Google’s Gmail has made news a few times in the past couple of years by “losing” users email – often years worth. While these outages have primarily affected the free Gmail, even access to the paid Google Apps has occasionally been lost. For lawyers who are using the free Gmail as their primary email communication with clients, one must ask “how are you backing that up?”
With Gmail, there are a number of options. You can run Google Gears and maintain a local copy of Gmail. This is a pretty useful option, letting you choose which folders you want to maintain locally. Look in Gmail Settings under “offline” to set this up. Another option is to set up IMAP, which synchronizes your Gmail to a downloaded email client (like the free Thunderbird) to keep on your server or harddrive (which you do backup, don’t you?).
Don’t let your record of client communication live in the ether without a safety net.
Thanks to my good friend Catherine Reach at the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center for this tip.