Adopting new legal technology can be a painstaking process, but perhaps nothing strikes more fear in a law firm than the data migration process that comes with implementing a tech change. Years of accumulated client data sit in the metaphorical rafters and packing it up and moving it all to a new residence sounds daunting, to say the least.

Despite how intimidating it may sound (and trust us, it’s really not that bad), the alternative to migration is remaining stuck in slow or outdated processes. Not only does this hinder your firm from growth, but it can also leave you vulnerable to security risks. If your law firm has made the decision to upgrade your technology, then it’s time to begin preparing your data for migration.

Pro Tips for Planning Your Data Migration

As part of your technology upgrade process, you’ll go through several phases of planning and preparation. When it comes to data migration specifically, there are some key areas to home in on with your planning.

  • Audit your current data – Before you move any data, you need to know the extent of your current data. This includes the type of data you have, its sources, format, and any accompanying documentation.
  • Clean your current data – Just like when moving physical property, a data migration is an opportune time to clear out the old and start fresh in your new system. Don’t waste time transferring bad data. Clean it now to get rid of corrupt files, poorly formatted data, duplicates or any incorrect or incomplete data before your migration.
  • Assess which data will be migrated – Understand compliance and regulations for storing legal files and be sure to maintain records for the requisite time period. Then, assess what else is essential to move. Once you’ve decided on which data will be transferred, create a backup of all the newly cleaned data that you want to migrate.
  • Create a migration timeline – Often, a lot of data migration pain comes from not understanding the rollout plan. Partner with an experienced legal technology provider to plan a realistic timeline for your data migration. You should also be sure to allocate time for validation, testing and training. For example, in most cases, it’s ideal to get Friday’s data and work with it for a week before going live on Monday of the following week. If you try to do it all in just a weekend, there isn’t a lot of time to test or correct. Then, that delta of a weeks’ time between getting the data and going live is a relatively small batch of catchup transactions that can teach you and your team how to use the system.

Migrating your law firm’s data may sound like a big undertaking, but when you work with technology professionals who understand the ins and outs of your business and the tech solutions that fuel your operations, the process is a breeze. If you have questions about upgrading your firm’s technology, get in touch with our team at Honeycrisp.

Luke Kumanchik

Entrepreneur, programmer, backyard farmer & Dungeon Master Extraordinaire.