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Law Practice Magazine


Unlocking Secure Document Collection with Pipefile: An Affordable Solution

Julie Bays


  • Pipefile offers secure, easy-to-use document collection for legal professionals.
  • Features include customizable checklists, automated reminders, and strong encryption.
  • User-friendly interface suitable for all skill levels with affordable pricing with different plans for varied needs.
Unlocking Secure Document Collection with Pipefile: An Affordable Solution

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Gathering sensitive documents from clients is something lawyers do routinely, and it's a critical part of their work. Given the confidential nature of the information they handle, safeguarding these documents is imperative. We all know that emails can be vulnerable to hacking and data breaches, which is why lawyers must explore secure alternatives for document exchange. Failing to protect client confidentiality can have serious repercussions, including legal consequences and damage to their professional reputation. Therefore, it's vital to select a secure and dependable method for managing these documents. There are several options available, such as secure client portals, encrypted or password-protected documents or specialized document exchange platforms.

Nowadays, many organizations like doctor's offices use secure online portals for sharing files with clients. Although lawyers have been slow to adopt portals, many practice management applications now include them, and portals provide a secure way for clients to easily upload documents. Lawyers should check if their software has this capability.

Another way to secure documents is by password protection. Setting strong, unique passwords on Word or PDF files provides an important layer of defense for sensitive information. This works fine but you must let the client know what the password is, which can be time-consuming.

Document exchange platforms like ShareFile, Box and Pipefile offer another effective option for securely sharing files. These services allow law firms to tightly control access to documents through advanced permissions and authentication requirements. They also provide a more efficient way to collect documents than through email.

What Is Pipefile?

Pipefile describes itself as a user-centric alternative to platforms such as ShareFile. Pipefile offers a range of features such as secure document collection, customizable branding, real-time notifications, automated email reminders and file request checklists.

Pipefile simplifies the process of gathering required documents from clients through customizable checklists. These tailored lists can be created for specific cases or transactions, streamlining the document collection process. These checklists help users identify the received documents and those that are still outstanding.

Meeting deadlines and managing document requests is easy with Pipefile's automated email reminders. Users can configure reminders to prompt clients or colleagues to upload their documents, ensuring tasks are completed promptly. For an extra fee, users can send reminders through SMS text messaging, too. Pipefile also offers customizable branding. With this feature, lawyers can make the platform match the law firm's look, giving clients the same experience when they upload documents.

The one thing about Pipefile that can’t be emphasized enough is how easy it is to use. The user interface is simple to understand and is user-friendly for the client uploading documents and the lawyer requesting them. Regardless of tech-savviness, anyone can easily navigate the platform to upload, access or share documents.


When files are uploaded through Pipefile, they are encrypted first in the web browser and then stored in an encrypted format on Pipefile's servers, using a protocol called PGP, and transferred securely over TLS (Transport Layer Security) connections. Additionally, user accounts are protected using strong encryption methods, making it difficult for unauthorized access. For those seeking added security, Pipefile offers the option to upload their own PGP public key and manage their private key offline to enable end-to-end encryption of their data. These security practices ensure that information remains safe and confidential on the Pipefile platform.


Free Trial: All plans include a 14-day free trial.

Standard Plan: $14.99 per user per month, 100 MB file size limit, 100 GB storage, basic features such as email reminders, open tracking, custom branding, and Zapier integration.

Professional Plan: $29.99 per user per month, 1 GB file size limit, unlimited storage, advanced features such as SMS reminders, notification sequences, lead forms, bulk send, and single sign-on (SSO).

Enterprise Plan: Custom pricing, 1 GB file size limit, unlimited storage, premium features such as user groups and SCIM provisioning, plus dedicated support and security.

While looking into this product, I reached out to the founder and CEO of Pipefile, Steve Recio to ask some questions.

Q: What experiences led you to develop Pipefile?

A: I studied computer science at Stanford University and then began my career working at tech startups in New York City. After a short stint at eBay, I spent some time working for a small business lending platform where we collected a variety of financial documents from applicants for underwriting.

Q: When did you first come up with Pipefile?

A: I started working on Pipefile about five years ago. I would say the inspiration for Pipefile started at the lending platform and was reinforced after a few frustrating experiences where I was asked to email my personal documents to my accountant and others. It was really during the pandemic lockdowns that Pipefile gained significant traction in the legal tech space as folks were forced to go digital.

Q: When did Pipefile launch?

A: It officially launched in February of 2019 when we began to iterate based on feedback from customers, a process which continues today.

Q: What is one thing about this product that you think your customers like the best?

A: It’s the dedicated workflow. I talked with immigration attorneys about this. When dealing with a large volume of documents, it can be challenging to keep track of which ones have been read and which ones are still outstanding.

Securely collecting, organizing, and sharing client documents is essential for maintaining confidentiality. However, reliance on traditional methods like email or physical documents creates inefficiency, clutter and security risks from potential hacking or data breaches.

Pipefile’s user-friendly design facilitates straightforward adoption even among less tech-savvy lawyers. While larger firms may choose more full-featured enterprise systems, Pipefile provides an affordable and capable option for solo practitioners and smaller law firms. Pipefile is a solution that specializes in workflows, which makes it better than generalized consumer platforms in addressing core document management pain points. As electronic document sharing becomes more common, solutions like Pipefile will become more relevant and valuable for smoother legal operations.