Client Portals are web-based storage repositories for sharing documents with clients in a secure environment. Somewhat ubiquitous in large law firms, they have begun to migrate to smaller firms over the past three years, appearing in various guises. Some portals are embedded in practice management applications (e.g., Amicus Attorney, Time Matters) or document management systems (e.g., Worldox, NetDocuments). Others are stand-alone applications designed exclusively for sharing information securely, outside of the firm’s internal network.

LegalAnywhere is an interesting example of what may become a new class of portals, the “intelligent, connected” portal. Offering the same core functionality as many of the popular client portal apps, it extends that functionality in two ways:

  1. It can function as an independent content storage app or can be connected to an existing LegalAnywhere client portaldocument management system (DMS), extending the functionality of the firm’s present DMS;
  2. Through its built-in custom apps and utilities, LegalAnywhere can create completely customized workflows, checklists, questionnaires and other useful case and document management tools, and offers its own “scripting” language to allow users to create their own customized functionality – without an advanced degree in software development.

LegalAnywhere supports both direct bulk uploads of existing files and folder structures from an existing storage network, or import of files, complete with relevant metadata, from an existing document management system. It also offers a convenient “synching” capability, similar to what many users  have grown accustomed to with consumer-oriented Cloud storage apps like Dropbox.  Create a “synch” folder on your desktop, drop documents into that folder, and they will be automatically copied/moved to LegalAnywhere, for clients to retrieve as needed.

Originally bundled as a component of the company’s larger FirmConnect product, LegalAnywhere has been “unbundled” from FirmConnect to offer an affordable, hosted solution for smaller firms that don’t require all the functionality of a full Intranet product (HR functions, conference room scheduling, check request processing, etc.). By reducing the minimum license count required to five users, and pricing the service at a rate competitive with other small firm offerings ($30/user/month), LegalAnywhere expects to become a significant player in the small firm client portal market.

The product’s interesting mix of “inter-Cloud” connectivity and user-oriented customization capabilities should make LegalAnywhere a good fit for many firms seeking to increase efficiency, offer superior client service, and stay competitive in the crowded legal services market.

 

Interested in creating a client portal for your firm? We can help to guide you through the maze of choices available and find the one that offers the best combination of features, price, and ease of use for your specific needs. Give us a call at 877-357-0555 or send us an email at info@easternlegalsystems.com to see how we can help.