With the creation of data protection laws and a large inflow of clients, document management has become an integral part of running a law firm. It is no longer convenient or safe to keep sensitive documents on your hard drive, let alone printed in a drawer. These changes gave rise to document review software for law firms.
Even though your main goal as a lawyer is to represent your client and advise them to your best ability, you must keep their personal information safe through it all. Add to that your own convenience, and it’s not so hard to understand why document management systems are so important in the legal industry. To get a better understanding of the topic, let’s dive into the reasons why document management systems are important.
Any solid document management program should be able to offer great data protection. Data protection is an issue that pertains to your clients, as disclosing their private information may lead to legal troubles. It also affects you as a law firm since sharing private information of your clients with third parties is illegal. Thus poor data protection may lead to a multi-million dollar lawsuit, loss of reputation, and dissatisfied clients.
A great document management software should be able to offer you more control over your documents and provide security. It can do so not only through building a strong system that protects you from cyberattacks, but also through keeping a log of everyone who’s ever accessed the document.
Employees often pose a threat when it comes to data security. They may unknowingly subject your data to cyberattacks. With a document management program, you have full control over who can view, edit, delete, or download the document. It is still up to you to teach your employees to detect and report security breaches before they’ve happened.
Try to think of a good way to store and organize documents that doesn’t involve a cloud solution. Many firms resort to shared file drives and email systems, but they’re no good once you start to collect large numbers of documents. Eventually, the system you’ve created breaks because it was not built to handle that amount of documents. Besides, the systems mentioned don’t provide version control and easy “searchability”.
The goal of a good document management system is to make files easy to locate within seconds. If you’re going to store a file, you might decide to come back to it days, weeks, months, or even years later. You should be able to locate it with no difficulty. Instead of trying to memorize the names of multiple folders, you can just search for your document using specific criteria.
It helps when all of your documentation is in one place. When it comes to document searching, tags come in handy. Attach tags to each new document to be able to identify it later. With tags, you can apply filters to your search query instead of trying to remember the exact name of the document. In the long run, this can save you lots of time.
We’ve reached a time when the ability to collaborate on documents remotely has become more valuable than ever. We can no longer rely on being able to access documents from the office, as many people choose to work from home or other locations. So what do you do to combat this issue? You send documents by email or use other file-sharing websites. That can actually turn out to be incredibly dangerous. If your mailbox is susceptible to cyberattacks, it will take a skilled hacker no time to access your documents.
Document management systems protect your data, which your clients will be grateful for. They also allow you to collaborate on a document with your colleagues without ever leaving the program. Keeping track of edits and new versions manually is very difficult and time-consuming. If you frequently collaborate on documents with your colleagues, you will definitely appreciate a program keeping track of changes and edits for you.
One of the most annoying parts of document management is keeping track of all the versions and knowing which version is the current or final one. A document management system should be able to do that for you!
Less paper, less mess
In an increasingly paperless world, relying on paper and hard drives is really impractical. Switching to a cloud-based document management system enables you to keep your clients’ confidential information safe, stay organized, and collaborate with your colleagues from any place in the world.