Microsoft Teams For Law Firms Across the US:
The Inevitability of Legal Industry Change
Key points from the article:
- Microsoft Teams is quickly turning into the go-to collaboration and meeting platform for law firms as lawyers embrace remote and hybrid working environments.
- Microsoft continues to develop Teams with some features to unburden legal professionals with the unique challenges they’re facing.
- Teams’ core function is to advance communication and collaboration for law firms.
- The main feature that law firms across the U.S. leverage is the Teams’ ability to handle full-scale Enterprise Telephony using Direct Routing. The feature allows firms to have full administrative control over systems or user management aspects.
- The success levels legal firms achieve from Microsoft Teams depend on how they use the platform.
- Implementing communication and collaboration solutions in law firms is becoming a necessity rather than an option to stay ahead of the competition.
The legal world is embracing Microsoft Teams as the go-to collaboration and meeting platform. Firms realize the work communication tool from Microsoft addresses the unique challenges of remote and hybrid working environments. Teams allow co-worker collaboration and communication regardless of whether they work together in an office, remotely, or in a hybrid environment.
More importantly, law firms are using Teams to achieve daily functions such as:
- Driving operational efficiency
- Ensuring compliance
- Securing document storage
- Promoting the adoption of new technology in the law industry
As law firms acclimate to hybrid and remote work, Teams offers an HD video and audio conferencing feature that links to the case management systems.
While all the features are impressive, it’s difficult to fully comprehend how Teams delivers specific benefits to law firms. Here’s an overview of how Microsoft Teams is speeding up the breadth of change for law firms.
Microsoft’s Dream of Solving Legal Firms’ Challenges
Microsoft publicly announced its ambitions for Teams to be the default platform for legal firms. The company promised to provide solutions to unique problems such as:
- Challenges related to cloud data privacy
- The burden of protecting client data in the legal industry
- Concerns about blind subpoenas
- File encryptions technology to protect Client Matter Data
To deliver on their promises, Microsoft offered several solutions on Teams. Here’s a breakdown.
A Hub of Solutions
Through Teams, law firms get access to a secure central hub that facilitates every type of routine communication, information sharing, conferencing — among co-workers and externally — with clients, business partners, and stakeholders.
Seamless integration with Microsoft 365 for Legal allows law firms to address concerns about blind subpoenas. More importantly, the integration allowed law firms to utilize secure cloud solutions to increase their potential.
Microsoft Teams works with other core software to deliver solutions for concerns of a law firm such as:
- Secure file sharing
- Document Management System (DMS)
- Encrypted Access
- User Rights Management
For instance, the Document Management System (DMS) guides sensitive data from entering One Drive or SharePoint.
In the unlikely event that sensitive data lands on OneDrive or SharePoint, you can leverage the Encrypt Access tech. The software ensures that the sensitive data that landed on SharePoint or OneDrive is worthless to Microsoft’s blind subpoena and only usable by your law firm.
At face value, law firms get a protected hub and a single platform to coordinate nearly everything a legal team needs. Law companies can leverage:
- Customizable planning
- Task management
- Document storage
- Document and file sharing
Since users are familiar with the Microsoft interface, many find Microsoft Teams easy and intuitive to use. The tool connects directly with Office 365, which most employees have used for years to handle daily operations.
Ability to Handle Full-Scale Enterprise Telephony
The most recent feature that many law firms utilize is Teams’ ability to handle full-scale enterprise telephony via Direct Routing.
Law firms can use Teams as the PBX/PSTN hub.
Firms can fully manage and control every telephony aspect, including outgoing and incoming calls. The feature saves firms from spending and the problems of dealing with the PSTN/PBX that has historically been hanging overheads in the law industry for years. After all, law firms heavily rely on the telephone with a need for tracking.
The Success of Law Firms After Integrating Microsoft Teams
No question, the pandemic forced legal firms to adopt Teams as a chat and collaboration platform. While there are high adoption rates, many law firms are still familiarizing themselves with the software to implement Teams-specific integration.
Organizations need ongoing specialist expertise to ensure data security and enhance client/lawyer confidentiality in all communication.
LTN’s recent study shows that 59% of law firms in the USA already use Microsoft Teams for internal firm messaging. According to the study, the pandemic accelerated the adoption of Teams, which pivoted a remote and hybrid working environment. Law firms had to do what needed to be done to remain effective.
However, the amount of success each law firm achieves depends on how they use the technology.
Lawyers and the entire law industry require a team approach when settling for a collaboration and communication solution. Nearly everyone in the legal function has to apply the principle of digital teamwork to deliver legal services.
To fully succeed, the entire legal architecture will need a cultural reboot — rewriting legal training, education, regulators, product and service providers, and even the courts. The process won’t happen once.
The shift will happen slowly because digital collaboration in the legal industry is here to stay. Soon enough, it won’t be an option.
Microsoft Teams is Rewriting How The Legal Industry Operates
Legal firms that have achieved collaboration have seen the benefits that include:
- Increased billing through remote access to clients and documents
- Better served clients
- Simplified and structured group work
- Collective decision making
- Faster response time
- 24/7 use of the hybrid solution from anywhere and any location
Lawyers are always reluctant to collaborate because of the legal industry’s doctrines that view collaboration as a loss of money. However, law firms that realize that multiple players can solve legal problems better will see impactful results for their business.
OnPar Technology Will Help you Understand The Role of Teams as a Collaboration and Meeting Tool for Law Firms
Microsoft Teams is a full-featured communication and collaboration software that over 200,000,000 organizations already use.