To achieve success, attorneys must collaborate effectively, whether communicating with support staff or connecting with clients and opposing counsel. The rise of remote work has both complicated that communication and inspired critical innovation. Law firm collaboration technology provides a perfect case in point.
As more law firms move virtual, attorneys require secure options to meet over video, as well as to access and share files over distance. When meeting in person proves impossible, they need tools that facilitate real-time collaboration and support communication in multiple ways. At the same time, unique security and privacy requirements necessitate thoughtful implementation.
Anytime/Anywhere Access with the Cloud
The cloud offers a host of crucial benefits to the legal industry, beginning with the client’s first introduction to the firm. For instance, many firms have moved to a digital intake process for their clients, which can significantly speed onboarding. Clients provide necessary information and electronically sign documents anytime, from anywhere with internet access.
Cloud business technology also facilitates real-time, secure collaboration on documents over distance. Team members can access documents from their desk, the courthouse or even from their mobile device at the coffee shop. And because all team members access the original document in the cloud, they always know they are working with the most current version.
Step Up the Video Conferencing Game
Over the past two years, the world has gained a crash course in meeting over video, and the legal industry is no exception. From one-on-one meetings to depositions and courtroom proceedings, video conferencing has proved critical. And upgrading a few key components can make a significant difference in the quality and security of meetings over distance.
For example, using a good video camera and the proper lighting ensures better engagement and helps illuminate crucial nonverbal communication. To facilitate better one-on-one meetings, upgrade to a high-definition external video camera. For larger meetings, smart 360-degree webcams with auto-focusing help to create an inclusive, in-person feel.
Law firms also need to pay special attention to addressing security and compliance. Ensure end-to-end encryption (E2EE) as an essential first step. Microsoft Teams, for instance, offers E2EE, but admins must enable the feature. Additionally, Teams provides the capability for integrated voice and call compliance recording to minimize liability.
For improved collaboration, attorneys need the ability to communicate seamlessly in a variety of ways for different situations. Video works well for meetings, but for asynchronous communication or quick messages, other tools make more sense.
In addition to email, firms should choose a messaging platform that allows for instant chat without interrupting the workflow. With multiple messaging apps available, consider who will be using the app and how they will communicate.
As with all law firm collaboration technology, security and compliance features play a significant role in choosing and configuring email and messaging apps. Look for apps, such as Outlook and Teams, that support encryption and automated ePolicies to improve compliance.
Microsoft Teams: The Multi-Tool of Law Firm Collaboration
While law firms have a multitude of useful tools available, many find that Microsoft Teams fills key collaboration needs with its flexible, secure framework. Each team automatically includes a shared document library, messaging capabilities, email, shared calendar, and video conferencing. A convenient dashboard gives easy access to both Microsoft and third-party apps.
Implement Law Firm Collaboration Technology with Confidence
The legal IT consultants at eMazzanti have a long history of supporting law firms with all aspects of their practice technology. With deep expertise in cloud services, Microsoft 365, cybersecurity and compliance, they assist firms in implementing technology to target key collaboration goals.