New Age of Paperless Law Firms
Family Law Lawyer
Is it possible to be a paperless law firm? If you have been to court recently and saw those attorneys with File folders stuffed full of Papers and then you see a couple of attorneys walking around with an iPad or Laptop, it makes you wonder.
How is a family law lawyer Arlington, TX relies on moving toward the age of being paperless and cutting down on the waste of paper, to help the environment? Is it digital files, cloud-based storage, or new software?
There are many books on how to and CLEs that explain how to move toward a paperless firm.
Where to store?
With all the confidential documents that law firms have for each and every client one might be wondering whether to try one of the many “cloud-based” services on the market or just rely on your hard drive with extra memory. The answer could be both since most external hard drives offer a cloud, just like your phone.
Cloud-based storage not only allows you to access it from pretty much any electronic device once backed up it also protects your documents or data from security breach and viruses. Although if you often do not have internet access and you want the assurance should your internet go down, using an external hard drive might be the best bet for you. Not to mention if you have a lot of files to download or they are large files, external hard drives show to be more cost-effective for the capacity you would need than what free cloud storage would provide.
Organizing an Electronic Directory
Having an organized electronic directory is a must when creating a paperless office. Without an electronic directory, it would be like having all your documents stuffed into one file drawer without the documents being in folders.
The best way to create an organized electronic directory is the way you would organize your emails in folders. The first step, though, would be to create folders then reorganize them once in place. The second step, then drag and drop the documents in the specific folders. The third step, once the folders get to around 30 or more documents, then you can make multiple sub-files to make searching for a specific document easier.
Naming or Renaming files
The most important step is naming the folders and file documents correctly to simplify a search for said document. Some firms organize cases by the attorney of record, while others sort files and folders according to client name or case number. Regardless of how you choose to sort and organize the files and folders, you will want to keep a file separate for drafts and notes and a folder for Final PDF documents.
In order to track the progress of the case, you may decide to organize the digital files by sequential date. When renaming or naming files it is best to start with four digits of the year, two digits of the month and two digits of the day separated by periods or dashes, when doing so this will automatically put the files in order by the date they were created or saved.
Importance of Education of Staff on digital files
Of course, if there is more than one staff member in your firm or law office, education of the appropriate and acceptable naming of files and documents is encouraged. The frustrating situation of finding files that are mislabeled and misfiled in the wrong folder, is expected until all staff has been taught how to work with the Digital Files and Directory.
Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm for their insight into new age law firms and going paperless.