11 Feb 2014

Law Firms See a Silver Lining in Cloud Computing

Not all clouds are the foreboding kind, in fact most are vital for continued and healthy growth. Such is the case with cloud computing, which in recent years has caught the interest of the legal sector.

Figures show that 72% of lawyers in independent law companies say they are more likely to use cloud computing for their day-to-day professional work than they were a year ago.

The survey by LexisNexis Firm Manager suggests that the ‘law cloud’ will not be moving off the horizon any time soon.

Cloud computing is a means of storing and accessing data and programs over the internet instead of on a computer hard drive. The cloud is used as a metaphor for the web. Before the cloud revolution, the standard practise was to keep data on a hard drive – known as local storage and computing.

The use of shared automated IT platforms – cloud computing – is growing rapidly. What makes the cloud increasingly attractive is how it offers users the ability to access data from many different locations. This also has the added bonus of keeping the costs down.

Security concerns

But there are downsides. Some firms are questioning whether cloud environments can protect sensitive data.

This is obviously of great importance to law firms, which are acutely aware of the need for storing data in a secured manner that complies with regulations on where information can be stored and who can access it.

Businesses that operate on an international level often need to make data easily available in order for documents to be shared between locations. This usually requires much of the information to be translated by an intermediary.

In this case, using an established and respected translation firm will guarantee the safest possible environment for translated documents and case files.

Cloud security is such an important issue in the legal sector that the survey shows only 41% of lawyers accept that data stored in the cloud is safe from prying eyes.

The IT departments of many large organisations are choosing to build private cloud environments internally for infrastructure services, development platforms and whole applications. But smaller firms generally buy in public cloud services, as they lack the means to create their own clouds.

LexisNexis spokeswoman Loretta Ruppert said: “While it’s taken the legal industry a bit longer than other industries to come around to the cloud, client expectations for collaborative services, combined with the efficiency, accessibility, and lower total cost are driving the independent attorney to adopt the cloud.

“We’ve clearly hit a tipping point as the gap between early adopters and the mainstream market is closing; 2014 is poised to be the year of the cloud in small law.”

Here are some tips when thinking about legal translation:

  • Hire experts – avoid using non-professional legal translators, as poorly-translated legal documents can leave you on very shaky ground, opening you up to law suits and loss of business.
  • Look at the overall picture – word for word translations can miss the intricacies of a complex document, translators need to be able to understand the nuances of a situation.
  • Steer clear of machine translation – these are the worst of all worlds, taking in neither the circumstances nor the complexity of tricky legal cases.
  • Pay for the best – there are many translation services that offer a quick turnaround for a small cost. Be wary! These firms will almost certainly not be able to dedicate the time needed for comprehensive legal translations.


 
 

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