The Reluctant Technology Adapter – I Thought Portals were for Time Travel!

Every good 20th century attorney knows that the standard procedure is that when a client calls for a document, the task is assigned to an assistant. The assistant then places the task of getting the document to the client on a long-list of other assignments (which include getting documents to other clients). After a day or two, the client gets their document and all is right in the world! Right?! That’s how it has always been. Yet, like so many other things in the 21st century, this system is just not practical for the modern client. These days, information is available instantaneously in almost every profession except the legal profession.

Attorneys, and I was certainly no exception, maintain an iron grasp on their files. This includes closely guarded access to said files. Yet, our clients have a constant need for access to their documents. This need for access, and most lawyers’ reluctance to allow access to their files causes a pain point that results in lost resources for the lawyers and a loss of time and money for the client. So how do we overcome this pain point? The answer, as usual, is cutting edge technology.

In its continuing efforts to analyze and adapt to our clients’ needs, Fornaro Law quickly realized that its clients have a need for instant access to their information and documents. In order to solve this problem, Fornaro Law has partnered with excellent new software designed to provide clients with the means of accessing their important documents without having to waste resources on contacting Fornaro Law. This new system is called the Box System and it is revolutionizing how Fornaro Law interacts with its clients.

Fornaro Law Embraces File Sharing with Its Clients!

What is Box and why should I allow access to my files! Box is a cloud content management platform for companies of all sizes and industries. It offers security and controls for admins as well as sharing and collaboration capabilities for end users across the globe. But what does this techno babble mean? To put it simply, this software allows a situation where Fornaro Law and its clients can share a portal for the exchange of information.

To give an example, let’s say Client A sets up a portal with Fornaro Law. Now Fornaro Law can upload Client A’s documents into the portal. Client A now has complete access to these documents. Therefore, when Client A needs a document, they don’t have to call Fornaro Law, they simply have to access their portal. Once in their portal, they can generate the document for themselves. Client A has instant access and a pain point is resolved.

I can imagine attorneys falling out of their seats as they read this! You want me to give the client complete access to their file! Impossible. However, that is where the beauty of Box comes into play. Box allows the administrator to choose what level of access Client A can have to the file. Therefore, Fornaro Law can choose to allow Client A to have access to certain documents while restricting access to other documents. For example, Client A can be made to have access to all executed documents while not having access to drafts and other work product. The sky is the limit when crafting a portal that best suits our clients’ needs.

Box Saves Time and Money!

An excellent feature of the Box software is that it allows Fornaro Law and the client to choose who can access the clients’ files. So, for example, let’s say it is a real estate file. In that case you might want the brokers, opposing counsel or inspector to have access to the documents in the portal. No problem! You can designate who has access by inviting them to use the portal. You can also control what level of access they can have and what documents they can see. I can make available all of the documents for the closing as they become available without having to send out multiple emails or phone calls. This gives instant access but also saves the client money.

I have to admit, the thought of not making phone calls and sending multiple emails was a selling point for me. However, once again, it is cutting into my billable hours. Yet, the instant exchange of information is the wave of the future. Plus, Box offers more benefits! The use of the portal works both ways. This means that not only can Fornaro Law upload files into the portal for the client to view, but the client can do the same. A client can upload files and notes into the portal and I am automatically notified. This increases efficiency because it eliminates the need for me to receive the documents from the client and then either have them scanned into our data storage system or move them from email into said system.

Box is a further benefit because it allows Fornaro Law to incorporate file sharing into its data storage. As a cloud-based program, Box allows unlimited storage in the cloud. This is in stark contrast to server-based systems which are limited by physical space and their inability to share information.

All of this maximizes efficiency for Fornaro Law’s clients. Efficiency allows our clients, and Fornaro Law personnel, to get more work done and to use their time more effectively. All of this is a net positive for our clients and therefore, a must for Fornaro Law.

Fornaro Law is a forward-thinking law firm which embraces technology as a tool for providing better service and efficiencies to our clients!

Stay tuned for next week’s blog where I continue to be dragged, often kicking and screaming, into the 21st century!

By Mark Scarlato

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