How to Quickly Set up a Remote Law Office
By Nicole Black
If, like most lawyers across the country, you’ve been forced to close your physical office, you’re likely scrambling to establish a business continuity plan that includes setting up a remote law office. Fortunately, there is affordable technology that is readily available in 2020 that makes it easier than ever for you to quickly and easily access your case files and communicate with clients and colleagues, no matter where you happen to be.
The key is to make sure that you’re incorporating the right technology tools into your law practice. With the right technology, you’ll always have your law firm’s information right at your fingertips in one centralized location, making it easy for you to address and communicate about any problems as they arise.
Not sure where to start? Never fear. To begin, check out the blog post I published earlier this week: How to Create a Remote Working Plan for Your Law Firm. Next, read on learn more about the technology tools you need to ensure that you can address whatever issues arise, so that your law practice runs smoothly.
Store your law firm’s data online in the cloud
One surefire way to ensure that your law firm data is easily accessible to you is to store your firm’s data in the cloud. When you store your law firm’s case files online, you’ll be able to access that information as long as you have an internet connection. Immediate access to your law firm’s data means you’ll always be able to answer any question or issue that may come up.
When it comes to online storage, you have many options. There are standalone tools that simply provide online backup for documents, which may suffice for some lawyers under normal circumstances. But in times like these, when remote work is suddenly mandated, a more robust solution, such as web-based legal practice management software, is necessary.
This type of software securely stores all data relevant to your law practice, including: potential client lead data, contact and legal calendar information; documents; billing data, invoices, and payment information; client communications; internal law firm communications; and much more. So no matter what type of emergency arises, you’ll have all the information needed to address it with just the click of a button.
Additionally, make sure your law firm’s data can be accessed using any mobile device
Storing your law firm’s data in the cloud is a great start, but it’s also important to be able to access your law firm’s data even when you don’t have a laptop or desktop computer available to you. In that situation mobile access is key, and you’ll truly be in a position to respond to a crisis even when you’re working remotely, wherever you happen to be.
Use online portals for case-related communication
Taking phone calls or answering emails can be disruptive when you’re working remotely. Neither form of communication is very streamlined or efficient. Phone calls can lead to convoluted, often lengthy discussions. And threaded email chains are typically hard to follow and locating relevant emails can be a time-consuming process when you’re on the road, working from your mobile phone.
That’s why web-based client portals, which are often built into law practice management software, should be your communication method of choice. For starters, communication in client portals is more efficient, since all discussions related to a case are grouped together and easily accessible using any internet-enabled device, 24/7, day or night. Additionally, online conversations are less disruptive than a phone call. With the click of a button you can receive and respond to messages from clients right in the mobile app, allowing you to be a responsive lawyer – even when you’re out of the office.
So make sure your law firm is well-equipped to address any unexpected contingency that might arise. Then use that technology, like web-based legal practice management software, to get work done no matter where you are.