How can IT support the work of solicitors?
Each day a solicitor is required to handle a massive amount of complex information; categorise this effectively and analyse it for its worth, before storing this for future use. Much of this data will need to be cross-referenced with other data and made available to a select number of people. Privacy is a significant concern, as is accuracy.
A well-designed, secure computer network and intelligent selection of hardware and software are essential to make the practice of law possible in the 21st century. Many solicitors have some reticence about technology due to the rise in do-it-yourself lawyers, but many more see how IT can become the best friend of the legal profession.
One of the significant benefits of technology is the ease and security of passing vast amounts of information from one person to another. Cloud technology has had to adapt to the strictures of GDPR, and so it is available for almost instant transfer of documents. Filing a document no longer requires someone to physically leave the building, as sending documentation to another party can be done over the internet.
Communication is also much easier with a client. It is possible to deal with vulnerable individuals using facetime technologies. This has been adopted in court where testimony can be given on camera but is also vital for holding meetings and negotiations with other solicitors without incurring significant expenses.
A reliable computer network and appropriate selection of software can reduce the time taken on essential administration tasks. Preparing materials for submission to the court can be complicated and time hungry. However, IT can simplify this. Take the preparation of digital media evidence, for instance. The process of collating emails and storing them in a format that is acceptable for submission could take hours. There is software that can bulk convert an email account into PDF and make sure they are marked with the appropriate template of the company and watermarked for security. A task that could take an administration assistant a day or more can be achieved in a matter of minutes.
Finding clients and managing workflow
As with all major sectors of the economy, it has become essential to manage the different channels through which your clients will seek legal services. A listing in the Yellow Pages and an office on the High Street or at the local business park is no longer sufficient. Solicitors need an online portal and appropriate links to social media.
As well as connecting to your external audience, a solicitor’s firm also needs to manage workflow for employees. A secure and practicable intranet is an essential tool for a legal firm. Not only would this intranet need to be available on the company’s network, but remotely so that solicitors can work from where the case takes them. Such an intranet, with sensitive and privileged material passed between professionals, requires an expert technician to deliver.
IT solutions for a solicitor may be an essential tool that streamlines the delivery of legal services, but solicitors cannot deal with downtime. The use of networked computers and online cloud services depends on the reliability of the technology. Glitchy systems can cost cases and lose clients, especially where everything is done to a set of exacting standards and firm deadlines. With the best IT support the work of a solicitor can be revolutionised, as long as the in-house or third-party technical team can assure reliability.
If you think your solicitors firm would benefit from advice on a range of managed IT services, please call the Serval Systems team today on 01342 895180 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.