Did you know that in 2018, more lawyers than ever use cloud computing legal software to run their law firms? It’s true! According to the results of the ABA’s 2017 Legal Technology Survey Report, the many benefits of cloud computing have won over the majority of lawyers. This year’s survey shows that after remaining stagnant at ~30% from 2013-15, and then increasing to 38% in 2016, there was a marked increase in the number of lawyers using cloud computing in 2017, with the percentage jumping to 52%!
Now that cloud computing is commonplace in the legal industry, you can find information about using it in your law firm from a variety of sources. There are books, online webinars, blog posts, and in-person CLEs like the one held in Chicago at ABA Techshow earlier this year, “The Perils and Pitfalls of Ground Computing.” During this presentation, Ed Walters and Tim Baran shared their wisdom and covered the many benefits of running your law practice in the cloud.
Below you’ll find the visual notes from that session along with some of our favorite tips (click to view larger image):
Cloud computing isn’t scary
At the very outset, the presenters dispelled the myths about cloud computing. They explained that when lawyers use legal cloud computing software, they are simply outsourcing computing, just as they’ve always outsourced non-legal functions to third parties. When lawyers use web-based software, all that it means is that their data is stored on servers owned and maintained by a third party, thus relieving lawyers of the burden of practicing law and maintaining and running the firm’s IT systems.
The Cloud is all about security
Not only does using cloud computing remove IT tasks from the “to-do lists” of lawyers, it also provides law firms with greater security than on-premise computing. This is because legal cloud computing providers are in the business of providing secure software to lawyers. Their primary function is to ensure that your law firm’s data is safe, encrypted, and secure. Because that’s their focus, they do it well, ensuring that lawyers have one less thing to worry about.
Of course, as the presenters explained, it’s also important to take basic security measures such as password protecting your computer and other devices, and using 2-factor authentication. These steps add an additional layer of protection, thus ensuring that your law firm’s confidential client data remains secure.
Legal cloud computing software streamlines your law practice
As the presenters explained, security is just one of the many benefits of using cloud computing software in your law firm. Others include 24/7 access, mobility, and increased productivity. There are many different types of cloud computing software available for lawyers, including legal research platforms, law practice management software, and CRM systems.
According to the presenters, by using web-based software, attorneys can manage their law firm contacts, track and analyze firm data, and stay on top of their firm’s day-to-day business. Another benefit is that administrative tasks can be reduced by using law practice management software, allowing law firms to run more efficiently. In other words, web-based computing makes it easy for lawyers to automate their firms and reduce inefficient, redundant processes.
Get work done no matter where you are
The presenters also touted the benefits of 24/7 access. So, for example, lawyers can easily assign and manage tasks, track deadlines, and securely communicate and share information with clients, including court dates, legal documents, and case updates. Web-based access makes it easy for lawyers to work efficiently from anywhere. Lawyers can create and store legal documents, share invoices, and accept online credit cards payments, using any internet-enabled device. The benefits are many, and cloud computing software is the 21st century tool that makes it all possible.
Are you ready to use cloud computing in your practice, but looking for advice on how to go about it? Or, are you considering moving your law firm to the cloud, but aren’t sure if it’s the right time? If so, make sure to watch the free recording of our recent webinar, “Signposts of Antiquity: When to Move Your Practice to the Cloud.” You’ll learn all you need to know about how – and when – to use legal cloud computing software in your law practice.