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Give your clients world-class service and security with the secure client portal on Firm Central

By: Terry Rheault
Published: May 14, 2018

The hallmark of exceptional service is making every client feel as though they’re your only client. However, that keen customer focus can be almost impossible to achieve if you can’t personally respond to their questions or concerns quickly.

Unless you have Firm Central law practice management, that is.

With the secure client portal within Firm Central, you can provide clients everything they need, at any time, to stay up to date on their matter. Instead of reaching out to you, clients can log into their portal anytime to complete and review documents, send files and documents to you, and respond to messages. So if they’re wide awake at 3 a.m. worrying about what’s next, they can turn on their smartphone or computer, log into their client portal, see what’s happening, and rest assured knowing you’re on top of everything.

That sure beats waking up to a panicked text or email on a jam-packed court day, and wondering how you’re going to respond before noon.

Just as critical, you’ll stay on top of what your clients are doing. You’ll have a record of your communications that includes when they reviewed and signed documents and responded to messages. If a client is concerned about keeping apprised of their case, regularly communicating with them through the client portal can alleviate their concerns.

Best of all, using the portal is simple and intuitive, making communication with your client easy. That’s because every aspect of the Firm Central law practice management system is integrated, so you’re not forcing multiple software connections. For example, if a client needs a document, you can simply attach it to a message in the client portal from your Firm Central matter folder and send it to your client.

See how easy this is:

To share a document with your client from Firm Central, select the document, and press the “Share” icon. It is as simple as that


Once you’ve shared your document, you’ll see it listed on the Client Portal tab. It will be stamped with the time and date you shared it.


You’ll know that the client has marked the document as read or complete because the time stamp will be updated and it will be marked with your client’s name (not your own). Also, when the client marks the document reviewed or complete, a status indicator will be updated so you know the client has taken action.


Want to send clients a message without documents? Just use the Matter Comments button within the client portal. When the client responds with their own comment, you will be able to see their message.


The portal from the client’s perspective

When you create a client portal for a specific matter, the client will receive an email from Firm Central that includes a link to the portal and access details.


When they click on the link, they will be prompted to create their own username and password. From this point forward, they can use this to access their portal.


Clients will only be able to view what you share with them via the client portal.

  • My Tasks are the documents that you’ve shared with the client that haven't been reviewed, and any messages you have sent to the client. Clients can open, review, and complete documents, and indicate when they have done so. On your side, a status flag will indicate action has been taken.
  • The All Files page displays every document and file that you have shared with your client via the portal, and vice versa.
  • The Upload page allows clients to upload documents.
  • The Cases page allows them to toggle between cases if they have more than one.

Probably the most important attribute of the client portal within Firm Central is the world-class security including encryption, which means your client communications are secure both in transit and in storage. That’s an important improvement over a generic solution like Dropbox, which can decrypt your files and review them, and stores all user encryption keys so hackers could potentially access them.

Remember, the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct mandate that attorneys keep client communication secure. This points to the most important component of standout client service: professionalism. Clients are accustomed to using portals to access their medical and financial information. They’ll expect to do the same with sensitive legal information, and may question your professionalism if you’re using a hodgepodge of unencrypted methods to communicate. By contrast, when you communicate with your clients via Firm Central, they’ll be assured they made a wise legal investment.

Terry Rheault

About the author
Terry Rheault is a licensed attorney in Minnesota where he earned his J.D. from the William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul. Since 2006, Terry has been an account manager with Thomson Reuters, where he has introduced attorneys to the gamut of law practice management solutions including Firm Central, Time & Billing, Deadline Assistant, Drafting Assistant, Practical Law, Practice Point, and Case Logistix.

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