Don't fight the technology: master it. Or get someone who is a master to the job for you.
Small firms are depending on technology more and more to help them keep their business running smoothly. We've previously written about considering a social media dashboard to help you manage the social media accounts associated with your firm, so we're squarely in the camp that technology is your friend.
But you're lawyers. Many of you might not have the necessary skills to handle a major tech crisis. And even if you did, we hope you're so busy with clients that you can hire a technology consultant instead. Here are a few suggestions for hiring the right consultant for your legal tech needs.
5 Tips for Hiring a Technology Consultant
Lawyer Specific: There are consultants and then there are consultants. Some plumbers deal only with kitchen sinks. But if you have a major stoppage problem at a mall with heavy foot traffic, you need to hire the big guns. The same goes with your technology consultant. Scour local directories for tech consultants who've worked with other law firms and know how to handle sensitive information. Anyone who is really good is probably also bonded against leaking sensitive data. The best ones also have some level of legal training.
Look at the Cover: We're not talking about the physical appearance of the person. If their website is still using the most primitive of HTML tricks, then this should have you worried. After all, they're supposed to be tech experts, right?
Cloud Expertise: Cloud computing is becoming more pervasive every day -- so quickly that the courts can barely even identify how to identify it. Lawyers probably spent more time watching what the courts were doing than learning how to handle it and the data stored on it. The tech consultant you want should be abreast of the latest in cloud-computing and will (should) have no issues dealing with your server. These days, its safer simply to exclude any tech consultant that doesn't deal with cloud technology.
Methodical and Obsessive Personality: Obsession tends to overlaps with thoroughness. In fact, a tech consultant who is too casual and relaxed is worrisome. When it comes to client data, you should consider geeky weirdness a good thing.
House Calls: Your tech consultant should be able to guarantee his work. Why else did you hire him? Another consideration you might have is whether or not he should have remote access to the system. This, of course, involves ethical and privacy concerns. But so long as he knows -- and he should -- of the ethical gravity of handling sensitive data, remote access can be a real time-saver.
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