1 The Law Office f the Future: Remte Access and Virtual Law Firms Jeffrey S. Krause, Esq. Presentatin Outline Intrductin Wrking Remte vs. Virtual Office Wrking Remte Temprary way t wrk Access yur ffice cmputer r server frm anywhere Mst staff is lcated in the ffice Virtual Office Permanent way t wrk Everyne wrks at a different lcatin Only the data is stred at a central lcatin which may be nline Staff can wrk frm anywhere but ften wrk frm the same lcatin every day Remte Access Taking Yur Office Anywhere Benefits Flexibility - Prvides the ability t get things dne when yu are temprarily ut f the ffice Cst Savings Allws limited telecmmuting Wrk/Life Balance Gives yu the ability t wrk frm hme part f the time rather than requiring that yu always be in the ffice. Client Service Make huse calls, meet at their ffice, etc.
2 Tw Ways t Wrk Remte Cnnect t Yur Data r Take Yur Data With Yu Cnnect t Yur Data Using this methd yu use whatever cmputer is available and cnvenient and cnnect back t anther cmputer that hlds yur data. Yu can cnnect frm a laptp that yu bring with yu, yur hme cmputer, r any cmputer cnnected t the Internet. Take Yur Data with Yu Using this methd, yu use a laptp that hlds all f the necessary data. Yur data is always with yu. Remte access is used t transfer files back and frth between yur laptp and anther cmputer. Prs and Cns f Different Methds Security - Cnnecting t yur data is always mre secure. Yu have t establish a cnnectin and enter a passwrd. Even if yur laptp is stlen yur data is nt n the laptp. Backup - Cnnecting t yur data allws yu t setup an autmated backup f ne lcatin. Yu d nt have t backup yur ffice data AND yur laptp data. Cnvenience- It is cnvenient and ften faster t have files with yu at all times. It is als helpful t have files with yu when yu cannt access the Internet (such as when yu are n a plane. Cst - Cnnecting t yur data requires tw cmputers ne t cnnect frm and ne t cnnect t. Remte Access Hardware Hst Cmputer The hst cmputer is the cmputer that yu will cnnect t when yu are n the rad. This can be a wrkstatin type cmputer. It must have the fllwing: High speed Internet (less waiting and mre wrking) Prgram applicatins - The hst cmputer must have all f the applicatins yu are ging t use installed n it. Remte Access - Sme frm f remte access must be enabled n the hst cmputer. Remte Cmputer The remte cmputer is the cmputer that yu will use t access the hst.
3 Fr many remte slutins, it can be any cmputer. Hwever, yu will find that yu use the same ne(s) ver and ver (i.e. yur hme cmputer). If yu are purchasing a mbile cmputer in rder t remtely access yur hst cmputer, remember that the ne CRITICAL factr is Internet cnnectivity. WiFi is widely available fr free but it is nt available everywhere and it is nt free everywhere. Cnsider an air card if yu travel extensively and d nt knw whether WiFi will be available. If the mbile cmputer s primary functin is remte access, many f the nrmal speed and cnfiguratin cnsideratins d nt really matter. Pwer Prtectin Uninterruptable pwer is essential. Yu cannt access yur PC remtely if it pwers dwn due a pwer utage (even ne f a few secnds) Yur UPS must be capable f handling the lad f yur PC, mnitr(s), attached peripherals, etc. has a wizard that yu can use t determine the apprpriate unit fr yu needs (e.g.) APC Back-UPS RS 800VA 120V Scanning and Printing The ScanSnap S300 is an excellent prtable scanner with a very small ftprint at a cst f arund $ The HP OfficeJet H470 r similar mdel can be used fr mbile printing Yu will find yu will scan mre and print less ften than yu anticipate Remte Access Optins Lg Me In Accessible thrugh any web brwser Basic versin is free and allws very simple remte cntrl
4 Pr versin is needed fr file transfer $69.95 per year fr pr versin GTMyPC Standard versin includes remte cntrl, file transfer, remte sund and dual mnitr supprt. $19.95 per mnth r $ annual Can als be used t invite smene fr ne time supprt Remte Desktp and Remte Web Wrkplace Remte Desktp included with Windws Remte Web Wrkplace included with Windws Small Business Server Free but requires static IP address One Last Thing - Windws Updates Cnsider disabling r recnfiguring Windws updates n the hst PC Updates seem t ccur at the wrst pssible time and (with sme perating systems) will rebt yur system Set updates t be dne manually just remember t d them The Virtual Office Benefits fr the Lawyer Reduced need fr physical ffice space Practice anywhere Greater cntrl ver wrk-life balance Benefits fr the Client Increase nline visibility Ease f nline payments and cllabratin Ability t ffer alternative billing arrangements
5 Hardware fr the Virtual Office Virtual Office Setup In mst virtual ffices, remte users access and wrk n a remte server Users lgin t the remte server and draft dcuments, enter data and perfrm ther functins as if they were sitting in an ffice attached t the server Files are saved t the server, just like an actual ffice Printing can be dne lcally r at a central lcatin Remte (Wrkstatin) System Hardware Exact remte hardware depends n the situatin. If all wrk is dne while cnnected t the central server: Wrkstatins d nt need t be as pwerful because they are nt ding the wrk, the server is The mst imprtant requirement is a fast Internet cnnectin If sme wrk is dne n the wrkstatin nly (discnnected frm the server): Wrkstatin must be pwerful enugh t run whatever applicatins are required This wrkstatin shuld be similar t a nrmal ne in pwer Hst Server(s) Hardware The exact server cnfiguratin depends n many factrs. Hw many peple will be accessing the system? Hw many peple need t access the system at any given time? What are the data strage requirements? What applicatins d remte users have t run? Typical Server Cnfiguratin A typical server cnfiguratin (fr 2 t 20 users) has tw servers.
6 File Server Stres the files, hsts , perfrms backup Acts much like a server in a typical ffice that is nt virtual Remte Access Server This server acts as a hst fr remte users All f the applicatins are installed n this server It must be capable f these applicatins fr the number f users yu need t access it File Server Specificatins The file server in a virtual ffice is very similar t ne in a traditinal ffice. Windws Server 2008 r Small Business Server 2008 At least 4GB (8GB is even better) RAID array Expected cst $2500 plus labr Remte Server Specificatins If yur ffice is small enugh, the remte server culd be an XP r Windws wrkstatin. Make sure it has plenty f RAM and prcessing pwer. In a larger rganizatin, yu will want a system designed as a server. Server systems are designed fr higher uptime, fewer rebts, etc. Either way, yur remte server will need sme srt f thin client installed t enable access. Expected cst $2000 fr XP/Vista system with ThinStuff r $3000 fr server system with Terminal Server but Terminal Server is charged per license s it culd be much mre. Remte Access Optins Remte access t a virtual ffice is best accmplished thrugh a thin client slutin Micrsft Terminal Server r Citrix. Terminal Server r Citrix allws yu t create a virtual desktp
7 User lgin and see their desktp as determined by yu Almst any applicatin that can be run n a standard wrkstatin can be installed t a Terminal Server r Citrix Server These prducts can be expensive ( A less expensive alternative is Thinstuff (http://www.thinstuff.cm) which csts $ and can be installed n an XP r Vista wrkstatin. Nte: Traditinal VPN (ne in which drives are mapped remtely) is nt an ptin. This tends t be t slw fr data transfer. Virtual Office Tls Other Virtual Office Hardware Because a virtual ffice server needs t functin like a server in any ther ffice yu need mst f the ther equipment necessary t run tw servers Uninterruptable Pwer Supply KVM Switch Backup System Virtual Office Sftware While yu can client-server sftware in a virtual ffice, there are additinal web-based, sftware as a server (SaS), ptins. Web-based case management systems include Cli (http://www.gcli.cm) Net Dcuments ffers nline dcument management (http://www.netdcuments.cm) Digital Dictatin Tapes d nt wrk in a virtual ffice because they cannt be exchanged If yu must dictate, use digital dictatin Dictatins are saved electrnically t the central server r ed fr transcriptin Once dcuments are finished they can be accessed n the central server
8 Cmmunicatins Internet Reliable, large bandwidth, high-speed Internet is the lifebld f a virtual ffice. Reliable = Prvider with nearly 100% uptime is essential High Speed = DSL, Cable r T1 Large Bandwidth = Capable f sustaining the number f cnnectins yu require Static IP is an abslute necessity cmmunicatins are even mre critical in a virtual ffice than in a nrmal ffice. Users must be able t access their when cnnected Users must have sme methd fr accessing when nt cnnected Micrsft Exchange Server wrks very well because it can hst and distribute while users are cnnected and wrks with Blackberry and ther remte devices. Phne Phnes can be ne f the mst difficult aspects f setting up a virtual ffice because users are in diverse lcatins but have t stay cnnected. Cnsider Virtual PBX, which ffers many great features: Virtual receptinist Multiple extensins Vic Call ruting Unavailable and away greetings Call fllwing allws yu t set a phne number t reach yu at Lw cst (as little as $30 per mnth)
9 Hw Des Virtual PBX Wrk? 1. Callers dial ne number and reach a virtual receptinist 2. Virtual Receptinist ffers them a chice f extensins 3. Extensin rutes t the user s phne 4. Vic s are accessible via call-in r Fax Paper faxing des nt wrk in a virtual envirnment but Internet faxing wrks very well Incming Faxes Sender dials a number and has n idea that the service is Internet based Faxes arrive in an inbx as PDF attachments Outging Faxes Open the web-based interface Uplad the dcument t be sent Recipient receives fax at their paper machine and has n idea the fax was sent via the Internet Many Virtual PBX system include Virtual Fax as well Things t Think Abut Meeting Space When meetings are necessary, be creative. Invite yur client t cffee r lunch Make huse calls Talk t anther prfessinal abut a cnference rm sharing arrangement Staying Cnnected Wrking virtual has significant benefits but, fr sme, can lead t a feeling f islatin.
10 Get ut f the ffice Public speaking Netwrking rganizatins Get cnnected nline Scial netwrking sites like Linked In can help yu feel cnnected t thers Write a blg Overcming Traditin Fr the mst part, clients are cncerned abut service, nt appearances Can they reach yu by phne, , mail? Yes Can yu meet them if necessary? Yes D yu need a physical ffice t get their wrk dne? N Des yur ffice matter ne bit with regard t curt? N In the end, vercming traditin is mre abut changing attrney perceptins, including yu.
11 Presenter Bi Jeffrey S. Krause is a Wiscnsin attrney and is the wner and funder f Krause Practice Management, LLC. Krause Practice Management prvides technlgy advice and service t law firms f all sizes, with a fcus n the efficient use f technlgy in the law ffice. After beginning his career in private practice, Mr. Krause began assisting ther attrneys t better use technlgy in their law practice. Since 1998, he has assisted hundreds f law firms thrugh custm cnfiguratins, training and general supprt. Mr. Krause is a Certified Independent Cnsultant (CIC) fr the ppular Time Matters Business and Practice Management sftware as well as its cmpanin, Billing Matters. He has wrked with Time Matters thrugh its last five versins and has assisted hundreds f law firms during his eight years as a CIC. He is als a CIC fr several ther Lexis Nexis prducts including HtDcs and PCLaw. Mr. Krause is a frequent authr and speaker n a variety f legal technlgy tpics and is the primary cntributr t Jeff Krause's Practice Management Blg. His extensive backgrund includes knwledge f dcument management, systems, litigatin supprt, time and billing, web marketing and ffice suite applicatins. In 2006, he teamed up with Neil Jhnsn f Practice Develpment Partners and created the natinally recgnized Time Matters Bt Camp training seminar. Time Matters Bt Camps are nw rutinely held at cities arund the cuntry. Prir t embarking n his career as a Technlgy Prfessinal, Mr. Krause was engaged in the private practice f law. His legal backgrund includes Plaintiff's Persnal Injury, Insurance Defense, Real Estate, Land Use Planning and Crprate Law. Jeff is a 1996 graduate f the Marquette University Law Schl. He als hlds a B.A. and M.A. in Histry frm the University f Wiscnsin-Milwaukee.
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