Why is Microsoft 365 an Important Addition to Your Law Firm in 2022?

by | Mar 19, 2022

Microsoft 365 has become increasingly popular for law firms in the last few years, and there are good reasons for that. It is not exclusive to PC and Windows anymore after Microsoft 365 (known as Office 365 at the time) has become available on Mac App Store with customization for Mac users. 

Today, Microsoft 365 is a powerful software suite that provides law firms with a comprehensive toolset and ensures compliance with leading industry-standard frameworks, including ISO 27001, HIPAA, and FERPA privacy regulations. For lawyers, it means that their workflow across Microsoft 365 apps is in line with the applicable legal requirements.

Most lawyers are already familiar with Word, Excel, and Outlook applications available with Microsoft 365. But there is much more to it, making Microsoft 365 an important addition to any law firm in 2022. Read more to find how Microsoft 365 ensures law firm’s data safety, learn about its remote data access capabilities, and discover essential integration, plugins, and other Microsoft 365 services which can enable your law firm’s digital transformation. 

Importance of Data Safety and Security for Law Firms

Speaking about the digital ecosystems of law firms, data safety and security have always been a top priority. Legal professionals need to ensure their clients’ data safety and confidentiality and prevent cybercrime. To this end, many law firms rely solely on encryption software to protect their data, but this approach doesn’t provide overall security to the IT infrastructure.

Once the malware infects one of the law firm’s computers, it can quickly spread across the whole network. After that, hackers can steal sensitive data or block the computers and ask for a ransom. This and many other cyber threats have been effectively addressed in Microsoft 365 suite, which provides law firms with advanced data protection, increased productivity, and secure data management options. 

Cybersecurity with Microsoft 365

Microsoft 365 is a cloud-based solution that applies encryption, anti-spam, and anti-malware protection to your law firm’s data. Microsoft 365 suite enables the following services to ensure your data security:

  • end-to-end security,
  • double key encryption,
  • multi-factor authentication rules,
  • blocking access from insecure locations,
  • restricting access from accounts with weak security.

Additionally, Office 365 gives you an option to block specific sites from uploading or downloading data. It also restricts inappropriate sharing to guarantee your data privacy. 

Microsoft 365 not only secures your data but also protects your communication. With its email encryption feature, you can encrypt the content of your email and make it readable only after decryption with a security key. 

Remote Data Access

The list of Microsoft 365 benefits for law firms goes on and includes remote data access. The suite includes OneDrive safe cloud storage, which allows accessing your law firm’s data from anywhere at anytime, for example, during a consultation with your client, at home, and on the go. 

The old practice of keeping all files on a hard drive and sharing them via email no longer works in a modern legal environment with prevailing remote and hybrid work modes. Today, law firms’ files should be available 24/7 for all team members on a secure cloud platform.

OneDrive cloud provides shared access to files and folders, enabling lawyers to work together on a document in real-time. This saves the hassle of sending the files back-and-forth by email, cuts the waiting time while files are sitting in someone’s email box, and ensures smooth cooperation within the legal team.

Microsoft 365 Add-ins and Plugins and for Lawyers

Microsoft 365 comes with several integrations and plugins, especially useful for law firms. Some Microsoft add-ins were specially designed with legal professionals in mind. The software allows lawyers to organize legal matters and securely collaborate on documents within Outlook, Word, Excel, and other Microsoft 365 apps in real-time.

Many tech-savvy legal professionals also extensively use matter management software functionality to associate emails, documents, and contact information with a matter they are working on. Meanwhile, Microsoft add-ins in Outlook allow attorneys to schedule emails, share calendar availability on any platform, and follow up on messages left without reply.

When speaking about Microsoft 365, it is impossible not to mention SharePoint — a cloud-based service, providing lawyers with a seamless collaboration environment. Lawyers view SharePoint as their law firm’s hub holding central documents, which should be accessible to each member of the legal team. Compared to OneDrive, SharePoint features additional functionality such as CMS, collaboration, and dashboards.

Law Firm’s Digital Transformation with Microsoft 365

The digital age demands seamless collaboration, remote access, data safety and security, and regular software updates. Every law firm needs a work environment that enables the team to communicate efficiently within the organization while ensuring the privacy of its firm and clients. 

Microsoft 365 provides lawyers with the capacity to meet the current and future needs in digital technology by providing a modern collaborative environment with remote access, security, and advanced document management functionality. It is a cost-effective, comprehensive solution that is an important addition to any law firm’s digital infrastructure.

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