I just noticed this morning that my Gmail quota nudged over 7 GB. With just over 5500 messages, that means I have used only 7% of my quota. Still not quite as good as Yahoo!’s unlimited storage, but then again, Yahoo! mail is not nearly as good as Gmail.

If you don’t already have a Gmail account, do yourself a favor and get one. You can check mail from other accounts and keep using those addresses, and you get to take advantage of the great productivity features of Gmail.


  1. Marc says:

    As a legal practice, do you really want to use a mail system that archives, indexes, and essentially destroys the whole concept of “privacy”? Or are you not aware that Google scans, indexes, archives and USES all that mail that flows through its systems? Not to mention giving the US government full and secret (as in, Google not allowed to tell you they’re helping them) access to all that mail with your clients?

    Personally, I’d recommend legal firms start looking at really good encryption for communications with clients. At which point GMail might be more relevant, although you’ll still be disclosing who and when contacts were made. Until then, however, anyone concerned about privacy really should stay away, and I would fervently hope that lawyers, at least, would be somewhat concerned about privacy.

  2. Sam Glover says:

    The problem is that many attorney-client communications are already scanned for advertising purposes, since most clients use Hotmail, Gmail, MSN, and other ad-supported, “free” email services.

    The only way to make sure (insofar as you can ever be sure of anything) that nobody is reading your attorney-client communications would be to use your own mail server in your own office, require clients to have their own mail server in their homes, and encrypt all communications.

    Unless you do that, using Gmail is no riskier than anything else.

  3. Marc says:

    Alternatively, legal offices could offer email accounts to their clients for the purposes of private, secure communications? Or provide easy-install packages to clients who want secure, private communications with their lawyers?

    I know that if I was dealing with sensitive information, any lawyer that DIDN’T have the ability to keep all communications private and secure would be quickly shown the door. Of course, I’m perhaps a bit more security concious than some, being in the business.

    I’m just in the process of re-starting my consulting business after several years doing other things, and was planning on targeting legal and medical offices. If this is the typical situation in law offices in North America then I can see I’m going to have a very busy year. First, convince people that this is NOT a good state of affairs, then offer solutions. The first part is probably going to be much harder than the second.

  4. Sam Glover says:

    Why? If we tried to insist that our clients used special email accounts or encryption packages, nobody would use them, and we would find ourselves right back communicating with paper.

    Let’s assume Google and the government have (a) the capacity and (b) the desire to sort through the terabytes of data that go through Gmail, Hotmail, MSN, etc., every day. Do they really care that my client and I are trying to schedule a meeting for 11:30 next week?

    Do I? Nope. If opposing counsel were reading my emails, that would be different, but I don’t know how they would convince Google to give them up.

  5. Marc says:

    All I can say is that using Gmail, and I would argue using any of the “free” email systems, for serious business is, as David Dairey puts it, “naive”.


    GMail gets hacked regularly. As do others.

    But, in the end that’s between you and your clients, and how much risk you’re willing to assume. There are unethical people out there – including in the legal fraternity, and these “free” email services, while being useful, are prone to getting hacked.

    I’ll leave it at that. Have a nice day.

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