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Burr & Forman LLP: Law Firm
Attorneys at full-service law firm Burr & Forman boost productivity bysharing legal documents quickly and securely with Hightail.
For any law firm, preparing a case is a document-intensivetask. From initial e-discovery to legal briefs, depositions,exhibits, media and more, the legal world is built around thesteady exchange of information. Burr & Forman is acentury-old firm with more than 500 employees in eightoffices across the U.S. southeast. The firm’s attorneys andparalegals handle a wide variety of legal services andregularly have to share huge batches of documents withclients, witnesses and other attorneys.Email is unreliable when it comes to such large volumes, sothe firm used FTP to share documents. However, thisproved an overly complex solution, not only for the variousrecipients, but also for Burr & Forman’s attorneys. Insteadof wasting each attorney’s revenue-generating billablehours on FTP admin, the firm’s IT staff were increasinglyneeded to set up and maintain the system.For Burr & Forman’s Chief Information Officer, DavidMichel, this was an inefficient use of resources. “Your options are to either use technology or hire more people,”he explains. “These days, technology is an easier sell.” Inaddition, FTP lacked the security and control required whendealing with confidential and sensitive case material.
Security was a major priority in David’s search for a sharingsolution, but it also needed to be user-friendly. The firm’sattorneys should be able to share documents without ITsupport or training. “In a law firm where time is money, it’shard to get the time to train people,” he says. “The solutionhad to be intuitive and easy for everyone to use.” After assessing numerous options, David found that Hightailsatisfied both his priorities and soon most of the attorneysat the firm were using the service to share documents. Onekey reason for this widespread adoption was Hightail’splugin for Microsoft Outlook, which allows users to reliablyemail large attachments. Similarly, another Hightail pluginhelped extend Microsoft SharePoint’s collaborationcapabilities beyond the firm’s firewall.Hightail fit seamlessly in with the tools that people werealready using, meaning they didn’t have to make major changes to how they did things. “Our users are working inSharePoint all the time,” explains David. “To sharedocuments they simply right-click and send them viaHightail. That makes it much easier for everyone tocommunicate and collaborate.”
Case Study:Burr & Forman LLP
What they do:
Full-service law firm
No. of employees:
Learn more at:www.burr.com
THE IT CASE
Another factor in the successful implementation of Hightailat Burr & Forman was how easy it was for IT to set up andadminister. David was adamant that the sharing solutionshouldn’t burden the IT department like FTP had. “Youcan’t really have a system that requires IT to manually addand remove users,” he says. “It’s just not a good use of their time."With Hightail, all account information and activity, includinguser set-up and system security, is managed throughMicrosoft Active Directory—the backbone of Burr &Forman’s administration system. This integration enablesadministrators to easily provision users, enable single sign-on and apply security policies. “Hightail was very easy andquick to set up,” adds David. “I don’t have to worry aboutit.”
DAY IN COURT
Many of Burr & Forman’s attorneys spend a lot of time outof the office, whether meeting with clients or representingthem in court. Having instant access to the huge wealth of case materials from anywhere is critical to the success of any case. “More and more of our people use iPads,” saysDavid. “Everyone has an iPhone or a Droid. With Hightail,no matter where you are, you’ve got a folder just like thefolder on your desktop.”Rather than continually returning to the office and facing amountain of paperwork waiting for signature, Hightail’s signfeature allows users to get it done on the go. According toDavid, “the ability to digitally sign documents with your finger is wonderful.” and tracking features ensure AMAGremains HIPPA-compliant.