Practicing law requires individuals who are tenacious and dedicated, as well as highly detail oriented. While principles focus on dotting all the i’s and crossing all the t’s, IT support infrastructure seems like a trivial concern. The truth is that modern digital solutions can also assist with these tasks.
Overview of Portland Legal Firms
Practitioners like Angeli Law Group LLC cover complex regulatory, commercial, and criminal cases. There are many different specialties and disciplines involved in the daily processing of personal, technical, financial, and even medical information. For instance, Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC focuses primarily on product liability, medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death lawsuits.
Liabilities exist for business entities processing and handling personal information that fail to take adequate steps in securing that data. With so many records, documents, emails, case files, briefs, communications, and contracts moving through legal firms, ensuring data and network security is a primary concern.
The legislation that pertains to information privacy include:
- HIPAA – Federal regulation to safeguard against the unauthorized distribution of health information by health service providers and business associates.
- ORS 646A.600 Et Seq. – State legislation to establish safeguards for protecting personal information in Oregon. (Note this act only goes into effect on Jan 1, 2020).
Other pieces of legislation and industry standards may also apply to legal practitioners. These include SOX (Sarbanes-Oxley Act) and SOC 1, 2 and 3 as published by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AIPCA).
Common Challenges Facing Legal Firms’ IT Infrastructure
There is an information overload in many legal practices. By 2015, lawyers were handling over 70 documents on average every day. This includes spreadsheets, word and pdf documents, client records, and emails and attachments. The legal profession suffers from a data deluge, and the systems, people, and processes that deal with this need to be efficient.
Some of the most common challenges facing legal firms include:
- Slow processing or retrieval of documents and information from the archives or storage facilities.
- Incomplete chargebacks to clients due to insufficient record keeping.
- Data security liabilities due to access control and authentication inefficiencies.
- Duplicate information storage and processing creating additional information management overhead.
- Repeated prints for review and checking instead of using digital proofing.
- Higher document distribution costs without access to a carrier cost-comparison system.
The copy and print rooms in legal firms are always buzzing with activity. While this may seem productive, chances are companies aren’t realizing opportunities for cost-savings, improved information processing, and reduced duplication of tasks.
Managed IT Services’ Benefits and Solutions
Moving over to a managed IT services model will assist legal firms with streamlining the processes, systems, tools, and equipment used to improve information handling and processing. While the equipment provided improves information security and reduces access to classified documents, the reduction of network overhead and support infrastructure is also possible.
A managed IT service provider will be able to provide:
- Desktop and cloud-based server solutions.
- Virtualized networking and cybersecurity, malware and antivirus solutions.
- Email archiving and encryption to improve security.
- Disaster recovery and improved business continuity.
Additionally, modern MFPs (Multifunction Printers and Devices) will reduce the number of hard copies required, establish authentication control at the point of release, ensure firms charge clients for each document and be regularly serviced and restocked by professionals.
Document Management Solutions
The reduction of non-billable hours spent on managing and handling information is possible using software based document management and enterprise content management solutions. Information management systems like ABBYY provide solutions specifically designed for dealing with the legal profession’s specific needs.
ABBYY features include:
- Fast and accurate scanning of paper copies with the ability to convert documents into editable formats.
- Text translations and audio-enabled communication services.
- Quick indexing that allows for fast retrieval of complete sets of related documents.
- Centralized classification, storage, access control, and archiving of documents and records.
ABBYY provides legal firms with the ability to comply with all discovery requests quickly, conduct internal audits and investigations, reduce the cost of compliance, and access a complete audit trail.
Kelley Imaging – Your Managed IT Solution Experts in Portland, Oregon
To improve office efficiencies, having access to robust and modern IT services can streamline the processes, improve the quality of documentation, ensure accurate routing, and secure the entire digital landscape. Legal firms and law practices in the Pacific Northwest deal with everything from worker’s compensation, intellectual property, to criminal defense, and divorce law, including many other specialties.
At Kelley Imaging, we provide a complete managed IT solution that improves productivity and processing accuracy while reducing overhead and mitigating security risks. There is no template for how each legal firm operates, so we provide completely customized solutions according to your office’s exact needs.
For advanced solutions and expert advice on reducing your non-billable overheads and hardcopy footprints with managed IT services, contact one of Kelley Imaging’s consultants in Portland, Oregon today.