How a law firm can go paperless | Common mistake to avoid | Law firm practice management19/07/21
Switching to a paperless law firm can not only support hybrid and remote working, but can also keep documents more accessible, organised and secure, plus have a positive impact on the environment.
To make your law firm paperless and eliminate paper, you need to ditch the physical files and go digital… but how?? It’s easier said than done – and a lot of times legal practice managers can get hung up on how to start what seems like a herculean task.
There’s definitely a RIGHT and a WRONG way to achieve a paperless law firm.
Taking the cheap or basic route to a paperless office can actually make you more inefficient and put your confidential documents more at risk, thereby defeating the objective.
#1 common mistake: Using your on-premise file servers (G:drive, Sharedrive, Dropbox, etc.)
Sure, the files can be centrally stored and accessed by your employees… but that’s all it can do.
Basic filing systems don’t include sophisticated tools to manage important legal documents:
- How do you enforce organisation and ensure your staff are following the same document management protocols?
- Is it easy to index, label or search for files based on matters?
- Can you perform profiling, versioning and scanning?
- Does it allow you to manage documents, spreadsheets and email in one system?
- Is time recording baked in?
- Can you auto-populate forms?
- Does it easily bundle court documents for you?
- Can it easily sync with your practice management platform?
Our guess is no because these off-the-shelf solutions may cost less but aren’t custom-built with a law firm in mind.
A disorganised, time-wasting option does your law firm no justice.
You may not need everything mentioned above (yet), but you will eventually, and it’s what makes your law firm work smarter, not harder.
Also don’t forget that on-premise servers require constant maintenance, upgrades and repair – all of which incurs more cost. Your documents also need regular back-ups or else your sensitive documents could be in jeopardy. If you don’t have sufficient IT budget or internal technical expertise to manage your server’s security, this isn’t a viable option for your business.
Worry not, there’s an easy-to-follow RIGHT way of going paperless.
The correct way to achieve a paperless law firm? Plain and simple, you need a cloud-based document management system.
Quill’s DocsHub is a more sophisticated document management system that is still surprisingly affordable for law firms. It not only provides a central solution to securely store and access all practice documents and correspondence, but with unlimited storage, integration with Microsoft Outlook, Word and Excel, and a clever time recording system, it will greatly speed up your case management processes.
For instance, you can automatically merge all your client and case data within the relevant document, meaning no more rekeying of information, no more inaccuracies and no more inconsistencies in branding across documents.
Best of all, you can capture your billable time along the way, without changing your normal workflow.
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