Avoiding data leaks.
Easier sharing. Easier integration. Easier automation.
Office 365 tools can help you to lower overhead, give your billable hours a boost, and allow you and your colleagues to work from anywhere at any time.
First, let’s look at the big picture of Office 365’s benefits for your firm, and then we’ll take a closer look at Office Teams and SharePoint online.
Let’s dive in!
5 Ways Office 365 Benefits Law Firms
Law firms have unique challenges. One of the biggest is privacy and protecting against data leaks, a potentially catastrophic event in terms of both reputational damage and litigation. You have a responsibility to your clients; they expect you’ll keep their information safe and confidential.
In addition, you want to give them as smooth of an experience as possible, which means that you need to work efficiently.
Here are five ways that Office 365 helps law firms provide a stellar experience, even for the most complex cases.
#1 – Simple But Safe Document Storage
Document storage needs to be safe, of course, but you also need an efficient system. With your Office 360 account, you can protect emails, contracts, documents, and more within the application.
#2 – Improved Workflow Efficiency
You work hard to give your clients outstanding service. Part of this is working together with schedules and colleagues and their different roles. It’s important that case files and projects be easily accessible for everyone who needs the information.
With Office 365, you won’t have to worry about wasting time trying to get everyone on the same page. Each person involved can easily work together.
#3 – Collaborate from Anywhere
Information sharing would be much easier if everyone you needed to collaborate with were in the same location. But that’s not the nature of your profession, especially as remote work becomes more common.
Whether you or your involved colleagues are in the office or on the go, it’s crucial that everyone on your legal team has access to the pertinent resources when they need them.
#4 – Better Customer Relationship Management
If you want your firm to grow, you have to make sure your client relationship management system is up to the task.
Office 365 allows your team to track interactions with clients, as well as safely and securely store them, allowing you to not only serve clients better but also document opportunities for growth or expansion in accounts.
#5 – Expanded Security
Sensitive documents abound in any law firm and compliance is crucial. You should have systems in place that keep those documents secure while also allowing access to team members, clients, and others who need it.
Here are the industry standards with which Office 365 complies:
- ISO 27001
- EU Model Clauses
- HIPAA BAA
Office 365 also has built-in features like permissions and record management, as well as versioning control that work together to ensure every piece of critical, private information stays safe.
How Office Teams Help in the Day-to-Day of Firm Life
Office Teams brings clarity and simplicity to your day-to-day operations that can otherwise get quite messy with either no tools or too many!
Let’s take a closer look at how Office Teams can be the hub for so many of your daily functions.
Makes It Easier to Work as a Team on Individual Cases
Every case you handle has multiple steps that include numerous team members. Office Teams allows for easy collaboration in meetings, creating documents, and more – all from just one interface.
From the beginning of a case through the adjudication process, your whole legal team can work together with ease, at client locations, in the office and at home.
Your Legal Team Meetings Will Be More Productive
Nobody likes meetings that drag on unnecessarily – especially when nothing gets accomplished. It’s a mental drain and a financial one, as well. There are several ways Office Teams prevents this and helps streamline meetings so they’re both efficient and productive.
For example, via the messaging capabilities, you can send everyone involved an agenda before a meeting. You can also include “to-do” items so each person knows what to expect and you can all stay on the same page during the meeting.
There’s even a guest access feature that allows you to share the meeting agenda with those outside your firm.
You can keep Teams running in the background throughout the meeting allowing you to access case files and documents, message paralegals with the chat function, and share your screen.
Time is money and these capabilities will save you loads of wasted time!
Put an End to Document “Lockout”
Have you ever had to work on an important document and find that you’re “locked out” because a colleague also has it open?
It’s not only annoying, but it also hinders your productivity, too.
With Office Teams, multiple people can work on the same document simultaneously. Plus, with version tracking, no one has to worry about unintended changes.
Identify Mediation Possibilities
As remote work has become more prevalent, many law firms are seeking work-from-home solutions for their employees. Those who offer mediation to their clients will love the functionality of Office Teams for this purpose. With both private channels and group channels, it’s easy to handle mediation.
For example, in any specific case, the group channel can be used for communication between all the parties involved, while the private channels can be used for each party separately to work through negotiations.
Easy Idea-Sharing & Collaboration With Virtual Whiteboard
Sometimes you really need a visual to drive a point home or explain a complex concept. And what about those brainstorming sessions where ideas are flying left and right? You don’t want to miss a thing that could be valuable down the line.
Office Teams has you covered here, too.
The whiteboard tool is not only perfect for capturing the best ideas, diagrams, and whatever else you need to have recorded, but it also stores it all for future reference.
No more wondering what amazing idea someone had or trying to remember the intricate details of a complicated flow chart because it’s all still there for you – and anyone else who needs it – to access.
SharePoint Online Advantages
There are a ton of ways Office SharePoint Online can be a huge advantage for your law firm. Let’s take a look at a breakdown of some of the best perks.
Integration with all other Office 365 Tools
You’ll get seamless integration between all your tools. For example, inside Office Teams with SharePoint, you can use the real-time chat feature. And the best part is that all it takes to connect your apps is a few easy clicks.
Don’t worry about wasting time with different systems that don’t play nicely with each other!
Easier Access to Files and Docs
SharePoint offers customization options that allow you and your team to organize your documents and files in a way that works best for your team, following the best practices and processes you’ve implemented.
The SharePoint app ensures that you and your colleagues can access necessary information from anywhere. In addition, you can get into your SharePoint from any browser with your SharePoint site URL.
You’ll love the ability to personalize and customize your SharePoint interface. Reinforce your brand visually, rearrange the navigation to suit the way you work best, and you can add pages for more content. It’s all the flexibility of a custom built tool without the price tag.
You can create separate page designs for specific cases, events at the firm, projects, or anything else you’d like.
Simply Manage Permissions
Things can get confusing when you’re trying to keep track of who needs or is allowed access to what.
SharePoint allows you to get very specific with permissions, especially helpful when you have everyone from interns to external vendors to partners accessing your systems. You can give users a variety of permissions, including:
- View Only.
- Full control.
Comprehensive Search Capabilities
SharePoint provides an innovative search experience. Your navigation is accelerated by auto-suggestions that relate to common searches/files that you and your team use.
Get what you need, fast.
External File Sharing
Share important files – securely – with those outside your organization. Once you’re done with the project, you can change the permissions to protect sensitive data.
Automation is a godsend for firms that want to streamline processes without cutting corners that affect the client experience.
With SharePoint Online, create automated workflows for your documents. For example, you can use these workflows for gaining approvals, curating feedback, and collecting signatures.
Think of the time your law firm can save when all these functions don’t have to be manually performed!
Curious how other law firms are leveraging these tools and how they can be adopted to your unique needs?
Get a free consultation and let our experts show you how Office 365, Teams, and SharePoint can help your firm be more secure, increase productivity, and provide the best client experience. We can help you get set up, make upgrades, or help you figure out exactly what it is that you need for success.
Get in touch today!