The Technology Implementation Journey, Part III

This is Part III of an ongoing series. Read Part I here and Part II here.

As promised, here is the year-end update on Wayne Hassay’s search for various technology solutions for Maguire Schneider Hassay (MSH). In our last installment, Wayne provided an update on his progress for what was initially four products: legal practice management (LPM), research, document preparation software, and virtual receptionist. With respect to the latter, Wayne explained how his firm has shifted its focus from the replacement of the receptionist function with software because they realized that an actual person made many valuable contributions in that position that could not be replaced with software. An emphasis on process and functions before purchase is a wise lesson learned.

Mary Juetten (MJ): Any more work on the cybersecurity beyond the insurance? For example, do you have mobile device management, as you mentioned breach protocol last time?

Wayne Hassay (WH): Yes. Insurance is only part of the solution. For one thing, the insurer wants to see that you have proper protections in place before issuing coverage. You cannot throw prudent cybersecurity measures out the window and simply rely on insurance. You need a holistic approached. To that end MSH has:

  • Implemented two-factor authentication for all email users, which means that you have to verify your identity beyond just login credentials.
  • Implemented offsite email filtering to supplement Office 365. We looked at few offerings before settling on our provider, MailAssure.
  • MSH has drafted a breach response protocol.
  • Updating/expanding end-user training on phishing and other security issues.
  • MSH has scheduled a 3rd-party security risk assessment.

Also, I learned your typical “anti-virus” product is not enough. Thus, we have added advanced endpoint detection/response tools (EDR). As best I can explain, anti-virus software merely detects threats with a known signature. EDR uses a predictive analysis against even unknown threats. EDR continuously monitors all processes, even those that are seemingly innocent to seek out threats.

MJ: For the virtual receptionist project, have you thought of having automatic calendaring or similar use of technology for the website and/or with individual lawyers?

WH: We are thinking about this. Online calendaring is certainly similar to the virtual receptionist idea. I am concerned it may not be all that flexible or professional in many implementations. With that said, we will likely implement a “schedule-with-me” link for our attorneys in email signatures and our website that is integrated with our Office 365 calendar.

MJ: Any updates on the LPM solution?

WH: There is an update, of sorts. It is a long complicated process. If you are thinking about an LPM solution, start now. It will take a while. We have it down to just a couple of options. However, we want to make certain data migration is seamless, the system is fully compatible with the needs of our largest clients and we buy the product that can expand and plug into things we need now and may need in the future.

MJ: What is your timeline for implementation of the LPM?

WH: A decision has to be made. End of Q1 or bust.

MJ: What has been the biggest obstacle to moving these projects forward?

WH: I think this list is universal to everyone’s experience: So much information, so little time, a culture resistant to change, and competing jargon that clouds the understanding of what we really need.

MJ: Any other lessons learned to share?

WH: Start early, expect matters to run late but do not give up!

MJ: Anything else you would like to share?

WH: While it’s important to be focused on innovation and finding solutions, it’s also critical to keep an open mind as far as options and changes within the purchase and evaluation journey itself.

Diving into this level of detail with Wayne’s journey as managing partner has uncovered some interesting process and substantive issues that apply to all sizes of firms. Wayne is attending LegalShield’s Elevate conference, June 2019 in Denver, where he spoke last year, and will be available to share more about his technology journey there. We will do a final piece in the spring after Wayne has made that LPM decision. Finally, if you are interested in being interviewed on technology selection for attorneys, please reach out to me on Twitter @maryjuetten.

About the Author

Mary Juetten is the founder and CEO of Traklight, a cloud-based platform for assessing risk and protecting intellectual property, and was the co-founder of Evolve Law, now Evolve the Law, a membership organization of legal entrepreneurs focused on innovation and the future of law.

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