Situation and Challenges
Nixon Peabody LLP is a Global 100 law firm with 800 attorneys in 17 cities across the United States, as well as Paris, Shanghai and London. The firm’s Information Law/e-Discovery practice comprises attorneys and legal technology consultants who offer consulting and advice on data privacy issues and review of electronic data for litigation purposes.
The litigation technology team within the Information Law/e-Discovery practice send data to and receive data from clients and vendors. They must arrange for collected raw data to be processed so it can be read in an electronic review database. Although the specialists frequently format the raw data themselves, when volumes are heavy they must outsource the work to vendors. In those cases, Nixon Peabody needs a secure file-transfer solution to send data to its vendors; this data averages about 60 GB per month total for all firm members.
In the past, the litigation technology team used two systems to deliver data. Frequently, they copied the files onto external media such as DVDs, CDs, and external hard-disk drives and sent them by commercial courier. But using that process, the information required 24 to 48 hours to reach its destination, and the firm suffered from a productivity standpoint. Complementing the use of a courier service, the firm established an internal solution that allowed technology specialists to upload files that were then retrieved by clients or vendors. The internal solution, however, also slowed the firm’s processes. “The speed and performance of our internal solution was not meeting our needs,” noted Nixon Peabody’s Director of Litigation Technology Services, John Roman. “If the transfer went too slowly, it would time out, and sometimes it would take far too long to transfer a gigabyte of information.”
Moreover, each client organization needed its own ID and password. Often, the Nixon Peabody litigation technology specialists worked late into the night or on weekends and wanted to send data to a client, but no IT staff members were available after hours to create the IDs; as a result, the data exchange had to wait until the next business day.
Roman’s team sought a better solution: one that would heighten productivity and be easy to use. His team did a quick analysis of YouSendIt for Business and other solutions, relying heavily on the recommendation a team member who had tried YouSendIt for Business before. “He told me it was easy to use, easy to deploy, inexpensive and Web-based, so we wouldn’t have to worry about managing it,” John Roman said. “I tried it out for just a short period and then adopted YouSendIt for Business’s solution, which allowed for multiple users on our account and permitted us to send files as heavy as 2 gigabytes.”
To deploy YouSendIt for Business among the litigation technology specialists on his team, Roman simply created log-in IDs for them and then used YouSendIt for Business to send an e-mail to them, indicating that they now had a YouSendIt for Business account. “I gave everyone the required access, and that was it. It’s simple when you have technologists who work for you, and YouSendIt for Business’s user interface is pretty simple for non-technical people as well.”
The team downloaded the desktop version. They also began using the YouSendIt for Business Microsoft Outlook plug-in, which enabled them to send individual files or entire folders directly from Outlook.
Why YouSendIt for Business
YouSendIt for Business lived up to Roman’s expectations. “The feedback from my team has been outstanding—they love it because it is easy to use and works well.” Clients and vendors can easily take advantage of YouSendIt for Business’s benefits because the litigation technology services team has created a YouSendIt for Business Dropbox. By just clicking a link in an e-mail from Nixon Peabody, recipients can access YouSendIt for Business and upload files to the Dropbox.
YouSendIt for Business with the Outlook plug-in also fits seamlessly into Nixon Peabody’s workflow. The technology team uses it daily and can employ YouSendIt for Business not only to send out raw data but also for production support. “For example, we’ll send 1,000 pages of Word documents to a vendor to have them print it for us,” John Roman said.
Additionally, YouSendIt for Business helps Nixon Peabody comply with information governance and auditing requirements. The firm must maintain a chain of custody for data, being able to show how they received it and how it was sent out. “Every step in that process needs to be documented,” Roman said, “and we need an audit trail. YouSendIt for Business provides this tracking assurance.”
With YouSendIt for Business, the firm also can also enforce its retention policies. When sending a file, the litigation team allows the file to be available for only 24 hours; then it must be deleted. “A great feature is the automatic purge. Everyone has it set for 24 hours, and no one can change it,” Roman observed. YouSendIt for Business’s SSL encryption and additional security features provide even more peace of mind to the litigation team.
John Roman cites four areas in which YouSendIt for Business has produced a significant impact on his team’s work:
- Productivity gains. No longer do the team, clients and vendors need to wait days to receive or deliver data. Information sent via YouSendIt for Business can be uploaded in seconds or minutes and downloaded just as quickly, eliminating the need to burn discs and reliance on IT resources. Rather than waiting days to get an account set up, the team is agile and can get data to their clients on the fly, even on weekends.
- Ease of use. Every team member, client and vendor can send and receive files easily with YouSendIt for Business’s simple, straightforward interface and through links to the firm’s Dropbox. With the Outlook plug-in, team members don’t even need to open a browser or click an application to use YouSendIt for Business. It sends files and folders automatically with just a click of Outlook’s Send button.
- Low cost. In addition to saving clients the cost of courier services, YouSendIt for Business has reduced the cost of delays that were inherent in using courier services and the time it took Nixon Peabody to manage and set up accounts using its in-house solution.
- Tracking assurance. Roman says he now can be certain that files sent to a specific individual reach that person, whereas a FedEx delivery might sit at a front desk for hours or be picked up by someone other than the intended recipient. “Now my team can track a file and know when the information was received,” Roman says.