Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Preparing Your Law Firm for Technology Innovations

Is your law firm ready to face a legal case?  Can you prove that your clients are not deliberately concealing anything from the court?  Do you have the proper procedures in place to establish transparency of transaction with your clients? 

These are all critical questions that you must be ready to answer regardless what type of law firm you are.  So what should you do to be prepared for the technological innovations?

Retention Policy

What is your retention policy?  Does this have anything to do with your clients?  Retention policy basically defines the practices of your law firm in preserving documents, email messages, and other transactions that go through your cloud computing servers daily. 

It must state the specific timeframe that messages or documents should be stored.  This also helps to give you flexibility when you have limited storage.  How long should your files remain in your cloud computing servers?  At least six years is the suggested timeframe, but this can vary depending on how your law firm handles cases.

The Regulations

To make sure that your law firm keeps out of hot water, the best practice is to be updated on the laws that cover digital storing.  This may be local or the contract between you and cloud computing provider, it does not matter, the important thing is that you are aware what the law requires from your specific business. 

It may sound funny reminding a law firm to be updated on laws, but, a lot can be missed during the transition to new technology.  For example, is your firm prepared to accept technology innovation in cloud computing?  Then you must abide by the data retention policies of the sensitive data storing standard. 

This will help you cope with government regulations as well as observing pertinent customer privacy laws to keep your firm out of legal cases.

Reliable Systems

What use would be a perfectly written retention policy or knowledge of the regulations if you do not have a reliable system to back it up?  Many law firms think that it would be easier to get by with cheap systems, unfortunately, what they do not understand is that having reliable systems is a sign of professionalism. 

This is because it is beneficial to the everyday operation of your law firm and allows you to justify in court that you are taking every precaution to protect your client’s data and keep everything legitimate.

Reliable systems do not only allow you to stay online 99.9% of the time, it also gives you the ability to immediately get back online when disaster strikes.  Therefore, disaster recovery strategies are part of reliable systems to deliver business continuity. 

This means that your cloud computing provider should guarantee you maximum uptimes with a contingency for load balancing as well as failover scenarios.  This is something that you should see in your Service Level Agreement (SLA).

There is so much more valuable to the ability to minimize crashes and downtime with cloud computing.  It will give your law firm long-term growth through client retention and trust.  This is something that only a reliable and efficient cloud computing system can provide.

Personnel Education

Education should cover all of your law employees, not just those handling IT work.  It is important that everybody understands the consequences of communication in a digital age.  As the leading resource of your law firm, it is important that they are aware of their legal responsibilities and the potentials for legal discovery.  This includes ensuring emails are easily located, monitoring of system performance, and reliable backup procedures.

Helping educate your personnel on the requirements of the law can save your firm from a lot of legal scrutiny and tremendous headaches.  This investment in their education should not be costly because of the availability of many online courses should there be no one in your pool of lawyers to educate them on this.

Are your employees aware why you give more protection in saving documents and communication?  This is equally important because they may find themselves before a judge to establish whether files are being intentionally protected or not. 

Understanding the importance of cloud computing compliance should be emphasized on all employees of the business.  There is no question that there has to be a lot learned during the transition to new technology.

If you want to be better prepared for the consequences of a legal battle, one of the best ways is to have a reliable provider to back you up. NexStep  is one of the leaders in the implementation of management-free technology that makes it easier for law firms to prepare for technological innovations. 

Contact Keycom to get the benefits of cloud computing for your law practice, you can easily remote computing your law firms anywhere as long as there in internet connections.

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