Over 65% of lawyers have downloaded dropbox. Here’s how they use the document storing, synching, and sharing app. But, is there a better option? Law firms should also consider Box.
I use the big three: Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. And not just because between the three I’ll never have to pay for extra storage – though that’s a plus. It’s because they each have unique functionalities that favor particular workflows. Also, it’s not a bad idea to spread out your data between providers.
Made for Legal
A primary difference between Box and Dropbox is Box has been focused on enterprise-level clients from the start while Dropbox was all about personal space and only recently started ramping up their business-level offerings. Box has also made a concerted push in the legal space by joining the American Bar Association (ABA) Advantage Program and partnering with legal technology companies serving law firms of all sizes.
Protecting client confidentiality is critical for law firms. Dropbox users concerned about security can encrypt files before uploading to the application with services such as Boxcryptor or Truecrypt. Box provides native encryption so no third party encryption services are needed. But be aware that Box holds the encryption key for regular accounts. To achieve an air-tight level of encryption for confidential documents, you’ll need to use one of the encryption services mentioned here. Thing is, they don’t work as seamlessly with Box as they do with Dropbox.
Or, you can get an enterprise-level Box account that comes with Enterprise Key Management (EKM) that lets you control your encryption keys giving you exclusive control over your data.
Documents from popular applications like Microsoft Word and Excel may be created and edited in Box. Both Box and Dropbox allow you to collaborate on documents. But Box permits folder-level collaboration. So, instead of marking each document, just identify the folder and your team is good to go.
Accessibility and Versioning
Box and Dropbox are both accessible via a web browser, computer, or mobile device. They both also have version control that allows you to save and track (and roll back) all changes made to a document. Dropbox’s free account goes back 30 days while a paid account will keep track of every change for as long as you keep and edit the document. Box’s version control is configurable. The default is 10, but you can increase it based on your plan.
Box may be used by solo practitioners or by 1,000-member, international firms. If Dropbox doesn’t do it for you, give Box a try. They’re both very useful applications for quickly and easily storing, synching, and sharing important documents. And they provide levels of security – native and via third-party applications – to comply with a lawyer’s ethical obligation to protect client confidentiality.
If you use Box at your law firm we’d love to hear from you in the comments below.