Back when we worked at a law firm, one partner was obsessed with the concept of the “paperless office.” He wanted to have as many documents as possible scanned and stored electronically, in order to eliminate any unnecessary use of paper. It was a bit OCD of him, and his jihad against paper was viewed with mild amusement around the firm.
Perhaps this partner was ahead of his time. Back in 2006, law firms were described as the “last frontier in going paperless.” But now the trend is moving strongly in the direction of a paperless world. These days it seems that everyone wants to go commando.
To reduce the demands on the office filing system and gain faster, electronic access to client documents, we made a bold decision: our firm was going to scan incoming mail and faxes, route them using office e-mail and work electronically. The firm turned to eCopy ShareScan document imaging software operating on our network-attached Ricoh multifunction peripheral.
(An aside: for a firm that’s this technologically advanced, Linarducci & Butler might want to invest in an overhaul of their website. It reminds us of the days when we surfed the web via our parents’ AOL dial-up connection.)
Here are some of the virtues of going paperless, per Butler:
Our staff has welcomed the move to a paperless office because their volume of cases is easier to manage electronically. Now, they no longer need to worry about searching for missing files. And, for the first time, the firm is getting rid of filing cabinets and reclaiming office space.
Also, having the documents in electronic formats means multiple people can access and view the same document simultaneously — as opposed to making additional paper copies.
Even our firm’s senior partner — who is like most attorneys — a hoarder of paper — has also embraced the change. Now, he can view the same information whether in the office or at home preparing for a hearing.
What’s your firm doing to save the trees? Do you like the notion of the “paperless office,” or are you
a Luddite too attached to paper documents? Feel free to discuss, in the comments.
Law Firm Done With Paper [Legal Technology via Law.com]
Law firms are last frontier in going paperless [Phoenix Business Journal]