What Law Firms Should Look for in Document Management Software
Many law firms these days are making the effort to go digital to reduce paper waste. While it’s definitely the best way to go to keep up with the modern times, switching to a digital environment isn’t as simple as digitizing documents and shoving them into folders. Given that law firms deal with an overwhelming number of documents on the regular, using document management software is recommended to make dealing with a deluge of data so much easier.
What is document management software?
Often referred to as DMS, Document Management Software is a special tool that not only stores your documents but also has the functionalities to manage them. Unlike basic file servers or cloud storage, the management capabilities of DMS tools are what make it unique. DMS solutions can either come in an on-premise variety that is installed on your own servers, or they can be based in the cloud. Either way, it provides features like document storage, full-text document search, OCR, email management, document IDs, permission and access management, and so much more.
How to choose document management software
Not all DMS solutions are made equal. There may be some features that your law firm’s documents require that aren’t present in your DMS tool of choice. You may need to look into specific functionalities for document management. Aside from the basics like usability, disaster recovery, collaboration, and version control, here are some features that are also worth looking into:
If you’re serious about pivoting to digital, you probably also do a lot of online communication. As a result, you most likely rely on legal emails to interact with your clients. It would then be best if your DMS can integrate with the email platform you use so it can properly file and access the documents attached to your emails, like cases, disputes, summons, etc.
Integration with other apps
Aside from email, it would also be best if your DMS can integrate with other apps or platforms you use on a regular basis. For instance, if your firm works with government websites to file and download documents, a DMS with website integration is best to allow users to save directly to the DMS instead of a local server.
Since you’re also dealing with several document forms, your DMS should have some sort of system that allows them to be organized and tagged bases on various factors. This is important because it makes it easier for an attorney to find any specific case files that they need.
Compliance and security
Law firms tend to deal with sensitive information, so the legal DMS of your choosing should help you maintain industry compliance and employ the latest encryption software. Ideally, it should have the ability to timestamp an article with the date it was accessed for posterity purposes and transparent billing.
Thanks to technology, law firms can do away with bulks of paper that can sometimes be a deterrent to solving a case. Document management software can help make things easier, so you may want to look into using one.
At Legal Technology Finder, we can assist you with figuring out the best legal solutions for your firm, may it be a document management solution, an e-billing software, a legal matter management tool, and more.