The challenge of document management for legal firms
Keeping on top of that never-ending mountain of paperwork is something of a headache for most businesses but for legal companies, storing and managing files and paper documents is a real challenge. Document storage has been an issue for the legal community for centuries but thanks to the wide range of services now offered by many firms, managing documents is now more of an issue than ever before. However, having effective document management strategies and systems can make all the difference in terms of security, productivity and profitability so here are a few ideas to help you keep on top of that paperwork mountain:
Carry out a document ‘stock take’
A document management strategy will only work if you know what documentation you already have and this means identifying where everything is stored and how long you need to keep it for. The majority of legal firms we work with keep a wide range of hardcopy and electronic documents alongside client files, such as staff timesheets and personnel records, for example.
It’s important to bear in mind that each different type of document will need to be retained for a specific period and you’ll need to familiarise yourself with each retention period – a spreadsheet can come in handy for keeping track of this.
Get rid of any documents you don’t need
Knowing what to keep and what to get rid of is vital and if you’ve been reluctant in the past to have a good clear out, it’s worth bearing in mind that holding on to documents longer than you need to can increase your risk of a privacy breach and your liability. The best way to destroy unwanted legal documents in bulk is to use a secure document shredding service – so much quicker than sitting hunched over an office shredder for hours!
Ensure you have a storage plan
The ideal document management storage plan for your business will protect the information you hold, whilst ensuring that it is easily accessible to those who need to use it. Provided you have the right storage solution, your documents (physical and electronic) will be safe from unauthorised access, easy to locate and quick to retrieve.
Using a document storage service such as those offered by us here at Pro-Doc is one of the best ways to counteract the risks and costs posed by storing your paper documents on site. We can scan, store and archive your documentation, allowing you to view and then order your records whenever you need to.
Scanning for secure document storage and accessibility
Document scanning is another highly effective strategy that is designed to allow easy storage and accessibility. Access to scanned documents is only allowed to authorised users and when files are converted into a digital format using Optical Character Recognition, the can be searched by the author, client name, the date created or text within the document.
Contact Pro-Doc for advice and information
At Pro-Doc we offer a range of specialist legal services, including legal copying service, e-discovery services and e-disclosure services. If you would like to find out more, or to discuss your requirements, please don’t hesitate to get in touch for a chat.