As we look toward 2013 and beyond, technology is certain to remain one of the biggest challenges faced by law firms. But it will also be one of the greatest levelers, allowing small firms and solos to take on matters historically the purview of the biggest law offices.
In this blog, I’ve asked before about the firsthand experiences of Arizona lawyers, and today I’m pleased to post the insights of one such attorney. Here are the impressions of David Michael Cantor in regard to tools that increase his office’s productivity.
Increasing Technology Options for a Connected Law Firm
With the recent technology advancements in the last couple of years, law firms have the opportunity to ride the wave or eventually sink to the bottom. The overall business landscape has changed, and the companies who can adapt and become more ‘mobile’ stand a better chance of success. Law in the State of Arizona has become increasingly more competitive from a criminal and family law perspective, so you need your practice to be as efficient as possible. At The Cantor Law Group, we recognize the need to be on the forefront of technology in the transition to a digitally based law practice.
In the quest to have access to everything at any time we’ve added a few tools to our toolbox, here are a couple of them:
- Secure Remote Access – An issue we encountered right away is the need for secure access to files accessed outside of our internal network. Lawyers need access to files when they are in court or on the road so we needed to find a way to maintain the security of those files. Our IT consultant recommended Copiun TrustedShare, remote file access software. This software lies on our network and our employees can access, sync and share documents instantly and securely from mobile devices, including tablets, smartphones, and laptops. And any sharing of documents is private and secure.
- iPads – The goal all along was to give each lawyer their own iPad. First we had to upgrade our remote access software to allow for secure sharing across all platforms. The iPad is a wonderful tool for lawyers (and most everyone!). In most cases it has eliminated the need for a laptop. There are also a wide variety of applications that can be downloaded to increase productivity including Evernote, Dragon Dictation, Trial Pad, and Quick Office Connect (allows for editing of Microsoft files). If you’re using Quick Office Connect or another Microsoft document editing app, make sure your IT staff or contractor has checked your Microsoft Word files or templates to see if your chosen iPad app maintains the formatting and markup of the document; otherwise, you’ll spend a lot of time re-creating that formatting (more on iPads and word-processing can be found here). One more piece of advice: Spend the extra money and get the 4G- or 3G-enabled iPads. Using Wi-Fi can be unreliable and often times very unsecure.
- Full WestLaw Account– Our firm uses WestLaw for our research and having the iPad App, allows our lawyers to have access to new case law or research while they are sitting in court. Again, it’s highly recommended to spend the extra money to upgrade accounts so you have instant access to this type of information.
The real revolutionary tool in this list is the iPad. You have the ability to be mobile, receive new case law, get emails, have a face to face conversation, be able to dictate, all on the fly. These technology advancements will allow your firm to be more efficient, and be more effective in satisfying the needs of your clients which is the ultimate goal.
This guest post is provided by Arizona Criminal Lawyer David Michael Cantor. The Law Offices of David Michael Cantor is AV-rated by Martindale-Hubbell.Follow @azatty