A Guide to 2024 Trends in Managed IT Services for Law Firms

IT Services | June 4, 2024

Anyone who works for a law firm understands that technology can change everything. Think about how much DNA profiling has transformed legal cases. Cases could depend less on unreliable circumstantial evidence or eyewitness testimonies in favor of more objective forensic evidence.

Legal professionals have a responsibility to use the latest technology to deliver the best results for their clients. These days, that means taking advantage of the latest digital systems.

Whether you’re researching case history, meeting with clients, or preparing legal documents, it all relies on computers. If your law firm’s technology is slow or unreliable, you’ll struggle to give your clients the legal representation they deserve.

Managed IT services for law firms play a crucial role in ensuring your firm uses digital technology to its fullest potential. Interested in learning more about how managed IT services are helping law firms? Read on to find out more.

Cloud-Based Solutions for Legal Firms

Many companies have moved towards cloud-based computing solutions. Essentially, the cloud involves outsourcing your IT needs to a remote computer. One of the most common ways companies do this is by storing data on a cloud server.

Think of apps like OneDrive or Dropbox. If the storage on your local machine fails, you can use these cloud services to download all your files again. Properly configured cloud storage means you don’t have to worry about data loss due to hardware failure.

Some companies use other cloud technologies that allow them to run processes on a remote machine. For companies that need heavy-duty processing, a cloud-based solution sometimes makes sense.

When correctly utilized, cloud computing can save companies time, enhance IT flexibility, and enable rapid disaster recovery. But for law firms specifically, cloud computing has its challenges.

Law firms are subject to stringent regulations for handling confidential data. You can’t just throw the details of a sensitive legal case into an unsecured Dropbox account. If you want to implement cloud-based IT solutions at your law firm, you’ll need to work with competent managed IT services.

With the right IT team on your side, you can reap all the exciting benefits of cloud computing without compromising any of your sensitive data.

Boost Your Cybersecurity

As you should know, cybercrime is an ever-present threat. From huge multinational companies and national governments to small mom-and-pop shops, no organization is safe. Across the board, cyberattacks are increasing in frequency and diversity

With attack methods like ransomware, phishing, and social engineering, there’s no telling when and how cybercriminals could strike your organization. Unfortunately, legal firms are very attractive targets for cybercriminals as they handle lots of valuable confidential data.

Compromising your clients through a data leak could be devastating for your firm. Cybercriminals know this, and they’ll try to steal your confidential data so they can blackmail you.

Fighting back against cybercriminals is like an endless game of whack-a-mole. Mounting a successful defense is tough; as soon as you mitigate one threat, another one pops up.

Advanced security protocols like multifactor authentication, zero-trust systems, and automated data backup are crucial, but they’re not enough on their own. The best cybersecurity practices also require accurate risk assessment and continuous employee training.

All this requires a deep understanding of cybercrime, IT systems, and security education. These diverse requirements are why cybersecurity is one of the most difficult IT problems to get right. To protect your company, you’ll need the best IT team on your side.

Remote Working Options for Legal Firms

Historically, remote work wasn’t common in the legal sector. In 2020, the COVID-19 lockdowns forced many organizations to go remote for the first time. The legal sector was also affected. Some courts even started doing legal proceedings via Zoom.

Of course, legal firms quickly realized if they wanted to maintain their high standards while working remotely, they’d need the best IT infrastructure. After all, you can’t deal with poor sound quality or calls dropping when you’re discussing the finer details of an important case.

This meant many firms made big investments in virtual collaboration tools. Some legal firms now extensively use online platforms like Zoom or Teams. They also invested in professional-grade cameras and microphones to ensure the best possible quality.

Now, the work-from-home orders are long gone, but many legal firms have kept their remote work infrastructure. It’s not uncommon for meetings with coworkers and clients to be hybrid or online. Even without the threat of COVID, legal firms realized the advantages of remote work solutions.

In the past, a colleague going to a legal conference in another state would mean them dropping off the radar. With the right online infrastructure, they can simply dial into meetings remotely.

Of course, there’s a reason legal firms were reluctant to shift things online, they deal with a lot of sensitive data. A legal firm can only consider remote work if it has robust and reliable data security measures. Managed IT services help firms keep data locked down with secure VPNs and encrypted communications.

Legal Research Solutions Powered by Machine Learning

Technology has the power to completely transform the workplace. Think about legal firms. In the past, they had to send paralegals to the law library, write documents on typewriters, and learn complex physical filing systems. The introduction of computers changed all that. Now you have one machine that does it all.

Before the internet, people struggled with a lack of information. If you wanted to research an obscure legal case, you might need to spend hours combing through legal libraries. Now, with internet-powered research, we have the opposite problem.

With so much information at your fingertips, the concern now is information overload. Often, getting what you need feels like finding a needle in a haystack. Thankfully, we stand on the verge of a tech revolution that will help us navigate this vast ocean of data.

When a firm starts working on a new case, they’ll explore the archives for relevant historical case data. Through careful analysis of past judge rulings and legal precedents, firms can uncover valuable insights. Even with digital archives, this is a time-consuming process that regularly has paralegals working late nights for weeks at a time.

AI is changing the game. Advanced AI algorithms can quickly sift through vast amounts of legal documents and uncover key insights. Work that would take paralegals days is done in a matter of seconds. AI is so effective at this kind of analysis that it can even find insights that a human researcher would miss.

It’s no surprise that managed IT companies are universally pivoting towards AI. In the coming years, legal firms making effective use of AI will come out on top. But to correctly utilize AI, you’ll need the right IT partner.

Business Continuity Measures

The COVID-19 lockdowns illustrated why it’s important to have a business continuity plan. When the government implemented a work-from-home order, many companies were at a loss. They lacked solid contingency plans, so when the lockdowns came, no one knew what to do.

While these companies were left immobilized by indecision, organizations with solid business continuity measures got right back to work. While most firms probably didn’t predict a global pandemic, many had backup plans for an inaccessible office.

Some firms already had remote work systems configured and tested, just in case. While unprepared firms in 2020 were struggling to figure out Zoom, law firms with pre-existing contingency plans managed to not only survive but thrive.

Another recent trend that demonstrates the importance of business continuity is the ever-growing threat of ransomware attacks. Ransomware involves applying unbreakable encryption to the victim organization’s data storage. Once you’re hit, the only way to (possibly) get your data back is by paying the attackers a ransom fee.

Companies that deal with sensitive data are an attractive target for ransomware groups, so there’s no surprise that law firms are likely victims. Thankfully, through business continuity efforts, you can make these attacks much less effective.

A huge part of business continuity is about keeping your data accessible. This means having robust, up-to-date backups. A firm with a well-configured backup in place isn’t an attractive ransomware target.

After all, why would you pay a huge ransom when you can just roll back to yesterday’s backup? Ransomware is less of a concern when you stand to lose an afternoon’s worth of data at worst.

Of course, almost all business continuity plans are IT-based, making IT managed services providers the perfect partners to help you improve your firm’s resilience.

Managed IT Services for Law Firms Help Firms Reach Their Potential

If you want to provide great legal representation for your clients, your firm needs to harness digital technology. Whether you’re doing AI-powered research, embracing cloud solutions, or developing robust cybersecurity measures, you need the best managed IT services for law firms on your side.

EMPIST is here to help. With almost a quarter-century of tech experience, we can give your law firm the proactive support you need to master the latest tech.

We pride ourselves on offering more than just addressing your current IT problems. We also anticipate what your firm will need in the future. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your IT needs.