Password Management For Law Firms (Questions/Answers)


We can’t function without passwords. So much of the internet is built on the concept of a username plus a password that the concept is core to users’ internet experience. It’s a clever but imperfect system that could certainly be improved upon, but until a game-changing replacement comes along, we have to play the game.



There’s a lot that doesn’t work very well about this system, and many people have questions about what password management best practices are. To that end, here’s a Q&A about passwords and password management.


What’s the biggest problem with how people use passwords?


The biggest problem with internet passwords is password management. Users have dozens if not hundreds of username/password combinations that they need for personal and business use. The problem with this is that nearly no one can reliably remember one hundred unique passwords. Many users, then, select overly simple (and easy to guess) passwords, or they reuse passwords across many sites.


What’s wrong with reusing passwords?


We live in a world of data breaches. When (not if) someone hacks favorite retailer or hotel chain, it’s embarrassing for those companies, but probably doesn’t affect your life too much. If the culprits gain access to your username and password for those sites, it’s a nuisance, but the amount of damage they can do is limited.


But when your hotel rewards password is the same as your credit card password and your banking password, you could have a mess on your hands. Scammers know that at least 51% of people reuse passwords, and you can bet they’ll try those stolen passwords on other, more valuable sites.


What makes a strong password?


A strong password is one that neither human nor machine can guess easily. Forbes compiles an annual list of the worst passwords being widely used, and it’s topped with gems like password123456, and qwerty. These are terrible because they’re just about the first things a human might guess. Other bad choices on the human front are the names of people, pets, or places that everyone knows are meaningful to you.


On the machine side, the shorter and simpler the password, the easier to hack. Make your password harder to brute-force by adding length, capital letters, numbers, and symbols. A password of 12 to 16 characters that mixes all these character types is generally considered a strong password.


I just keep my passwords on a sticky note. What’s wrong with that?


In short, everything. A sticky note hidden under your keyboard isn’t exactly a state secret. Think about who might have momentary access to see that sticky note. Clients? The cleaning crew? Maintenance personnel? Who else? This is especially disconcerting In the legal world, where those passwords could give a bad actor access to confidential materials that are under attorney/client privilege.


How can I remember passwords like j#%3M82*mRz!+?


Truthfully, you probably can’t. While that’s a tough password to crack, it’s not very useful for you. A better approach is to take a phrase that you can remember (perhaps one that relates in some tangential way to the site you’re on), and then make the phrase longer and more complex.


For example, iloveturtles is an easy phrase to remember, but it’s not that challenging to guess or to crack. Mix up the phrase by adding replacement characters, like <3iL0v3TurtleS<3, and neither your office mate nor a computer will easily guess or break your password.


Admittedly, this method has limits. Your own memory can be an obstacle, and sites vary with which characters they’ll allow in passwords.


I can’t remember 100 unique, complex passwords. What are my options?


Passwords need to be complex, and you shouldn’t reuse them from site to site. This creates a problem: Who can remember them all? One option that’s gaining a lot of traction in both the personal and enterprise markets, including in the law and legal tech fields, is using a password management tool. You’ve likely seen these advertised as “the last password you’ll ever need” or “one password to rule them all”; stuff like that. Password management tools are a reliable, secure way to generate and remember unique, complex passwords for all the sites and accounts you have.


How does a password management tool work?


Password management tools vary a little bit in terms of functionality, but at the core the services are similar.


  1. First, you input or import all your existing credentials to the password management tool.
  2. Next, you turn all your current weak passwords into strong ones. Some password management tools can do this automatically for you on many websites.
  3. Last, you create one strong, secure password for your password management tool account.


After you’ve completed these steps, you’ll have just one password to remember—the password to your password management tool. It will store the rest of your credentials in a secure, encrypted vault and use them to log you into whatever account you need.


Are password management tools secure?


Yes. The companies offering these tools would be sued out of existence if not. Don’t believe us? Check out what a panel of experts has to say on the topic.




If you have additional questions about implementing a password management tool in your law office, contact us today. We’re here to help.

Cloud Computing For Lawyers (2019 Introductory Guide)


Attorneys have unique needs for the storage of information while needing to access data on clients and cases from remote locations. That’s why cloud computing has become such a popular option for lawyers. However, the value of cloud computing needs to be tempered with concerns about security and privacy.


Below is your 2019 introductory guide to cloud computing for lawyers.


What Is Cloud Computing?


Cloud computing is web-based, off-site storage of software and data, and is often referred to as software as a service (SaaS). It allows for access to files and software applications from most mobile devices if there’s an available internet connection.


Among some of the most popular commercial cloud-based storage solutions are Dropbox, Google Drive, OneDrive and iCloud. Some of these services are provided for free and others charge a nominal monthly or annual fee, usually based on the amount of storage required. Housing applications in the cloud usually is best done via a managed IT services provider that can configure and monitor the solution on your behalf.


What Are the Advantages to Cloud Computing?


Cloud computing helps busy attorneys stay connected to information critical to their work. Here’s a closer look at some of the core benefits of cloud computing for lawyers:


  • Access. Attorneys are often working out of the office meeting with clients or appearing in court. When they need access to information, it’s usually an urgent situation. With cloud-based access, attorneys can access necessary information in the moment of need. Wherever there’s an internet connection, lawyers can immediately connect, without needing to email files to one’s self or using hard-to-use remote software to log in.
  • Cost. Cloud computing is predictable and inexpensive, with a flat monthly or annual fee that allows for better collaboration, networking and storage.
  • Backup. Cloud computing provides you with a reliable and protected digital backup of your files and applications, ensuring they are recoverable and usable in the event of software corruption, server failure, human error, natural disaster or cyber attack.
  • Multi-Device Functionality. Cloud computing allows you to access information from any device (smartphones, laptops, desktops or tablets) or operating system. If you use a PC at the office and a Mac at home, there’s no issue.
  • Less Internal IT Costs. When you use cloud solutions, you won’t have to buy, install and maintain servers and other equipment if you were hosting these applications and information yourself. Software licensing is often included in monthly managed IT services, which can monitor your software warranty and renewal terms and timing. Also, cloud solutions provide for automated updating and patching, meaning you’ll have access to new features and updated security measures. The cloud option means less burden on internal IT staffers or the need for expensive one-time service requests by third parties.
  • E-Filing. When your firm needs to file materials with courts or government agencies, digital files — and remote access to them — makes e-filing simpler. There’s no need to convert paper to PDFs or hand-deliver information when required documents can be sent digitally.
  • Scalability. Cloud computing allows for flexible expansion or contraction as your firm’s needs evolve. You quickly can add more storage or reduce your capacity. With the cloud, you will not have to scramble to buy, install and configure a new server or overbuy server space you do not need.
  • Intuitive Use. Setting up a workstation for a new employee takes a lot of time, especially to install software and train them on applications. A cloud-based infrastructure means new users can be added or removed quickly. You can also reduce your PC purchase costs by using simpler devices that cost hundreds less.


How Is Information Secured in Cloud Computing?


Keeping information protected is a moral and legal obligation for attorneys. With cloud computing, you have added security functions and peace of mind.


Lawyers are obligated to provide “reasonable care” to prevent unauthorized disclosures or access to information. However, states have different definitions of “reasonable care” but generally include the following:


  • Data encryption
  • Use of current, best-practice technology
  • Review of service providers’ requirements regarding data ownership and access


Cloud security features can ensure that data is encrypted while in transit or at rest, access is limited and suspicious activity is detected, quarantined and addressed before any serious damage occurs. Some law firms need to meet mandated guidelines for work with government agencies like the Department of Defense or the Central Intelligence Agency. In such cases, cloud security solutions are available that address those mandates through threat detection, machine learning and automated monitoring of data and applications.


What Are the Ethical Concerns Regarding Cloud Computing for Lawyers?


U.S. state ethics commissions have ruled that cloud computing is ethical, as long as the “reasonable steps” and conditions are met. According to a recent article by the American Bar Association, the Iowa Committee on Practice Ethics and Guidelines issued suggested questions attorneys should ask themselves and service providers:


  • Will I have unrestricted access to the stored data?
  • Have I stored the data elsewhere so that if access to my data is denied I can acquire the data via another source?
  • Have I performed due diligence regarding the company that will be storing my data?
  • Is it a solid company with an excellent operating record, and is its service recommended by others in the field?
  • In which country and state is it located, and where does it do business?
  • Does its end user’s licensing agreement (EULA) contain legal restrictions regarding its responsibility or liability, choice of law or forum, or limitation on damages?
  • Likewise, does its EULA grant it proprietary or user rights over my data?
  • What is the cost of the service, how is it paid, and what happens in the event of nonpayment?
  • In the event of a financial default, will I lose access to the data, does it become the property of the SaaS company, or is the data destroyed?
  • How do I terminate the relationship with the SaaS company?
  • What type of notice does the EULA require?
  • How do I retrieve my data, and does the SaaS company retain copies?
  • Are passwords required to access the program that contains my data?
  • Who has access to the passwords?
  • Will the public have access to my data?
  • If I allow nonclients access to a portion of the data, will they have access to other data that I want to be protected?
  • Recognizing that some data will require a higher degree of protection than other data, will I have the ability to encrypt certain data using higher-level encryption tools of my choosing?


Attorneys can gain considerable benefits with a cloud computing solution. Knowing the benefits, security provisions and due diligence to be done will help attorneys make an informed decision that keeps information accessible and safe.

Learn the Power of Google Reviews for Lawyers & Law Firms



There’s no better means of promoting a professional business today than the use of online reviews. Positive third-party online reviews can take your law firm to the next level. Personal referrals and word of mouth have their place in drumming up new business, but they will never come close to the exposure you can receive through online reviews. Positive online reviews across multiple platforms and search engines could very well be the key to the success of your legal firm.


How Important are Reviews for Attorneys?


When consumers are looking for an attorney to represent their interests in a legal matter, where do they turn to first? Modern technology has made the Internet the number one source of information for just about any business inquiry consumers may have. This makes it essential for law firms to have a strong online presence in order to compete. Your online presence should include a fair amount of positive online reviews.


Positive online reviews can help establish your law firm as experts in the legal field. Studies show that in 2017 alone, over 97% of consumers turned to online reviews to help them choose a company to do business with. Approximately 85% of consumers acknowledged they trusted online reviews more than a referral from family or friends.


When it came to searching for an attorney, 75% of consumers indicated they used online resources to find the lawyer they needed. Approximately 65% of these said their decision to hire a certain attorney was influenced by online reviews. If perfect strangers can have such a major impact on people’s decision to hire an attorney, imagine the potential you have of increasing your customer base by petitioning your clients for reviews.


Effects of Online Reviews on a Law Firm


Positive online reviews can give your law firm greater standing in your local community as they reveal what fellow residents have to say about their experience with your firm. Positive reviews from former customers can put your name on the top of the list when people need an attorney to handle their legal affairs.


With so many people resorting to online reviews to help them find an attorney, it’s to your advantage to make reviews readily available to your online target audience. The more positive reviews your firm has, the greater your chances of being selected over your competition.


Naturally, you want to avoid having bad reviews posted online. But few or no reviews could be just as detrimental to your cause as it gives consumers the impression that your law firm is inexperienced in its field.


The goal is to encourage former clients to write positive reviews that make a good impression on individuals who are in the process of selecting an attorney to represent their legal interests. With so much competition among law firms today, people aren’t willing to settle for just an “ok” attorney- they want an attorney who stands out in his field. They’re even willing to travel to the next town to hire an attorney with excellent reviews.


Review Count and Scores


In a recent survey regarding the use of online reviews for hiring attorneys, 264 people out of the 316 interviewed indicated they would only hire law firms that received, on average, a 4- or 5-star rating on their reviews. This shows how much consumers value reviews in selecting a lawyer. If your firm’s rating falls short of these expectations, you could very well be losing clientele. Poor reviews obviously have a negative impact on people looking for the services of an attorney. To get top reviews, your law firm needs to provide top services to your current clientele.


Keep in mind that third-party reviews across various platforms will carry more weight than reviews placed on your website. Consumers expect you to post positive reviews on your site. Third-party reviews, however, generate greater validation and trust.


In addition to good ratings, consumers want to see a fair amount of reviews from former customers as this gives them a more accurate picture of how people view the services you provide. The combination of review count and review score influence consumers in selecting an attorney.


Where Should You Collect Reviews?


Quite frankly  everywhere you can! By collecting reviews across multiple platforms, you’ll reach a greater audience. You could also narrow your prospects to the most effective platforms, i.e. Google and Facebook, as these two sites are where the majority of people wind up when doing business searches.


Google reviews carry a lot of weight when consumers search for law firms due to the company’s reputation for providing relevant content. Google is well aware of the influence ratings have on consumers searching for an attorney online. For this reason, Google prioritizes law firms that have a substantial amount of positive reviews in their search results.


How to Increase Your Firm’s Reviews


Knowing the influence that positive reviews can have on your law firm should motivate you to solicit as many reviews as possible from former clients. If you’ve provided exceptional services to your customers, positive reviews shouldn’t be so difficult to obtain. Most consumers are happy to comply. In fact, the best time to request a review is immediately after services have been rendered, assuming your customers are happy with the services they received.


Once you start receiving reviews, take time to monitor what people are saying about your firm. This gives you a better idea of how you’re doing, from the perspective of your valued customers. Make an effort to respond to as many reviews as you can  positive and negative  to show you’re interested in what your clients have to say.


Never ask employees for reviews and never pay or offer incentives for reviews, as this goes against Google’s policy.


How to Handle Negative Reviews


When you ask for reviews, there’s always the chance of getting negative reviews along with the positive ones. Although negative reviews can lower your overall rating, they can also provide you with opportunities to see where you need to improve. A few negative reviews here and there can even make your law firm appear authentic.


By handling negative reviews in a positive manner, you can earn customers’ trust. Always make an effort to address issues brought up in negative reviews. Apologize to your client to wipe the slate clean. If you can rectify the problem, do so, even if it’s at your own expense. Your sincere efforts to make things right can convert an unhappy client into a satisfied client who will let others know what you have done.


In Summary


The success of your law firm depends on providing exemplary services to your current clients and drawing in more clients who are in need of legal help. Positive Google reviews will play a key role in accomplishing this goal.

Is Your Tech Firm Conducting Quarterly Technology Reviews?


No matter the line of business you’re in, outsourcing your IT services to a managed service provider (MSP) provides a world of benefits. Both your internal systems and your online presence will be optimized and streamlined, tech problems will be taken care of right away, and you’ll have more time to focus on what matters.


Aside from providing excellent customer care and competency in their field, great MSPs employ the best IT experts, are there for you when you need them, stay up-to-date on new technology, and … they do one other important thing.


They conduct Quarterly Technology Reviews.


What are Quarterly Technology Reviews?


Quarterly Technology Reviews or QTRs are meetings your IT services company regularly conducts with you to assess the effectiveness of your current tech investments and themyour managed service provider.


A QTR occurs quarterly or four times per year, and it’s up to your MSP to book the appointment; you shouldn’t have to. When you see that your MSP is taking the initiative with QTRs, it’s a great sign that you’re working with a leading company. At a QTR meeting, you’ll be able to provide feedback to your MSP about the service they’ve been providing and the technology you’ve been investing in.


What are the specific benefits of a Quarterly Technology Review?


For you, the client, the benefits of QTRs are numerous. You’ll have an open platform to discuss any bugs or issues you’ve been having with your technology or possible problems with computer systems, email, the website, etc. Just remember that for immediate problems, you shouldn’t wait for the QTR and should merely contact your MSP right away — that’s what they’re there for.


In the end, if your MSP conducts QTRs with you, your business will see the following benefits:


  • Improved current technologies and/or the implementation of new systems where needed
  • Saved money when you limit spending where it’s not required
  • Enhanced compliance with regulations and security
  • Improved productivity
  • Streamlined efficiency


For your MSP, the most significant benefit of Quarterly Technology Reviews is showing you that they care and are monitoring your success. This goes a long way in maintaining their clientele.


QTRs also allow a tech firm or MSP to highlight your company’s return on investment or ROI (your investment being them, for the most part). As a client, they want you to be alerted to the fact that their company cares about you and that their services are worth it. Whether there are problems to fix at a QTR meeting or not, your MSP wants to reiterate that you need them.


This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for you, the client. After all, you hired them and are paying them for their services. Allow them to show off for you, and don’t be hesitant about voicing any issues you have so that they can be fixed quickly. A tech firm who conducts QTRs with you wants to keep you as a client.


When will your first QTR meeting be as a new client?


Naturally, as a new client, you won’t have a quarterly technology review right away.


Even after a few months post-contract signing, there just won’t be enough time to verify that your new systems, technologies, and other implementations are working correctly and providing you with the necessary benefits.


Therefore, your MSP will likely schedule your first QTR for at least 90 days after you go live.


But keep in mind that your MSP shouldn’t wait too long to conduct your first QTR. After all, the first review meeting is the most important because most problems will have become evident at this time.


While you can certainly contact your MSP right away whenever you need them throughout the first 90 days, as a client, it’s likely you’ll feel better bringing up issues in a formal meeting — especially when the problems are rather large or pervade several types of technology.


You want to know that your MSP is on the ball and ready to ameliorate any issues right away.


Where are most QTRs held?


In a perfect world, you’d meet one-on-one, face-to-face with your MSP for your quarterly technology review. However, this won’t necessarily be possible, and that’s probably okay.


After all, if your MSP has numerous clients and is conducting QTRs with everyone, they would always be at QTR meetings. And on your end, too, you’ve got work to do and may not have time to schedule formal sit-down meetings four times a year — just to check-in on technology that’s already been established and working.


Instead, it’s likely your first QTR will be face-to-face, if possible. If you’re a large client, your MSP should definitely make this effort. After that, however, most QTRs are held via video or phone conference.


In the end, Quarterly Technology Reviews remain one of the absolute best ways to stay in touch with your MSP about the efficacy and benefits of your current technological investments. As you search for a high-quality managed service provider in your area, be sure to ask about QTRs. Those companies who provide them are likely to take a better interest in their clients’ success — and that means good things for you.