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How Law Firms Use Cloud-Based Telecommunications to Work Remotely

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If you’ve ever been involved in an accident or required a personal injury attorney, then you know the value an attorney brings to decipher legalease and deliver compensation for an injury. But what happens when shelter-in-place laws complicate matters for attorneys and their clients to communicate or physically see one another? They must get creative with their telecommunications solutions, which is exactly what Finkelstein & Partners did to continue to serve their clients seamlessly amid a global pandemic.

Based in New York, Finkelstein & Partners is not your average law firm. The personal injury firm actually encourages their clients to go to trial rather than settle out of court if it looks like the claimant deserves more than a low-ball settlement offer. Moreover, Finkelstein & Partners managing partner Andrew Finkelstein was a fan of remote work long before Coronavirus forced a work-from-home mentality for the masses.

Owning several injury law firms, with 300+ employees spread throughout the Tri-State area, Finkelstein likes to try and reduce his firms’ carbon footprints as much as possible. In addition to remote work, the teams use technology to deploy digital practices over manual and paper-based files.

When the time came to replace their aging case management system, Finkelstein & Partners Chief Technology Officer Franz Kistner knew he needed a Salesforce-compatible solution. Similarly, he anticipated more remote work and began searching for a cloud-based telephone system to migrate team members away from traditional hardware to a new softphone mentality. But he struggled to find a platform in their price point that also offered a Salesforce integration.

Finally, Kistner learned of RingCentral’s remote telephony capabilities and integration with Salesforce as well as their other cloud-based products he hoped the teams could use.

“We moved to RingCentral because of the ability to natively connect into Salesforce at a price point that made sense to us, Franz Kistner, Finkelstein and Partners Chief Technology Officer.

The initial idea of moving to softphones was met with a little resistance from some staff who’d come to rely on their hard phones, but once the technology was up and running, it was an easy sell. They transitioned the majority of the technology prior to the pandemic that forced everyone to work from home. What surprised them, however, was the realization that it would be more difficult to witness signatures on legal documents requiring notarization. Thus began their immediate need to add video conferencing technology to their telecommunications.

Adding RingCentral Products Allows Newfound Opportunity for Notaries

Their implementation began as most do, but once the shelter-in-place policies from Coronavirus began to unfold, Finkelstein’s firms transitioned their teams to remote work rather quickly. With most of the technology in place, they just needed to train their employees. But even with a new system, there will always be hiccups you can’t predict, as the firm realized they still needed to physically solve for the notarization of legal documents.

“When you prepare for trial, there are a lot of legal documents. We started utilizing DocuSign, for their electronic notarization feature, and added RingCentral Video, which allows us to get permission to “see” the clients sign the documents,” Kistner said.

Cloud-based Solutions Create New Fans of Remote Work

With employees spread around multiple locations, Finkelstein and Partners staff utilize a variety of solutions to continue to communicate and work effectively.

“We’re using the team messaging feature, the softphones and RingCentral Video. Everyone has a phone, and if they don’t need all the features, at a minimum they have an app with their home computers. They can make and receive calls, do joint conference calls, and get voice messages. Everyone converted to the new system within just a couple of days,” Kistner said.

Knowing his teams are now outfitted with the tools they need to be successful from anywhere, Finkelstein plans to reduce the firms’ carbon footprint even more by encouraging employees to work one week remotely and then work in the office for another.

Originally published Aug 20, 2020, updated Dec 30, 2022

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