A Guide to the Best Document Management Software for Law Firms
September 30, 2020
A recent study showed that the average lawyer generates about 100,000 sheets of paper per year. So if your law firm has 100 lawyers you might be drowning in legal filings, client billing invoices, and other various paperwork.
It’s probably safe to say that there are very few industries that create as much paperwork as legal practices. This is why document management software for law firms is such an important aspect of your practice.
Don’t continue to drown in paperwork and stop spending hours of every day looking for that important piece of paper you need for your big case. Instead, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about document management and how it can help your practice.
What Is Document Management Software for Law Firms?
A document management software system is a commercial-grade, digitalized filing cabinet for your law firm. However, it goes much further than any traditional filing cabinet every could for your father’s law firm.
A quality DMS can capture, organize, store, and easily retrieve any document your firm needs to save. It is a specific software program built exclusively for lawyers and law firms to manage your documents.
This is different from any other software program designed to organize your legal practice. Instead, this is your solution for paperwork deluge. This software program was built to focus solely on your file storage and systematizing your entire storage process.
A document management software program can increase your productivity and eliminate wasted time retrieving old case information. It also increases your security measurements and controls who has access to which files. Stop worrying about onboarding and offboarding employees to your documentation and start automating the process with the right software program.
With document management software you can not only manage where your important documents are stored but also who has access to it. Additionally, you can see who has accessed each document so you always control your chain of custody. Having an audit trail is vital to maintaining integrity for your firm and your clients, a DMS gives you that.
Who Should Use Dms for Law Firms?
So, if you’re a lawyer or law firm you need a consistent and secure way to store your documents. This will make storage more efficient as well as retrieval and maintaining your files.
And if you find yourself working from home these days, you will be glad to have a centralized storage system that you and your team can access remotely. You will also be glad to know that only your team has access to your client’s sensitive information.
Physical storage facilities can be costly. And keeping your files secure can be labor intensive and impossible to regulate. Retrieval from off-site storage can cost valuable time and delay your proceedings.
Instead, you need a way to keep all your vital documentation in a secure manner. Having a digitalized system also lets you control who has access as well as a way to monitor who has accessed which files and when.
Why You Need It for Your Law Firm?
Having a digital DMS has several benefits, not the least of which is security and increased productivity. From organization to maintenance to access control, there are several reasons why your practice needs to streamline your document storage system.
Not only can control what is saved and who has access but also how long each document is stored within your system. You create the workflow and process for each piece of documentation you store for your practice. Then your document storage system uses that process to manage your filing and documentation.
There are several benefits of using legal document preparation software. To make the most of these benefits you need a way to store and retrieve that paperwork with ease. Now thanks to software programs you can quickly and easily access the paperwork you need.
It’s easy to see why you need a quality storage system for your endless paperwork, but how can you implement it properly?
How Your Law Firm Can Properly Store and Retrieve Your Paperwork
There are several steps to properly set up your document management process. Here are the seven steps your firm can use to establish your document management system:
1. Determine what needs to be stored and the scope you will use
2. Determine each employees’ access levels and priority
3. Determine which features your firm needs such as security, usability, and integrations
4. Create templates for each type of document stored such as invoices, meeting minutes, and balance sheets
5. Create a uniform naming system for all documents
6. Create a process for determining how long to save each file
7. Organize and purge regularly
As you can see you have an obligation to your clients and your practice to create a standardized and secured document storage system. Don’t rely on old practices to maintain your up-to-date and high tech legal firm. You need to keep your documentation squarely in the 21st century with a quality document management strategy.
Streamline Operations for Your Law Firm With a DMS Today
Today’s law firms are inundated in paperwork and filings. You need a way to manage this paperwork without overwhelming the system and without more clerks. Instead, automate and update with a document management software for law firms.
In order to keep your law practice competitive, you need to eliminate waste and inefficiencies. And when it comes to paperwork the best way to do that is to use a system that automates and systematizes your process.
For more great information on this and other topics, check out the rest of our blog.