Editor’s Note: Legal case management software is starting to gain traction in the legal industry to decrease the amount of paper. More technology platforms, like eDepoze, a post e-discovery litigation events platform, are also aiding attorneys in gaining productivity and decreasing paper.
If you’re struggling with overflowing file cabinets and boxes filled with client files and other information, then you probably need to go paperless. Many of Smokeball’s clients find value in going completely paperless in their small law firm with Smokeball’s Legal Case Management Software giving each matter a digital file. They increase productivity and become more efficient by reducing the amount of paper they have to sift through. Below are some tips for going paperless and reducing office clutter.
The first thing you should figure out is if you will store your files on your network, cloud, or external drive. There are a few things to consider when deciding which storage method you want to use.
- Security. While it’s possible to secure confidential nature of your files using any storage method, cloud storage systems are at the most risk for data breaches. It’s important to carefully consider how you will protect the confidentiality of your client’s information BEFORE you commit to a storage system. Consider using reputable data centers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.
- Access. One of the greatest benefits of digital files is that they can be accessed by anyone even if that person is not physically located in your office. Keeping that in mind, access to files could be limited if you don’t consider people working remotely. For example, if you stored your digital files on an external hard drive, someone working in a remote location may not be able to access that information. Ensure that where your files are stored is has some policy and audit trails in place to that only a small number of people could have access to it.
- Space. If you’ve been established as an attorney for some time, it’s likely that you already have a lot of paper files. If you begin to scan all of that information, it can take up a lot of digital space. Before you decide on a storage solution for your digital files, you must determine how much space you’ll need in the long-term. When making your estimate, consider your current and future storage needs for at least the next five years. At Smokeball, we are big fans of ScanSnap which automatically hooks up to Smokeball to get your files organized immediately.