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4 Tips for Managing Your Law Firm’s Files More Efficiently

Man in Suit Pushing Large Pile of Legal FilesRunning a successful legal practice isn’t possible without efficient file management. Improperly-labeled documents or misplaced correspondence and pleadings can lead to case delays and stifle your litigation processes. Here are four helpful tips for managing your law firm’s files more efficiently.

Tip 1: File Purges & Shredding

It’s not uncommon for lawyers and solicitors to keep duplicate copies of paper files. But collecting multiple copies of documents contributes to clutter and disorganisation. Purging unnecessary files provides your firm with the breathing room necessary for managing the rest of its records more efficiently.

Use a secure destruction service to help you get rid of unwanted files. Your provider will bring secure collection containers to your office, collect them when filled, securely destroy the contents and provide you with a Certificate of Destruction. To avoid collecting redundant files in the future, set up an ongoing scheduled shredding service. Weekly, fortnightly or monthly, your obsolete paperwork is professionally collected and destroyed.

Tip 2: Sort and Organise Your Files

 While purging helps you de-clutter, sorting is the first step in streamlining your firm’s file management processes. Sorting and organising files involves:

  • cataloguing
  • indexing
  • retention scheduling

Keep in mind, these are time-consuming processes. A records and information management expert can take the stress out of them by:

  • organising your files
  • identifying workflow bottlenecks
  • creating a retention schedule database

With professional help, your firm can have a full file management solution implemented in a fraction of the time it would take to do it yourself.

Tip 3: Document Scanning

Law firms have traditionally been paper-dependent organisations, requiring the infamous “red tape” to keep files together. But in the 21st century, most are streamlining their file management costs through document scanning. By converting your files to a digital format, your active client and case files can be shared efficiently and economically.

A document scanning service makes digitising your files easy. Document imaging technicians convert your hard copies to a digital format. Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is used during the scanning process, allowing each file be searched by client, author, date created, or even words and phrases within the document.

Tip 4: Offsite Records Storage

Protecting client privacy goes hand-in-hand with an efficient file management strategy. Besides alleviating the expense of managing your files on-site, a records storage service prevents unauthorised access to them.

Closed client files, financial records and vital business documents are barcoded and transferred to a records centre for secure storage. Then an online document inventory system lets you view and order your records whenever you need to. When requested, your files are either hand-delivered to your firm or sent electronically with a Scan on Demand solution.

Follow the tips we’ve suggested above, and your law firm will be efficiently managing files in no time!

Archive Document Data Storage (ADDS) provides document storage and file management scanning solutions for law firms and solicitors in London, Swindon Bristol and Bath. For more information, please contact us by phone or complete the form on this page.

The File Queen: Expert in Record & Information Management, LPM Columnist.

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