Technology in the legal industry is changing and growing at a breakneck pace.
According to the American Bar Association Model Rule of Professional Conduct 1.1, lawyers are expected to “keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.”
While not all lawyers are expected to follow every trend in IT and technology, it is critical to understand the trends because they are increasingly important to handling cases and to running a law firm.
So here are the top 6 trends that those in IT, inside law firms, needs to be aware of.
1. IT and technology training.
Technology training is very important, and those that work in the legal industry should consider embracing this trend because of a numbers of reasons.
First, technology and IT training helps everyone be on the same page. This unified communication helps keep your legal assets secured. Second, training helps avoid mistakes and errors. Costly mistakes like security issues can easily be avoided through proper education and training. Third, a good level of understanding helps uncover the ‘why’ around why IT is important to law firms.
We’ve found that many law firms are surprisingly weak, when it comes to IT security policies.
We’ve even seen many that have no documented security policies at all. Things like encryption is great, but many law firms fail to encrypt files like they should.
Many law firms also struggle with the idea of BYOD policies (bring your own device). Individuals that work within the IT firm will need to work in collaboration with IT to accept a high level of personal responsibility in order to secure devices.
3. Storage on the cloud.
With growing cloud storage, your legal software isn’t device specific anymore.
Meaning, your files, your CRM data, accounting data, customer data isn’t solely stored on desktops; it’s moving to the cloud. Document storage and sharing applications like Dropbox, saw large increases in usage because of this trend.
4. Litigation technology.
The federal court system has had electronic filing for years, but states have been a bit slow to adopt.
It may be awhile until all states catch up, but with most lawyers embracing technology you’d be remiss to not have a plan to begin utilizing litigation technology, as soon as possible because the trend will only continue to rise, with the end result making your law firm more efficient while increasing your billing.
5. Law firm hardware.
Research has shown that Apple products, especially in tablets and mobile use, are the most popular.
Apple hardware typically has the best security, as well, which helps you cross off two items on your IT checklist by simply using one type of hardware.
6. Social Media/Marketing.
While individual blogs from lawyers have declined, law firm blogs have increased.
Many law firms are seeing the benefits and value of branding as a part of their firms marketing by creating marketing content to attract billable clients. Social media is increasing and law firms are seeing good results from social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
IT needs to have strict policies and some guidelines when it comes to posting on and using social media. You can’t approach social media like cowboys; there needs to be some sort of guidelines to protect your firm, your clients, all the while looking trustworthy and credible to prospective clients and prospects.
Let us help your law firm with your technology needs.
At DigiSync Technology Solutions, we’re here to help you plan and execute your technology plans.
For more help with this and other IT topics, email us here to learn more about how we can help you with your outsourced IT issues.