Secure file sharing may seem like newfangled technology, but its purpose is as old as the legal industry itself. Long before the advent of computers and hacking, attorneys were tasked with protecting legal clients’ information from identity thieves.
The primary way for attorneys to protect client confidentiality is to simply keep private legal documents private. However, the methodologies used to protect client confidentiality have changed drastically over the decades. From hand-delivering every document to sending documents electronically as email attachments, the methods attorneys use to send legal documents have evolved over time in an effort to protect confidential information.
Unfortunately, the methods used by information thieves and hackers have evolved at a similar, if not faster, pace. Law firm file sharing methods such as email attachments were once considered safe, but now they’re an easy target for hackers.
Secure file sharing and e-signature software such as LexShare and LexSign can help you keep your clients’ information confidential and your law firm compliant with the law.
Advantages of secure file sharing and e-signatures
Sending unsecured client data is against the law in most localities, even if your client gives you written permission to do so. Investing in legal technology designed for our digitized world is now fundamental for running a compliant, ethical law firm. In addition to data security, there are several other advantages to secure file sharing and the use of e-signatures.
Benefits of secure file sharing & e-signatures for law firms:
- High-level protection for legal clients’ information
- Reduction in signing errors/missed signatures
- Automatic data backups
- Faster large file transfers
- Smoother workflows for attorneys and their staff
- Simple real-time collaboration
- Lower office supply costs
Secure file sharing protects legal clients’ information better than traditional methods of sharing legal documents
Traditional methods of sharing legal documents are less effective than ever at protecting client confidentiality. Though registered mail and commercial delivery were once considered an industry standard to send contracts and other legal documents to clients, these cumbersome methods are now viewed as a last resort due to the time and money required to print and mail multiple copies of the same document. In addition, these methods protect client confidentiality with only the strength of an envelope seal. (Anyone can access a paper document.)
For a time, email attachments and client portals seemed like a favourable way to send documents to clients. However, email attachments now make an exceedingly easy target for hackers. Client portals are admittedly more effective at protecting legal clients’ information, yet many legal firms face great difficulty in convincing clients to actually use their legal portals as intended.
Secure file sharing functions as an accessible middle ground that even the least tech-savvy clients can navigate.
Secure file sharing and e-signature software reduces signing errors
Imagine this scenario: After days of waiting, you’ve finally received the client’s signed copy of an important contract. You sit down to proofread it before handing the document over to the judge, only to discover that the client accidentally signed on the wrong line on one page. The client also completely neglected to initial another key page of the document.
Secure file sharing simplifies legal workflows by eliminating this common—and frustrating—challenge of working with paper legal documents. Secure e-signature software solutions such as LexSign restrict your client to signing in only the pre-designated areas. In addition, the software monitors documents and flags missing signatures, which prevents your clients from submitting partially signed documents in the first place.
Ultimately, the legal workflow is simplified. Both the client and attorney are spared several rounds of back and forth in the effort to finalize a legal agreement.
Secure file sharing software protects clients’ information with automatic data backups
Law firm data security used to only be as strong as the law firm’s server. If the server crashed, your legal clients’ information could end up lost forever. Similarly, there’s currently no reliable way to get back drafts of legal documents or clients’ confidential personal information from the hard drive of a lost or stolen laptop.
Fortunately, authorized parties can log in to law firm file-sharing software from anywhere. Even in the event of a data security emergency, your team can access both present and retroactive versions of important case files, as well as any other client information.
Secure file sharing eliminates the typical headache of large file transfers
Even if email attachments were still a safe way to transfer legal documents, digital copies of large documents are impossible to send via email.
By contrast, compliant law firm file-sharing software allows attorneys to upload legal documents to a secure platform with no size limit. Clients and other attorneys are invited to view the documents via a secure link that leads to the file-sharing platform. From the secure file sharing platform, attorneys can access and edit even large files with confidence and ease. There’s no need for anyone to download or print the documents.
e-Signatures and secure file sharing create smoother workflows
Comparing schedules to make an in-person appointment for every client that needs to sign a document used to be a standard daily task in the legal profession. With e-signatures, in-person appointments are no longer necessary.
Instead, attorneys can spend just a few minutes drafting an email to request the client’s signature. Clients will appreciate the convenience of signing on their time from their own device. Once the client has received the secure link within the email, the e-signature software will send automatic reminders to the client until the client signs and returns the document.
Real-time collaboration is easy with law firm file-sharing software
Secure file sharing creates more efficient legal workflows for your entire team. Multiple authorized parties can look at a document simultaneously for live feedback. For example, if a law firm partner offers feedback that the language within a certain section of the legal agreement needs to be updated, the change can be made immediately in real time.
Secure file sharing lowers office supply costs
Printing costs of 5 to 15 cents per page add up quickly at a law firm. With traditional legal file sharing methods, it’s often necessary to reprint each document with every minor update. With secure file sharing, there’s no need to print even a single copy of legal documents, let alone several.
Another great perk of e-signatures and digitally sharing important documents? Your firm will be contributing to more environmentally-friendly work practices.
TimeSolv now integrates with LexShare and LexSign
TimeSolv users can now send documents to clients around the globe in minutes with LexShare and LexSign’s secure file sharing and e-signature requesting features. LexShare’s modern, streamlined secure file sharing solution is easy for clients and attorneys to use, with zero compromise on data security.
TimeSolv users can also enjoy the rest of our legal time and billing solutions, including:
- Time tracking
- ABA-compliant online credit card processing
- Trust account management
- Reporting and analytics tools
- And more
If you’re a current TimeSolv user interested in setting up our LexShare and LexSign integration, contact TimeSolv support to schedule an online meeting with our experienced support staff. If you’re not familiar with TimeSolv yet but are interested in seeing what our industry-leading legal time and billing software can do for your firm, sign up for a free trial today.