Why Law Firms Need the Right Document Management System
The 21st-century law firm depends on a range of documents throughout the day – contracts, photos, emails, letters, briefs, pleadings, and more. You typically sort through a massive volume of information simply handling one case, let alone many cases at a time.
If you don’t have a standardized system for managing all of your documents, you’re bound to lose a lot of time and effort throughout the day trying to find the right information. Ultimately, the efficiency of any given law firm is directly correlated with how well they’re managing, storing, and handling their massive volume of documents.
Why Do You Need a Document Management System?
Colorado has a six-year records retention period wherein all attorneys must maintain documentation for six-years, at a minimum, before destroying it properly. Throughout this period of time, documentation must be kept securely in a manner that doesn’t compromise client confidentiality. The easiest and most effective way to achieve this is through a document management system that lets you:
- Store documents for easy retrieval with the ability to share as needed and ensure relevant information are accessible.
- Protect against unauthorized access with role-based permissions for file entry that ensures only the right people have access.
- View all versions of any given document without having to keep copies of each possible version on hand.
- Index and/or classify documents for quick, easy retrieval when necessary without having to search through tons of files.
- Take advantage of a mobile application that lets you use your document management system on the go via smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
- Maintain an up-to-date audit trail that lets you pull detailed reports on each file so you know when it was accessed and by whom.
- Retain files for the mandatory six-year period with ease as you’re able to select how long you prefer to retain documents and receive reminders when needed.
A document management system gives you the ability to organize your files in a manner that makes finding, sharing, and retaining them incredibly simple. Rather than depending on a complex, frustrating folder system, you simply search for a key piece of information and find the right file within a matter of seconds.
What About Emails? Should You Be Storing and Retaining Them Too?
Absolutely. A good document management system should also include some sort of email management system. Look for the following:
- Integration with Microsoft Office: You should be able to save emails right from Outlook so you can easily find email messages and/or attachments, along with data including the sender, recipient, and more. Plus, you should be able to save documents from Word so you can access anything written at any time.
- Cloud-Based Accessibility: You should look for a document management system that is cloud-based as this will give you any time, anywhere access from anywhere in the world, as long as you have an Internet connection. Plus, it’s more flexible and scalable – allowing you to add users, storage, etc. quickly.
- Matter-Centric Capabilities: You should ensure any document management system you’re using is matter-centric, which means all of your files, documents, and emails will be organized according to matters – allowing you to take advantage of a solution made for attorneys.
Let’s make your never-ending pile of documents more accessible, secure, and easy to manage. CCS offers document management solutions for law firms throughout Colorado Springs.