According to the American Bar Association, “A lawyer, as a member of the legal profession, is a representative of clients, an officer of the legal system and a public citizen having special responsibility for the quality of justice.” While a lawyer’s first duty and prerogative must be to serve the court and public, they must also dedicate themselves to serving the client. One of the most important qualities clients seek in their lawyers is availability. In fact, Entrepreneur listed availability as No. 4 in the top seven things to look for in a lawyer, following experience, understanding, and ability to communicate.
Physical offices, while they present a solid, reputable front to clients and the public alike, can actually be a hindrance to a lawyer’s day-to-day responsibilities. Sure, they’re convenient and organized for work to be done during the business day, but what about after hours? Casework is rarely restricted to the 9 to 5. In fact, Carl Franklin, JD, PhD., a retired professor of law & public policy said that his practicing 60 or more hours constituted a normal week. If you have to either stay late while working or drop everything to run back to the office every time there’s a development, you lose time which could be spent working on the case or on-work responsibilities and interests. Along the same line of thought, if you have to dash back to the office to work every time there’s an emergency, you’re restricted by time and can’t act very quickly. The alternative to this is to take home boxes of case files every single day, just in case. While this is possible, it is neither practical nor the best alternative.
Cloud technology is liberating lawyers from the physical office. Lawyers and firms that have chosen to switch over to cloud technology are able to access their documents from any location given they have a connection to the internet. This means lawyers can not only work from home, they can work from the road. If you have an emergency during another client’s case, cloud technology allows you to look into the issue without having to dedicate an entire day to it. Cloud technology saves you time, effort, and money.
Criminal defense attorney James Farr is constantly out of his office at client meetings or in court, so it’s absolutely essential that he and his paralegal be able to work from anywhere, at any time.
“As long as I’m practicing law, I will work in a private cloud environment,” he said in an interview published in the American Bar Association Tech Report 2019. “I’m not going back to the alternative of local servers with local support. Not only can I work from anywhere, but it has freed me from recurring IT headaches and unforeseen expenses in managing my own on-site computer network.”
Availability can play a role not only in being hired as a private practice or firm but also in client retention and your ability to serve their needs. Your availability plays largely into how hard you’re able to work for a client, as well as how often.
Cloud technology providers go to lengths to ensure the safety and security of the data stored in their networks. All data is encrypted using complex algorithms, making the system extremely difficult to breach. Cloud technology keeps data safe while also making it exponentially more accessible to you. The future is now. Learn more about Afinety’s cloud platform and how we can help elevate your firm or practice by providing you freedom from the constraints of brick and mortar.