one solution

Other headaches can fall by the wayside, too, when you start to use a cloud environment. Constantly adjusting to hackers’ increasingly adept and creative ways to penetrate law firms’ shields is a major annoyance – and it takes significant expertise (not to mention serious dollars) to protect your firm’s data adequately.

That’s one of the many reasons so many law firms now take advantage of a cloud environment for data storage. Law firms no longer need to worry about security updates or maintaining back-ups; it is all taken care of for you.l

Adopting the use of a cloud environment like Legal Workspace results in many benefits – not least a healthier bottom line. Just one simple decision can stabilize your IT budget, take away headaches about security and back-ups, and get your law firm paid more quickly.

How to Move from Help Desk Support to CIO

A typical day in an IT professional’s life involves a lot of troubleshooting and maintenance. IT professionals may grow to have love/hate relationships with their on-site servers. Sure, those servers may be testy and occasionally cause issues – but the trouble they cause keeps IT professionals on their toes and in their jobs.

Or so they think.

But what if the law firm for which these IT professionals work adopted a cloud solution? What if those server-associated problems went away because cloud vendors manage day-to-day issues? Would that mean that IT professionals were no longer needed?

Certainly not.

Instead, clever IT professionals can parlay this change to develop skills, take on new responsibilities, become a more strategic force in their law firms, and even advance to more vital and profitable positions.

 

Move on up

There are a multitude of ways in which an IT professional’s skill set can be applied to higher-level tasks.

New opportunities within the firm

IT professionals can segue their experience into training or department-specific consultation or support. People who are capable of logical problem-solving are always in demand.

Added business value

When used properly, technology saves a law firm time and money. And no one is more intimately acquainted with a firm’s technology than IT professionals. Determining ways in which they can create business value through technology will make IT professionals champions of the firm.

Negotiation

Rather than law firms relying on an office manager to negotiate with technology vendors, IT professionals can step in. IT professionals will understand whether vendors’ services and product will add value to the business. They’ll understand the intricacies of a program or application and what the law firm needs, so they can be effective negotiators.

Data security and compliance

Is your law firm looking to make the jump to representing healthcare clients or some other sector that requires additional security and compliance? If so, IT professionals can be a terrific resource. They can parse the requirements and devise ways that your law firm can meet them.

Roadmaps and budgeting

 As technology becomes increasingly important to everyday matters, it’s important for law firms to have an idea of where they’re going and the budgets needed to accomplish their goals. IT professionals can create technology roadmaps and forecast budgeting, so law firms can take advantage of available technology and get an edge over competition.

Project managers

If your law firm implements the use of new technology, IT professionals can be the right individuals to guide your firm through the project.

 Customize apps

 The most important unit of measurement at any law firm is the billable hour. IT professionals can help keep attorneys focused on billing hours by customizing legal apps to streamline typical bottlenecks and strip away time lost in repetitive tasks.

IT strategists

 IT professionals can take on new monikers: IT strategists. Is your law firm using its technology effectively? Is it taking advantage of all of the technology available in the marketplace to increase efficiency? IT professionals can put their knowledge to work building a technology strategy for your law firm to keep it ahead of the pack.

 

The typical workday of an IT professional may be changing with more prevalent use of the cloud – but the change can be positive, benefiting both law firms and the IT professionals they employ.

 

 

5 Unexpected Benefits of Cloud for Law Firms

There are so many reasons for law firms to use the cloud, ranging from increased convenience to more robust security. Here are five unexpected benefits of cloud services for law firms:

1. Bump up holiday and summer billable hours

It’s summer time, and the living is easy—right? All of your clients are settled on a beach somewhere, and all of your attorneys are kicking back with their feet on their desks. Maybe in a parallel universe!
In this world, hours need to be kept up during the summer and holidays. With Legal Workspace, remote computing for law firms allows just that: Attorneys can access data and the programs and applications they need whenever and wherever they need them.

2. Eliminate network downtime

Network downtime can be a scourge. It sidelines productivity, it causes headaches, and it costs money. When you transition to using a cloud environment, any fears you had about experiencing network outages and failures can disappear. Legal Workspace, for example, has redundancies in place to ensure that its servers are consistently up and available for customers using its cloud environment. No interruptions. No glitches. No downtime.

3. Automate data back-ups

Stuff happens. One attorney might inadvertently leave her laptop on a plane, another might find his smartphone went missing somewhere between the office and the commute home. And it’s not only lost or stolen devices that could cause problems: Security breaches also pose data loss risks to law firms reviewing and storing sensitive, privileged materials.
Most people know that data back-ups are paramount to guard against data loss. Unfortunately, not many law firms perform regular back-ups as they should. When law firms use the cloud, data gets backed up routinely, thus eliminating worries about data loss.

4. Easy onboarding

Onboarding new employees can be a hassle. You may be introducing multiple unfamiliar applications, programs, and procedures to any new attorney or staff member. Working in a cloud environment such as Legal Workspace can ease that pain because the platform is standard across devices; there’s no need to re-invent the wheel every time someone logs in from a different device or location. Legal Workspace also provides an environment that’s intuitive to use, which reduces trial-and-error interactions while reducing law firm overhead expenses.

5. HIPAA compliance

Law firms and attorneys that work with Private Health Information (PHI) have an additional responsibility: complying with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Some cloud environments, such as Legal Workspace’s HIPAA Compliant Edition, offer enterprise-grade safeguards for data storage, which meet HIPAA compliance obligations. This type of solution removes the need for large law firms’ IT departments to cobble together a system for additional data protection. It also allows smaller law firms access to security that would otherwise be impossible for them to create and maintain.

When a law firm begins using a cloud environment like Legal Workspace, it instantly benefits from increased convenience, consistency, and security. The cloud can be an immediate painkiller for a lot of common law firm headaches.