If you’re a solo practitioner, you’re either working by yourself or with a small staff. You may outsource various functions to cut costs. You need to be efficient but effective for your clients. Above the Law has some suggestions to make your operation lean but not mean.
When setting up an e-mail account, you can get a pop account or an exchange account. Get the exchange account. It may cost more, but since time is money, you will save in the long run because you could avoid a lot of trouble in the future. It also provides for much more flexibility.
You have a home computer, an office computer and a smartphone. An exchange account will make all of the e-mails in your inbox and those that are sent sync up in all of your devices.
A pop account just downloads copies of e-mails sent and received on the device where the email was sent or received.
If you send an e-mail to a client or opposing counsel from your smartphone, you won’t have access to it on your office computer with a pop account. If you want copies of all the e-mails sent from your phone to also be on your computers, get an exchange account.
BYOD means “bring your own device.” It means that employees can use their own computers or smartphones at work or for work purposes outside the office or after hours. If you choose to go this route, you may save some money since you’re not buying hardware but you need to have some policies in place.
Before an employee leaves to work elsewhere, to maintain confidentiality all work related e-mails and documents must be deleted from personal devices.
There must be consistent, updated security software on all devices. If malware is introduced on a person’s computer through a personal e-mail, it could affect the confidentiality of privileged client or law firm documents or information. It could also cost you a lot of money and lost time to de-bug your system. This security software should also prevent unauthorized people from accessing the device in case it’s lost or stolen.
Remote Access and Cloud Policies
You and anyone working for you should store files on a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive. This way you will also have access to it and you may also be able to see what changes were made over time. This account needs to be in your or your firm’s name, not an account held by an individual employee for which you may lack access or lose it in the future.
You should be aware of security concerns concerning cloud and make sure your cloud service provider isn’t combing through your files.
Becahse of technology it’s never been easier for a solo practitioner to do more with less. You just need to be organized, informed and know which technology to use how it should be used and how petential problems can be avoided.
Picture by Rajkumar100989 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons