Management Assistance Program

Slack v Teams for Law Firm Instant Messaging.

By Jim Calloway

Can We Use Slack in our Law Firm?

Some of us participate in Slack groups. Slack is a group messaging app that is simple and easy to use. As we know, group texts might work for social occasions, but aren’t great for business situations. (One reason — someone can be added late and then have access to the entire thread.)

Regarding messaging apps, when the need for security is extreme (e.g. your client is accused of terrorism and you or your client don’t trust intelligence agencies to follow the rules) the best choice, in my view is Signal, followed by Telegram. Both parties need to install the app on their devices and exchange contact info. Several months ago, Signal increased its video call group limit from 5 to 40 participants. I don’t recommend What’s App since being acquired by Facebook. Signal is owned by a nonprofit dedicated to promoting internet users’ security. See https://www.pcmag.com/picks/best-secure-messaging-apps

Even though some of your employees may enjoy the Slack Groups they use, for many law firms the choice will be to use Teams because it integrates easily with all of the Office 365 apps AND because the firm has already paid for it. Although no security system is completely bulletproof because fallible people use the tools, Office 365 apps are generally secure. Microsoft is holding billions of dollars’ worth of businesses’ information in OneDrive and the other apps.

But let everyone know in advance if you are ultimately going to archive Teams message threads into the client file when the matter is closed. You’d hate for that file to include too many side discussions about lunch today or meeting up after work.

Here are the top 7 apps for group messaging per PCMag.com if you’d like to do more research.

Another thing about Slack is we periodically see articles like How Overcome the Security Challenges of Using Slack for Your Enterprise. As I review the articles, the ones I have seen focus on setting permissions correctly, training and some scenarios on insider threats.