Tuesday, May 14th, 2013

A New Way To Work At Law Firms

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Guest post by Nitin Gupta, Director, Industry Marketing – Professional Services, Box

Over the last decade as a lawyer, entrepreneur, and technologist, I’ve witnessed first hand the way mobile and cloud technologies have changed the way lawyers work and communicate with clients. It had to happen. Clients were demanding more immediate responses and access to information, and lawyers were increasingly frustrated by the lack of flexibility, speed and usability of existing corporate email and antiquated extranet technologies.

I personally witnessed the power of Box when LawPivot, the company I founded, was acquired. Mergers and acquisitions are always challenging, both from an emotional and organizational standpoint. During the acquisition, we were asked by the acquiring company to produce virtually all of our documents including, incorporation documents, patents, employee agreements, financial statements, board minutes, etc. There were literally thousands of pages of documentation.

Initially, we had planned to send these sensitive documents via email, as we had done in the past for other VC diligence activities. This would have required sending four separate emails (with as many as 10 documents attached to each email), and then a confirmation with the VC that they had in fact received our documents. However, for our acquisition, we decided to try Box. It was effortless to share documents with the acquiring company. The team was automatically notified when each document was viewed. At one point we had four parties involved (my company, our lawyers, the acquiring company, and its lawyers) sharing highly confidential documents with one another. We were able to see which documents were viewed and also collaborate by adding comments to documents and clarifying any questions along the way. We also used Box on our mobile devices to ensure we were responsive and completely aligned at all times. It was an incredibly seamless process.

There is a huge opportunity to eliminate wasted time, paper and effort on communications for lawyers using Box. Both our law firm and the acquiring company’s firm were able to better serve and collaborate with us in a way that was completely frictionless. When I spoke with my lawyers after the acquisition, they were pleased that Box allowed them to spend more time providing legal guidance rather than wasting time finding and figuring out the right versions of the documents everyone was talking about.

More and more lawyers are realizing the efficiencies and advantages that technologies like Box bring to the table. Law firm leaders are tired of the poor user experience and functionality of outdated software they currently use, and are ready to explore user friendly technologies that fit in today’s “Post-PC” workplace. I believe Box’s user experience and simplicity will be the perfect solution for these law firms. In fact, Box recently announced a major uptick in adoption from the legal services industry with customers like Perkins Coie and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati joining its customer roster. Most importantly, Box has nailed it from a security standpoint (which is extremely important to law firms), as it is HIPAA, HITECH, and SSAE II 16 compliant.

The use of Box during an acquisition is one of many common use cases for law firms and legal departments of all sizes. Lawyers use Box in a variety of ways including, high profile litigations and handling large intellectual property portfolios. Also, through mobile productivity apps that integrate with Box, attorneys are accessing and editing legal documents when they are on the go, and collaborating with other lawyers at their firms, co-counsel, and clients. It is always great connecting with lawyers using Box and learning new ways they are benefitting from the service. I am excited to help lead Box’s expansion into the legal industry. I also look forward to connecting with other legal partners and providing law firms of all sizes a great platform to access, manage, and share their documents securely and easily.

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