As the global pandemic continues to spread all over the globe, it brought about significant changes in various businesses, including law firms.
While every industry finds ways to cope up with the shift to a remote working environment, large and small law firms had to follow the trend. Although changes can be challenging in managing a remote law firm, technology makes it possible to make the necessary modifications along the way.
Since it’s essential to shift to a remote working environment, you need to be ready for changes. If you want a good start, you need to know what to expect.
Here are some of the main concerns of running a remote law firm:
1. Issues With Communication And Collaboration
Due to the lack of physical interaction and face-to-face activity, a remote set-up will likely increase communication and collaboration problems. Sadly, if these issues continue, it can cost your firm by potentially losing a client at some point. You should consider integrating collaboration tools that you can find online to maintain clear lines of communication with your team and clients.
With the help of a reliable collaboration tool or application, everyone can work efficiently on their cases. Also, you can reduce any risk by using an adequate tool, for example, you could reduce risk by using contract collaboration software to redline legal contracts.
2. Data Security
In the legal industry, it’s crucial to keep your client data safe at all times. As you shift to a remote setting, it puts your business at risk for cybersecurity threats such as hacking or data breaches, primarily when your team works through home networks. Remember that maintaining data privacy and security can be challenging, especially if you have a large client base.
An initial action is implementing a protocol to utilize a separate device for work and personal use. As you work with your team and clients, you need to use communication and collaboration tools that offer encryption services to ensure superior confidentiality.
As an extra security measure for your devices against hacking, you should use a strong password and regularly backup data to the cloud or secure location.
3. Poor Productivity
Due to the uncertainties brought about by the pandemic, the productivity level might also be a concern when managing a remote law firm.
Generally, the overall productivity of your firm will depend on how proficiently you communicate with everyone. Since each team member has their tasks to accomplish, making the most out of collaboration tools will come in handy in monitoring their work.
4. Need For Ongoing Training
As new technologies and security practices become part of a remote work setting, a time will come when ongoing training will be necessary to maintain a reasonable degree of efficiency and competency in the industry.
The training can be a hurdle for some firms, due to the costs involved and the time it consumes. Nevertheless, it still outweighs the benefits that it provides.
Depending on your firm’s remote technology and tools, you need to develop a strategic training scheme, once new technology or updates are available. It’s one of the ways to stay proactive to avoid downtime for your business operations and minimize the risk of cybersecurity breaches.
When providing training, it should be regular to ensure good habits and maintain security awareness at all times.
5. Supervision Concerns
Shifting from a conventional firm to a remote one can be challenging, especially if you’re working with junior attorneys who require close supervision.
In such instances, it can be hard to tell if your team members are having a hard time or if they need guidance. If you want to avoid potential issues down the road, it might be best to communicate daily using video conferencing tools.
Although full supervision might not be practical in a remote setting, maintain efficiency by making the most out of supervisory tools to monitor what your team is doing and how they’re working on meeting their daily goals.
6. Technical Issues
When everything is online, technical issues or breakdowns that might arise can be a big concern for your firm. Since all communications and processes utilize technology, following a regular maintenance routine is crucial.
If you want to limit any disruptions to your operations, provide your team with the contact details of a technical support professional in case issues arise.
When you’re managing a remote law firm, expect a few challenges along the way, but proper planning will significantly help in ensuring a smooth transition. Learning about the usual challenges you’ll face and how to overcome them will provide the best productivity and efficiency during all legal processes and maintain connectivity with your team and clients.
Amanda Lawrence is a litigation lawyer. She has been in the industry with experience in tort and accident benefits. She shares her expertise by writing blogs. During her free time, Amanda loves boating and fishing.