The top five Office 365 features for the legal industry

Legal professionals' technology needs include specific features available in Office 365. Here are five Office 365 tools that legal professionals use regularly.

Office 365's productivity tools provide many of the must-haves security and compliance features legal professionals need to serve their clients, plus several other capabilities that allow them do their job from anywhere.

These business professionals have identified several key areas of the platform that cater to their core business and provide tools to help attorneys and their support staff with their day-to-day work. Here's a list of five Office 365 features that legal professions value, in order of importance:

  1. Security and compliance. When it comes to hosting data in the cloud, security and compliance is top priority. The legal industry has to deal with numerous regulations -- Microsoft meets many of them, including ISO 27001, EU Model clauses, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act Business Associate Agreement, and the Federal Information Security Management Act.

  2. Mobility. Many legal professionals must work outside the office and need to access relevant case data, as well as other corporate services such as email, documents and collaboration apps. Through Office 365, users can access SharePoint Online, email, Skype for Business and other tools from anywhere.

  3. Collaboration. There is a significant amount of knowledge transfer and sharing among legal professionals. This is typically the result of some attorneys working on new cases or on similar cases that have previously been won. Office 365 features such as SharePoint and Skype for Business help centralize the data, assist with multiple users collaborating on documents in real time, and conduct video and audio conferences.

  4. Document management. With so many documents being generated from legal firms as well as their clients and judiciary branches, Office 365 SharePoint Online and its secured cloud storage offer a repository and indexing platform that can help store, manage and retrieve documents as needed. For that reason, a number of legal entities rely on Office 365 features to help them be more efficient and maintain a centralized repository for all records.

    In addition, several organizations have begun to evaluate Microsoft's recently released Matter Center. This is the product that Microsoft developed within the SharePoint space to help legal teams meet their document management and collaboration needs.

  5. Client relationship management. Managing referral sources is a critical function for the sales and marketing department in the largest legal groups. With Microsoft CRM online, and its integration with Office 365 email (Outlook Web Access), users can capture email activities directly from their email account, as well as report on the overall performance and engage all referral sources that are generating the most leads. 

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