For decades, Microsoft Office products have dominated the business community. For instance, millions of organizations globally depend on Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint for day-to-day productivity. However, many attorneys might be surprised to realize the extent of the benefits offered by Microsoft 365 for law firms.
These benefits extend far beyond simple word processing. For instance, SharePoint and OneDrive deliver flexible options for document storage and management. Attorneys can access and collaborate on documents from anywhere, at any time. And as a subscription-based service, Microsoft 365 scales easily, so it fits any size firm.
Explore the following additional ways Microsoft 365 can help law firms collaborate more effectively and improve client relationships.
Organize Practice Areas with Microsoft Teams
On the surface, Microsoft Teams gives work groups a tool for group chat and instant messaging. However, Teams provides much more than messaging and can act as the central dashboard and communication hub for the firm.
For instance, many firms create Teams for various practice areas. Each Team includes a host of shared services, from a document library to a shared Outlook inbox and calendar, a OneNote notebook and more. Within a Team, channels provide focused access to conversations and files related to specific projects or topics.
Additionally, team members can move seamlessly from chat to document collaboration and video conferencing. Rich communication options cut down on email clutter and allow team members to connect in the most effective method for the situation. And with the Microsoft Power Automate app, teams can automate routine tasks such as the approval process.
Organize Multiple Information Types with OneNote
OneNote moves beyond simple notetaking to provide an organized, searchable storage space for a wide variety of information. Notes can contain any combination of text, hyperlinks, images, embedded files, drawings and more.
Teams can create shared notebooks for specific cases, topics, or practice areas, for example. Or attorneys can create personal notebooks for their own individual use. Within each notebook, tabs and pages provide intuitive organization. OneNote also allows users to add searchable tags to a note or page to further categorize information.
Simplify Scheduling with Bookings
The Microsoft Bookings app integrates with Outlook and Teams and delivers a web-based calendar to simplify scheduling and managing appointments. Clients can schedule appointments through the firm’s website or a direct link. And administrators customize the process by defining appointment types, setting business hours, and managing staff schedules.
Text and email notifications improve client satisfaction while minimizing no-shows. Additionally, when an appointment is classified as an online meeting, Bookings sends a unique meeting link to attendees.
Customize Forms to Improve Client Communication
With Microsoft Forms, users can create customized web-based forms for both internal use and client-facing tasks. For example, the firm might create a client intake form, a feedback survey, or an expense report form. Forms works from any browser on any device. And with easy export to Excel, users can visualize data easily and conduct in-depth analysis when needed.
Microsoft 365 for Law Firms Addresses Legal-Specific Needs
The legal industry deals with large amounts of sensitive data and strict mandates regarding confidentiality. Microsoft 365 offers several tools for information security, including powerful retention policies, modern authentication, email encryption and advanced threat protection.
Additionally, Microsoft introduced their Microsoft 365 Solution for Legal last year to address specific concerns. For instance, a double key encryption option ensures that extremely sensitive data remains illegible to Microsoft, usable only by the firm and useless to a blind subpoena. And firms can create Teams while disabling SharePoint and OneDrive, when necessary.
To get the most out of Microsoft 365 for your law firm, engage the help of the Microsoft experts at Messaging Architects. Our consultants can help your firm migrate smoothly to Microsoft 365 and configure your system for optimal security and productivity.