With the Amicus Attorney Client Portal, you can share information with your clients quickly and easily, while cutting down on the emails going back-and-forth. Learn more of the advantages from this free training webinar recap.

 

About Free Training Thursday: Since the start of 2017, we have been holding these free 20 minute trainings hosted by our industry-leading experts and innovators who will teach you about AbacusLaw, Amicus Attorney, ResultsCRM, OfficeTools, Abacus Private Cloud, and more. If you would like to request a topic, please email webinars@abacusnext.com.

Welcome everyone to our free Thursday webinar. My name is Dave Lamb and I'm a software trainer here at AbacusNext. And because of the number or people on this webinar, all attendees are muted upon entry. If you have any questions during the session, please submit them using the question feature in the go to webinar panel on the right side of your screen and I'll answer your questions at the end of this session.

So in today's webinar, I'm going to give you an overview of the Amicus client portal. The client portal allows firms to give clients secure access to selected information on their Amicus files. And in this webinar, we'll learn how to enable the client portal for the firm, share selected file information to your client, invite your client to use the portal, and see how you and your client can configure and use that portal.

Now the Amicus client portal opened another layer of collaboration with clients. And this feature gives clients real time access to select Amicus file information through a secure online portal. We can grant specific clients access to particular files and selected documents, notes, custom fields, and events on those files. Clients can log into the portal through a web browser on any device, view the shared information, upload new documents, add notes, enter custom information, and view appointments and tasks on their files.

Now there are some pre-requisites. At least one firm member has to be currently using or has used Amicus anywhere at some point in the past. Firm members using the client portal must have the ability to send and receive invites for the portal in their security profile. And as of end of April this year, 2018, Amicus anywhere and portal access will only be available for the current version of the program.

Now sharing information to your client, you can share file information with a contact who's role on the file is client. So let's go to our files module and let's take a look at our Adderly share purchase file. And so we have Jason B. Adderly as our client. Now does this mean that only this client can access information through the portal? No, the client contact can also have another role on the file. Say you could have company client as a role as long as that role is specified as a client. And you can set that up when you create these roles in your firm settings.

Okay, so the first step. The first step is to enable the client portal for the firms. So let's close out of our file. Let's go into the office. To enable the client portal, you must be an Amicus admin. And to enable the portal, we go into firm settings. And you will see that we have under client portal, portal setup. Now first we're going to check the box to enable the client portal. You can see this is very difficult. A lot of things to do here. And we give the firm display name. This allows you to customize the name for your firm, so it doesn't look generic. My firm is called GG Law Firm. And I am going to put Professional Legal Services. Very nice.

Now you can also customize it some more by adding your logo. So I'm going to include the firm logo. You see right here it says image will be resized to this. So your logo can be a gif, a jpeg, your typical image format. And I'm going to upload. It's going to open up Windows Explorer and I'm going to go to where I have my fabulous logo. Now this logo was created for me. Look at that. It's a beautiful logo. You can tell I spent a lot of time on this. Open, and there it is. Now you can preview your logo by clicking preview. And it's going to show you what your logo's going to look like. There it is. There's our logo, beautiful.

Okay so that's all there is to enabling the portal for the firm, and click OK. All right, now what we are going to do is we are going select the information on a file to share with our client. So let's go back into files and again our Adderly share purchase. So again, the person you wish to share with has to be the client on the file or have a client role on the file and they must have a valid an unique email address. And you can see my client Jason B. Adderly does have an email address. Now at the bottom of the file fax, on the left hand side, there's a portal icon. And you can see that the portal has not yet been enabled. This means that no events, notes, documents, or custom fields on this file are currently shared through the portal.

First of all, let's share out a document on the file. Go to documents and we'll go to all documents. So let's share out the director's resolution. We'll double click to open the profile and you will see down at the bottom, there is a portal icon. So all we need to do to enable it, is to click this. And right now with the little red icon, it means that it's not currently shared. So let's just click portal.

Now it will give us a little portal sharing box and we want to make this visible to clients on the file who have portal access. Yes, we do and click OK. Now this document will be available to the assigned clients, once we invite them to the portal. Now you don't actually need to open the profile to do this. Say we wanted to share the shareholders agreement. If you right click, you will also see share in client portal. So that's a lot easier, a lot less mouse clicks. Share in client portal.

All right, you can of course share notes, appointments and to-do's on the file the same way. Now to share the documents, notes, appointments and to-do's, they must be associated with a single file and not restricted. So let's share out some other information and before we do that, let's just save and close to save our changes. And let's go back into our file. And let's go back into our documents and all documents. And then we go to director's resolution, you'll see that the portal icon is enabled.

Let's share an appointment that we have on the file that would be under events. And I'm going to have a meeting with Mr Adderly, so I'd like to share the details of that. Again right click and share in client portal. And I'd like to take one of my notes. And let's go to my notes. Now the notes you share out are these yellow notes. So what I'd like to do is remember to bring the auditor’s report, right click and let us share in client portal. So now we've shared out a nice little note. We've shared out an event and we've shared some documents.

Now to actually see what we've shared out, on the page there is now shared with clients is enabled. Let's click that. And what this is going to do is it's going to show us all of the items that we've selected that are shared out. There's our note, there is our appointment, there are the two documents. This is updated, if I add something else to the portal. If my client, for example adds a note to the file through the client portal, it will be updated here in shared with clients. So this is where you want to look, a central location to see what has been shared. And I can open any of these, make any changes to them, change the portal settings, for example.

Now the last thing that I'd like to do is to share some custom fields. Right now I can't do that. And the reason is that the formatting between the desktop and the portal is different. So let's go to our custom pages right here. Custom pages, custom fields on the desktop are organized in pages. In the client portal, they're organized in columns. So what we have to do is we have to decide which custom fields we want to share. You might not want to share all of the with your clients and then we have to format them. And to do that you must be an administrator. So we're just going to save and close our file. We're going to go back into the office. And we're going to go into custom pages and records, which is where we can format our custom information for the portal.

There it is, the button that we want is the anywhere portal layout manager. We click that. Custom fields on files and Amicus anywhere and the client portal are displayed in a single view with two scrolling columns, just like I said. And you can choose to designate any or all of the available custom fields and control the layout of each. That's what we want to do. And we want to do this for the client portal. We'll click the little portal button.

Now because we customize Amicus files by file type, we need to select the file type or file types that we want to customize. When we do this, only the custom fields for these file types will be shared. So, for example, you may want to allow the custom fields on your corporate files to be shared but not the custom fields on your civil litigation files. So we're going to click the little icon and we're going to share out the custom field for our corporate files. So we select corporate and click OK. Now of course you can share out the custom fields for multiple file types. Then we click OK. And here is the layout page.

On the left, we can see all of the available custom fields for our corporate files with an icon indicating the field type. For example, a number field, a text field, a date field. Now I select the individual custom fields I want to share and drag them over to the columns on the right. So I want to share the registered corporate name field. So I'm going to put that in my first column. You just drag it and drop it. I'm going to do the same for officers. So let's drag that one over, officers. And I'm going to do the same for signing officers. Signing officers and the board of directors quorum. So those are going to appear in the client portal in the first column.

In the second column, I want to have the fiscal year end and the last annual meeting field. Fiscal year end into the second column and last annual meeting. So, I've decided which of the custom fields I want to share out. Again you don't have to share them all out. And I've organized them the way I want them to be seen in the portal. Next up I want to save and publish. And my little message is publishing will permit firm members to share the designated custom fields on individual matter files to the portal. Okay, do you want to continue? Yes, I do and click OK.

Now let's go back to our file, our Adderly share purchase file. Now let's go to custom pages. Okay, custom pages, you'll see now down at the bottom there is a little asterisks that says shared to client portal. And up at the top, you'll see a little icon click to edit portal sharing of individual custom fields. So we're going to do that, okay. So what this is showing us now is what we just did a moment ago. This is showing us the custom fields that we made available for the client portal. And so what I'd like to do is, I'd like to share out the registered corporate name, the officers, the board of directors quorum, fiscal year end and the last meeting. You'll notice that I decided for my client Mr Adderly, I was not going to put in the signing officers. So again, you select what you want to share. Let's click OK.

And now you will see the little blue asterisks and again that means shared to the client portal. So we've shared out the registered corporate name, the officers, board of directors quorum. And when we go to our next field, you will see the last annual meeting, fiscal year end, telling me that these are shared. And if I go to share with clients, you're going to see these custom fields. So again it updates every time you make a sharing decision.

So what we've done up to this point is we took a moment to enable the client portal for the firm in firm settings. We added our little text to customize it for our firm. We've added out wonderful, beautiful firm logo. And then we've gone to the individual file and selected the items that we wanted to share documents, events, notes, custom fields.

The next step is to give our client Jason Adderly access to the portal. Now we can do this by clicking the portal button or we can go into Mr Adderly's contact card. So we're going to do that. Let's go back into our card here and we're going to go Mr Adderly's contact card. Another portal icon down here on the left, notice Mr Jason Adderly's portal button is not enabled. When we enable the portal for Mr Adderly, an email invitation will automatically be generated that I can send to Mr Adderly's primary email address, and that's right here. So let's do that. Let us send out the invitation.

Click the portal button. First thing is we're going to allow this contact access to the client portal, yes. This client will be given secure online access to view their own file information, including shared documents, notes, and more. Click OK. So, we've enabled the access. We can say that Mr Adderly's file is listed here and we're giving Mr Adderly portal access to that file.

Now we send Mr Adderly an email invitation. And so what I'm going to do is, I'm going to make sure that my Outlook is running because it's going to use Outlook to send the email. And you can of course customize the email. You can add whatever you want. So we're going to send invitation. We get the little message that the email is there and there it is. You can that his email address has been filled in. There's a lovely text, Welcome to the GGLaw Law Firm Professional Legal Services client portal. There's some text and again because this is just an email in Outlook now, I could add anything to this if I want. All I need to do is to send and off it goes. And so now my part is finished. Let me click OK. And you can see now that Mr Adderly's portal access has been enabled and save and close.

So let's get Mr Adderly logged into the portal. Let's go to his email and there should be an email that's generated that will enable his client portal. Let's just refresh his inbox and there it is. So he's received an email, Welcome to the GGLaw firm Professional Legal Services client portal. So this is what our client sees. Let's open the email and there is the email. So here's the invitation we sent. This is really difficult. Simple read it, you will have access to your client matter files when you manage the shared documents etc. Click here. So we're going to click here. So this is what our client does. Hey there's our beautiful logo. And there is our lovely message that we put at the top. Welcome to the secure online portal, please follow this one step to setup your account. What your client really is doing, is they're setting up their password. So we're going to click next.

So, they need to create a password. It must be a strong password, which means eight characters long and contains some letters, numbers and punctuation. So let me add my password. And it is a strong password, good. And there it is. Next down here we can't  proceed because it says this strong password may take some getting used to, we recommend writing it down somewhere where it's safe right now. And that's always a good idea because as a firm member you cannot recover your client's passwords. You don't know them. They are secured by them. If your client ever calls you and says, I need to get in to my client portal but I don't remember my password, you would have to send them an invitation again and do this process again. So, I'm going to say I'm good. They're going to say next.

Now it's going to configure the account. Congratulations, your client portal account has been created. And they've sent a confirmation email. All I need to do next is click log in. Okay, now at this point the attorney will get an email and our attorney here is Bobby Donnell, who's office we're in. Will be sent an email automatically telling him that Jason has accepted the portal invitation.

So here's the homepage, which is always shown first. It shows me right away that I have access to one file. I'm just going to maximize that. And it tells me if there are any documents, it shows me if I have any notes. And you'll see you have no new notes since you logged in. Well of course because I just logged in. I can also see on the top menu bar files, documents, and notes. So let's do a little quick tour. Let's go to files and you will see a list of any of the files that have been shared through the portal. We've only shared one, which is the Adderly share purchase. Documents, now it's showing any documents because I have a filter here on the left. So let's just say from, let's go back, way back. Let's click shared and there we go.

So these are our shared documents; the directors resolution and the shareholders agreement. Now just remember all of this information resides on your server. It does not reside on a cloud server, it does not reside on your clients machine. All of this information is encrypted going back and forth and when you're client logs out of the portal, no information is ever left on their machine at all.

Let's go to notes. And let's see all notes and there it is. There's the note that we shared. Remember to bring the auditor’s report. So I can add a new note, view the details of a note. So all I have to here is open. There's the note and I'm going to add a new note. You can tell I don't type for a living. Looks like everything is fine. Save and close. Okay, now once I've added the note back in Bobby Donnell's office, Bobby gets a lovely little sticky. Looks like everything is ... This is a new note added by JPA, that's the initials of our client from the client portal.

So let's take a look at that. Let's take a look at notes. All file notes, JPA, looks like everything is fine. So you can see this happens in real time. So notes back and forth with your client. Let's go back to the portal. Let's go into our documents, sorry to our files, let's open that file. We can see the documents again. We can see the notes. We can see our events, our appointments and our tasks. Here's the appointment. Now your clients will not be able to view your calendar. They will not be able to change any of the details of your events. They will not be able to add events to your calendar or delete them.

What they can do is they can open the details and see the details of this. So we've said to Mr Adderly, we're going to be in the meeting room. This is the start and end time, our duration. What you client can do is they can add notes. So here's our notes list here, and to add new. I will have the document ready, save it, close. And again back in our Amicus on the desktop, we are going to see that they got a nice little sticky. And if we go into our event and we go into our meeting. And we go to our notes. I will have the document ready. So again real time collaboration between your client and yourself.

So let's go back into our portal. And let us go, the reason I'm getting that is I actually have the file open. So what I'm going to do is I'm going to save and close our file. So any changes that we make will be available. Documents, this is one of the great features of the portal. What I can do here is I can double click and I can add notes to the document. I can see a summary of the document. I can view the document. I can open it, so if I have Microsoft Word installed. Now to open of course you have to have the application available. So if I'm working on a tablet or a phone, if I don't have Word it's not going to open. But there we go. There it is, there is our document.

I can also add new documents. And there's a couple of ways to do this. You can click the add button or drag and drop. I'm just going to add a document. Just go to my downloads and let's add a letter of intent. So this is my client. He has a Word document locally, this could be a PDF, an Excel spreadsheet. Click open. You can upload multiple documents at a time. Upload now. And if I go back into Amicus into my file. Let's go into documents and let's go into all documents and there's letter of intent that was uploaded by my client.

So as you can see, a lot of information can be shared back and forth. And when my client, Mr Adderly is finished he can simply log out. Now the website for the portal is www.amicusanywhere.com/portal. So that is a very quick overview of the client portal. Again where you can share documents, you can share events, you can share notes. And we didn't quite have much time, but you could also see the custom fields on that file, if you want.

So I'm going to take the next few minutes and we're going to see if we have any questions. Just go here and make things. Okay, how does a client learn that something has been shared in the portal? There's no mechanism to say automatically send out an email. You would have to do that manually. There's no automatic mechanism to send them any kind of alert that they've got something. Can the client edit the shared documents? Is there a way to lock documents so they can't be edited? The only way you could lock a document is if of course if you use Word or Word Perfect to lock down the document. That would prevent them from editing the original document. Now one thing they can't do is that your clients cannot in effect delete documents. So even if I download a document, let's take a look back on our file, into our Adderly share purchase file, into our documents.

You notice that our client uploaded letter of intent. Say my client downloaded that again and made some changes to it, saved it and uploaded it with the same name, letter of intent.doc. It would save it but Amicus would append some date and time information to it. So you would in effect have two copies of the document, the original and the appended version. So your clients can never override a document. But can they change it? Yes, they can but they can't override it. You would have a second copy of that document available. So yes they can change, but you'll always have that original document.

All right, I'm just going to wait just a moment to see if there are any other questions. Okay, I don't see any other questions. So that will wrap up our webinar for this week. And I'd like to thank everybody for taking the time to join me and I hope you found this session informative and useful, hopefully. You can check for upcoming webinars on our website at www.abacusnext.com/webinars. And if you're interested in pursuing further training we do offer a variety of interactive online courses, taught by our professional in house training department. And you can go to www.abacusnext.com/support and select Amicus attorney. Again, thank you very much and enjoy the rest of your day.

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