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The law firm of the future is here

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 14, 2015 Human Resources comments: Comments Off on The law firm of the future is here
Lawyers need technological tools to be more efficient.

Technology has changed nearly every industry and given employees the chance to boost efficiency; now it's time for law firms to modernize. In many business sectors, employees have the flexibility to work from wherever they want. Everything they need is accessible through the cloud. However, many attorneys are skeptical that this new way of working will become a reality. 

Although some law firms' practices have stayed the same for years, lawyers need to move into the future to stay competitive and profitable. Efficiency and technology helps firms meet new challenges. Immigration case management platforms such as INSZoom enable lawyers to streamline their workflows and embrace technology to achieve higher levels of productivity.

How are technological developments affecting lawyers?
Technology isn't optional. The American Bar Association amended its Model Rules of Professional Conduct in August 2012 requiring lawyers to be competent in technology, according to the State Bar of Wisconsin. More specifically, attorneys need to be aware of the benefits and risks of legal technology. In many cases, firms can reach new levels of efficiency by adopting relevant systems, such as immigration case management software. Delaware and Pennsylvania uphold this professional requirement, and California may require lawyers to be competent with electronic discovery or develop professionals skills in this area. 

The cloud makes practicing law easier.The cloud makes practicing law easier.

In addition, the cloud is more widely used across many industries. The demands of the legal industry are changing. Attorneys often need to travel to work on cases and access documents on the go. Many lawyers already check their work emails from their smartphones. Because of this trend, many vendors are rolling out new platforms for lawyers that enable them to do more outside of the office, including time tracking, accounting, billing, practice management and document management. If lawyers have to wait to get back to the office to enter their time or client notes, they are more likely to make errors. 

New developments are changing the legal industry
Face-to-face meetings are crucial for building relationships with clients. In fact, clients may feel a stronger connection to their lawyers after meeting them in person. However, the demands of the immigration law profession may mean that lawyers aren't in the same place as their clients. Firms can implement video chats for meetings or even initial consultations. This can help clients feel their attorneys care about their cases, even during the slow periods. 

INSZoom's cloud-based software helps lawyers manage all case documents on the go. Not only does the comprehensive platform offer automated templates that make handling cases easier, but lawyers can communicate with clients and easily keep track of all deadlines. Cloud-based systems enable lawyers to travel and stay up to date with all their cases. It's easier to keep all documents in one place and not have to enter information multiple times. Plus, INSZoom integrates with email and billing software to store data in a central database so lawyers always have what they need. 

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on The law firm of the future is here
by:  INSZoom category:  Human Resources Read More

Do you know what your clients really want?

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 14, 2015 Immigration case management comments: Comments Off on Do you know what your clients really want?
Attorneys and immigration professionals can use INSZoom to give their clients what they want.

It's not enough to know the law for you to be a great immigration attorney – it takes understanding what your clients truly want from you and making an effort to satisfy them. Often, clients look for more than just a positive result at the end of their cases. In addition to obtaining the desired outcome, clients expect you to prepare them, communicate regularly and demonstrate actual value for the cost of your services.

"Clients want to see the value behind their payments."

You might think to yourself: "I know all of this." But, are you making the effort to live up to these demands?

Communication is a must
If your clients don't hear from you for weeks or even months during slow points in their cases, they may feel like you aren't paying attention to them. This can lead them to be dissatisfied with your work, even when you're doing everything you can.

It's important to maintain routine communications with all of your clients to show them you care and you're on top of your work. Of course, you update them when anything important happens or you receive notifications regarding their matters, but if you enter a waiting period, make sure to set reminders to contact your clients as a courtesy – even when there's no news.

Preparation is key
Many of your clients aren't aware of the ins-and-outs of the immigration system, which is why they need you. If it were easy to apply for a visa or work authorization, they'd do it themselves. Your clients need you to not only prepare the necessary forms, but to guide them through the steps, including how long they'll need to wait to hear from the relevant government agencies or the courts. Explaining the average timelines of various processes is a necessary step to preparing your clients for the work to come.

INSZoom's online portal helps attorneys and clients communicate.INSZoom's online portal helps attorneys and clients communicate.

Value over cost
Whether you work with a flat fee or hourly billing arrangement, your clients want to see the value behind their payments. You should consistently invoice your clients with detailed descriptions of the work you performed during that period of time. Bills without explanations can lead clients to wonder if the charges are accurate.

Let INSZoom help you
Regularly communicating with all of your immigration clients, ensuring they feel prepared for what's to come and maintaining an accurate and efficient billing cycle means you're going to need more help than from your paralegal. You need comprehensive case management software like INSZoom, which has the features and tools necessary to easily track cases and keep in touch with clients.

INSZoom has multiple functions that create a two-way street for communication. You can send automated and manual emails and alerts to clients, and they can respond and send messages to you from the client-facing portal.

INSZoom's portal is also a space where you can store education materials, allowing your clients to sign in and prepare for their case.

Additionally, INSZoom integrates with your billing system, making it quick and easy to keep invoices up to date, send bills to clients and even receive payments online.

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Do you know what your clients really want?
by:  INSZoom category:  Immigration case management Read More

The importance of strong passwords

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 14, 2015 Data security comments: Comments Off on The importance of strong passwords
Strengthen passwords to minimize the potential for cyberattacks.

Lawyers work with confidential and sensitive client information every day, which means they need to take precautions to keep this data safe. Many high-profile data breaches have occurred in the past few years, exposing millions of people to the risks of compromised data, including identity theft. Along with tightening a firm's online security, lawyers should create stronger passwords and encourage their clients to do the same.

It's often difficult to keep track of the growing number of accounts and passwords attorneys use every day. Many professionals try to create a shortcut by using the same password for everything, or even worse, setting passwords as simple words or numeral combinations such as "12345" or "password." A report from Verizon revealed 76 percent of security breaches  happened after hackers used stolen user credentials to access a company's system, which is easier when employees don't use strong passwords.

More accounts mean higher risks of data breaches
Sony Pictures Entertainment's December data breach was a high-profile example of the importance of stronger passwords. Hackers erased data from the organization's systems, released previously unavailable movies to the public and revealed employees' private information, salaries and other sensitive documents. Among the released information was a list of employees' passwords, which included weak safeguards such as "password" and "s0ny123," according to Mashable. Employees' computers contained home addresses, current salaries and even credit card numbers, which were exposed in the cyberattack. 

Imagine the information hackers could expose by accessing private legal files.

Cyberattacks in the legal industry
Law firms don't have the same obligation to report cyberattacks as consumer companies, but a preventable hack may be a breach of confidentiality. Attorneys need to ensure they utilize more complex passwords to mitigate this risk.

Firms may not think they are vulnerable, but many hacks occur simply because there is an opportunity, Lawyerist said. Cybercriminals run scans for weaknesses on any computer connected to the Internet and have many ways to access computers. Lawyerist reported an attorney lost $289,000 by clicking on an attachment in a scam email. The attachment contained a virus that allowed cybercriminals to view everything on the computer. The lawyer later accessed the firm's bank account from the same computer, giving the hackers an easy way to transfer the large sum to another account. Additionally, the firm's bank refused to cover the loss. 

Weak passwords open the door for significant risks.Weak passwords open the door for significant risks.

Although cybercriminals have multiple ways to infiltrate computers, low-tech methods of identity theft are still common. Lawyers are at a heightened risk for data or financial losses if a bank statement is swiped from the trash or a wallet or laptop is stolen. In particular, a stolen work laptop is a substantial risk. Not only does it have the firm's account information on it, but it also has clients' banking data if they pay online.

How to protect sensitive information
Passwords don't need to be 20 characters long to be effective. Twelve characters is typically long enough, as long as the words are unique. Lawyerist recommended avoiding real words that can be found in a dictionary. Additionally, attorneys shouldn't use the same password for multiple services, especially if it's something critical such as email and bank accounts. If a hacker can access one website on a computer, he or she can get on every site that uses the same password. It's important to store passwords in a secure location. Never leave them on sticky notes on a monitor. 

Two-factor authentication is another way to better secure sensitive client information. This process utilizes a known password and a code generated from an app and sent via text or email. Because it takes more than a password to access the account, hacking is difficult for cybercriminals to infiltrate. In addition, lawyers can encrypt files to make them harder to decode. 

Because INSZoom's advanced platform enables document sharing in the cloud between lawyers and their clients, it's crucial for all parties to take the proper precautions to keep data secure. Making stronger passwords costs nothing and takes little time, but not taking these steps exposes firms and clients to significant risks of identity theft and lawsuits. INSZoom allows lawyers to build better relationships with clients while keeping data secure. 

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on The importance of strong passwords
by:  INSZoom category:  Data security Read More

Gain visibility into your HR department

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 14, 2015 Human Resources comments: Comments Off on Gain visibility into your HR department
INSZoom helps managers and executives gauge the performance of their human resources departments.

It's clear INSZoom helps human resource departments of any sized business handle immigration matters smoothly. The workflows and resource base INSZoom provides enable HR professionals to tackle standard business visa issues as well as unique challenges that often arise with mergers and acquisitions.

However, INSZoom does much more than deliver immigration law and application tools. The case management software offers reporting capabilities that allow executives and managers to gain visibility into the productivity and efficiency of the entire HR department.

"INSZoom works with its clients to create and implement custom reports."

Understanding worker value
INSZoom provides standard immigration reporting capabilities so HR professionals can view the statuses of their immigration processes and audit compliance.

In addition to these immigration-specific compliance reports, managers and executives can generate reports regarding employee workloads and actions. Ad hoc reporting allows professionals to define their input and output requirements, seeing only the information they truly need to see.

Professionals can run reports in relation to specific workers, determining the workload and value of each employee – particularly important information when it comes time for annual reviews or requests for raises.

INSZoom provides comprehensive reporting capabilities.INSZoom provides comprehensive reporting capabilities.

Measuring timing and efficiency
By creating specific reports and running them routinely, managers and executives can learn the average time span of specific immigration processes and determine where workflows can be more efficient and the pace quickened.

As timing is so important to immigration matters, managers can determine if specific processes must begin further in advance of particular deadlines to avoid rushing, which increases the risk of errors and being denied a visa.

Realizing success and failure
In addition to looking at the efficiency of immigration processes and determining employee performance, HR professionals can measure their success through INSZoom reporting. Managers can determine the numbers for various outcomes, such as being awarded certain visas or having applications rejected.

Routine reporting can spot troubling trends, such as a growing number of rejected applications, leading managers to make adjustments in the department to improve the situation.

The value of INSZoom as an HR tool can't be understated. Its workflows, forms, integration capabilities and more make it an ideal platform for businesses that consistently handle immigration applications. The reporting capabilities allow HR managers and executives to gain visibility into their departments' performance in relation to specific processes and employees.

Additionally, INSZoom works with its clients to create and implement custom reports, so HR professionals can garner all the information they need to improve their bottom lines.

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Gain visibility into your HR department
by:  INSZoom category:  Human Resources Read More

Streamline your workflow

posted by: INSZoom date: Apr 14, 2015 Immigration case management comments: Comments Off on Streamline your workflow
Save time for H-1B applications.

Technology greatly improves efficiency in a law firm, especially when it comes to reducing the length of time it takes to complete the steps in a visa application. However, attorneys are often so busy practicing law that they may not have time to stop and evaluate their processes and identify areas for improvement. Although firms need to keep doing the same amount of work – or more –  to remain profitable, technology like INSZoom's case management software can streamline their immigration-related workflows. 

What has changed in the legal landscape?
The legal industry has undergone a number of major shifts in the past few years, which is increasing the need for new technology. Firms face higher price competition, commoditization of legal services, non-hourly billing and a greater number of nontraditional service providers, according to a survey from Altman Weil. Many of these transitions emerged from external pressures, such as more demanding clients and more competitive firms that challenged how legal services are routinely provided. To cope with these changes, law firms need to boost efficiency.

Establishing a more efficient process not only helps immigration law firms reduce the amount of time it takes to file visa applications, but it also helps them become more competitive in their jurisdictions. 

Law firms are under more pressure.Law firms are under more pressure.

How to leverage technology to boost efficiency
Increasing a firm's efficiency is crucial for staying profitable and meeting evolving challenges in the legal industry. Here are some tips to streamline workflows:

  • Go paperless: Having extensive files can make it more difficult to stay organized. With a scanner and a strong file-naming system, firms can improve organization and reduce errors, which saves time and money. Keeping all case files in the cloud allows different employees to access and use them. With INSZoom, clients can upload case documents to the interface.
  • Create streamlined intake forms: While all cases are different, attorneys can save time when processing new cases if they have a single intake form because they are familiar with the document. Additionally, clients can use INSZoom's online portal to fill out and submit these forms.
  • Invest in a new project management process: With a more established internal process, law firms can save time and process H-1B applications in less time. To improve these processes, INSZoom provides established workflows. 

Partner with INSZoom to streamline projects
INSZoom has extensive experience in the immigration law industry and can help firms cut down on the amount of time it takes to perform each step of the H-1B application. Firms may even be able to cut the length of time in half. With letter and email templates and a forms library, lawyers can save time for every part on the application. 

This year's H-1B season may have just ended, but now is the time to invest in INSZoom to get ready for the next round of applications.

date:  Apr 14, 2015 comments:  Comments Off on Streamline your workflow
by:  INSZoom category:  Immigration case management Read More
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