A law firm is one of the most serious businesses out there because of the nature of services it offers. If you want to make your law firm to grow and thrive, you must ensure that you properly manage your legal documents. But it is no secret that keeping track of all the paperwork in legal practice can be challenging and hectic.
This is where the legal document management system comes in. Many law firms are now turning to legal document management software to help them streamline their operations and boost accuracy and security. LexWorkplace has a list of the best legal document management software. You can check them out.
But what exactly is legal document management software, why should law firms invest in it, and what are the things to look for in one? Let’s find out.
What is legal document management software?
Document management is efficiently and securely organizing, storing, and retrieving documents. Legal document management software (DMS) is an automated system that stores, tracks, and organizes all legal documents associated with a firm’s operations. It has a wide range of features that make it perform its roles effectively.
Now that you understand what a legal document management system is all about let’s discuss some of the top benefits that make it a worthy investment for law firms.
Why should law firms invest in legal document management systems?
1. Enhanced security
Document security is a major concern for any legal company and its clients. The clients and the lawyers would suffer if sensitive documents endangered a case still on trial. A safe approach to managing legal documents eliminates this risk. It does this by limiting user access solely based on their level of security clearance. The requirement for a security key or password to access the central document storage also ensures privacy and security.
A legal document management system offers many levels of security regarding data access, editing, deleting, etc. Cloud-based solutions can also track access history to adequately verify compliance with internal and external regulations. In this method, you may ensure the privacy of any sensitive data.
2. Less paperwork
A legal document management system helps reduce administrative paperwork. It makes it simple to revise, edit, and modify documents. Paperless is the digital age’s coveted goal. Although a significant endeavor, digitizing the organization’s entire history, including paper records and other media, is challenging. As a result, the objective should be to gradually reduce the amount of physical material and only digitize any older, ” touched” paperwork that is used frequently.
3. Improved production
Most law firms used to save their records on hard drives, USB drives, or real cabinets. These places’ restricted searchability and lack of sharing features made it difficult for lawyers to find files quickly, frequently leading to delays, conflicts, and misunderstandings.
A searchable online document management hub is offered to attorneys instead of cloud-based document management software. Anyone with authorization can easily review and access important dockets and data. For instance, a plaintiff’s surname can be used by a lawyer to locate important records such as emails, case files, billing information, and other data.
4. Easy to locate files
The system is designed to make searching quicker and more efficient. The difficulty of finding a single document using traditional paper-based filing systems increases if the document is lost. However, finding the document you need is quick and easy with a legal document management system.
The system uses metadata and OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology to allow full-text search capabilities. This means you can search for a document using any term or phrase, and the system will give you an immediate list of all documents matching your search. This software lets you concentrate on your main tasks instead of wasting time seeking documents.
However, you must ensure it has the right features to maximize these benefits.
Features of effective legal document management software
1. Document storage
Your legal software should be compatible with your present storage architecture, whether on local servers or in the cloud. At the administrative level, you should be able to design special rules for deleting sensitive information records and file transfers between servers.
2. Seamless integration
Your business almost certainly already employs a distinctive set of tools to compose documents, distribute data, monitor finances, and connect with clients. Your new document management system must be simple to integrate with your existing applications. Switching between programs to locate information scattered across partitioned systems can quickly turn into a time-sink in data-driven professions like law firms. If your documents are in one place, your team can work efficiently and without interruption.
3. Billing and invoicing
A solid legal document management system can assist law firms in accurately calculating billable hours for each client. Users may easily control the cost of each component and share credit and refund notes. They can also swiftly issue automated bills depending on the selected billing cycle.
Because all the documentation and invoices are quickly gathered, the legal document management system enables lawyers to generate automatic reports to boost efficiency and analyze daily business performance. These reports are useful for delegating duties, maintaining daily productivity, or making important business decisions.
5. Security and Compliance
Because they frequently handle sensitive issues, lawyers place the utmost importance on platform security. A powerful legal document management system has enterprise-grade security. This makes sure that none of your information is available to outsiders like hackers or phishers. They use cutting-edge encryption technology to stop hackers from accessing your documents. You can also set permission levels to ensure that only authorized staff members can access each document.
Legal document management software should also be cloud-based to make it easier to update the platform to the latest security and compliance standards. You won’t have to worry about additional setup costs or technological difficulties using a cloud-based system.
You can access your documents in the cloud anytime and from any device without laborious remote access software. The cloud may be a crucial tool for company continuity and can help you ensure you are prepared for anything that can come up in court.
As you can see, legal document management software is a tool that every lawyer who wants to see their law firm grow must invest in. It helps boost productivity and security and helps reduce paper usage. Moreover, it makes locating files easier and quicker, reducing time wastage. However, you must ensure the software has the right features to help it perform optimally.