Navigating the New Normal for Law Firms Adopting Digital Strategies
During the first week of May, the “shelter in place” and “safer at home” orders in Georgia and Florida expired, and businesses are beginning to look to a post-COVID existence. We are months away from a vaccine, and the negative economic impact could go on for even longer. Make no mistake, we are operating in a “new normal,” which will look different for each sector and industry. Over the next several weeks, we will turn our eye towards recovery, especially as it relates to some of our clients and their industries. In this first blog post of this series, we turn to the legal system and ways a dynamic document management solution can create efficiencies for home offices and digital courts without the expense of scanning.
This week, the Supreme Court made history by holdings oral arguments via teleconference, with some quipping it had finally entered the 21st century. Indeed, the Supreme Court has been painfully slow to adopt technology, including email, choosing instead to circulate messages and opinion drafts on paper. In truth, the country’s highest court’s reluctance to go digital is indicative of a trend across the entire legal system. With some speculating that full jury cases may not be held until 2021, the justice system is finally looking to digitize its processes, including the digitization of records.
In a March 16th blog post for Above the Law, attorney and journalist Robert Ambrogi cites statistics from the 2019 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report, which stated that just over half of law firms reported having a document or records management system; that number dropped to 37% for solo practitioners. And yet overnight, the court system has been forced to adapt to a digital world.
We at Secure Records Solutions have worked with several law firms who have had thousands of boxes of paper records dating back 50 years. With the onset of COVID-19 and social distancing, senior law partners have been forced to trek into the office and wade though these thousands of dusty boxes in order to find a single brief or case they need at their home office. Not only is it inefficient and expensive, but it is not conducive to what is emerging as the “new normal.”
While many think that scanning legal documents is the only solution to this problem, a document management program would provide the access law firms require at a fraction of the cost. Our document management solution is a unique combination of record pick up (meaning your staff will simply point to the boxes that need to go), indexing, destruction of inactive files and storage of files with “scan on demand” access on an ongoing basis.
This automated document management process can save tens of thousands of dollars over scanning, and it also provides indirect savings in the time of your staff and partners. As we think about this new normal, we are committed to helping law firms adopt changes that will benefit them in the short term but also provide strategic, long-term benefits. This approach would be extremely beneficial to legal practices with offices in multiple cities or offices who are looking to expand their reach by mergers and acquisitions.
If your law firm is interested in adopting a digital document management program for your paper records, contact us today.