Adaptation has been the word on everyone’s lips in 2020, not least law firms. After relying on in-person processes for so long, the pandemic has made maintaining compliance more of a challenge.
Yet it’s still possible to stay in control, even as things change and law moves further into the online world. Here, we guide you through a few ways to help.
Stay abreast of all changes
Lockdown revealed just how much of law could go virtual. Take wills and probate, for instance. Wills used to require the physical presence of two witnesses, but this can now be carried out virtually via a video link. Court hearings have been held online too, helping to avoid a backlog of cases that would have amassed otherwise.
It was previously thought that these could not be fair or practical in reality. However, COVID-19 prioritised the introduction of these capabilities and showed that they can be a success, resulting in significant efficiencies.
Whilst technology is not anticipated to be the revolution that it is for other industries, we can expect it to transform legal procedures. So you’ll need to keep abreast of these changes – both temporarily, as some aspects of the law go virtual or back to being delivered in person, and beyond the pandemic.
Ensure remote confidentiality
In an office environment, the only people who could possibly access data are employees. However, remote working opens this up to those outside your business. Although your team’s family members and housemates are unlikely to have an interest in your clients’ affairs, their information still needs to be kept confidential.
With the responsibility of confidentiality extended, you’ll need to guarantee that your staff remain the only ones who can access data. For example, you need to ensure that team members’ screens cannot be seen if someone else is in the room, and that phone conversations aren’t overheard.
Any physical documents need to be kept secure too. Additionally, if anyone else uses their devices – whether that’s a family member or a thief – they shouldn’t be able to access data in an unencrypted form. This leads us on to another type of theft you must protect yourself from: cyber crime.
Implement cyber security practices
Balancing effective cyber security with homeworking needs can be difficult, but there are a few things you can do ‘5 Essential Tips For Balancing Security And Homeworking Needs Successfully’. These include implementing basic antivirus and security software, protecting virtual private networks, and managing mobile devices remotely.
In this way, you can safeguard your team from attacks and help your law firm remain compliant. An Information & Cyber Security certification will provide training on this.
However, you may also want to consider dedicated training for your sector: Lexcel, the Law Society of England and Wales’ accreditation. Achieving this mark of quality shows that your firm successfully manages the risks associated with information security and cyber crime, and provides a whole host of other benefits.
Prove your compliance with Lexcel
Through this accreditation, you’ll be able to show that you’re devoted to legal excellence in practice management and client care. Lexcel is a clear indicator that you are a compliant firm that can be trusted by your clients. The assessment itself reviews your abilities to uphold the Lexcel Standard. This includes effective information and risk management.
Become Lexcel accredited and you’ll be recorded on The Law Society’s solicitor database. Not to mention, you’ll achieve better levels of client service that can lead to the boosted satisfaction, retention and acquisition of customers. It’ll become a competitive advantage, improving your market share and minimising risk to reputation and business continuity.
To find out more about its benefits for your particular law firm, and how the accreditation process works, speak to our team today.