Is this a new Golden Age of the solo and small firm lawyer? Forbes seems to think so. Driven by client demands, desire for a better work-life balance, and emerging technologies, the traditionally more nimble and agile small firm lawyer is adapting to market changes more quickly than Big Law behemoths and gaining a clear competitive advantage.
So how is the relatively recent emergence of mobile and cloud technology contributing to the rise of the small firm lawyer? We’ve assembled a few of the ways cloud and mobile have upended the legal sector and made it possible for lawyers from firms of any size to deliver better legal services to their clients.
1. Better collaboration
Thanks to the cloud, collaboration between remote parties has never been easier. Whether you’re across the office or across the country, you’re able to collaborate on matters or documents with clients, co-counsel, or anyone else you might need. Most cloud providers offer simple, intuitive sharing options that allow you to pick and choose exactly who can access your files. Even signatures no longer require an in-person visit or a fax machine.
Thanks to online signature providers like DocuSign or RightSignature, getting a document signed is just a swipe away. Remote collaboration options promote greater efficiency and enable lawyers everywhere to get more done, faster. Cloud collaboration tools like Clio Connect also offer a higher level of security than traditional email.
2. Increased mobility
Gone are the days when lawyers were only able to work from the office (although that’s not necessarily a blessing). With nearly universal access from any device, you can deliver legal services wherever you are—whether it be at home, at the courthouse, or even poolside. Cloud and mobile technologies make the management of every aspect of your firm, accessible from anywhere, including accounting, time tracking, communication, practice management, document management, and more. With that kind of accessibility, who even needs an office anymore?
Virtual law firms are becoming more ubiquitous as solo and small firm attorneys aim to reduce overhead by not having to pay rent on a physical storefront. You’re not tethered to a desk, and your client is no longer tethered to your office hours, allowing you to deliver exceptional service that will turn any client into a repeat customer.
3. Cost efficacy
Servers, IT infrastructure, locally-hosted software, and an office to store all of the above can rack up costs quickly. With cloud solutions, a third-party vendor assumes much of the cost of hosting and storing your data and providing IT support for one monthly fee, leaving you to pass on savings to clients through billing rates and alternative fee arrangements that keep you competitive in the legal landscape and put a smile on your client’s faces.