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Paralegal Rainmakers Digest Volume 4 Issue 1

Document Management Issue

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Paralegal Rainmakers Digest Volume 4 Issue 1

  1. 1. Electronic Document Management Technology has had a dramatic impact on the way that documents are being managed. From file creation to file storage technology can improve the way that firms leverage their resources and reduce the costs of document storage. Cloud based practice management systems provide firms with various options to increase the efficiency of their practices while providing the ability to transition into a paperless filing system. Unlike traditional storage systems where files are housed in physical file folders in a file cabinet within a file room that can be the size of an apartment, on-line storage capabilities allow for the transi- tioning of documents from a physical storage into a cloud based system. This has several advantages, but there are some disadvantages as well that should be addressed so that there are no misconceptions about the ethical duties that may be breached in the event that issues occur with the usage of an on-line document management system. Cloud computing allows for firms to stay connected while also allowing for the rapid de- ployment of a law practice management system with all of the features of a desktop sys- tem in addition to built in remote accessibility. The efficiency that cloud based practice management systems offer is unparalleled. An organization can quickly deploy a cloud based system without the hefty costs that are typically associated with deploying a system organization-wide. With the increase of technology usage in litigation intensive firms cloud based service providers have amped up their security features which allow for documents to be securely managed and accessed. (Cont’d on page 2) Document Management eDocument Management P.1 On-line Storage Transition P.1 Rainmakers Summit P.2 Upcoming Programs P.3 Membership P.3 5 Ways to Easily Transition to a Paperless Filing System The hefty price tag that goes along with filing and maintaining paper documents creates a financial bur- den on firms that can easily be rem- edied with the use of a paperless document management system. Use these tips to make a smooth transition to paperless file manage- ment: 1. Determine which system will be utilized. There are cloud based systems that specifically man- age documents and there are law practice management sys- tems that have built in docu- ment management features. 2. Create a cataloguing system. 3. Use specific folders for different practice areas, case types, de- partments, etc. 4. Use tagging features. 5. Use check in and out feature to determine who is accessing files. Paralegal Rainmakers Digest A Paralegal Rainmakers Publication September 2015 Volume 4 Issue 1
  2. 2. Electronic Document Management The ideal of justice that is the hall- mark of the U.S. constitution must be incorporated into the way that legal professionals interact amongst themselves as well as di- verse populations that they serve. In this year’s Summit several speakers from vast backgrounds and regions will discuss issues that impact the way that legal services are currently being provided as well as ways to incorporate strate- gies to engage potential clients using social media. Whether or not someone hires the expertise of a legal professional to deal with a legal issue everyone will be in need of legal knowledge at some point. With the ability to locate information on topics on how to create documents, how to settle a case without an attorney, and similar legal information it is imperative that legal professionals stand out in the noise and incorpo- rate ways to engage their audi- ence. This is not only important it is necessary so that individuals do not gain faulty information that does not effectively address their legal issue. This year the Summit will focus on social media, diversity, effective writing, and privacy concerns relat- ed to technology. To learn more about the topics, speakers, and agenda visit www.rainmakersonline.com/ summit. Registration to the Sum- mit is included in a paid member- ship plan. Technology's application to document stor- age benefits a legal organization in three key areas: 1. Cost savings 2. Space saving 3. Easy accessibility Cost Savings An organization can spend a considerable amount of money on storing and maintain- ing a physical filing system. With a tradi- tional filing system there needs to be space designated for the storage of files. This not only requires the expenditure on the funds to house the documents maintained within the files but also requires the cost to pay for the employee(s) to maintain the filing system. The costs associated with main- taining a physical storage space can quickly skyrocket as files need to be transferred to an offsite storage facility. None of these issues come into play when using a cloud based practice management system to store and maintain documents. The cloud based system becomes the storage facility. This not only saves a considerable amount of money but it also saves on the time that employees spend to locate and refile docu- ments and files. Every law firm has the need for a record retention and retrieval system. Whether or not an organization utilizes a cloud based system or not is in- consequential to the bigger picture of why firms need to organize documents in an effective manner. Misplaced files is one of the top ten reasons for malpractice suits. This issue alone can place a firm in the po- sition of defending itself against suits that arise from all of the issues that stem from misplaced files like missed deadlines and missed court hearings. Although there is concern in the legal in- dustry regarding the inadvertent disclosure of confidential and privileged information with the use of cloud based document management and storage the advantages far outweigh the risks. Space Saving Instead of having a huge file room and storage facility to maintain documents all of a firm’s files can be housed in the cloud with unlimited storage capacity. This means no more shifting files around and renting out additional storage space when the file room becomes overcrowded. Easy Accessibility When storing files in a traditional file room there is the potential for misfilings and lost files. This situation will never occur with the utilization of an on-line storage system. As long as you remember the name of a party, case name, case number a file will never go missing. This is an incredible ad- vantage to transitioning to a paperless doc- ument management system. It may take some time for a firm to scan old docu- ments into an on-line document manage- ment system, but once it is done it’s easy sailing from there. Just add new files and that’s it. Thinking Outside the File Room Paralegal Rainmakers Summit
  3. 3. Paralegal Rainmakers Digest September 2015 Issue 1 October 24, 2015 Day: Saturday Time: 10:00am - 2:00pm PST More information available at http://www.rainmakersonline.com/gapp Generally Accepted Paralegal Principles (G.A.P.P.) Workshop November 11, 2015 Day: Wednesday Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm PST More information available at http://www.rainmakersonline.com/paralegal-mastery-communication Paralegal Mastery: Communication Date: October 22, 2015 Day: Thursday Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm PST More information available at http://www.rainmakersonline.com/paralegal-mastery-research Paralegal Mastery: Legal Research Date: October 20, 2015 Day: Tuesday Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm PST More information available at http://www.rainmakersonline.com/paralegal-mastery-technology Paralegal Mastery: Legal Technology Complimentary Webinars Paralegal Rainmakers Email: info@a-paralegal.com www.rainmakersonline.com Membership Register for a free Paralegal Rainmakers member- ship and access complimentary webinars, newslet- ters, and discounts. For additional features up- grade to a paid membership plan and learn about emerging trends in the paralegal profession while staying abreast of technology usage in the legal industry. All of the resources, programs, and events can be accessed on-line including Rainmakers Summit. To learn more visit www.rainmakersonline.com/ membership. Free

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