Whether senior partners and leaders at small and mid-size law firms realize it or not, their IT department is in a powerful position to help the firm attract clients and perform more valuable work. Because the head of IT significantly influences technology purchasing decisions. And using the right technologies can make or break a firm’s future.
Critical information and insights are hidden within the data of law firm clients. Lawyers need technology to effectively understand their clients’ businesses and help them address legal issues. Modern software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology platforms have proven themselves to be the most effective and efficient tools for handling the many varied eDiscovery needs law firm clients experience.
The IT Department –a natural eDiscovery ally
In the old days, opposing counsel used to bury each other in paperwork. Now, the paper has turned into data – and lots of it. Attorneys at small and mid-size firms usually turn to their own IT department as the first line of defense when clients need to preserve, collect, search, and process their company data.
But often, the law firm IT team lacks appropriate, up-to-date technologies to handle these eDiscovery challenges. They may attempt to cobble together a pot-pourri of tools to peck away at individual tasks (e.g., using Adobe for redaction and Microsoft tools to search for relevant records). But doing so inevitably raises accuracy and defensibility concerns. And the avalanches of data generated by businesses today overwhelm any homebrewed techniques to manage them.
New opportunities with a new generation of eDiscovery technology
Law firm IT leaders who are aware of the advantages of SaaS eDiscovery platforms can steer their firms toward greater success. SaaS platforms give attorneys much-needed access to, and understanding of, their clients’ data. These are essential if they are to serve as trusted advisors in all the many different areas that data touches.
A SaaS platform delivers significant advantages to law firms by allowing attorneys to directly provide clients with fast defensible data collection and preservation for many business-related reasons including:
- Litigation and arbitration
- Subpoena and regulatory requests
- Investigations and audits
- Preparing virtual data rooms in M&As and vendor due diligence processes
- GDPR and California Privacy Act compliance checks
- Informing subjects of a data breach
Today’s new generation of SaaS eDiscovery platforms encapsulate time-tested and trusted technologies in more efficient delivery models.
Key Concerns for Law Firm IT Leaders
With a plethora of eDiscovery options out there, finding the ideal platform can be a challenge for small and mid-size firms. SaaS eDiscovery platforms encapsulate time-tested, trusted technologies in more efficient delivery models. They include the following aspects and features that dovetail with the firm’s IT needs:
- Easy integration with the firm’s current information management technology. A vendor support team can also ease integration.
- Attractive costs. No need to invest in expensive hardware and software. SaaS platforms offer transparent, customizable, and predictable pricing with no large upfront commitments.
- Low maintenance. Maintenance, upgrades, and security burdens and costs are placed on vendors, not internal IT staff.
- Easy to use. Systems that offer intuitive, browser-based dashboards are easy to use and require little to no training. IT help support staff is freed from the inevitable swamp of user questions that arise while using a mixed bag of tech tools.
- Protects data integrity. Security, privacy, and defensibility are top concerns for everyone involved:
- Security & Privacy. Inhouse platforms reduce the number of data transfers needed and allow clients to avoid the security hazards of sending backup tapes and hard drives to outside consultants. They provide a secure, single port of access for all parties that keeps data protected and private information secure.
- Defensibility. A single platform that performs all the work is significantly more reliable than using a patchwork of disparate technologies. Machines perform repetitive, dull tasks much more accurately than humans, find the most relevant documents early in the process, and help you avoid critical errors such as the use of inadequate redaction techniques.
Convincing Law Firm Partners
Several issues have prevented firms from adopting modern technology platforms to handle eDiscovery on their own. Too often in the past, eDiscovery tech required significant upfront capital outlay, extensive training of both personnel and software, and a high level of maintenance that strained personnel and resources.
Today’s new generation SaaS eDiscovery platforms eliminate these issues. Download the white paper, Law Firm Technology: A Modern Asset for True Differentiation in the Legal Market, to learn how advancements in artificial intelligence make them more efficient and effective than the eDiscovery technologies of the early 2000’s, and their availability as a software-as-a-service platform removes costs, time, and other barriers. See how the right eDiscovery tools bring significant savings to law firms and their clients!