Is it in your law firm’s best interest to go paperless or maintain hard copy files? That question can best be answered by weighing the benefits and challenges.
Law firms gather and house some of the most critical information regarding their client’s business and personal dealings. Maintaining confidentiality is at the very core of a law firm’s reputation and profitability. In terms of your law office building the best profit margins possible, cumbersome paper files ted to be more costly than electronic record keeping.
But decision-makers often have questions and reservations about transitioning to a paperless system. Will going paperless put sensitive client information at risk? How will I reference my files while engaged in heated courtroom litigation? Those are certainly reasonable and fair concerns. And that’s a decision you will need to make after weighing the pros and cons of taking your law firm paperless.
Today’s advanced software development sector has been hard at work developing products uniquely tailored for niche industries. There is a wealth of packages that can manage everything from notes, to complete files, to accounting and administrative needs, among others. Software experts have created a product that speaks to every need. And if a new one emerges, you can rest assured that someone will craft a new program or modify an existing one.
But in practical terms, lawyers and admin staff members probably want to know how this enhances workflow. Business resources such as Forbes and Entrepreneur cite the benefits of the growing trend. These are essential benefits you may enjoy by going paperless.
For a law firm to transition to a complete paperless enterprise, it may be in your best interest to work with a third-party IT service provider. Installing, maintaining, and securing software programs and sensitive files requires a 24-7 technology expert. That reality leads us to potential stumbling blocks.
There is a common myth among law firms that hard copy files are a necessity. According to a global professional organization survey by AIIM in 2014, companies indicated that paper-driven businesses were going the way of the dinosaur. Some even called paper use “unacceptable” in terms of profitability and environmental concerns. Despite the paperless trend, law firms see common challenges as too risky.
The key to adapting and overcoming perceived paperless challenges is working with a third-party IT specialist that can deliver the latest security enhancements, software installations, Cloud integration, and 24-7 oversight necessary. Law firms that go paperless are getting tasks done more efficiently and cost-effectively than those bogged down in bulky paperwork. The reality of living in the technology age is that those who do not keep pace, fall behind. The paperless law firm is becoming standard practice.
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