Cloud-based collaboration: changing the face of the global legal marketon 28 August 2014
The practice of law may have remained unchanged for a good many years. But the way law firms do business is changing. And changing beyond all recognition. The number one reason? One word: technology.
Law has always been a collaborative effort involving a range of individuals: lawyers, clients, court officials... to name just a few. And that could explain why cloud-based collaboration tools are changing the face of the global legal market.
In Australia, online collaboration is set to be a top priority this year for some of the country’s biggest law firms, says a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
But smaller law firms are using technology to transform the way they operate too. The Legal Technology Survey Report, carried out by the American Bar Association in 2013, suggests seven percent of solo lawyers and six percent of firms with between two and eight lawyers consider their practice a virtual one. The survey also claims 31 percent of lawyers use cloud-based software and services (a 10 percent increase over a year).
But what exactly do online collaboration tools offer law firms, whatever their size?
Here are seven reasons why Glasscubes is the ideal solution:
1. You can share and store documents
Contracts, legal briefs, motions, transitions and other legal documents are the lifeblood of the legal world. They must be handled sensitively. But they also need to be available to everyone who needs to review or work on them, including clients and lawyers/employees from other practices.
Glasscubes makes storing, sharing and collaborating on documents – whatever the size – simple. Keeping track of document versions is also child’s play. And it allows you to assign permissions to each individual collaborator (or team member), so only those who need to access certain documents have the right to review and amend them.
2. Your documents are secure
Using email may be popular, but as a method of distributing legal documents it’s far from secure. Glasscubes offers security that’s second to none. Login is password protected. Then when you transfer a document to Glasscubes, it’s subjected to 2048-bit encryption (in case you’re interested, calculations suggest it would take a standard desktop computer 4,294,976,276 x 1.5 million years – or just over 6.4 quadrillion years – to break a 2048-bit SSL certificate).
Your documents and other data are also backed up instantly, with backups kept every 24 hours and every 30 days. Glasscubes servers are also operated with a 99.97 percent uptime, and are sited in two different data centre locations.
3. It simplifies project management
Today’s complex legal cases need project management, and Glasscubes makes this as simple as it possibly could be – which leaves you with more time to concentrate on your case.
Glasscubes lets you assign tasks to yourself and other members of your team, then check them off when they’re completed. Each member of your team can see the task list, so everybody knows who’s working on what and when.
4. It helps reduce time wasting
After years of recession, clients are demanding greater cost efficiencies. And Glasscubes can help you do just that by reducing the amount of time you waste on searching for documents that have gone astray, looking for specific document versions or tracking who has responded to an important email or notification.
With Glasscubes, everything is in one place, including documents (all versions), discussions, tasks, calendars and billing records.
5. It supports remote and flexible working
Law firms are changing their outlook on flexible working and recruiting more lawyers to work flexibly – including those who have family responsibilities and who don’t want to work full time.
Only last month, international law firm Slaughter and May announced it’s piloting a working-from-home initiative for associates and partners. A major Law Society survey of leading lawyers also suggests firms adopting flexible working are attracting more talented staff because of the improved work-life balance it offers.
In the US, meanwhile, the journal of the American Bar Association (ABA Journal) estimates thousands of lawyers are now connecting with their clients primarily – or even exclusively – in the virtual world.
The beauty of Glasscubes is that it doesn’t matter where you are – at the office, at home, with your client in Starbucks, on the train or even on another continent.
6. You don’t need extra training
It’s easy to set up an online collaborative workspace with Glasscubes. There’s no need for an IT expert or any extra IT equipment. In fact, all you need is a web browser and an internet connection.
You can set up your workspace in minutes, and even make it your own by adding your business logo and colours. So when your team members and clients log in, the welcome screen promotes you and your business.
7. It helps keep costs down
If cost management is a priority, you’ll be pleased to hear that Glasscubes doesn’t cost the earth – despite the range of communication and collaboration tools it offers.
The Glasscubes monthly subscription fee is based on the number of people using the software (use our Price Calculator to find out how much it would cost you). And unless you need extra storage space for your documents and other files, that’s it. No large upfront capital expenditure required.
• Find out more about the full list of Glasscubes features or contact us for more information.
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