1. Know your rights
First, know what you should expect from software with our Legal Software Bill of Rights.
2. Determine your needs
Next, identify your firm’s specific needs. Break down your law practice remote office requirements into must-have and nice-to-have features. (Use the feature descriptions below as a guide.)
One of the best places to start is to list what tools you will need to use in your office. Then, determine what sort of infrastructure you’ll need to make those tools work. For example, if you have an “on-prem” (or hybrid) Law Practice Management Software (LPMS) provider like Smokeball, or PCLaw, you’ll likely want a virtual server. Or if you use VoIP, you’ll want to make sure your system can handle installing the softphones on your local machines.
It will be good to have a list of your Legal Tech Stack when you start talking with your potential provider.
3. Filter your Remote provider choices
With your requirements in hand, use the feature filters in the list below to narrow down your choices. Browse the product pages, read the community reviews, and narrow down your choices to 1–3 likely options.
4. Try before you buy
Finally, contact the Remote Office providers and have a candid conversation about what they can and can’t do for your law firm. A good provider will want to show you how well their system works. You may not be able to get a free trial (as that is impractical), but you should be able to see what you’re buying.
One of the main tasks a Managed IT provider will have is managing and safeguarding your client and office information. You'll want to be sure you do your due diligence here to ensure your data is both secure from 3rd party access, and from inadvertent destruction.
Security is paramount when it comes to remote providers. Although, not every service requires end-to-end encryption (E2EE), if the provider does not have it, you should understand why.
Will the Provider handle complete data back-ups of your system for you on a regular schedule. If a Provider does not, you may need to look into a 3rd party who can integrate with them.
Does the Provider use at least 256bit SSL encryption both at-rest and in-transit?
Managed IT is not just about creating the infrastructure upon which your network is built. It is about making sure you are using it to the best of your ability, as well. Many Providers have a help desk you can contact with issues, and some even offer Vendor Support where they help you manage your relationships with other 3rd party tech providers (ex. Internet Provider).