Managed Service Providers for Law Firms

Managed Service Providers For Law Firms

There really isn’t one industry sector that hasn’t been impacted by the generational pandemic of COVID-19. While virtual business becomes the new normal, some industries are prone to even greater technological breakdowns and the need for even greater IT support than ever before.

Consider law firms. Due to the often tight deadlines and mountains of sensitive information, the legal industry has become even more reliant on a reliable and rock-solid IT support structure than many other professions. 

Indeed, in recent years, Managed Service Providers (MSP) have become an invaluable information technology system for many different and diverse industries. As the world continues to move more and more towards online and virtual data storage and business functions, the simple fact is that the old break/fix model simply will not cover the needs of any type of company that wishes to stay viable and productive.

This is no truer than in the legal industry where documentation and strict schedules are more important than anything else other than the actual skills and talents of the attorneys. 

But even the best lawyer is unable to effectively handle a case when they don’t have the proper technical support behind them. In today’s advanced and the evolving legal world – where even the use of artificial intelligence in legal circles is starting to become commonplace –  there are many reasons why legal firms should consider the features and benefits of moving to a dedicated IT managed service provider.

There are many industries where small delays or incorrect/incomplete documentation can be easily overcome and offer very little overall disruption to their processes; this is not the case in the legal field. In an arena where even a typo can completely unravel a case, there is no room for error. This means that attorneys need to make sure that everything required for their cases, past, present and future, is properly organized and available at any given moment.

We’ve all seen courtroom shows on TV where lawyers are sitting at a huge boardroom table with piles of paperwork stacked up from one end to the other. While the entertainment industry tends to take quite a bit of liberty when presenting the dramatized events of everyday professions, in these instances, there is very little exaggeration.

Business contracts, discovery materials, various records, sworn statements, along with numerous other types of paperwork can all be involved in any kind of case. And when it comes to class action lawsuits or other high-level cases, “Entire rooms can be filled with boxes containing the statements of the plaintiffs alone,” surmises Chad Lauterbach, CEO of Be Structured, a leading IT services company in Los Angeles. “Having the proper IT management to deal with this kind of volume is crucial to organization and ease of access.

Managed Service Providers Help Manage The Information of Constantly Changing Schedules

Legal professionals quite possibly function on the tightest and strictest timelines of any industry. Their mastery of the use of schedules, exhibits and other addendums must be overseen with incredible detail and attention. Not a minute or smallest aspect of the protocol can be lost or mismanaged. 

Going between court appointments, client meetings, and office briefings means that one little change at any given point could throw their entire day’s itinerary out of order if they aren’t notified of it immediately. The tech solutions that MSPs provide make sure this kind of information gets uploaded and displayed in the proper places immediately.

Managed Service Providers Create A Steady Flow of New/Incoming Information

Another unique aspect that has a profound impact on the work of a law firm is the fact that things like discovery or changes in contract language happen instantly and without notice. If an attorney is in court or working on finalizing a document with a client without the updated material, it can sometimes be disastrous.

The Importance of Accessibility and Documentation with your MSP’s Help

In regard to the specific paperwork, documents, and various discovery materials that are continually being added to the existing files in any given case, they are of little help if attorneys cannot instantly access them online at a moment’s notice. The ability to either pull up these items on mobile devices or even print them and have them in physical form can be the difference between a successful endeavor and a failed one.

All of this depends on reliable, fast, and secure IT services such as those specifically provided by an MSP. Here are just a few of the many critical services that these professionals provide which can help legal firms tremendously:

  • Docketing
  • eDiscovery
  • Practice management
  • Court and .gov website organization
  • Client/Document management

These and several other services include the need for not only cloud infrastructure but also a cloud computing and storage provider. These features assist in streamlining office management and other back-end aspects of the function of a law firm and are all included with the right Managed Service Provider. They also help to increase efficiency across the board in every area of a practice which, in turn, assists in building and maintaining your reputation, as well as maximizing profits.

While many of the things that are offered by an MSP are universally applicable to any type of business, there are some aspects or specialized services that are particularly helpful to running a successful law office. Here are a few examples:

Managed Service Providers Enhance Security and Protection

Law firms deal with the most sensitive and confidential information. Anything from personal financial records to medical history to sealed legal agreements are all common documents which lawyers (and their service cloud) have access to. Managed Service Providers not only work constantly to update and upgrade network security options such as firewalls and other anti-hacking software to support network security, but they are also able to contain breaches in real-time when they happen.

Managed Service Providers Increase a Law Firms Mobility

As we previously mentioned, the ability to obtain new or revised information on the fly is crucial to making sure that your attorneys always have the most up-to-the-minute documentation necessary for the task at hand. And since these types of professionals are rarely in the office, it is essential that they are able to access it from anywhere that they might be.

MSPs Create Protection For Your Law Firm’s Most Critical Data

Since the information law offices handle is so sensitive and private, they know better than anyone the importance of keeping it confidential. They also know the severe legal liabilities that they face should they allow such information to be accessed or stolen from unscrupulous bad actors online. This is why having someone manage this extremely important data (as well as back it up with computer security software) is non-negotiable.

Managed Service Providers Help Maximize Productivity and Billing

Ultimately, as with any other type of business, the goal is to not only help people and provide a necessary service but also to make as healthy of a profit as is reasonable. Law firms that have not joined the next generation of IT services which are provided by top-notch MSPs are leaving a lot of those profits on the table.

And considering how much time and resources are invested in this type of work, it makes very little sense to not invest in making it as efficient and seamlessly functional as possible. Otherwise, you and everyone at the firm is being paid less than you are worth.

Should My Law Firm Partner With a Managed Service Provider?

Even though all of the points already covered in this article highlight the need for legal offices to turn their data management and IT solutions over to the most qualified professionals to handle, some of our readers may be looking for more specific circumstances of when it may be time to finally make the move. Here are just some of the many obstacles that you may be dealing with from your current IT provider that signal the need for a change:

1. Noticeable Downtime

2. Poor System and Application Performance

3. Lack of or Insufficient IT Availability

4. Outdated Security Technology

5. Issues with Line of Business Application Integration

If you have experienced any of these problems with your current IT management, every day that you spend without improving your service brings you one day closer to an event that could end up being a major disaster.

Loss of critical data, negligence to protect sensitive information or documents, a system-wide failure, or a major security breach or cyber attack can all cost you, your colleagues, and your clients years of hard work, planning, and profit in a single moment. There really is no need to risk such a potential catastrophe when the solution is so easily accessible in the form of an experienced and skilled Managed Service Provider. 

About Chad Lauterbach

CEO at Be Structured Technology Group, Inc. a Los Angeles based provider of Managed IT Services for small business. I desire to help small businesses better utilize technology by assisting in high level planning to make sure that new systems will benefit them both operationally and financially. I am careful to implement and support systems using industry best practices.