Are you buried in documents? If the answer is a yes, you might not be the only one.
Lawyers still complain about being buried in paper, a feeling of disorganization with client data, and daunting review and creation processes.
We understand you are probably handling a large volume of documents and that you might already keep a lot of files digitized on your hard drive. However, you can take this essential aspect of your practice a lot better.
We offer a few ideas on tangible improvement below.
Should you say goodbye to paper?
While the notion of phasing out paper might fill you with dread, the process of going digital is ultimately going to pay off.
You’ll save a lot of money, but that’s only the beginning. Your law firm will operate a lot more efficiently in delivering a top-notch client experience – something that’s non-negotiable in the modern-day industry.
Most importantly, working in the digital space will open up a lot of possibilities and simplify the use of many new legal software solutions, such as a document review platform.
However, going paperless won’t be a cure-all if you approach your computer as a glorified filing cabinet. This approach to document storage will eventually fall into disorganization, no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
You need to change your mindset and integrate legal software that can help you streamline your new, purely digital workflow.
In that spirit, here are some solutions that can help you become a master at handling documents.
1. Legal document management system
A dedicated legal document management system (DMS) is your best bet if you want to reap the full benefits of the digital era.
It will ensure your file capture, tagging, and retrieval processes always run smoothly. For example, you can use optical character recognition to scan a document easily.
Next, by using the comprehensive document tagging tools, you can ensure that your documents are tagged with proper metadata. Your files will be indexed and searchable, and you will never lose track of a document while navigating a maze of subfolders.
If you go for the cloud-based variant, you will also be able to access your files from anywhere, increasing your efficiency even further.
2. Document review software
Another document-related workflow that can turn the life of an average legal professional into hell is the process of document review. Luckily, with document review software for law firms, this task is significantly easier to deal with.
For starters, all the key terms are automatically pulled from the text and conveniently highlighted when double-checking the details in a document.
The more robust solutions on the market also offer additional features. For example, smart tools also allow you to automatically fix problems with formatting, lists, and numbering and bulleting. If you’ve ever received a contract brimming with formatting issues, you’re going to appreciate this option.
3. Document assembly software
Finally, you can address the creation of the documents themselves. Many law firms use basic templates for drafting, but as you’ve already guessed, there is software that can do this a lot better.
Automated document assembly allows you to automatically generate a document by selecting a template and filling out the necessary fields. It seems easy, right?
We recommend you find a standalone app that integrates with popular DMS’s on the market to ensure maximum workflow efficiency.
Handle with care
Because documents are at the core of every law firm and things that lawyers spend the most time with, striving for improvement should be on your priority list.
Handling documents the old-fashioned way is getting phased out in favor of cloud servers and robust editing tools. You should stay on top of the trends and implement some of these solutions quickly to keep your competitive advantage.
Final advice: while all the tools we listed are powerful on their own, it’s better to consider combining them all. You’ll end up with a powerhouse of a workflow that can propel your law practice to new heights.