Whether your goal is to run an entirely remote law firm in 2023 or you simply want to see more efficiency around the office, secure file-sharing can help your legal practice run better.
But let’s start with the basics: what is secure file-sharing? Secure file-sharing is an ethical method of sending sensitive documents digitally, using encryption and other technology to protect them from unauthorized viewers. To prevent hackers or identity thieves from accessing client data, the documents may be encrypted at rest, in transit, or both. Password protection and other measures add additional layers of privacy, as well.
This expedient, secure way to share legal files creates numerous opportunities for tech-savvy law firms to benefit from enhanced client relations and fewer operational silos. Below, we outline eight benefits of secure file sharing for a more profitable firm and more effective practice management.
8 Advantages of Secure File Sharing for Law Firms
1. The ability to incorporate eSignatures
An eSignature is a digital signature, which is typed or “written” on a touch screen using a finger, stylus, or mouse. eSignatures are legally binding, secure, and speedy. They’re also considerably more cost-efficient, compared to printing paper documents to collect wet-ink signatures.
Using secure file-sharing and eSignatures in tandem simply makes sense. The duo eliminates the frustrating bottlenecks and data-entry errors that plague the legal process when paper documents must be mailed, scanned, and stored.
2. Greater client convenience
Using technology to offer more client-centered service demonstrates that your firm values clients’ time and energy. Ultimately, this makes them more likely to work with your firm again in the future.
Sharing legal files securely and digitally creates significant advantages for your clients. It’s also an increasingly standard expectation for doing business due to the on-demand world we live in. Instead of waiting on the mail or driving to your office in person, file-sharing enables clients to review and sign important documents whenever, wherever it’s best for them.
In total, secure file-sharing and its counterpart, eSignatures, cut the amount of time clients spend reviewing and signing documents by 80%.
3. The potential of a paperless law firm
Evolving to become a paperless law firm creates boundless opportunities to improve your law firm’s business practices. Cutting paper doesn’t cut cash, though, at least not metaphorically. Switching to paperless systems saves most companies money. Plus, paperless firms may be able to reap state and federal tax benefits.
Environment-conscious clients and employees will also appreciate the impact made by firms that share files online: lower water usage, decreased CO2 emissions, less waste sent to landfills, and fewer fossil fuels burned by driving to review and sign documents.
4. Remote work becomes more realistic
Many lawyers, from junior associates to managing partners, appreciate the flexibility that remote work allows, whether due to an unexpected illness, family needs, or travel. While many law firms have returned to in-office work, others have adopted the remote work model permanently. No matter which camp your firm falls in, it’s crucial to stay agile.
As an added bonus, features that make remote work possible, such as secure file-sharing, make it possible to accept clients from a wider geographical area. Your firm’s horizons are expanded when time and distance are no longer barriers to share documents or collect signatures.
5. Improved client intake
The benefits of secure file-sharing extend far beyond completing legal work on client matters.
Secure file-sharing transforms the client intake process. When clients fill out paper-and-ink forms about their legal matters, legal staff must manually enter that information into your practice management software, often more than once. The repetition creates a large margin for data entry errors and pulls legal staff’s focus away from billable tasks.
By contrast, secure file-sharing empowers clients to complete the intake process faster. The need to complete onboarding paperwork in person is eliminated, and updating new clients’ personal information is instantaneous, no digging through file folders required. This reduces manual data entry errors dramatically.
6. Time-saving workflows
Your firm’s most important, and limited, resource is time. Secure file-sharing streamlines workflows and preserves limited resources by eliminating the need to compare calendars. What could your team achieve without wasting time waiting for schedules to align, or hounding clients to return yet another email and schedule an appointment?
Getting documents in front of the right eyes is as simple as sending an email. However, email places a size limit on the files you can attach, while secure file-sharing makes it easy to send files that are particularly large (as files tend to be in legal work). To make things even more expedient, many file-sharing platforms have built-in, customizable templates and document management software, too.
These features keep everything searchable and easily accessible for efficient workflows.
7. Improved data security
When it comes to legal work, compliance is key.
Few professionals handle such a large volume of sensitive data as attorneys. Depending on your practice area, clients entrust your firm with intellectual property, protected health information, potentially incriminating evidence, personal identifiable information, tax records, and more. Not only does the American Bar Association heavily regulate the way this information should be managed, but state and federal governments do so as well.
Secure file-sharing software makes following the industry’s strict ethics and client confidentiality requirements a breeze. Robust data encryption and password protected links offer a higher level of security than sharing files via email or the postal service and lessen the likelihood of a breach of confidentiality.
8. Faster, more fruitful collaboration
When your clients and colleagues can access important files at any time, from anywhere, there’s no need to meet in an office. Work is completed faster. Instead of stretching the feedback process out over a period of days (or even weeks) attorneys are able to make edits to legal documents in real time, rather than sending them back and forth, and waiting on them to be reviewed, several times.
Legal software solutions that work as hard as you do
Tabs3 Software now integrates with LexShare. LexShare offers maximum confidentiality in an attractive and intuitive interface, so sending and receiving files internally and externally is simple for every user, client, and colleague.
However, secure file-sharing is just one of the many user-friendly, flexible features that Tabs3’s industry leading legal software solutions have to offer your firm. Our software works reliably and effortlessly, so attorneys can spend more time focusing on securing and serving clients and less time troubleshooting or training on new software.