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?

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.

Colorado Legal Tech Expo

This years Colorado Legal and Technology Expo was held at the Warwick Hotel on August 21st. The expo featured the latest in technology innovations and Legal Workspace was a presenting sponsor featuring a presentation on security and the cloud. Our team was also there exhibiting and providing information on cloud services for law firms. We want to thank all the attendees who stopped by our booth and attended the presentation.

To recap our presentation, we covered multiple factors to consider when choosing a local or private cloud, but the main focus was security. One of the biggest threats to a law practice is the lack of understanding where the risks exist and not knowing the right technology to use to protect your firm. Having the right security measurements implemented is especially important for HIPAA compliant hosting. By utilizing proper legal IT cloud expertise your firm can ensure data security and compliance is in place, resulting in increased productivity, profitability and more billable hours.

Legal & Technology Expo - Denver

Legal & Technology Expo – Denver

7 Advantages of the Cloud for a Law Firm

Law firms make one important choice that affects numerous other aspects of their business: whether

  1. to set up their own IT infrastructure and house data onsite or
  2. use a cloud-based solution to host all of their applications and data.

Here are the seven ways in which a law firm will benefit from the cloud:

  1. Maximize Internet Security

The Legal Workspace (LWS) solution has four internet providers protected by redundant enterprise-grade firewalls and an intrusion detection/prevention system that has the ability to do dual-factor authentication.

7 Advantages

This level of security is difficult—if not impossible—to replicate in an onsite IT environment. Certainly it’s out of reach for small firms with limited budgets. As a result, many small firms end up with imperfect solutions, such as a consumer-grade firewall protecting their onsite server.

Joe Kelly, Founder and CEO of Legal Workspace, says, “We’re able to offer small law firms better internet security than most Am Law 100 firms have in place.”

  1. Reliable Physical Security

Some people question the importance of physical data security. After all, if someone were to penetrate a firm’s physical defenses, they’d still need to log in to the server. But, physical security is very important: Backup media could be stolen; it’s even possible that someone could take the whole server.

LWS’s servers are located in secure data centers. To gain entry, authorized LWS employees must provide biometric identification as well as an ID card. “Only our people have the code to physically access our servers,” Kelly says.

  1. Immediate Disaster Recovery

Our enterprise-grade equipment is housed in two data centers in different states. “Only our full-time employees have physical or electronic access to these redundant systems,” Kelly says. That means that if something were to happen at the data center in Colorado, our cloud services could still operate because of its intact center in Texas.

That’s one of the disadvantages of storing data in onsite servers: Should something like a fire happen onsite, a law firm would be able to eventually access its latest backup in the cloud. But, restoration could take a few weeks—which could be devastating to business.

That problem doesn’t exist if a law firm uses Legal Workspace’s cloud services. In the same situation, “They could go to any electronics store, get new laptops, log into their secure cloud environment, and they’ll be right back where they were. Even their Windows desktop is sitting in the cloud,” Kelly says. Nothing lost, no delays.

  1. Predictable IT Budgeting

Technology equipment has to be depreciated over five years, but firms often have to buy the latest version of document management software or a new server every two or three years. It’s hard to anticipate what will be needed when.

LWS’s regular monthly fee means IT spend will be a known quantity with 100% predictability. And, with that monthly fee, customers automatically are upgraded to the latest versions of legal software included in the package they select.

  1. Eliminate IT Distraction and Hassle

“Every law firm has to run a little IT department,” Kelly says. Even if a firm only consists of three people, the managing partner still has to spend time and energy configuring technological needs and managing vendors. A larger firm might have a full-time IT person on staff.

None of that is necessary if a firm uses our all-in-one cloud solution. For a monthly fee, all IT worries evaporate, and lawyers can get back to doing what they excel at doing: practicing law.

  1. Inherent Remote Access

Typically, configuring remote access for firm lawyers and staff can be a painful experience with a lot of extra work and expense. Larger firms might need to set up a terminal server or a Citrix server cluster. Small firms might utilize a service such as GoToMyPC, which allows subscribers to access their desktop remotely for a fee.

Those options can work, but they don’t have all of the advantages of a solution like LWS. Our whole cloud system is remote: Even when lawyers are sitting in their office at a desktop, they’re accessing the files remotely when they’re logged into LWS. In other words, setting up remote access is just part of the process of working with LWS and not an extra step.

  1. Experienced Law Firm Cloud Services

Hundreds of law firms that want the advantages of a cloud-based solution have been using LWS’s services for years. As a result, LWS has seen what methods and strategies work well, which means they get it done right the first time.

Kelly says, “There’s no guess work for us. We do this work over and over, and it’s all we do. We pass along the benefit of our experience to our customers.”

A cloud environment makes technology more accessible to every member of a law firm, regardless of size. But, a cloud environment like LWS does much more than that. From security to ease of use to predictability to flexibility, LWS removes the obstacles of working with technology. It renders technological issues invisible, which allows its users only to see—and benefit from—its advantages.

7 Advantages of the Cloud for a Law Firm

Find the Right Cloud Computing Solution for Your Law Firm

The Unexpected Cost of Free Cloud Document Management Services

As many law firms are discovering, the cloud can be an amazing asset for their businesses. It offers scalability, flexibility and mobility, and often with a lower price tag and more convenience than traditional, in-house hardware and software.

Yet as tempting as iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox or other sites may be, lawyers need to do their research first before uploading their important, confidential or privileged information to these non-legal-specific types of free or low-cost services.

Many of these sites are geared towards consumers – not law firms – and could have notable limitations when it comes to important security provisions. Users may even surrender their ownership rights to information in that particular cloud.

While free or cheap cloud providers may seem like a bargain in the short term, they can be very costly in the long run if data is left vulnerable or attorneys have unwittingly surrendered their ownership rights to their own information.

This security infographic illustrates the costs and consequences associated with a cybersecurity breach. When attorneys work with any medical information or records, the firm will be responsible for fines up to $250,000 as a penalty for failing to comply with strict HIPAA security standards.

Law firms would be better off paying a little more for legal-specific cloud providers to get the security and peace of mind they need.

Key Questions to Ask When Vetting Cloud Services

When looking at different cloud providers, there are several things to consider.

  1. Do they have thorough security protocols?

While free and low-cost services certainly try to keep data secure, it may be difficult for attorneys, or any user, to find out exactly what protocols, firewalls and operating systems are in place to protect information.

It may also be difficult for users to find out which employees have physical and virtual access to their data and what background checks have been performed on those employees.

  1. Do they have a legal-specific software and infrastructure?

While many of these cloud services are easy to use, they may not integrate well with the other tools and software the firm uses. This means that data may be difficult to access and merge with the other technology.

  1. Do they have a legal software certified and vetted staff?

When lawyers using free cloud storage have questions, they may not know who to contact for information. It may also be difficult to determine the level of training and expertise of those they do speak with. If an attorney has trouble getting data in the cloud, finding someone to help could be a serious issue. There may also be little recourse if the data cannot be recovered.

 

Is your law firm considering the cloud? For more information about data storage when using a cloud provider check out this article by our CEO.

Thank You To Our Loyal Customers

Giving Thanks

What a wonderful concept Thanksgiving Day is – an official day set aside to reflect on all we’re thankful for in our lives. Gathering together with family and friends – pausing to reflect before the holiday rush and onslaught of the New Year – can only be healthy for all of us. This is true for companies as well as individuals.

In that spirit, Legal Workspace would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” to our loyal customers. We are not only grateful for the business our clients bring us, but also simply for the opportunity to do what we love. Most importantly, we are thankful for the relationships we’ve built. After all, while we may deal with remote servers, bits of data and virtual applications, what it all boils down to is each person who we’re privileged to work with every day.

We’re especially thankful that so many of our clients have shown an ongoing loyalty to Legal Workspace, which makes these relationships even more rewarding. Whether you’ve been with us for years, months or only weeks, we appreciate the fact that you chose Legal Workspace to manage your technology needs.

We hope the holiday season and the New Year are joyful and prosperous for you and your firm. We’re looking forward to continuing to do what we’re passionate about, and building our much-valued relationship.

Thank you,

Your Legal Workspace Team

Cloud Computing Is the Number One Technology Trend of 2015

Business Insider recently listed nine technologies that companies will be turning towards in 2015 and cloud computing is number one. Here is why:

For the past few years, enterprises have been slowly shifting away from buying software and hardware. They want to rent it from someone else, hosted elsewhere, paying only for what they actually use. This is known as cloud computing.

By the end of 2014, this trend has turned from a trickle to a stream. In 2015 it will become a waterfall.

IDC predicts that in 2014, companies will have spent $56.6 billion on the cloud, and that the cloud market is growing 22% a year, six times faster than the growth of the whole IT industry. By 2018, companies will be spending $127 billion on the cloud.

Read the whole list here

Are you considering moving your law practice to the cloud? Look no further than Legal Workspace.