When I read about this virtual law firm, my first question was about the technology it used and whether it was solely for in-house communication and collaboration or whether the firm members were going to provide their clients with access and deliver a portion of their services online. Nothing I read gave me enough details to understand how the technology behind their virtual law practice was structured.
Thankfully, Mr. Friedmann has done the hard work for us and provides a teaser at the end that he may get a demo of the tech and report back at a later point. Let’s hope so. Here is the meat I was looking for from his post:
The firm created its own information technology stack to support efficient and collaborative work. The bottom layer consists of several practice management applications, a combination of highly-customized, third-party products and proprietary systems. The custom-built middle layer integrates and aggregates data from the bottom layer. And the proprietary top layer is the user interface. This was an ambitious project and required top talent (see the IT team credentials). Bryce reports the platform can scale to an unlimited number of users.
The stack runs in secure, hardened data centers with real-time mirroring to a back-up center for disaster recovery. Lawyers and staff can access the system securely anywhere in the world on both notebook computers and multiple brands of mobile devices. Access to data and software features depends on device security and configuration. Users with Clearspire-provided and -configured equipment have maximum access and can use the most features.
The firm has already successfully used this platform with lawyers and clients around the world. It was built from the ground up to respect varying global data privacy requirements.
As with some of the other larger firms I’ve spoken with about setting up a virtual law firm, the tech is a balance of proprietary systems with third-party products. A solo or small firm would never have the funds to build a customized virtual law firm structure such as this. But that is the benefit of cloud computing – a larger number of users can benefit from pooling their resources into the development of software and keep the costs down.
Hopefully we will get more details about how the Clearspire system is structured and how they intend to scale with it. I’d love to know if they use any form of doc assembly and automation, if web or video conferencing tools are added in to the case and client management features, and whether they unbundle any of their services to clients and deliver online.
Many thanks to Ron Friedmann for sharing.