Many law firms have no ability to work on their case files remotely. So what are they supposed to do now that the COVID-19 crisis has forced many (if not most) to work from home?
First of all, the firm needs flexible communication tools, which we overviewed here. But when it comes to everyday operations, law firms must utilize a trusted cloud-based legal practice management system that will enable them to work remotely, access important firm information, and continue on with business as usual.
There are also many long-term benefits of going to the cloud—reduced overhead costs, higher productivity, and automated time and billing and project management to name a few.
But what does “cloud-based” mean? Here’s the simplest description: The cloud allows you to use computing resources that you don’t have locally in your office. This network (or remote server) offers the advantage of minimal to no equipment at your location.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of using a cloud-based legal practice management software, and how it can make a huge impact on your law firm during this crisis and beyond:
Remotely Access All of Your Information
Unlike on-premise systems which can only be accessed by those in a centralized location, cloud-based legal practice management software can be accessed from nearly any device by all team members regardless of where they are located. Whether scattered across town or across the world, you can continue to run your firm from nearly any device.
Sophisticated cloud-based legal practice management systems such as Rocket Matter enable law firms to have immediate access to the following features (plus so much more):
- Time and expense tracking
- Calendars and tasks
- Contact management
- Case management
- Online invoicing and payments
- Client intake
- Document assembly and storage
Firms with more than one attorney can also take advantage of communication and collaboration features that are found in many of today’s cloud-based software, keeping everyone on the same page while apart.
Stop Paying for IT
On-premise systems require servers, which are large (and usually very loud) machines that need to be installed in a physical location. The servers must be maintained with regular updates in order to run effectively. They’ll also need to be protected against hackers, spyware, and ransomware, which requires constant vigilance. And heaven forbid your server goes down. Maintaining these on-premise servers usually requires the help of an IT person who charges thousands of dollars.
Cloud computing means you no longer need a server to store and manage your data, which means no expensive IT costs for you. You’ll also never have to worry about the possibility of the cloud going down since it’s internet-based: If you have problems connecting from one device, try a different wi-fi connection or a phone with cellular data. And you won’t have to worry about your data being held hostage by ransomware.
Enjoy Digital Document Storage
You will outgrow your server if your practice continues to grow. You will simply run out of storage space on it. In addition, your server will probably be obsolete after a few years as technology improves. All that adds up to your having to get rid of the old server and migrate information from it to a new server which, in turn, can cost you thousands of dollars.
With cloud computing, you don’t have to worry about running out of storage because you’ll just pay for the storage you need. Cloud-based legal practice management software such as Rocket Matter even offers unlimited document storage for no extra cost! By digitizing and storing your documents online, you and your firm can collaborate and have instant access to those important files whenever they need.
Drive Down Overhead
Cloud computing can be very affordable if you’re a small practice. Consider this: If you’re not using cloud-based software, then the cost will increase for servers, storage, and that IT person as your firm grows. Not to mention you’ll still have the annoying overhead costs of office supplies such as paper, envelopes, and stamps. Cloud-based legal practice management is easily scalable, and in most cases you can just pay for the core features you really need.
Plus, cloud-based legal practice management software can save you time and money in the long run through automation features such as Rocket Matter’s batch billing, online invoicing, and document assembly. Some Rocket Matter firms have reported profit boosts of up to 30% thanks to our powerful tools.
Has your firm been affected by COVID-19?
If you’re interested in getting started with a cloud-based legal practice management software but don’t have the funds, Rocket Matter is here to help. Sign up for our Rocket Matter Essentials product for FREE for 90 days. Click here to get started.