Considerations for Law Firms Around Cloud-Based Case Law Management
December 07, 2022
By Diego Ferreiro
In the past few years we have seen law practices taking a big turn to cloud-based case law management software, such as Clio, Tab3, RocketMatter, which all offer easy access to their services from everywhere, have low maintenance costs, offer a cheaper and easy setup, and are scalable over time. Most of these solutions gather a lot of their appeal from being user-friendly, having lighting-speed support, and offering hundreds of seamless app integrations for programs that lawyers are already used to, such as Microsoft Outlook and OneDrive.
While cloud-based law has moved quickly to create features that lawyers expect out of their case management solutions, there are still some limitations to consider around backup. Currently, there are only a limited number of options around backup to ensure that their clients don’t lose any crucial data that would cost them precious billable time. If a file gets accidentally deleted or the user has computer issues while working on a file, there is a good chance the file won’t be recoverable from the cloud’s “recycle bin” function, which could be a disaster after spending many hours on a file that needs to be submitted by the end of the day. With older physically hosted case management software, the files were worked and controlled on your own office environment, which allowed for many proven and reliable solutions to be implemented. In comparison, on cloud-based solutions, their users don’t have a great level of access to the files’ storage location to implement the same backup solutions, leaving considerations to make.
Currently the biggest cloud hosted law management provider is Clio. Using that as an example, there are a few options for setting up file backups to reduce putting your firm into an uncomfortable position.
- Clio offers a native integration with Amazon’s S3 storage service. This service is simple to setup, but leaves gaps due to its limitation of only running a full back up once a week. If the files that are lost were created or edited before the scheduled backup of that week, you won’t be able to get them back. Since that marks the end for everything that Clio itself offers for backups, law firms should consider some third-party options.
- FasterLaw is a company that has developed many integrations to try to make Clio even more robust and manageable. FasterLaw offers their own tool that can continuously back up the files from Clio on a scheduled basis. For the backup to work, all that is needed is for a computer to be running the Clio drive and the FasterSuite backup app and it will automatically backup all changes in the time frame configured. This is great, but there are some considerations now you should make on where this machine will run and how to monitor it and also whether to push it to another cloud service for redundancy.
- The third most common option we see is not leveraging Clio as the backend storage but rather integrating Clio to Office 365 or one of their other integrations. In this case, your data is stored in Office 365 which has many solutions readily available to conduct multiple backups a day which further reduces the opportunity of further data loss. There are some limitations on their integrations with these third parties which should be considered and discussed with your IT team.
While law firms are migrating to the cloud for their case management, there are still considerations to take into account to ensure their data is backed up. To summarize the recommendations above, there is Clio that offers an integration with Amazon’s S3 storage service that can be setup, but its only able to run back up once a week. Next, FasterLaw offers their own tool that can handle backups on a daily basis with some implementations in place. Lastly, integrating Clio into Office 365 or another email platform that is used to perform daily backups. Before making any major decisions, reach out to your IT provider and have them research the best plan of action for your company.
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