Cloud Strategies for the Legal Industry
Imagine the following scenario; a young lawyer needs to send the court some important documents that are critical to her case. However, there’s a problem; the court clerk only accepts documents by fax and the lawyer, due to a paper jam, doesn’t get the fax sent in time. Her inability to satisfy the administrative rules have potentially put her case in jeopardy.
Later that day, the lawyer is asked to proofread a contract. A partner in the firm has already printed the contract and jotted hand-written notes throughout. After adding some edits of her own, she faxes the contract to the opposing party for review. This group responds with their comments and suggestions via fax. The lawyer then drafts the final version of this comprehensive document and sends it to a team of legal researchers.
Due to the highly confidential nature of these types of documents they are sent via fax, which ensures that they cannot be hacked or accessed by unauthorised personnel.
The legal industry is powered by paper. Legal cases may be supported by thousands of paper documents – copies of original contracts, records and correspondence that need to be shown as proof in court. And it’s likely that multiple copies of these will be required.
When it comes to sending sensitive information, faxing is the communication tool of choice for professionals in the legal industry. As one of the world’s most heavily-regulated professions, one security mistake could destroy a case for a team that may have been working on it for years. This type of blunder could result in damaged reputation, audits or severe fines.
In the law industry, where 80% of the administrative process is paper-based due to the level of regulation, it is imperative that private information is protected. Generally, more established lawyers prefer editing documents by hand. Following the editing process, the documents are almost always sent via fax to the intended recipients.
However, given the rate of advancement in modern ICT, those responsible for their firm’s IT are increasingly asking themselves: “Is my ICT infrastructure allowing the firm to reach the levels of professionalism and efficiency it’s striving for?” If the answer is, “No”, it’s time to explore the solutions.
Faxing and the Working Day
As they grapple with high caseloads, it’s necessary for solicitors to make the most out of the working day as well as maximising billable hours. For this reason, it’s important to be able to exchange information quickly and navigate complex research data and information with ease. Traditional faxing can slow down this process significantly and add unnecessary delays to an already busy day.
Legacy fax machines are both highly inefficient and can be costly. Yet, a poll by Spiceworks revealed that 62% of offices still have a traditional fax machine in operation, while only 10% of workers will actually use it. Consider the inefficiency of that. 62% of offices are still carrying out this painstaking process:
Sending documents via traditional fax machine:
- Print a paper copy of the document
- Make hand-written changes to the printed version
- Wait to use the fax machine
- Feed documents into the machine
- Wait for the transmission to be processed
- If delays such as a busy signal, low ink, or a paper jam occur, troubleshoot the issue
- Wait for a delivery confirmation
- File the details for record-keeping purposes
Completing the above steps for a single document can take between 15 – 20 minutes or even longer – a simple task that could be completed with a few quick clicks when faxing online. And whether it’s the company director, legal secretary, or intern, any time spent waiting by the fax machine is time wasted.
Looking at the wider problems associated with traditional faxing, security breaches are a major concern. When documents are sitting on community fax machines — even for a short time, highly sensitive information can go missing.
Even more concerning, is the risk of confidential data being exposed. With traditional faxing, a client’s bank details, medical history or other private details could fall into the wrong hands.
Time sensitivity is part and parcel when working in the judiciary system. The courts impose strict deadlines, however a motion by the opposing legal team or some newly discovered evidence can require a complete turnaround on a legal strategy.
This is why a timely communication process is mission critical. If fresh evidence needs to be submitted to the court urgently, traditional faxing can result in damaging setbacks and delays.
Many law firms have invested in fax servers in the hope of combatting this issue. The reality is, however, that this is highly unlikely to be a cost-efficient, long-term option. The costs of maintaining a fax server can run high when additional expenses such as upgrades, service packs and reconfigurations are factored in.
When the time comes to replace a multi-channel T1 fax modem board, it can end up costing a business upwards of five figures. And after that investment, ongoing upgrades will be necessary.
Today many legal practices are seeking a better way to fax. Rather than continuing to waste money on maintaining outdated office equipment, they are actively seeking a more efficient form of fax technology.
How Cloud Faxing Can Benefit Your Law Firm
Online faxing, or cloud faxing, has become increasingly popular with businesses that still need to be able to send a fax, yet want the convenience and cost-effectiveness that comes with sending an email. It’s easy to see why cloud faxing has become increasingly popular with legal practices across the UK. But what benefits does it offer?
Paperless, online faxing provides the equivalent scale of a fax server but without the expense. With cloud faxing, there’s no need to buy dedicated hardware, software or pay for additional IT services. Plus, there are no recurring monthly costs for a telephone line rental.
Online faxing also provides greater control of a company’s faxing costs, as pricing is tied to usage. An online fax provider will be able to offer various plans to choose from.
As everything in the price plan is outlined, there should be no surprises at the end of the month when it comes to additional costs. This will make planning and tracking office expenses and finances a lot easier.
- Fax documents securely and efficiently via email.
- Take complete physical control of company data.
- See full records of all faxes sent or received.
- Become compliant with data protection laws or regulations.
Remember the busy lawyer whose case was at risk due to not faxing those documents in time? With cloud faxing, she could have sent her documents securely in just a couple of seconds, and with just a few clicks of a mouse or taps of a smartphone screen. How?
When sending a fax online, documents are first attached to an email and sent – fully encrypted – to the recipient. When a fax is received online, it arrives via email as a PDF. Automated email notifications of successfully sent and received faxes are triggered and sent immediately.
When cloud faxing is adopted by a legal office, lawyers can dedicate their billable hours to the important task at hand, without having to waste time dealing with the slow and outdated process of traditional fax machines. Time-saving initiatives like this are critical to the success of the legal team, and have a noticeable impact on overall office productivity. Tools like eFax Corporate allow you to send, receive and locate documents with ease.
Searching for a document amongst the hundreds, or even thousands of documents associated with a legal case is an unnecessarily time-consuming task. However, with a simple keyword search, members of the legal team can easily find the document they are looking for at a moment’s notice.
The Bottom Line
- Is extremely easy to roll out and scale across your law firm.
- Brings significant efficiencies and allows the legal team to quickly and easily send faxes.
- Speeds up the data-transfer process, while ensuring maximum security.
- Is cost-effective, and is based on a predictable pay-as-you-go model.
- Significantly increases the protection of sensitive client information.
eFax Corporate Secure Business Faxing
Whether you’re responsible for IT in a small law firm with a couple of staff members, or an international firm that employs thousands, eFax Corporate allows you and your colleagues to safely and securely send and receive sensitive data to or from anyone, at any time.
Because eFax Corporate uses advanced TLS-encryption, all of your company’s data is fully protected during the sending process, while our 256-bit AES storage security technology keeps your documents and data secure in your password-protected email account.
Why not let eFax Corporate take your law practice to the next level by improving your communication’s infrastructure? Contact eFax Corporate today and learn how we can improve your work-flow processes and employee efficiencies in a cost-effective way.