As the legal profession continues to evolve and remote work has become more common, the need for managing documents, emails, contracts and other matters digitally has become increasingly important as teams are spread out across offices, cities, states and even countries. Many organizations are turning to technology to help them ditch paper and filing systems and opt for a new way of organizing information through a centralized, paperless system.
While it can be hard for some to transition from the traditional way of doing things, the benefits far outweigh the costs of taking the time to invest in a digital system that can grow with your organization—no matter where you are located.
Four Benefits of a Paperless Legal Office
The benefits of going paperless are numerous and far outweigh the costs. It’s important for legal organizations to take the time to understand the return on investment that a paperless office can deliver. Here are just a few of the benefits your organization will receive by going paperless:
- Easier access to documents—no matter where you are located.
Not being physically present with your teammates is no longer a hindrance to making progress on cases and matters. With a paperless matter management system in place, any team member can access the content they need in real time with just an internet connection. By keeping all the files for a particular matter together in a central location, you can search and retrieve exactly what you need, when you need it. Plus, built-in workflow and notetaking features can also enable you to collaborate on the case from the comfort of your own home. With all your data stored in the cloud, you can securely access any detail from a particular case, while trusting that your information is safe and won’t make it into the wrong hands.
- Matter information remains secure and on-hand.
Without a matter management system, pertinent information can end up anywhere — email inboxes, network/shared drives, local hard drives, scans, phones, handwritten notes, etc. Sure, your team members may have their own personal system for managing these repositories, even if it takes five subfolders to get there. But not only does it expose sensitive case and matter data to risk, it makes it hard for other team members to step in and retrieve the information they need. A matter management system ensures pertinent case data is available to everyone who needs it, while keeping offices clutter-free. Plus, housing information in the cloud means you can better manage security instead of risking exposure to passersby.
At Legal Files, we continually keep abreast of the ever-increasing security footprint required by our customers. Further, we ensure internal and externally generated penetration tests and security reviews are part of every build cycle. We collaborate with several organizations in very high-security focused industries and are always looking at the next big thing in data security and protection.
- No more extra storage rooms or facilities.
Legal organizations with paper files have typically had to maintain both closed and open storage space to keep some items easily accessible, while also protecting the confidentiality of others. Whether your organization has storage on-site or off-site is largely dependent on your company’s size and caseload. Regardless, the costs and time associated with storing paper files can be difficult to manage and pose some security risks. By going paperless, you can eliminate unnecessary risks, reduce costs and save time by eliminating the need to maintain these facilities. Case management software systems keep your information secure in a single place, at a fraction of the cost, compared to the long-term investments of physical paper storage and its constraints.
- Better document and contract version control.
Legal files are fluid in many ways, constantly requiring changes and updates. With multiple people working on the same document, version control can sometimes get out of hand. Paper documents are not especially conducive to multiple changes, as they are more difficult and more time consuming to manage manually. In a digital system, version control makes it easy to locate and work on the most recent iteration of a document. Documents are created and stored online, which enables multiple people to edit the document at once without getting versions confused. This ability to edit documents in real-time and track changes increases efficiency and saves time that would otherwise be spent manually making changes. This can save hours upon hours annually rather than managing menial document details.
- Improved billing processes.
The process of billing and receiving is a high priority for any organization, as it keeps the operations running smoothly. Paper invoices can be cumbersome, time-consuming to create and rife with errors. There is a better way, without having to add on another technology system. With legal case management software, your organization can keep billing, contracts, emails and other documents, including scanned documents, all in one place. By integrating all your important files—including invoices—billing errors are fewer, and less time is needed to separately create and send invoices outside of the system. Legal case management software also enables additional functionality like digital invoices and automated billing reminders that just are not possible the traditional paper way.
“We hadn’t really thought about using Legal Files’ expense tools. But it’s fitting in nicely with the company’s overall goal of going paperless. We scan invoices in and then track the invoices within Legal Files. Legal Files is also able to automatically track totals for each matter, and we’ve found that very helpful.”
Darcy Jablonski, CannonDesign Associate
Taking the Leap: How to Implement Paperless Legal Software
Case management software systems are the technology platform that many legal organizations lean on to make the shift from paper processes to more secure online systems that help better coordinate activities among staff, reinforce risk management & compliance capabilities and offer metrics to monitor and improve operations.
Once your organization has determined that moving to a legal case management software system is the best way to stay current with the changing legal environment, it’s important to ensure that the implementation goes smoothly and is well planned. Some things to keep in mind as you move forward with selecting the right provider for your paperless system are:
- Check the security certifications of the provider you select.
Ensure that security is a high priority for your provider. Find out how documents will be securely stored and how the highest level of security is maintained. Ensure that your legal case management software will have the right systems in place to secure all documents you upload and maintain. The peace of mind in knowing your documents are well taken care of at all times is invaluable.
- Find out all the features the legal case management software offers so you can take full advantage.
The legal software you select should have documentation on all the features its system offers and how to implement it. By doing this initial upfront research, you can maximize your investment and ensure your implementation goes as smoothly as possible.
- Explore training and resources to ensure all team members can easily adopt the legal software.
Implementing the legal case management software is one thing. Training your users on how to adopt it is another critical part of your organization’s success. You will need a trusted resource to give you guidance on how to implement your legal software and provide best practices. By having a trusted advisor, you can ensure that your organization will achieve the full adoption and full return on investment you desire.
Making the Shift to Paperless Legal Software Has Never Been Easier
According to Gartner, 58% of legal software vendors’ customers are in North America, and by 2024, legal departments will have automated 50% of legal work related to major
corporate transactions. This not only means digital legal management systems are on the rise, but the technology is regularly improving, making it easier to go paperless—and harder to stay in the past.
Legal Files allows you to transfer all your paper files to the cloud to better manage, store and organize all your critical legal documents and all other case and non-case related data from a single platform. Say goodbye to multiple legal filing systems and paper trails for good.
With more than 30 years of experience supporting organizations across a number of industries, Legal Files gives you the security, peace of mind and much-needed collaboration that can only come from a unified, centralized platform for all your legal cases, matters, issues or projects.
Request a demo to learn more about how we help organizations like yours manage what matters most.