Client communication is no longer limited to traditional forms of communication like emails, letters and phone calls. Client portals are featured in many practice managements solutions, allowing law practices to share documents, appointments, notes, and other data directly with their clients. The comfort level in sharing legal information via client portals will only expand in the coming years, as clients and lawyers become accustomed to accessing sensitive data like banking information over the internet and mobile devices.
Due to their openness and being built on platforms designed for sharing, cloud based Practice Management offerings are ideally suited for client portals. ActionStep and Clio both have videos on their site explaining how the client portal can be used to allow access to as much, or as little information in your client file as you want.
Traditional Practice Management systems have also started featuring integrated client portals. Time Matters version 13 debuted a client portal focused on document sharing. Once configured, this portal allows firms to share documents stored in their local Time Matters database with clients. The Time Matters portal uses WatchDox technology, a leader in mobile document management. Amicus Attorney Premium 2014 upped the ante with their client portal. Not only can the Amicus client portal share documents directly from the firm’s server, but also notes, and events, and allows clients to upload notes for the firm directly into their Amicus file. After it has been turned on, the client portal works alongside Amicus Anywhere, which provides mobile access to firm members, to allow clients direct access. This means no documents or notes will exist anywhere outside of the firm’s network and the client’s computer.
Furthermore, these portals are all available at no extra cost beyond keeping current maintenance fees and licensing. Integrated client portals allow firms to communicate information from their system to the clients directly, with no middle man, no waiting, and at the client’s convenience. As ease of access to information increases across all walks of life, client portals allow practice management systems to keep up with client demands in ways phone calls, emails, and snail mail cannot.
Feel free to contact your Affinity Practice Management consultant if you are interested in learning more about these client communication tools for your office.