I’ve always believed that an extranet is a great way to provide and receive information by and between your client and virtual workers. But now that we are a three attorney law firm, I am finding that the extranet has become even more important. The only way for me to check on the status of a matter without having to bother one of the other attorneys is to look in the extranet. If the most recent conversation, email or document is already uploaded, I can easily get up to speed fast. If the information isn’t there, I assume there has been no follow-up.
I’ve always said that scanning documents only works if every document is scanned. If you’re looking at your file server or searching your stored documents, you need to know that everything is scanned. Often times, you are looking to see if something’s not there. If you only scan half of your documents, you can never answer key questions concerning the document’s existence.
The same holds true for the extranet or any other case management system. At least fifty-percent of the time, you are relying on the absence of information to tell you something. The absence of information tells you that nothing has happened in many instances. That tells you that follow-up is needed or further assignments need to occur. But it doesn’t work if the information is not there but should be.
We use digital dictation to update the extranet. We try hard to ensure that every client contact results in an update to the extranet, whether that contact occurred via email or on the phone. We are used to sending letters to our clients after each conversation. It is even more important to let other team members know about internal and external communications concerning a matter.