Lawyers Want Online Document Sharing with Clients

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Guest post by Kelly Spradley.

There are many features which can be added to a law firm website in order to make it more of a communication device. Features include sharing documents online, receiving payments, and capturing electronic signatures. They deliver more value to clients, and allow for lawyers to justify charges. Other website functions, such as showing more than 1 language or blogging, serve to convert more web visitors into clients.

A poll was conducted by Impirus Legal Websites to determine the legal industry’s interest in website functionality. The poll was shown to Linkedin users in the United States who are in the legal industry. There were 51 respondents.

The question was asked, “In which law firm website functionality are you most interested?”

The answer choices were:

  • Share documents with clients
  • Capture electronic signatures
  • Receive online payments
  • Blog
  • Show more than 1 language

The overall results show that 43% of respondents are most interested in sharing documents with clients through a law firm website. Next, 25% of respondents are most interested in having a blog as a part of a website. A similar number, 21% of respondents, are most interested in being able to receive payments through a law firm website. There was not as much interest in being able to capture electronic signatures (1%), or in showing more than 1 language (7%).

Kelly Spradley is the vice president of marketing and sales at Impirus.

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  • Joel Anderson

    Interesting, but a poll of 51 people has to be taken with a grain of salt when you are talking about a population well over a million.

  • Bob

    I think document sharing on a website would not only add convenience and functionality but better efficiency as well. One thing lawyers could look into is online ticketing systems (many IT companies use them to collaborate and share information).
    One thing I usually notice that is missing from the typical lawyer website is actual real usable legal information. I guess that might be covered by a blog though.

  • Interested study even though as Joel mentioned, a response sample of 50 is not representative sample.

    My company offers a Saas solution to review business and legal documents with clients. I had a chance to talk to layers from small and large firms. I found that:
    – lawyers are interested to share documents online with clients
    – key concerns (questions) are around security, audit trail capability, and usability (will my client be able to use the service?)
    – not every lawyer is comfortable using a third-party application to collaborate on sensitive documents with clients – white label solutions may be preferred

    If you are a lawyer, I am interested to hear your opinion!

    Fabrice Talbot
    Agilewords CEO & Founder

  • @ Joel I agree that more research needs to be done with a larger sample size. @Bob I think lawyers are getting better at providing more usable information on websites and blogs. @Fabrice Lawyers should be concerned with security. The ironic thing is that many lawyers use email to share documents. They also save important documents on a laptop. Documents are not secure in those mediums.

  • There are many online file sharing and collaboration software, which would be a better option than sharing files right off a public website. You may allow clients to login through your site, which leads them to the online system. In addition to document sharing, you would also get additional features like collaboration, backup etc.