As you know, we asked you to help us figure out what the benefits and challenges of creating a paperless law practice were. From the hundreds responses we received, here are the top three reasons about why lawyers would benefit from being paperless:
- Getting Organized: Most lawyers and legal professionals want to be more organized. That’s what 79% of our survey respondents said. They believe not having to keep track of so much paper will help them get more organized.
- Finding Files Fast: This benefit was a close second, with 75% saying they want find key information faster. And they understand that means using a computer to search for it, as opposed walking around looking through boxes and file cabinets. We all know that’s time-consuming, and frustrating. In fact, studies show the typical office worker spends an hour a day hunting for paper files.
- Work from outside the office: Only 64% said they want this, but that’s still a lot of lawyers. More folks would want this if they experienced the benefits firsthand. But many probably suspect that it’s a little harder to accomplish this. They’re right, because doing this requires using cloud storage services. And that adds an additional layer of complexity (and perhaps some ethical concerns).
Some folks offered additional thoughts about why they wanted to be paperless, such as:
- “Having an office that doesn’t look like a war zone.”
- “Oversight. Being able to monitor and oversee documents used by others for compliance.”
- “Easily prepare trial notebooks.”
- “Saving my staff from walking around looking for paper and bringing it to me.”
- “Reducing the cost of sending documents to others, postage, labor to collate etc.”
- “Having my data secure against flood, fire, earthquake, and theft.”
- “Being highly mobile. No need for a permanent office with a file room.”
- “Being able to access files with others in the same office, and not have to go pull a file to retrieve information.”
- “Less mold or possibilities for spontaneous combustion (and I’m not kidding).”
We help lawyers who want to go paperless in many ways. We have a lot of great free content on this site (check out our blog), and we also do live webinars and seminars. Attorneys who attend our events will tell you how valuable they are —like, for example, Al Thompson, who said the following in an ABA article about our seminars:
I’m a New Orleans attorney and, starting in 2011, I became tired of dealing with paper, and even more concerned that I took home two litigation bags full of paper every evening. If could minimize paper, I reasoned, I could improve my practice and simplify my life. I’ve replaced those two litigation bags with an iPad. All of this is the result of attending CLE seminars offered by PaperlessChase.com.
Based on what I’ve learned at their CLEs (and free email newsletter), I’ve developed a workflow to review medical records as they come in, summarize them, and scan and organize everything. When a court hearing is scheduled, the tedious organizational work needed to prepare for my appearance is already done, which allows me to work on important strategic issues instead.
Preparing for trial is also easier; my files are already organized and ready to go. The only paper I take to court is witness documents and notes, which makes the whole ordeal significantly less stressful. I always feel organized, and can easily find what I need. I never thumb through ring binders, paper files, or boxes. I smile when I see opposing counsel huffing into court carrying industrial strength brief cases, and pulling dollies with boxes of paper.
There is a fork in the road here. Do you want to learn to practice law more efficiently? Or do you want to keep paper pushing? Click here to find out more about our live seminars.
Or to sign up for our free 5 part email course on creating a paperless law office, click here.