Like all businesses, law firms have been forced to alter their working practices in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. While some court systems have suspended hearings and postponed decisions, the need for legal advice remains constant.
In a bid to ensure people can still access the legal support they need, attorneys are turning to advanced technology. By using video conferencing facilities and secure document sharing software, attorneys can successfully consult with clients from any location. This means it’s easy for people to access the legal help they need, even though coronavirus continues to affect the way we live and work.
How Are Law Firms Using Tech?
Many law firms have introduced video consultations since the COVID-19 outbreak prevented them from meeting with clients face-to-face. Personal injury law firm Bell & Pollock have introduced Tele-Law© services, for example, while others are using generic video conferencing software to facilitate remote meetings. By using this form of technology, attorneys can ensure that their clients are able to speak freely and can take instructions easily and efficiently.
Another critical form of technology currently being used by law firms is secure document sharing software. When sending confidential legal documentation, it’s vital that the contents can only be accessed by the intended recipient. In some cases, sending sensitive material via standard email could lead to security concerns.
Increased Security Facilitates Remote Meetings
Fortunately, dedicated software sharing platforms enable attorneys to upload confidential documents to a secure server and share the link with a client. Similarly, clients can amend or edit documentation before re-uploading it to the secure server. Alternatively, some platforms enable clients to make changes without downloading the document at all.
If clients need to sign or authorize a document, for example, this is a quick way to ensure they can do so safely. In addition to this, clients can scan and submit documentation via a secure server if they need to share it with their attorney.
Will Law Firms Continue to Offer Remote Services?
COVID-19 has transformed the way businesses operate and many changes look set to stay. As firms embrace remote working, an increasing number of attorneys are now working in distributed teams. Not only does this reduce the risk of the virus being transmitted, it enables businesses to operate from smaller premises and with reduced costs.
From the client’s point of view, remote meetings offer increased efficiency and convenience. While there’s no doubt that some people will want to meet their attorney face-to-face once regulations permit them to do so, it’s likely that a substantial number of people will want to continue obtaining advice via remote services, like video conferencing.
As technology enables us to communicate and connect with one another safely and securely, it appears that this new era of remote working practices will have a long-term effect on the legal sector. With firms able to reduce their operating costs and clients able to access services more easily, the rise of remote meetings, video conferencing and secure, online document sharing looks set to stay.