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Everybody is in the cloud these days, including lawyers of all sizes.
From BigLaw to solo practitioners, cloud computing has become a great equalizer. It enables almost any lawyer to practice virtually anywhere.
Many concerns, like cybersecurity and confidentiality, are always there. But the cloud-based lawyer is not some tech experiment. It's a proven business model that can help keep you competitive.
Small firms have never been in a better position to threaten BigLaw, says Carolyn Elefant. She's a famous solo practitioner largely because of her internet blog.
Roeder Smith Jadin, a Minneapolis-based firm, is a virtual example. According to Elefant, the firm has quadrupled in size in three years because of the cloud.
"I can access the entirety of my office from anywhere, and that gives my clients more accessibility to me and ultimately drives down the costs," says partner Alex Jadin. "When you're efficient at your work, you're ultimately saving that client money by spending less time getting the same amount of work done."
It's the connectedness that makes it work. Attorneys can work from anywhere; stay in touch with colleagues; communicate with clients; keep up with the law; and save money and while making money.
Jennifer L. Ellis, of Lowenthal & Abrams, offered some best practices for cloud computing lawyers at a continuing education program. She said:
Cybersecurity concerns scare away some law firms from going to the cloud. However, they are probably already in the cloud and just don't realize it.
"While many firms shy away from cloud computing, they also don't realize that their lawyers are already using cloud technologies if they are using Gmail, AOL, Comcast, Verizon or other online services for their personal email," she said.