How to Use ProLaw in the Cloud in 2023

March 20, 2023|In Cloud Computing, ProLaw|By Dennis Dimka

Let’s discuss ProLaw in the Cloud.

As we advance in the digital age, cloud technology has the potential to redefine how law firms function, bringing forth numerous advantages such as cost-effectiveness, adaptability, and heightened productivity.

In relation to ProLaw, moving to the cloud can transform the software from being tied to a specific server to a more universally reachable, adaptable, and streamlined solution.

In this article, we will delve into the ways law firms can seamlessly transition their ProLaw practice management software to the cloud.

We’ll dissect the procedure, highlight the perks, and provide insights on how this shift can substantially improve operational agility and user experience.

The aim of this article is to offer insights and direction on maneuvering through this transition, harnessing the strength of the cloud to propel law firms to unprecedented levels of success.


It’s 2023, where ProLaw continues to be a top-tier suite of practice management, document management, and accounting software for law firms. As the legal industry evolves, law firms are increasingly turning to ProLaw to streamline their operations and improve their workflow.

With the ongoing rise of remote work, more and more law firms are seeking to escape the burden of costly in-house servers and IT management. Instead, they are embracing the flexibility and convenience of cloud-based solutions.

In this article, we’ll delve into the latest techniques and best practices for using ProLaw in the cloud. Whether you’re a small firm looking to improve your operations or a larger practice seeking to empower your team to work from anywhere, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore how you can make the most of ProLaw in the cloud in 2023.

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Who This Guide is For

This guide on running ProLaw in the cloud is for anyone that uses ProLaw (or plans to), and wants to explore doing so in the cloud. This includes:

  • Law Firm Partners that drive the IT strategy for their law firm
  • Law Firm Administrators that are charged with managing the firm's technology
  • Law Firm IT Consultants that and are looking for solutions for their client's applications

In this, our ultimate guide to ProLaw cloud hosting and moving ProLaw to the cloud, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to assess and implement ProLaw in the cloud.

Introduction to ProLaw

If your firm already uses and knows ProLaw, feel free to skip ahead. If you’re new to ProLaw, or considering it for your firm, we’ll provide a brief overview.

ProLaw, by Elite (a division of Thomson Reuters), is long-standing Law Practice Management software suite. ProLaw is server/desktop-based software, which means it can run on-premise, on your firm’s in-house servers or hosted in Private Cloud (which we’ll cover shortly).

ProLaw software suite

At a high level, the ProLaw software suite provides:

  • Client & Contact Management
  • Case / Matter Management
  • Calendaring
  • Time & Billing
  • Task & Workflow Management
  • Document Management
  • Accounting


In a word, ProLaw is robust. While its often overkill for solos and very small firms (firms with less than 10 total people), its great for midsize and larger firms that need a lot of functionality in their practice management platform.

Web-based case management solutions are often a good fit for solos and small firms, but we see many firms “graduate” to ProLaw after reaching a certain size, when their lightweight web app is no longer cutting it.


ProLaw is really a suite of software, and your firm can purchase and use the modules it needs (or grow into additional modules over time). Practice Management, Document Management and Accounting make up the three pillars of the ProLaw suite of software.

prolaw cloud

Stand-Out Features

Modular and End-to-End Law Practice Software

ProLaw is modular software, customers can purchase and use the front-office (practice management and document management) module, the back-office (business and trust accounting) module, or both.

Deep Integration with Microsoft Office

ProLaw integrates heavily with the Microsoft Office suite, including Word (for documents) and Outlook (for email). ProLaw also integrates with Westlaw and WestlawNext.

Simplified (Optional) Web Interface

A relatively new feature, ProLaw offers its ProLaw Workspace option, which provides a simplified web-based interface for user's in the firm that have more basic needs. More on ProLaw Workspace below.

Sidebar:  Legal Document Management

ProLaw is great for billing, accounting and case management.  Your firm may need to supplement ProLaw with a dedicated Document Management System to securely manage firm documents and email.

You might consider LexWorkplace, document management software born in the cloud, built for law firms.

  • Securely Store & Manage Documents in the Cloud
  • Client/Matter-Centric Document Organization
  • Full-Text Search Across All Documents & Email
  • Outlook Add-In:  Save Emails to Matters
  • Work with Windows and Mac OS

Explore LexWorkplaceWatch the Demo

Who ProLaw is Good For

ProLaw is often a good fit for law firms of 10 or more total people, and law firms that need comprehensive practice management, document management, billing and accounting in a single software suite. ProLaw is generally not well-suited for solo and very small law practices.

Don’t Sacrifice the Right Software for the Cloud

The cloud brings many benefits to small and midsize law firms (which we’ll enumerate shortly). Some law firms, looking for the reliability, security and mobility of the cloud assume that the only way to achieve these benefits is to abandon their software and move to a web-based software application.

Law Firm Cloud Software

The problem with many web-based law practice management applications is that they are, by comparison, watered-down or bare-bones. ProLaw, in particular, is robust, developed law practice management software, that objectively does much more than today’s web-based software.

We’ve witnessed more than a few law firms move from robust applications like ProLaw to a web-based alternative… only to be disappointed and eventually switch back.

The good news is that you can keep the software you’re committed to and enjoy the benefits of the cloud in a ProLaw hosting solution.

In Love with a Server-Based Software?

Use Uptime Practice to Host It on the Cloud!

  • Get Your Firm's Software to the Cloud
  • Access it From Anywhere
  • Avoid Server Maintenance
  • Pursue a Virtual Law Firm
  • Get Included Support

ProLaw Workspace

A relatively new feature, ProLaw offers its ProLaw Workspace option, which provides a simplified web-based interface to the ProLaw database. This allows power users to use the more robust desktop application, while providing a simplified interface for user’s who’s needs are more basic.

While used from a web browser, ProLaw Workspace still requires on-premise servers, or moving your ProLaw to a Private Cloud.

ProLaw Workspace

Learn More about ProLaw

RelatedProLaw: Complete Review, Features, Pricing:  Learn more about ProLaw to decide if it is the best option for your firm.

RelatedProLaw Workspace – Review & Guide for Law Firms:  ProLaw created this web-based portal to their software. Though it comes with limited features, it proves useful as a supplement to ProLaw software.

Advantages of ProLaw in the Cloud

ProLaw is great. And it’s even better in the cloud.

For most law firms, life is simply better in the cloud; and ProLaw is no exception. You can run ProLaw in the cloud, and before we explain exactly how ProLaw cloud hosting works, I’ll take a moment to explain why, in most cases, ProLaw is better in the cloud.


The Best of Both Worlds

The cloud brings mobility, accessibility and security. ProLaw provides a rich, comprehensive platform for managing your firm’s clients, cases, documents and accounting. Bringing both togethers gives your firm a “cake-and-eat-it-too,” best of both worlds scenario.

By running ProLaw in the cloud, your firm can keep the robust legal software that your firm is committed to and relies on, while enjoying the advantages of the cloud.


Managing Servers & IT is a Pain

For a long time managing and supporting on-premise servers was simply a necessary evil to run quality legal practice management software. Applications like ProLaw bring a lot of value to law firms, but it requires a server (one way or another), so law firms had to suck it up and get a server.

That server requires a lot of maintenance, both proactive (to keep it up and running) and reactive (fixing things when they break). To run ProLaw on-premise, you’ll need to:

  • Purchase Server Equipment Every 3 - 5 Years
  • Purchase and Implement Microsoft SQL Server
  • Implement and Manage Backups & Disaster Recovery
  • Implement and Manage Data Security (Encryption, etc.)
  • Perform Routine Preventative Server/IT Maintenance
  • Retain an IT Consultant or Firm to Keep Everything Running

Running ProLaw in the cloud (ProLaw hosting) on the other hand, gives you the benefits of having ProLaw , without the inherent drawbacks of server ownership.

Uptime Practice was a true miracle when the pandemic struck.  We moved to Uptime Practice and were working immediately.

Todd Tracy  –  The Tracy Law Group, PLLC


Work from Anywhere

Being tied to one computer, one office or one location is a huge disadvantage to the modern law firm. Attorneys and support staff need to be able to work anytime, anywhere. Then need to be able to enter billable time from home; review a contract while traveling to the airport, and check their court deadlines from a Chromebook while at a client site.

Running ProLaw in the cloud gives your entire firm the same access to your software (and, with the right solution, all of your applications, documents and email) from any kind of device and any location.

Unchain your self from the office, ditch clunky VPN and remote-computer-login “solutions.” ProLaw in the cloud, via a Private Cloud, provides a secure, easy-to-use Virtual Desktop that gives you access to your legal software, documents and email from anywhere.


Data Security & Compliance

As law firms, you have ethical obligations to keep your firm and client data secure. Cyber-attacks are only becoming more prevalent, and compliance requirements only more stringent.

Your ProLaw, and your law firm’s data, is orders of magnitude more secure in a reputable cloud platform. Cloud service providers are in the very business of keeping their client’s data secure, and usually employ the following security measures.

  • Data Encryption In-Transit and At-Rest
  • And-to-End Virus Protection
  • Protection Against Ransomware
  • Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA)
  • Redundant Data Centers
  • Backups with Point-In-Time Recovery
  • Enterprise-Grade Firewall Protection
  • Active Threat Monitoring
  • Regular Security Patching
  • Dedicated Private Network Per Firm
  • Dedicated Private Virtual Servers

Cloud Security

Now compare that to a server, in your law firm’s office, sitting unmanaged, in a coat closet or copy room. It simply doesn’t make economic sense for all but the largest law firms with in-house servers to invest the resources necessary to build this level of security.

But it does make economic sense for a cloud provider to invest in building and managing bank-grade security. And as a client within that system, you get your own slice of that fortune-500 caliber infrastructure.

And don’t make the mistake that just because your data is in your physical building it’s somehow, magically more secure. If your firm (a) has a server, and (b) is connected to the Internet, then you’re already on the cloud, in a way that hackers and other online threats can reach you. The only question is: Who’s managing your security? (And–is it being managed at all?)

Related – Law Firm Cloud Security – 12 Things to Look For:  One of the best features of a good cloud provider is enhanced security without extra effort. Ensure you’re getting this great benefit!


Work With Windows and Macs

More and more law firms are using Mac computers, at least in part. Some (typically smaller) law firms are all-Mac by practice. Others have a mix of Windows and Mac computers. Even law firms that are all-PC in the office often have members, even senior partners, that use a Mac from home.

Most desktop based law firm software is Windows based, which severely limits Mac users’ ability to work from their Mac computer. (Historically, this required running Parallels or similar virtual Windows software on your Mac, which is infamously slow and clunky).

Running ProLaw in the cloud, particularly in a Virtual Desktop platform, gives your Mac users the exact same access to your ProLaw (and the rest of your law firm software) as your PC users. Virtual Desktops are, by their nature, platform agnostic.


More Reliability, Less Downtime

Capable Private Cloud platforms like Uptime Practice are built with enterprise-grade infrastructures, and managed round-the-clock by professionals. This minimizes downtime for your firm, and maximizes productivity. Professional-grade Private Cloud solutions typically include:

  • Redundant Physical Servers
  • Redundant Routers & Network Equipment
  • Redundant Upstream Internet Providers
  • Redundant Data / Hard Drive Arrays
  • Geographically Redundant Data Centers
  • Multiple Redundant Data Backups
  • Point-in-Time Data Recovery / Restoration
  • Routine System Maintenance & Patching
  • 24 x 7 x 365 System Monitoring

All of these measures add up to reliability and uptime for your systems and your law firm.

Flexibility with the Cloud

Flexible & Scalable

The cloud is flexible and scalable, and running ProLaw in the cloud is no exception.

With a Private Cloud solution, you can add (or remove) users, applications, storage and other features when you need them. Unlike the rigidity and financial commitment of server ownership, the cloud helps your law firm stay agile.


More Economical

We’ve worked with many law firms to conduct a side-by-side financial analysis of cloud vs. on-premise IT; and we consistently find that the Total Cost of Ownership is notably less in a Private Cloud.

This is almost always the case, and factors in the up-front costs, monthly and potential unplanned IT costs associated with server ownership and local IT support.

We’ll cover the economics of ProLaw in the cloud in more detail below. (And we’ll provide some nifty tools for you to conduct your own financial analysis.)



In today’s Work From Anywhere and hybrid work models, creeping decentralization becomes a real risk.

Law firms with multiple locations have been working against this problem for a long time. Now add employees that work (partially or entirely) from home, and the risk of data and applications being spread in too many different locations becomes pronounced.

A Private Cloud platform serves as your firm’s single, central hub, where ProLaw and all of your firm’s applications and data lives. One system to log into, one virtual workplace, regardless of the geographical makeup of your team.

Related Video:

Why You’re Struggling to Work from Home

ProLaw as a Cloud App

ProLaw is fundamentally premise-based software.  That means, by default, it’s designed to run on a server, typically within a law firm’s office.  This is in contrast to software that is natively cloud-based and runs in a web browser.

You can, however, still run ProLaw in the cloud, as a cloud app.  There are a few different ways to accomplish this, as we’ll cover next.

The first and simplest way to effectively cloudify ProLaw is to run ProLaw in a simple cloud platform such as Practice Go.  With systems like these, you can run ProLaw as a published application or web application, effectively turning ProLaw into a web app.

Solutions like these are best when a law firm only needs to run ProLaw in the cloud, and already has a cloud strategy for its other systems and software.  If, on the other hand, the firms is looking to implement a more holistic cloud solution, they might want to evaluate a Private Cloud or Virtual Desktop solution.

ProLaw in a Private Cloud

Now that we’ve covered why ProLaw is better in the cloud, let’s talk about how exactly ProLaw in the cloud works. To do that, let’s first take a short step back and describe the difference between cloud-based (web-based) software and desktop/server-based software.

Before cloud computing was mainstream, most software in the world (including practice management software such as ProLaw) was installed on the firm’s on-premise server, and ran from each of the employee’s desktop computers. The software’s “engine,” or core components (including the database) lived on the server. All of this meant that using this software, such as ProLaw, necessitated a server.

That is: Owning (and therefor maintaining) a server became a fundamental prerequisite to use the software. Owning and managing servers and in-house IT was a requirement, and sometimes viewed as a necessary evil, in order to use law firm management software.

And that’s simply the way it was.

But not today. Today, we have the technology that we call a Private Cloud. A private cloud is a hosted, managed IT platform that provides the same (or better) function that a server would; it hosts a law firm’s legal applications, documents email and more, and provides greater mobility, reliability and security while doing so.

Server-based software like ProLaw requires a server, that hasn’t changed. And in the case of a private cloud, the private cloud is the server.

To be more specific, law firms using a private cloud built for them, such as Uptime Practice Foundation, will often include:

  • Hosting for ProLaw and your other legal software
  • Cloud storage – a file-system for your files and folders
  • Support for ProLaw and your legal software – including updates and maintenance
  • Office 365 – for productivity
  • Microsoft SQL Server — needed to run ProLaw
  • Exchange Email
  • All necessary server maintenance, backups and security
  • IT Help Desk support for your team

The “Private” in Private Cloud

Private Clouds are so-called because every law firm (called a “tenant,” in cloud computing parlance), has their own segregated, dedicated working environment. In most cases, that means:

  • Dedicated/Private Virtual Servers
  • Dedicated/Private Virtual Network (VLAN)
  • Dedicated/Private Active Directory
  • Dedicated/Private SQL Server/SQL Database

If you’re not familiar with these technologies: What it amounts to is that your law firm has its own private space for its software, documents and data, separate from other law firms, which gives your firm an added level of data security and privacy.

Related – Private Cloud 101 for Law Firms:  Learn the fundamentals of a private cloud.

That’s the “back-end” of running ProLaw in the cloud. You and your team will interact with the Private Cloud via what’s known as a Virtual Desktop.

ProLaw in a Virtual Desktop

We’ve covered the benefits of running ProLaw in the cloud, and how a Private Cloud is a means to that end. But what does working in a Private Cloud look like? How does each person in your firm use it?

The answer is: a virtual desktop.

A Virtual Desktop is a desktop, like the Windows or Apple desktop you log into and use at home and work, that is hosted in the cloud, and that you can access anytime, anywhere. Typically, your Virtual Desktop will have the software that you need every day, like Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, along with your law practice management software, accounting software, even your document management software.

The Virtual Desktop makes your law firm’s software, which is otherwise only available from your work computer or while connected to your office’s servers, available from any computer in the world.

Virtual Desktop solutions such as Uptime Practice Foundation are sometimes also referred to as “Desktop-as-a-Service,” or DaaS (analogous to “Software-as-a-Service, or SaaS).

How Virtual Desktops Work

In a traditional computing environment, your core law firm software is installed on your physical, local desktop. That is: The workstation or laptop you use in the office. In this traditional model, everything runs locally, and your applications are installed on your individual computer.

A Virtual Desktop is different. In a Virtual Desktop environment, very few, if any, applications are actually installed on your local computer. Often, the only icon on your local desktop is a shortcut to log into your Virtual Desktop.

law firm virtual desktop

When you (or anyone in your team) logs into your Virtual Desktop, you’ll have access to all of your law firm’s software, documents and data, including:

  • Your ProLaw Software
  • Your Other Legal Software
  • Your Productivity Software (Microsoft Office)
  • Your Documents, Files and Folders
  • Your Outlook & Email

This gives your entire firm access to ProLaw (and all of your applications, documents and data) from anywhere, on any device.

Virtual Desktops also mean that you no longer have to install, update and maintain each of your applications on every computer within your firm. Instead, your Cloud Service Provider simply keeps all software updated for you.

Related – Virtual Desktops for Law Firms: How They Work, and Why Your Law Firm Should Probably Use Them.

Should My Law Firm Use Virtual Desktops?

Virtual Desktops bring many advantages to law firms. Specifically, Virtual Desktops are likely the best technology route in any of the following scenarios.

  • Your firm is committed to the ProLaw software
  • Your firm uses a combination of devices (Windows, Macs, Tablets)
  • Your firm needs to be able to work from anywhere
  • You're tired of dealing with servers and IT headaches
  • Your firm needs to keep your applications an data secure

We’ll cover selecting the right Virtual Desktop provider, and doing your due diligence, shortly.

Virtual Desktops Demonstrated

For an example of working in a Virtual Desktop, watch our demonstration of Uptime Practice.

Migration: How to Move ProLaw to the Cloud

Now that we understand how ProLaw in the Cloud works, the benefits and the functions, we’ll walk through how to move ProLaw to the Cloud.

This process is typically administered by your chosen Cloud Service Provider, but could be done via a combination of IT consultants, software consultants, and cloud hosting providers.

Steps to Move ProLaw to the Cloud

Step 1: Onboarding Project Manager

Your ProLaw cloud migration should begin he same as any well-managed project: with a single point of contact.

Your project manager (at Uptime Legal, we call this person the Onboarding Manger) should begin by clearly setting expectations and clearly communicating the next steps, removing any uncertainty as to the path that lies ahead. Your Onboarding Manager should define specific timelines, expectations, and what is needed from you.

Step 2: Discovery

While a good cloud service provider will have a well-defined and documented process for onboarding, the process is never cookie-cutter, and no two law firms are alike. A good ProLaw cloud migration process should begin with deep discovery and assessment of the firm’s current environment, including:

  • Inventory of Software to be Migrated
  • Inventory of all Documents and Data
  • Identifying Email Accounts and Settings
  • Documenting Third-Party Services, Logins and Accounts
  • Inventory of Network Devices and Peripherals
  • Testing of Firm Internet Speed

Step 3: Build

Next, your ProLaw hosting provider will begin building your private cloud environment. A good provider will have a well-developed process, and can build your private cloud quickly. The Onboarding Manager and engineering team will install your software, provision your email accounts, and generally build the “shell” of your complete IT platform. This process includes:

  • Provisioning of Virtual Servers
  • Setup of Each User Profile / Virtual Desktop
  • Installation of Your Firm's Software
  • Setup of Your File System (Including Permissions)
  • Thorough Testing of Your New Cloud Environment

Step 4: Go-Live

Next, your ProLaw cloud provider will begin the process of collecting your data from current locations. Each element of your firm’s technology will be moved over, component-by-component. This cutover process includes:

  • Each Applications Data/Database (including ProLaw)
  • Your File-System, Files and Folders
  • Your Email Mailboxes and Distribution Groups
  • Utility Functions (Print Servers, DHCP, DNS, etc.)

The physical transfer should be seamless and all data transferred securely to the new cloud platform. The Onboarding Manager and his team should thoroughly test every application (once data has been imported), and test computers and peripherals.

The ProLaw hosting provider should be very flexible in scheduling the cutover, including executing it over an evening or weekend, so that, the entire cutover process takes no more than a day, and results in little or no user downtime.

Step 5: Training & Ongoing Support

A good ProLaw hosting provider knows that first impressions matter.

The key to employee adoption is a reliable, easy-to-use system from Day One. Your cloud provider should have a comprehensive plan for training your entire staff and provide an extra layer of hand-holding as necessary. The Onboarding Manager, who “owns” the migration, should be there for you on the front lines: helping with training and tying up loose ends.

This well-managed, highly operationalized process shouldn’t end with the migration. A good provider of ProLaw cloud hosting will have systems for both “on-demand” support, as well as account management: a process to make certain that beyond the day-to-day technical needs, you have a true partner and legal technology advisor.

I can’t stress this enough: A meticulously-managed onboarding will be the difference between a catastrophic failure and glorious success. Everything outlined here is what is required for a seamless, successful transition of ProLaw (and your firm) to the cloud.

Cloud Migration

RelatedProLaw Support: So, you want to get ProLaw. Read this article to ensure you have the best support possible.

The Economics of ProLaw in the Cloud

Beyond the functional, reliability, security and mobility benefits of ProLaw cloud hosting, there’s also the financial case for moving ProLaw to the cloud.

Running ProLaw in-house, with on-premise servers is a deceptively expensive proposition. You have to buy servers. You have to buy ancillary IT infrastructure, like backup systems, battery backups, and more. You have to hire a capable IT consultant to not only set up the server, but proactively manage and maintain it.

And these costs are always higher in a given year than you think they will be.

To understand the economics of moving ProLaw to the cloud, we need to compare a Private Cloud solution to the costs of in-house, on-premise servers and IT.

Watch the Video:

On-Premise IT

Up-Front Costs

First, analyze all costs incurred each new server cycle (typically 3 to 5 years). That is: buying and implementing server infrastructure, and usually includes:

  • Server Purchase
  • Backup Hardware & Software
  • UPS / Battery Backup
  • Windows Server Licensing
  • SQL Server Licensing
  • Desktop / Network Setup
  • Implementation (IT Consultant)

I recommend that, for each of these items above, you get pricing and record it in a spreadsheet. Add up the total costs (and make sure you’re not missing anything), and you’ll have a sense of the total up-front cost of another cycle of on-premise IT.

It’s important to note that much of these costs are ultimately driven by the software your law firm uses. How many, and how powerful of servers do you need? Do you need multiple, dedicated servers? Will you need VMWare virtualization? This is ultimately determined by the software you use (namely: Practice Management and Document Management software), and the server requirements of those applications.

Upfront Cost to On-Premise Software

Use our Cloud Cost Calculator to tally up all relevant up-front costs for your firm.

Ongoing Costs

Next, analyze costs incurred on an ongoing basis. Identify monthly recurring costs, as well as annual costs (renewals, maintenance), and determine your average monthly or annual recurring costs. For most law firms, these often include:

  • Managed IT Service
  • User Support / IT Help Desk
  • Offsite / Remote Backup
  • Remote Access Solution (VPN, RDS, etc.)
  • Practice Management Software
  • Office 365
  • Security Maintenance & Renewals

Add up what you do, or will spend on an ongoing basis. This should include fixed monthly costs (such as a Managed IT Provider contract) as well as sporadic, less predictable costs (such as hourly IT support). For the latter, if you’re unsure of a reasonable budget for this amount, I recommend finding the average over the past two three years.

Add all of these up and determine your average monthly IT spend.

On-Premise Costs: Unplanned

Finally, we need to identify and budget for some level of unplanned IT expenses. Proactive IT does significantly reduce the chances and impact of unforeseen IT problems, but over enough time they’re likely to occur nonetheless.

These unplanned costs may take the form of:

  • Unplanned Server Crashes
  • Unplanned Network Repair
  • Unplanned Data Recovery Costs
  • Software Updates that Prompt Server Upgrades

As you can see–some costs are fixed and predicable, others are wildly unpredictable (but should be budgeted or accounted for in some way.)

Finally, add up your up-front costs, monthly recurring costs and your budget for unplanned/unforeseen costs: And this is your Total Cost of Ownership for on-premise IT.

Compare to Private Cloud

Now compare this Total Cost of Ownership to that of a Private Cloud.

We’ve already demonstrated that a Private Cloud is objectively better than in-house IT, in terms of reliability, security and mobility. But simply comparing the costs of in-house vs. cloud-based IT shows that Private Cloud is also more economical than in-house IT.

Private Cloud costs typically include:

  • One-time Implementation Fee, typically ranges from $2000 to $6000
  • All-Inclusive Monthly Fee, often around $105 to $159 / User / Month

Of note is that (with the right Private Cloud provider) these figures are inclusive of all technology that you would otherwise have to buy and maintain. On-premise IT (as we’ve illustrated above) is fraught with hidden and unpredictable costs.

Fully-managed Private Cloud costs are simple, clear and predictable.

Related – The Financial Case for Cloud for Law Firms:  The cloud can be substantially more cost-effective than its alternatives. Learn more.

Doing Your Due Diligence & Mitigating Risk

Now that you have a sense of how ProLaw in the cloud works and how moving ProLaw to the cloud will benefit your law firm, lets talk about the all-important job of doing your due diligence.

There are a variety of ways your firm could accomplish a transition of ProLaw to the cloud. Whatever direct your firm goes, it’s important to do your homework.

In recent years, a problem for law firms has become that more and more companies, from small, local IT shops to generalist (non-legal-focused) cloud server providers are throwing their hat into the ring and declaring, “Hey, we do ProLaw cloud hosting now too!” This is a potential pitfall for law firms. Here’s why.

Running and maintaining ProLaw in the cloud isn’t for amateurs.

Hosting ProLaw, in particular, requires special configuration and deep software expertise. How to properly engage in due diligence when selecting a Private Cloud provider for your law firm is a subject unto itself, but here are a few key areas to review when evaluating potential hosting companies.

  • Verify that the provider is an authorized ProLaw hosting partner
  • Verify the provider has successfully hosted ProLaw for at least 20 law firms
  • Verify the provider will encrypt your data in-transit and at-rest
  • Verify the provider backs up your data to multiple data centers across the US
  • Understand what the provider will do if served with a subpoena regarding your data
  • Validate that your data will only be stored in your country (data sovereignty)
  • Verify that you will retain exclusive ownership of your data
  • Ensure the provider's data center is SSAE16 audited and certified
  • Verify the provider owns the server equipment (and is not simply reselling Azure or Amazon)
  • Verify that the provider offers at least 99.99% Uptime
  • Verify the provider is and remains complaint with all software licensing (Microsoft, VMWare, etc.)
  • Understand the provider's size (in terms of revenue and employee count)

Once you’ve developed a short list of potential ProLaw hosting providers, do your homework on each company. We recommend:

  • Obtaining and contacting references
  • Asking for and reviewing the provider's case studies / success stories
  • Reading the available Google reviews for the provider

To see the Google reviews for a Private Cloud provider (or any business), if the company is reputable you can simply perform a Google search for that company, and the reviews will show up in the search results sidebar. For example:

Uptime Legal Google Reviews

Learn more about doing your due diligence:

Related – 25 Things To Ask Your Legal Private Cloud Provider: Ensure you’re getting the best provider for your cloud-hosting needs.

ProLaw in the Cloud – Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. You can run ProLaw in a Private Cloud with a company that specializes in hosting law firm software.

ProLaw can be moved to the Private Cloud by a company that specializes in hosting law firm software. Learn more.

A Private Cloud provides all necessary IT functions without the need to maintain on-premise servers. Learn more.

A Virtual Desktop allows your law firm to access and use your legal and productivity software from any device. Learn more.

It depends on the cloud provider. With a reputable provider, a Private Cloud is orders of magnitude more reliable than maintaining on-premise servers.

It depends on the cloud provider. With a reputable provider, a Private Cloud is orders of magnitude more secure than maintaining on-premise servers.

It depends on the cloud provider, the number of users in your firm and the other technology needs of your firm. For many law firms, running ProLaw in the Cloud costs between $115 and $159 / User / Month. Learn more.

It depends on the cloud provider. As such, you should read the contract carefully, and ensure there is explicit language to this effect.

This depends on the provider. Some cloud providers require that a third-party VAR or IT consultant perform all updates. Uptime Practice, by contrast, manages all software updates and maintenance for you.

Now that cloud computing is mainstream many bar associations have shared their opinions on cloud computing, and even recommend it. According to an article posted on the ABA website:

“Most fears about trusting client information to ‘the Internet’ are misplaced. One misconception is that client information may be intercepted as it travels across the Internet. Modern encryption has progressed to the point where it is unbreakable. Cloud companies understand that their reputations for protecting customer information are crucial. A single security breach would cost them dearly. Your client information is more secure stored on a reputable, professionally managed cloud server than on your office computers.”

This depends on the cloud provider. In the case of Uptime Practice, your Private Cloud will work with virtually all printers, scanners and peripherals. Your local and network printers will appear and work within your virtual desktop just as they do on your local computer.

ProLaw is Windows-based, and cannot run on a Mac computer. However, certain Virtual Desktop solutions, such as Uptime Practice, enable you to run ProLaw in cloud desktop from your Mac computer.

Ready to Move ProLaw to the Cloud?

At Uptime Legal, we host ProLaw and other legal software for hundreds of law firms across North America.

Get in touch with our team to learn more about ProLaw in the cloud for your law firm.

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Learn More about running ProLaw in the Cloud.

Uptime Practice:

A Complete Law Office in the Cloud

Uptime Practice is a suite of products that help hundreds of law firms streamline their technology, work anywhere, and move their practice to the cloud.

Practice Go

Cloudify Your Legal App

Does your law firm already have a cloud strategy, but have one premise-based application still running on onsite servers? Practice Go is for you.

  • With Practice Go, we effectively turn your desktop/server- based legal software into a cloud application (a Published App), freeing your firm from the limitations of traditional software.
  • Practice Go can cloudify your PCLaw, Time Matters, Tabs3, ProLaw, Juris, QuickBooks and more.
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Practice Foundation

Complete Private Cloud for Law Firms

If your law firm needs a central, secure cloud platform for all of your legal software, documents and data, Practice Foundation is for you.

  • Practice Foundation is an end-to-end cloud platform that will host all of your firm's applications and documents, and will optionally include Office 365 + unlimited IT support. Everyone in your firm logs into a Virtual Desktop where they'll find all of their apps and docs.

  • Practice Foundation works with PCLaw, Time Matters, Tabs3, ProLaw, Juris, QuickBooks, Timeslips, TrialWorks, Adobe Acrobat and more.

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Practice Next

Technology + Legal Software Support for Modern Law Firms

If your firm has already moved to the cloud and gotten rid of on-premise servers, you might find getting quality, legal-focused IT support difficult.

That’s where we come in.

  • Practice Next is a suite of essential cloud services, IT support and practice management tools, implemented and supported by Uptime Legal.

  • Practice Next includes legal software support, Office 365, cloud storage, collaboration tools and expert legal IT support, all packaged into a simple monthly fee.

  • Practice Next works with today's cloud-based legal software including Clio, LEAP, CosmoLex, MyCase and more.

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Not Sure Which Edition You Need?

No problem.  Check out our quick Comparison Chart for Uptime Practice, or Get in Touch to talk with our sales team.

Practice Editions