Pockets of opportunity always emerge out of uncertain times. For the legal profession, that’s shaping up to be the confluence of the pandemic and the recent advancements in legal technology. In response, savvy firms are accelerating their tech adoption plans to succeed in a purely digital world.
One tangible way to start your firm’s plan is with client portal software. Even if you haven’t experienced it before, it’s possible you soon will — especially now with more attorneys working remotely and many clients wanting to avoid going into the firm’s office for meetings.
But what exactly is a client portal? In the most basic terms, a client portal is software that allows you, the attorney, to interact and work with your clients in a secure online setting. As long as the client has internet access, they can log into your firm’s client portal and instantly share and review documents as well as send messages, among many other tasks. And you can do the same.
For many firms, client portals are now the go-to solution for working and communicating with clients. It allows everyone to review things on their own time, wherever they may be. While the benefits of using client portals are nearly endless, some are more important than others.
Client portals make attorney-client communication easy — and more secure
When a client needs to get ahold of their attorney, what do they do? Send an email? Call the firm’s front desk? In some cases, a client will try any and all of these options — and the lawyer is left having to respond to every single one.
Law firm client portal software can fix this problem by creating one private location for clients and attorneys to communicate. There are many advantages to this:
- More secure than email: The best client portals provide excellent security for attorney-client communications and shared documents. Emails can sometimes be hacked, and even if you take great care to protect your firm’s email accounts, there is no guarantee that your clients are doing the same on their end. With secure client portals, communications are not only encrypted, but also protected on both ends.
- Faster and easier communication: With a centralized location, client portals simplify things since attorneys no longer have to monitor multiple methods of communication (i.e. email, cell phone, direct line, voicemail). And keeping everything in one spot means improved responsiveness.
- Better client experience: Clients don’t have to guess the best way to contact their attorney when using client portals. They send their message, and the attorney responds in the same place. No more playing phone tag trying to get ahold of each other.
Simply put, client portals are a win-win proposition for both clients and attorneys.
But if you are worried about the technical expertise necessary to create a client portal, don’t be. There are enterprise-level solutions available that include easy-to-use client portals. They are ready-to-go right out of the box — meaning you don’t need an engineering degree or coding background to get started.
Secure client portals are the new ‘lobbies’ for firms
If the COVID-19 pandemic has shown firms anything, it’s that physical office locations and ornate firm lobbies are not nearly as important as they used to be. Clients don’t want to have to come into the office for every single meeting. They crave the simplicity that client portals provide. And if clients view your firm as being behind the times, they may think twice about doing business with you.
As the attorney-client relationship remains online, however, you need to make sure your client portal looks professional, thereby creating a level of trust and ability in the firm. After all, your client portal may be the primary location where clients go to interact with your firm, essentially making it your new “lobby” — so it better look good.
Client portal login available 24 hours a day
And speaking of interaction, the client can do it on their schedule, 24 hours a day. Whether it’s 2 a.m., 2 p.m., or any time in between, clients can access, review, and provide feedback on any of the documents related to their case.
Client portals give clients on-demand access so they can stay informed without actually having to contact you.
Make the best choice for your firm
Realizing your firm needs a client portal is the easy step. Now comes the hard part: You must figure out how to get it done.
Given all of the solutions available for law firms today – including secure client portals – you certainly have a lot of options. Ultimately, your main concern should be finding the solution that best fits your firm’s specific needs.
See what a client portal can do for your firm by requesting a demo of Thomson Reuters HighQ.