Increasingly security has become a pressing and prevalent topic within the field of law. Not only is there heightened anxiety around the security of law firm’s data, but also there are concerns regarding the safety of electronic correspondences with clients. Due to the fear of security breech, many bar associations are now highly encouraging, if not coercing, law firms to send encrypted emails to their clients.
While the ABA’s new ethics opinion on encryption of attorney-client email does omit the clear-cut statement of “email encryption required,” Jim Calloway in his well referred to “Law Practice Tips Blog” notes that a celebration of this absence would be “rejoicing prematurely.”
Though there is no requirement per say (which might have made for a less ambiguous ruling), the ABA strongly urges that law firms must undergo a “fact-based analysis” to determine whether “the nature of the information requires more security.” The “fact-based analysis” is not a simple check, rather the analysis is quite onerous and cannot be applied to all situations. In some circumstances, encryption is warranted. The process of encryption is arduous for both law firms and clients.
In most cases, to enact encryption additional, expensive software must be purchased, adding to the already steep cost of infrastructure. Additionally, neither law firms nor clients are keen to use encryption, as it involves layers of passwords, resulting in time-consuming security measures. Encryption can be made through an email add-in. However, this most likely requires sending tedious instructions to clients, so they can access the email. Often clients become frustrated with the complex instructions and refrain from enacting encryption. As will later be discussed, in the next section of “how to go about choosing a software provider,” a legal practice management system with a client portal allows law firms to eschew the laborious process of encryption.
Cloud-Based Technology is a Stamp of Credibility
“Whenever I am sending out documents that might have sensitive information such as financial or social security information, I want it to be where the client feels comfortable that their confidential information is not being passed around. I don’t want that badge of impropriety or insecurity being sensed.” -Mark Montanaro, Esq.
With the threat of ransomware and exacerbated security issues at large, clients are more conscious of selecting companies and services that are credible in their measures of security. Cloud-based legal practice management systems promise clients that their information will be safe. Increasingly, law firms can generate new leads by guaranteeing that client information is not being exposed to the wrong sources. Data being sealed with high caliber security technology encourages new business for law firms.
Along with the security that cloud-based legal practice management software facilitates, law firms are also attracting more clients and a young, energetic staff, with the selling points of efficiency and accessibility that cloud-based software offers.
Cassandra T Savoy, Esq. explains that she first tells potential clients that all their information will be kept on a cloud-based software that is designed to ensure security. She tells her clients that with a cloud-based system all their documents will be readily accessible on the cloud, and they will not have to wait till a week later to receive a physical document in the mail.
Cloud-based software meets the demands of the 21st century client, for whom efficiency is key. A quick service that is within reach has become a mundane part of the modern customer’s life. Law firms can adapt to the clients’ on-demand lifestyles by having cloud-based technology. With a cloud-based system, both clients and law firms can have access to essential information anywhere, at any time. This level of accessibility permits law firms to grant that essential piece of information and solve a problem for a client in real time.