Are you interested in saving time? What about money? Increasing security and accessibility? If so, it's probably time to take your law firm paperless. Today we're sharing a small part of our How to Go Paperless Digital White Paper and talking through the six major benefits of a paperless law firm:
The biggest payoff for going paperless is the exorbitant amount of money you save on fees that are related to running a paperless office. One example of this can be seen in physical document storage. Having too much paper may not be so obvious for newer law firms, but our older law firm friends know exactly how this scenario plays out!
Years upon years of mail, contracts, pleadings, and more add up to endless boxes full of paper. These boxes translate to thousands of dollars spent on external storage fees, hiring file clerks, transportation in and out of the office, shredding costs, time spent decluttering, as well as basic ink and toner costs. Even if your files never leave the office, they still take up tons of valuable office space that could be used for more revenue-generating and morale-boosting purposes, such as more space to work, the ability to have a client waiting room or a conference room, and so much more.
(If you’re still not convinced of the costs your paper-filled office is accruing, check out our blog post called, 4 Common Misconceptions About Going Paperless, in which we itemize the costs in order to show you exactly how much of your hard-earned revenue is being funneled straight into document storage.)
The second major benefit of a paperless office is the sheer amount of time you save by not having to physically handle mass amounts of paper. Digital document management affords you the opportunity to be more organized and more efficient by cutting down on the time you spend searching for the documents you need.
Furthermore, digital documents provide a level of searchability that physical paper simply cannot measure up to. For example, PDFs and related file typos offer Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which allows you to easily search and find data with lighting speed. In tandem with OCR, tools like batch scanning, which are a major component of cloud-based case management systems, make it easy for you to transform piles of paper into an organized digital filing system in minutes. As they say, time is money, which means that your time savings translate to even more monetary savings!
We all know the horror of being out of the office and realizing that we need an important document, ASAP. Gone are the days in which you have to rely on calling a coworker to send a copy of the file over to you. Instead, digital document management systems (DMS) provide a superior level of portability, including remote access and seamless information retrieval.
Have more than one office for your firm? Have employees who work from home? Going paperless means that anyone in your office can update or access your digital files from anywhere at any time. This means no more waiting in line at the Post Office, no more hoping that the FedEx overnight actually arrives on time, and no more wasted days waiting for an urgent file to arrive.
It’s easy for us to be intimidated by something we don’t fully understand. The cloud? Data encryption? Data integrity? Sometimes, it’s just more than we can truly wrap our heads around. With new technology comes a slew of new concepts to understand and security to consider. Luckily, many legal case management system companies understand these needs and have made them a priority.
Today’s digital document storage solutions provide features such as data encryption, HIPAA-compliance, tons of storage, and even daily backups. For this reason, you’ll never have to experience lost or damaged files: digital copies remain in the systems where they are safely and indefinitely saved and can be viewed or reprinted at any time.
Specifically in the case of using a legal case management system, going paperless increases your office’s ability to collaborate across various projects. When paper is immediately filed into an online system, it affords firms the opportunity to check in on the progress of cases and increases the overall accountability and allow for the monitoring of workflows so that everyone can collaborate easily and meet deadlines far more quickly.
The sustainable benefits of digital document storage are essentially limitless, but we’re going to touch on the two largest direct benefits for law firms. First of all, digital document storage is economically efficient in the sense that you can add more storage space whenever you need it, without having to overhaul your entire infrastructure. In some cases, there is a cost attached to this expansion, but for many legal case management services, you pay a fixed price for unlimited storage costs (as is the case with MerusCase). It’s also far more simple to purge or reorganize your system when it’s digital, considering that you can easily drag-and-drop or mass delete documents with the click of a button. This digital reorganization process is much faster than digging through thousands of hardcopy files and trying to figure out where they go on the fly.
Additionally, you don’t have to worry about retraining a new employee on the intricacies of your physical filing system. With the searchable features afforded by digital storage, even newcomers can jump right in and find what they need in a few keystrokes. Finally, going paperless is just a lot better for the environment. By digitizing your documents, your firm can rest easy knowing that you’ve done your part in paving the way for a sustainable future.
Interested in moving your law firm towards a paperless workflow? Download our How to Go Paperless Digital White Paper and get started today!