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Benefits of running a paperless office

Question
What are the requirements and benefits of running a paperless office for a law firm with 15 attorneys and 5 support staff? 
Answer
Computer storage has come so far so fast that it has outpaced law firms' - or almost any company's - ability to generate paper. As a result, you can -- and should -- digitize your entire law practice right now.

For a firm your size you'll need about three scanners. You'll also need to train your receptionist and one paralegal, and you're probably going to need one additional entry-level paralegal to manage the paper flow. But the potential productivity increase from adding a system like this is huge, as is the ability to cut file storage costs when you have a PAPERLESS law firm. That means you can:

? Run a text or date search and call up any piece of mail you're looking for.
? Run text searches on any topic to find out quickly and without bothering people if others in the firm are dealing with a particular person, company, or issue.
? Check the status of a case another attorney is handing without bothering them or having to hunt down a file.
? Avoid losing anything because it was misfiled or misplaced.
? Protect client data with regular backups and off-site storage.
? Work productively from home using remote access.
? Save large documents and files to CDs, and then easily copy them for opponents.
? Use a cost-effective Adobe plug-in program called PDF Snake to automatically Bates-stamp documents.

The benefits found with digitizing files are applicable to any business. Also, since remember to implement an automated digital data back-up solution. 
Brain Trust contributor: Attorney, Munley, Munley, and Cartwright
Related Categories: Legal, Organization, Technology
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