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Google Apps helps clients and attorneys collaborate at California law firm

Posted by Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Strategy and Technology at Bradford & Barthel, LLP

Editors note: Today’s guest blogger is Eric Hunter, Director of Knowledge Strategy and Technology at Bradford & Barthel, LLP, a mid-size law firm in Southern California. See what other organizations that have gone Google have to say.

In the legal industry we have a concept called law2020 - the idea that technology and the economy are causing law firms to change the way they run their businesses to survive in the next decade. Technology like Google Apps and social applications are creating a culture where the legal industry is much more connected with clients and clients have much more access to information about the law. Our primary reason for investigating Google Apps back in 2009 was to start preparing our firm to keep up with this new culture of constant communication and to help employees enhance client relationships through better sharing and collaboration.

Since we migrated to Google Apps in April 2010, we’ve made collaboration much easier and more efficient through the use of Google Sites, Google Docs, and shared Google calendars. Our attorneys have found Google Apps to be intuitive and flexible. With Google Apps, constant innovation comes with the package and we’re pleased by how many new features have been introduced over the past year and a half: priority inbox, offline access and page-level permissions in Google Sites, to name a few. As part of our competitive strategy moving forward, our goal is to use Google’s video, voice, and social tools to enhance collaboration both internally and with our clients.

We use Google Sites and Docs as our intranet and portals with our clients. As a result of this improved communication, we’ve seen improved efficiency across our departments, areas of practice, and externally with our clients. Teams are collaborating directly with clients when developing new business and during trials and depositions.

As a law firm handling confidential information for our clients, Bradford & Barthel takes security extremely seriously. We’re responsible for private information on individuals and companies and our best security option is Google Apps. Google has many security features - SAS70 Type II certification and two step verification included - that allow us to feel confident our data and the data of our clients is much safer than if we hosted it on premise.

Google Apps allows Bradford & Barthel to adapt and succeed in the digital age as we move towards the year 2020. We’re continually improving our knowledge sharing and collaboration tools. We’ve already seen a lot of productivity improvements and stronger relationships with our clients, and our firm’s approach to business is evolving as we continue to realize the benefits of technology in the legal industry.