Technology is changing legal practice. The American Bar Association (ABA) reports that most attorneys expect to work remotely at least part-time going forward. Yet, a survey of attorneys found that two-thirds believe that their law firm is not “very well prepared” for changes in the legal market. Microsoft Teams is one of the best communication and collaboration tools for remote work.
At Rize Technologies, we provide managed IT services to law firms. Offering a full suite of IT services, our team helps connect law firms with the technology tools and resources that they need to maximize operational efficiency. In this article, you will find an overview of some of the key features of Microsoft teams and how the technology tool can be so useful for law firms.
Eight Features that make Microsoft Teams a Top tool for Law firms
Microsoft Teams is one of the most popular tech tools. It exploded as the COVID-19 pandemic led to many people working from home for a prolonged period. According to data cited by Geekwire, Microsoft Teams now has more than 270 million active monthly users. Teams can be a valuable resource for law firms. Here are eight key features that make Microsoft Teams a great tool for legal practice:
- Meetings and Conferencing: One of the core benefits of Microsoft Teams is that it makes it easier to host remote meetings and conferences. Teams allow for online meetings, video conferencing, and screen sharing. It is easy to set up conferences, invite people, and share notes/information with the participants.
- Voice and Video Calling: The voice and video calling features of Microsoft Teams make it smooth and efficient to securely connect people directly through the application.
- File Sharing: One of the long-standing challenges of remote work is file sharing. Teams helps to resolve that issue. Through Teams, files (even large files) can be securely shared and edited in real time.
- Channels: Law firms can create “channels” within Microsoft Teams for better organization and collaboration. A channel allows firms to create specialized communication resources for specific projects, departments, or other specialized groups. This reduces distractions.
- Calendar: The Microsoft Teams calendar allows users to track and sync all meetings. A meeting/conference can be automatically synced with other parties to avoid conflicts, cancellations, and other issues.
- Tasks: The Microsoft Teams “tasks” tool lets users create new tasks directly from chat messages. This makes it easier to update tasks and reduces the risk that something important will get missed.
- External Collaboration Tools: With Microsoft Teams, it is easy to work with people from outside your law firm or organization. The external collaboration tools allow you to invite someone directly into your meeting, conference, or channel.
- Third-Party Integrations: Lawyers and law firms do not have to give up all of their tech tools when transitioning to Microsoft Teams. Teams allows for easy and efficient integration with third-party applications.
Is Microsoft 365 Needed to Use Teams?
Technically no. There is a basic version of Microsoft Teams that can be used for free, without obtaining a Microsoft 365 account. That being said, the full version of Teams does require Microsoft 365.
Why All Law Firms Can Benefit from Microsoft Teams
Microsoft Teams is a valuable technology tool that offers advantages to all types of law firms. No matter the practice area or size of your law firm, Teams offers some important benefits. Here are some of the key advantages that Microsoft Teams offers to lawyers and law firms:
- A Single Hub: There are so many tech tools available that managing them all can get confusing. Microsoft Teams offers a single, centralized hub where you can find and access all of your core information—from schedules to shared files.
- Communication and Collaboration: In a world—and an industry—where remote work is increasing, Teams facilitates effective communication and collaboration. It can help make legal practice more efficient.
- Automatically Syncing: Coordination is key—especially when a legal project has a lot of moving parts. Through Microsoft Teams, you can automatically sync meetings, schedules, and deadlines to ensure everyone is on the same page.
- Secure Document & File Sharing: With Teams, attorneys and law firms can securely share documents and other files. The sharing of files is quick and seamless.
- Calls and Conferences from Virtually Any Device: You can work through Microsoft Teams using virtually any device. An attorney can easily transition between their phone, laptop, and desktop.
Can Microsoft Teams Help Protect Data Security?
Yes. Microsoft Teams is secure. As noted by Microsoft, the Teams application enforces “team-wide and organization-wide two-factor authentication” and it offers the “encryption of data in transit and at rest.” It is one of the best tools for the protection of sensitive data.
Five Tips for Law Firms that Use Microsoft Teams
Are you ready to use Microsoft Teams for your law firm? The managed IT service providers at Rize Technologies want to make sure you can get the most out of the technology. Here are five tips to help attorneys and law firms use Microsoft Teams more efficiently and effectively:
- Use the Keyboard Shortcuts: Teams offers a wide array of keyboard shortcuts. By taking a little bit of time to get familiar and comfortable with keyboard shortcuts, you can save a lot of time in the long run.
- Forward Emails to the Channel’s Address: Channels are a key feature of Teams. You can forward emails to the address of your channel to ensure that they are visible to everyone involved in a project.
- Keep Transcripts for Important Meetings: Teams have a transcription tool that can be turned on for meetings/conferences. You can keep (and review) the transcripts for important meetings.
- Learn the Teams Commands: There are commands available through Teams that allow users to better manage their time and experience. As an example, you can set your status as a way to limit chats and focus on work.
- Integrate Teams With Practice Management Software: Does your law firm use practice management software? If so, it can and should be integrated with Microsoft Teams. Doing so will help to ensure that all tools work together seamlessly.
Rize Technologies Provides Managed IT Services to Law Firms
At Rize Technologies, we provide top-quality, reliable managed IT services to law firms. With a focus on cybersecurity, our team connects firms with the tech resources they need to maximize efficiency. If you have any specific questions about Microsoft Teams or other IT tools for law firms, we are here as a resource. Contact us today to set up a confidential initial appointment.