Pratt & Simmons, P.A. is now a paperless law firm. What does this mean? All documents that come into our office are scanned and safely and securely stored in the cloud. The cloud is an off site internet base storage solution.
Some of the benefits of the cloud are we can access any file from any location so long as we have an internet connection. We can access the information from an iphone, an ipad, and/or any computer that is connected to the internet. This essentially means we can have our office with us wherever we go.
Another major benefit to storage in the cloud is that we never need to worry about our files being destroyed. Paper files can be permanently destroyed. This can happen through fire, flood, or natural disaster like Hurricanes Katrina or Sandy. Files stored in the cloud can never be destroyed.
Pratt & Simmons is paperless but that does not mean our clients have to be. At the initial meeting, clients will be asked if they would like correspondence and case material sent in a traditional paper form via the U.S. Mail or if they would like it sent to them electronically via email. If the client requests material be sent electronically all information that is sent will be encrypted. This means that before a client will be able to open a file they will have to enter a password. The password can be one provided by the client or we can have a password randomly generated. If a client wants to create their own password we recommend that the password be 8-20 characters long, have letters, numbers, and special characters like !@#$%.
There are many different cloud based storage facilities: justcloud.com, zipcloud.com, mozy.com and many others. We have decided to use dropbox.com. In cloud based storage security is paramount. Dropbox has secured storage by using AES-256 standard, which is the same encryption standard used by banks to secure customer data.
For anyone interested here is the hardware we use: the Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M Instant PDF Scanner for Mac, an Apple iMac, an Apple ipad and an Apple iphone. Obviously, we are an apple law firm but a paperless office can be established using PC hardware. We have chosen Apple based upon our familiarity and comfort level with their products.