Legal document management is often overlooked as it is dry subject matter that is fairly monotonous and unremarkable. However, this seemingly subtle detail of legal work is actually quite essential to law firm success. Here’s why.
Though you might be tempted to use a shared file drive to manage your documents, doing so is a mistake. Even email folder systems are insufficient. Your firm needs a sound document management program to keep all files organized and secure.
The document management system should be searchable and well-organized, facilitating your quest to find information without delay or impediment. If you can’t find the information you need in a timely manner, your customer relationship management (CRM) will take a hit.
Recognize the Importance of Information Security
The security of your documents is especially important as a data breach or unauthorized access might spur one or several clients to jump ship to a competing law firm. Fail to secure your document management system and it is only a matter of time until unauthorized access occurs. Choose a program with several levels of security pertaining to users, matters, and specific items so you can control access that much more easily.
Ideally, the system will be complete with a trail of document modifications that show who made changes, where files are moved, which parties downloaded copies, and where those downloads were transmitted. If these safeguards are not in place, managing risk will prove that much more difficult and client privacy will be in jeopardy.
Legal practice management necessitates a digital filing system highlighted by document sharing. You should be able to search for the documents you need and find them in mere seconds. If your current legal document management program does not permit such a search, it is time to transition to one that does. At the very least, your standardized document management system should provide an opportunity to search by title for the documents you are looking for.
Automated Document Features
The best document management systems facilitate automated document drafting. After all, you are busy and you shouldn’t have to invest your limited time creating or converting documents when technology can digitize paper files into the proper formats. Pivot away from manual processes for converting information from paper to digital files and you’ll ramp up efficiency, spend less time on non-billable projects and maximize your bottom line.