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Why law firms should adopt client portals

The pace of legal tech innovation is ever expanding – from front-office, back-office to case and contract management, there is no shortage of new software offerings being introduced to law firms. The challenge for law firms then becomes how to prioritise their technology investment budget in order to maximise the all important ROI.

A common mistake law firms make is taking a “bottoms-up” approach to technology by solving for internal processes as the starting point. While this may sound logical, the danger with this approach is, when layering up the technology stack what tends to happen is that the client experience becomes more of an afterthought, or worse forgotten altogether. 

A better approach is to look at technology enablement from a client-centric lens. In other words, as a starting point, your firm should ask ‘how can technology improve the way clients interact with us?’, or ‘what’s the best software solution to make life easier for our clients?’. Make that as the foundational tech layer, then work your way “down” to solving for internal operational efficiency.

What is a client portal?

Setting up a client portal is one great example of leveraging technology to enhance client experience, as well as security. A client portal is a digital gateway between your firm and your clients. It provides a secure method to facilitate activities such as collecting and managing client data, sharing files and documents, digitally signing contracts, and tracking service requests.  

Here are 3 reasons why law firms should adopt client portals:

Your clients have a central place to access important legal documents

Imagine it’s close to midnight and one for your clients is trawling through their email inboxes urgently searching for that executed version of that legal document you drafted for them over 12 months ago. Having a client portal solves this problem as documents are centrally organised.

It’s more secure than email

Let’s be honest, email has been the best productivity tool since facsimile, which conveniently replaced pigeons back in the day. It’s the default communications channel for most businesses today – it’s easy and predictable. But is it a trusted delivery tool for industries such as legal services that carries a lot of sensitive information?

Let’s consider the journey of a standard email. Every time you click the ‘send’ button, that email (and its attachments) doesn’t simply move from your inbox to the recipient’s. It traverses the internet completely open and across multiple servers before it reaches its destination. At each hop between servers, it is at the mercy of server admin gals and guys, who in theory may alter or even delete your email content.

To be clear, we’re not suggesting you should abandon emails altogether! But a client portal does provide a more secure method to exchange client sensitive information over the internet. 

Data collection is easier and less prone to error

Collecting and maintaining client information using paper or PDF forms is not only inefficient, it’s also prone to translation errors. But the bottom line is: no one enjoys filling out boring static forms. Modern client portals have smart digital form builders built-in, so you can dynamically create interactive forms to streamline your data collection process – and make life less tedious for your clients.

Wrap up

Portalstack’s client portal solution allows your clients to stay connected to your firm at a deeper level. Having a unified space provides convenience for your clients. Having a private and secure space offers security for both you and your clients that sensitive information are less susceptible to malicious interception.

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