Gone are the days when lawyers’ offices were filled with books, documents, and papers. With the advent of the digital age, many firms have shifted to online solutions with the help of legal document management software. Simply put, you can consider a legal document management platform to be your filing cabinet with ultimate security, storage, and accessibility.
The storage and retrieval of files remained a major issue for lawyers for a long time. Legal Document Management lets you run your legal practice smoothly by tracking, managing, and storing documents to reduce paperwork with the help of metadata and tagging.
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It lets you store each document by properly numbering and tagging them depending upon the case and file type. It is not unfair to say that Document Management Software streamlines the workflow and increases overall productivity.
What is a Legal Document Management Software?
A law firm and lawyers are swamped with heavy paperwork and a huge pile of documents all the time. It becomes an issue on how to handle this paperwork without any assistance. However, legal document management software helps the firm with handling daily paperwork and digitizes it. It is a tool to specifically help law firms easily organize, access, and work with their documents in the day-to-day practice of law in a more effective fashion.
In addition to streamlining your workflow and increasing productivity, a document management system can address your compliance issues with in-built features.
Naturally, there are plenty of service providers in the industry who work with the same goal in their mind- making document management easy for lawyers. However, when choosing a document management solution, there are few features that you should look out for. Let’s discuss them one by one-
1. Document, Client, and Matter management:
The modern-day lawyer needs a smart way to organize, store, and share documents whenever necessary. Needless to say, this is impossible when you store everything in a storage cabinet locked away in your office. However, with a legal document management system, you can store documents separately for each client, case, or individual neatly on the cloud. As the software is administered in the cloud, you don’t need to update the storage continuously.
These platforms should let you access client records, and the associated legal matter anywhere anytime. Technically, it is preferable to get a document management solution that you can access through a smartphone and computer simultaneously. Some solutions allow you to make changes offline and synchronize those changes later when you are back online.
Furthermore, a good document management system lets its user track not only a document but also other metadata associated with it. This exclusive information can include client and matter details, start date, end date, and details of the lawyers in charge of the case.
Document tagging is another feature to look for in a legal document management system. Simply put, the system should be able to automatically tag summons, motions, complaints, contracts, and other relevant documents based on different factors.
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2. Billing & Invoicing:
A good legal document management software lets lawyers accurately measure billable hours for each client. Users can manage the cost of each component, share credit and refund notes with ease. Additionally, they can also generate automated invoices on a timely basis depending upon the specified billing cycle.
With all the documentation and invoices collated promptly, the document management system lets lawyers generate automated reports to improve efficiency and track business performance daily. Notably, these reports are useful while taking important business decisions, or allocating work, or managing daily productivity.
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4. Security & Compliance:
For lawyers, who deal with sensitive matters daily, there is utmost importance on platform security. A good legal document management system comes with enterprise-grade security. This ensures that all your data remains privy to third-parties, phishing, and hacking. With top-grade encryption technology, they make it impossible for hackers to get access to your documents. Additionally, you can define permission levels to ensure only the authorized personnel get access to each document.
Additionally, a good legal document management platform is cloud-based, making it easier to upgrade the platform to the latest version of security and compliance. Basically, a cloud-based system means that you don’t have to worry about set up costs or additional technical worries.
A good API is an integral part of a document management system. API or application program interface lets you connect with all your favourite apps on-the-go. This way, you can integrate other business platforms into your legal document management software seamlessly. You can share, sync, and collaborate with multiple platforms to ensure your practice is running smoothly. Primarily, a good document management system should have a simple API. This way users can incorporate every application that they use normally without being tech geniuses.
What is the best legal document management software for legal practice?
The simplest way to determine is to understand your document management requirements and look for solutions that suit your needs. Each legal firm is unique, and their needs are different. A custom document management software meant for the legal domain can be the best option for you. However, the pricing and scalability of the software matter a lot when finalizing a solution. There are various document management systems available in the market, however, there is only a handful that caters to the legal requirements. These catered software sticks to operational and compliance features that are unique to the legal field.
There is some basic technical knowledge required to implement the entire process. Rather than hiring an outside consultant, it is smart to coordinate with the service provider to set up the entire process. That’s why you should look for a document management software provider with greater customer support availability.
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