By Chris Popovic
The pandemic of 2020 has produced a myriad of consequences for the legal industry, with courts literally closing up shop and halting new case filings, which in turn caused a significant drop in law firm billings.
By June, Clio, a leading legal technology firm, documented a 27% decrease in billings nationwide, leading firms to layoff more than 64,000 employees across the industry, a nearly 20-year low according to the U.S. Department of Labor.
In addition, the coronavirus has forced many lawyers across the U.S. to learn how to work from home, leaving offices empty, void of the traditional labor and technology that moves the legal information out of reach for them.
The new normal of working remotely hasn’t stopped the paper from coming in. Firms are struggling with how reduced staff can maintain access to critical information, how to digitize the new work coming in, and are obviously concerned with maintaining document security.
Where to Start?
Because of COVID, firms are forced to pivot and adapt new technologies to function in “the new normal.” This means taking an aggressive stance in going upstream to digitize information at the point of transaction as effectively and efficiently as possible with state-of-the-art solutions.
Toshiba’s software toolset and high-speed scanners offer a range of technology that will capture, digitize and index case data
With Toshiba as your technology partner, your staff will gain access to a technology infrastructure designed with proven best practices and ease-of-use in mind.
Remote Access Isn’t Going Away
As is common with many industries, brick and mortar is a top expense. Costly office space requirements will decline without question.
This will cause firms to reduce their need for storing case files and eliminating the “weigh-station” areas required for processing volumes of paper data such as legal case files and discovery materials. Firms have long sought to eliminate perpetual “hostage fees” associated with storing information in the mines, then having to recall it for research and distribution.
The Toshiba services team can eliminate those fees altogether by converting any existing paper documentation into a comprehensive, searchable data repository and secure it with appropriate access to any qualified worker at the click of a mouse.
Data security is vital for any firm, as you are literal custodians of your client’s most vital and sensitive information. Toshiba is highly aware of the industry’s obligation to secure client data from electronic data breach or cyberattack.
All of our solutions, when properly implemented and configured, have proven to be effective in making certain that no client data is left unsecured. In the event a breach was to occur, the solution would require notification to administrators, detail of the breach and a thorough audit trail of the event.
There are ways to minimize risks. Crazy as it may sound, Toshiba’s faxing solution has the toolset which allows for the transfer of native files of most any size, securely and safely between not only your workforce, but to your clients as well.
With just a few clicks, your team can initiate a notification that data is stored in what’s called a SafeBox. This is an end-to-end encrypted network storage area that holds the data to be transferred.
Using standard email for notification, the data can be secured with two-factor authentication (2FA), allowing coworkers or clients to access as you see fit. All communication around the SafeBox can be secured, with additional tools allowing for collaboration, responses and timing controlled by your team.
The underlying challenge for the legal industry is understanding what choices to make on how best to empower employees to work remotely in these strange times. It’s never too late to make that happen.
Toshiba has the experienced personnel and technology to assist. To learn more about how to make this happen for your firm, please contact your local Toshiba representative.