In the first post in this series, attorney and MyCase Director Nicole Black introduced the concept of law practice management software platforms with built-in client portals. In part two, she outlined the benefits that web-based client portals offer lawyers. Today, she runs through the pluses from the client’s side — with an infographic on the many communications benefits of using client portals.
Web-based portals are increasingly familiar to consumers, since these portals are already commonplace in many industries, including banking and mortgage financing. It’s not surprising that many clients now expect instant access to information via web-based portals in their legal matters as well.
The reason? Clients want to know what’s going on with their cases. And they’re paying you a lot of money, so can you blame them? The problem is you aren’t always available to answer their questions right when they call. Sometimes another client’s case takes precedence or you’re stuck in court for the day. It’s a fact of life — attorneys are busy and sometimes just too pressed for time to get back to clients immediately.
The good news is that with 21st-century technologies, you don’t have to.
Client Portals Empower Your Clients
Instant, 24/7 access. Web-based portals give clients control over their cases and expand their access to information. These portals also offer flexibility and convenience by providing 24/7 instant access to case-related information, making it easy for your clients to quickly find answers to many of their most common questions. Clients no longer have to call the office to request a copy of a document in their file and instead can access the entire file at their convenience.
Secure sharing. Using online portals you can securely share calendars, documents and billing information with clients based on permissions that you grant. Your clients can then simply log on and view all recent activity to which you have given them access — including new court dates, recently uploaded documents and invoices. In many cases, clients can also upload or download documents, pay invoices and even comment on documents or calendar events.
An encrypted environment. Client portals also provide increased security that easily trumps unencrypted email. As discussed in my last post, when emails travel to their intended destinations, they traverse an untold number of servers and can be intercepted and viewed by anyone with the proper technological know-how and desire. This inherent security flaw, at present, may place confidential client data at risk.
Practice management software with web-based portals that include the ability to create comment streams provide a built-in solution to this problem, allowing everyone involved in a case to keep track of updates and developments in a secure, encrypted environment. Phone tag and communication using unencrypted email become things of the past. Instead, all important communications appear in chronological order in one central location, ensuring that everyone can stay kept up to speed on new developments as they happen.
Everyone Reaps Rewards
When you add it all up, everyone benefits from web-based client portals. They provide instantaneous, convenient access to case-related information for both lawyers and their clients. Even better, your important confidential communications with clients occur in a secure, encrypted environment when you use law practice management software with built-in portals.
Want to learn more? The infographic below is chock-full of information about the many benefits of online portals (click to enlarge), and you can find more MyCase legal infographics here.
Nicole Black is a Director at MyCase, a cloud-based law practice management platform. She is an attorney in Rochester, New York, and a GigaOM Pro analyst. She is the author of the ABA book “Cloud Computing for Lawyers” and co-author of the ABA book “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier,” and she co-authors “Criminal Law in New York,” a West-Thomson treatise. She speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
MyCase is a leading all-in-one web-based case management software solution offering features that seamlessly cover all the daily functions that a modern solo and small law firm requires. To learn more about MyCase and get your 30-day free trial, visit www.mycase.com. Follow MyCase on Twitter at at @MyCaseInc.