Technology plays an essential part in how you and your firm/organisation adapt to the current situation. Most legal work can be carried out online while still ensuring client and firm data is kept secure and confidential. Here are a number of points to consider.
You and your team need strong internet connections to ensure fast and easy access to work and to communicate virtually with clients. There are a number of free tools available to test your internet speed. You may also want to talk to your internet provider and upgrade your package if needed. To stay connected if you have a home internet outage, you could make sure that your mobile phone and data package allow tethering or Wi-Fi hotspot, and that you have a large enough data allowance. 4G routers can be a good way to have a backup connection or potentially to get better speeds in areas with slow broadband.
Scan documents with a smartphone
There are several apps which enable you to use the camera in your smartphone as a scanner. This article gives details of some of the top options. When scanning with your phone be mindful of lighting, and of your phone casting a shadow on the page. Placing documents to be scanned on a windowsill can produce good results.
Having a cloud-based practice management, legal accounts and document storage system can provide you with real flexibility while working remotely. However, it also presents some potential risks and challenges in terms of your data and security. Our Cloud Computing Guide explains more about this.
Protect your server
If your organisation has an on-site server, you should take steps to make sure it is protected from risks such as fire, flood or power cuts. You also need to have remote access set up through a virtual private network (VPN) to be able to access the files and any systems that are stored on your server. The National Cyber Security Centre offer guidance on how to use VPNs. The Scottish Business Resilience Centre has partnered with BT to offer free VPN licences.
Communication and client experience
Clearly communicate to existing and prospective clients that your are open for business on your website, by email/letter and on social media. Make sure your client onboarding process is straight forward and offer consultations over the phone or via video call. It is your responsibility to keep client communication secure and confidential so make sure the methods you are using are GDPR compliant and encrypted.
For more tips on how to make the most of technology while working at home, have a look at our Approved Supplier Clio's blog or watch this video about one member's journey to creating a portable law firm.
A number of tech providers are offering solutions that can help you work more efficiently.
The Link App - a secure and confidential communication tool which works across all devices: home computers, laptops, iPads, and iPhone/Android phones is available for free during the COVID-19 crisis. Find out more.
Sign&Send lets you post letters and obtain client signatures directly from your PC with no need for printing, folding, enveloping, franking, or trips to the post office. Law Society members can take advantage of a discount on this service. Find out more.
Legl enable clients to pay anytime, anywhere with an online payments portal customised for your firm. To help firms get started, Legl are waiving the first four weeks of transaction fees. Find out more.
Many of our Approved Suppliers also offer digital solutions, you can find them all here.