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Does a Law Firm Need IT Support?

Does a law firm need information technology (IT) support? This question is often asked by law firm owners and law firms that are considering hiring an IT staff to work in the law office. The law office computer network needs can be quite extensive due to the use of many different software packages for legal research, client database management, billing transactions, law-related Internet activity, record keeping, calendaring functions and more. When law firm owners are not sure if law firms need information technology support, they should consider the following benefits that IT staff can provide.

Improved Law Office Productivity

The law office computer network is extremely important to law firms because it is the electronic link between law offices and their partners, clients, judges, other law firms and more. Firms may have to share large volumes of data with outside sources or clients via email or secure File Transfer Protocol sites. The speed at which legal tasks can be completed depends on how well the law office computer network functions such as law-related Internet activity (some legal research on Westlaw requires high-speed Internet access).

Better Customer Service for Clients

Customers expect better service today than ever before, law office computer networks affect law firm’s ability to meet these higher standards. Clients expect law firms, just like any other business, should be able to provide fast access to information via telephone or email. They also should be able to send and receive faxes without glitches every time they use the law firm’s standard fax machine. If law firms do not have an information technology department and law office computer network problems occur, the customers of the law firm will be very unhappy.

Enhanced Security for Law Firm Data

IT departments provide law firms with better management of their data on a daily basis. The law firm’s documents, client information and more are safer when they are properly backed up regularly onsite or offsite (such as on a remote server). Business continuity is enhanced when law office employees can access current copies of key files in case the original files become corrupted or destroyed. Other ways that law offices benefit from having an information technology support staff include: virus protection updates and installation, firewall software audits and updates, and security measures such as passwords and encryption to protect sensitive client information.

Improved Law Office Network Reliability and Speed

IT support staff can alleviate law office computer network problems such as law-related Internet issues, law office email servers, law office voice over internet protocol telephone systems, law office router networks and more. Information technology personnel can install new software to allow law offices to work faster or use the newest programs already available. They also can provide law firms with a higher level of network reliability by providing 24/7 monitoring of law office networks for wireless connectivity problems, cable failures and similar types of hardware issues. In addition, the IT department will set up all necessary Internet connection devices such as routers and modems before they are needed in case there is ever an emergency where law firm employees must work from home or law office.

In conclusion, law firms need information technology support to provide law firms with more productivity, better customer service and enhanced security for law office data.