How Going Paperless Helped One Law Firm

May 24, 2012 — 1,635 views  
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This is a real story about our law firm that now saves hours of time each week by changing all our records from physical paper copies to digital copies.  Our senior attorneys fought the idea of switching over our records with the excuse of "it works" and "we never had problems, why change it?"  This is how it was for several years.  Eventually some of the younger partners were able to convince the more senior partners to buy in.

We paid to have all our client documentation scanned and turned into digital copies.  This was no small task as we have had over 20 years of cases previously sitting in our office.  Think about it, boxes and boxes of client related information locked away "safe and sound".  This was just the very first step, below are a couple more issues that occurred that we never thought of when committing to this adventure.

  • We had organization issues such as misplacing files or having old files getting mixed with current clients.
  • We had to make sure all our existing computers and tablets were up to date and supported the software.
  • We had extra bodies in our office to help complete the transition process.  This made it a little bit louder and distractions occurred during the work day.
  • The transition was not tested and we did everything at once.  It was a pain but we ended up not having too many issues fortunately.

As you can imagine the senior partners weren't pleased at this point.  HOWEVER, once everything was set up and ready to go the training process occurred.  We were all shown how to access files, make edits, and even how to get access to this information from our smart phones and tablets.   Once the training was completed we outlined some of the benefits we had received by completing this conversion.

  • Online documentation is now available on computers, smart phones and even I pads.
  • Some attorneys have even retired their brief cases now that they have everything available virtually.
  • No sudden last minute "I forgot X" or having an associate meet up with an attorney to deliver documentation.
  • No more storage! We no longer have to be paranoid about securely storing paper files for previous clients.  This was a concern even the senior partners had with the old system.

Changing our paper process to digital wasn't exactly an easy process but it was well worth it.  Not many people want to change something that isn't broken but they have yet to realize the extra benefits associated with this conversion.  If I had to guess I believe this conversion saves our attorneys several hours a week just in staying organized.  This alone is definitely worth the cost!

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Nick was an intern as the law firm mentioned above and this is just one of many personal stories in which he experienced at his time with the firm.