Get Out of Your Inbox: The New Collaboration Standard for Law Firms

collaboration

Get Out of Your Inbox: The New Collaboration Standard for Law Firms

Secure File Sharing is about more than data security; it’s the scalable and efficient way to collaborate with all your clients.

No one will deny that email is a quick and easy way to communicate with colleagues and clients, but it has become problematic for many of today’s professionals. Convenience is overshadowed by massive hits to productivity, security vulnerabilities and other detractions. The average office worker receives 121 emails per day, which leads to half of the day spent checking email!  This has an impact not only on productivity and efficiency but also morale.

We’re not suggesting that your firm stop using email, but simply that there is a time and place for it. In most of today’s firms, email is being used beyond its intended scope or appropriateness, which impacts everyone from office staff to clients. A few examples of this are using email to manage your to-do list, emailing a request that requires immediate turn around or communicating complex information without supplemental insight. Another example, one that we will focus on for the remainder of this blog post, is using email for file sharing and collaborative activities.

Of course, we’ve all shared and referenced countless files via email over the years. However, it’s not only unsafe, but it is also shortsighted. Secure file sharing that takes place within individual client collaboration sites provides firms with a central place to store, share and collaborate on the firm’s work, eliminating a lot of back and forth.

Real-time interaction and insight into matter and financial data is one of the most compelling reasons for today’s firms to implement client collaboration sites. Over the past decade, the shift in the power dynamic between firms and clients means that firms are now responsible for meeting a specific set of client expectations. The growth of remote work (and its dramatic expansion due to the COVID-19 pandemic…not to mention the austerity measures taken by top firms) has forced firms into location independence – whether they were ready for it or not. Collaboration is key not only to competitiveness, but to survival. Can your firm risk a time-sensitive matter document being lost in the client’s sea of emails? Or even worse, having the same document sent to the wrong ‘Steven Jones’ in a lawyer’s auto populated address book?

It is now more important than ever before to optimize efficiency and interactions between the firm’s staff, attorneys, partners and clients. Now’s the time to think about the firm as a business and implement processes and tools that scale for growth. In a Forbes.com article titled The Legal Industry is Starting to Collaborate — Why Now and Why It Matters, Mark Cohen writes “Organizations that collaborate internally, with others in the supply chain, and—most especially—with clients—are far more likely to succeed than those that do not.  This explains why so many competitive businesses are dismantling enterprise silos and replacing them with more fluid, integrated workforces; collaborating with others in the supply chain, sometimes partnering with competitors; and using data to better understand, service, anticipate, and monitor customer needs, expectations, and satisfaction. In the digital economy, the most successful organizations create a symbiotic relationship with consumers facilitated by technology, access, and customer service.”

There are many benefits to utilizing a client collaboration portal for secure file sharing and collaboration, such as:

  • Better Security, digital hygiene and ethical compliance: keeping important documents out of email removes the risk of that document being accessed by the wrong person through hacking, forwarding or accidentally sharing with the wrong individuals.
  • Improved client experience by providing transparency and convenient access to all necessary documents and information in one place.
  • Always up-to-date information and only one version of the truth with shared documents that are updated in real-time.
  • Productivity and efficiency from anytime access, not having to remember attachments, search through emails, accidentally deleting key documents or comparing multiple versions of one document.
  • Configurable templates allow firms to easily repeat and customize sites to meet the diverse needs of each client.
  • Scalable client sites are easily maintained through an administrative user interface, removing the burden from a firm’s IT staff.

It’s critical at this time to think of the firm as a business and implement processes and tools that scale for growth. Moreover, clients are demanding the transparency these collaboration sites provide. Speak with our team of experts about how you can implement this type of solution at your firm, request a meeting here.