Every law firm and in-house legal staff needs to manage their legal documents. This can hugely benefit your productivity and customer relationship. For the sake of security and business continuity, secure storage is crucial. Additionally, a unified repository of legal documents enables you to develop more effective information governance procedures and respond to legal issues, such as regulatory audits, litigation, or internal investigations, with speed and accuracy.
In the past, case files and paper storage were extremely important to corporations and law offices. However, any business that continues to use paper runs the danger of human mistakes, such as misplacing or losing paperwork, in addition to the expense of storage. Instead, legal document management software (DMS) will yield a higher return on investment.
It is always a good idea to examine your needs and connect them with the solution you’re contemplating because not all Document Management Systems (DMS) are made equal. Because of that , you need to consider the following when choosing legal document management software.
1. Check Out your Current System
You must be able to clearly describe how your business now manages documents before you can make an informed decision about a DMS. By doing this, you can avoid buying a system that can’t duplicate your organizational structure.
Examine, for instance, how a client or case numbers are attached to papers, whether or not files are arranged chronologically or in another way, whether emails are kept with written correspondence, etc. The truth is that your firm probably has one or two senior citizens who will fight against switching to a DMS. The shift will be simpler for everyone if you reflect your manual file gathering as much as possible in your DMS.
2. Select a Vendor with Expertise in the Industry
Although managing papers and records is integral to every organization’s daily operations, not every company performs this task similarly. For instance, some companies, like those in the legal or healthcare sectors, must adhere to regulations particular to those areas. Therefore, you must ensure that the DMS vendor you select is familiar with your industry’s unique problems.
Vendors who assert to provide a cutting-edge solution for nearly any form of corporation should probably be avoided. Your DMS must be flexible enough to meet your demands, with a scalable architecture and the capacity to meet your business’s particular regulatory, security, and operational requirements.
3. Research Systems in Depth
When selecting a document management system, the alternatives are plentiful. You may easily begin studying the various online systems, as with most things. There are a ton of excellent publications that will outline in detail what to look for in a legal DMS. Beyond that, though, make sure to exercise caution.
Request a list of businesses that use each DMS provider’s product and work in the same field of law as you. Discuss the system’s advantages and disadvantages with each office manager by phone. To find out how the “boots on the ground” users feel about the DMS, ask if you can briefly speak with one of their attorneys. Additionally, don’t hesitate to request a detailed demo from each vendor. The majority are more than willing to present at your company or guide you through an online demonstration where you can inquire about any queries you may have.
4. Give Data Security a Top Priority
The idea that cloud-based legal document management software is inherently insecure is a widespread one. However, a trustworthy cloud vendor should be able to apply safeguards to protect your data because they have scaled up, which would be much beyond the financial and human capacity of a small organization using only internal resources.
However, you should always put security at the top of your organization’s priority list when making IT decisions. Ensure the selected vendor offers strict security utilizing industry-leading and widely accepted standards and methods. Lastly, confirm that their procedures properly abide by any requirements that apply to your industry.
5. Search for Capabilities for Appropriate Integration
The main goal of document management is to streamline and organize numerous daily administrative chores. Therefore, there isn’t much justification for a system that won’t work with your current software. You should pick a DMS with the required integration capabilities because the whole goal of a DMS is to combine all of your documents (both printed and digital) into a completely connected platform.
A top-notch DMS should integrate easily with your key business procedures, such as accounting and customer relationship management. To maintain consistency throughout your organization, the objective should be to avoid using numerous disjointed systems for data entry. You can gain important advantages if you locate a DMS with close integrations.
6. Pay Attention to Collaborative Features
In the past, document management consisted of onsite storage of rows and rows of files in metal filing cabinets. But with the rise of internet-connected smartphones and other devices, the workforce is becoming increasingly mobile; therefore, it’s now essential to put in place a system that can support users who work remotely as well.
Employees should have unlimited access to the files they require for work by selecting a cloud-hosted DMS with centralized access management. This enables employees, for instance, to start the day’s work early at home or even on the way to work. Additionally, robust collaborative features allow users to start video conferences in the same window and co-author documents in real-time.
7. Consider Pricing
The pricing of the many legal document management software types available on the market typically varies. Find one within your price range that provides the necessary features and functionality.
Legal document management system is marketed as a free trial, freemium, one-time license, and subscription-based product. Try the free trial version before you buy it. Choose the freemium edition if you’ve already decided on the features your legal document management software will have since it only offers a limited set of functionalities.
Wrapping it up
The ideal legal document management system is one created especially for the needs of the legal sector. It should have features that make it simple to use, handle enormous volumes of documents, and make it simple to locate and retrieve data. To safeguard private information, it must also provide security features. It is crucial to take the time to consider your unique needs because there is no “one size fits all” solution.
Laila Azzahra is a professional writer and blogger that loves to write about technology, business, entertainment, science, and health.