In the legal profession, documents are king. They are the home of the law. They serve as mediums for debating issues, constructing arguments, and reaching judgments. Your documents can protect your clients and help you win legal battles, but one mistake or misplaced document could drastically hurt your case or even endanger your career.
Legal professionals need tools that aid in document creation, review, storage, and retrieval. This is where legal document management software comes in. The software provides a wide range of legal features that improve a law firm’s productivity, efficiency, and legal compliance. The software must make it easier for staff members to collaborate and communicate with clients. Check out the best legal document management software at LexWorkplace.
Let’s define what legal document management software is and the top features that it must have.
What is legal document management software?
Legal document management software enables professionals to prepare intake forms, record requests, retainer agreements, and other commonly required papers by using templates, as the name implies. You might already use copy-and-replace to create documents, which entails duplicating a recent discovery request and replacing all pertinent data from the old client with the data from the new client.
This approach is also prone to errors, as it is simple to miss an informational component that must be updated for the new client. Such errors not only reflect negatively on your practice, but they may also, in some circumstances, violate compliance. Another advantage of automating legal documents is that it frees up attorneys’ time so they may focus on other issues.
Features of legal document management software
1. Document storage
Whether on local servers or in the cloud, your legal software should be compatible with your current storage architecture. You should be able to create unique rules at the administrative level for sensitive information records disposition and file migration between servers.
2. Automatic document generation
At times you may start from scratch when writing a document. However, many of the letters and forms your company produces daily are pre-made templates. Even if a typical template is helpful, there are still some inefficiencies. There is always the concern that someone might enter the information erroneously or file the template or document in an improper location, someone has to take the time to update the new information, and some staff members may have out-of-date templates.
Make sure the document management solution you choose allow you to create new documents on demand. With only the press of a button, your team should be able to quickly obtain data from the case files for a document.
This is how it will help you:
- Having data taken directly from the case file will increase accuracy.
- You’ll be able to save time by using templates rather than manually creating new papers.
- Make sure that everyone is using the latest template.
- Assist in developing a company-wide voice that upholds the highest standards of professionalism in all outgoing communication.
3. Seamless integration
To write documents, share files, keep track of finances, and communicate with clients, your company almost certainly already uses a unique suite of tools. Your new document management system should integrate easily with your current software. In data-driven professions like a law practice, switching between different programs to find information dispersed across partitioned systems can quickly become a time-sink. Your team can operate effectively and uninterruptedly if all your documents are available in one location.
4. Automated scanning and indexing
Most law firms still work with lots of paper documents. But they need an automated indexing and scanning solution to effectively handle the information contained in these documents. Legal document management software should have network-level device monitoring and automatic PDF conversion.
By interpreting incoming text files for bespoke name and indexing purposes, optical character recognition (OCR) technology can eliminate the need for manual naming and lower the risk of wrong filing. OCR software should be able to transform scanned text to machine-readable forms like searchable PDF in addition to PDF conversion.
5. Security and Compliance
Platform security is of the utmost significance to lawyers because they regularly handle delicate cases. Enterprise-grade security is a feature of a competent legal document management system. This ensures that none of your information is accessible to hackers, phishers, or other outside parties. They prevent hackers from accessing your papers by using cutting-edge encryption technology. You can also choose permission levels to guarantee that only authorized staff members can access each document.
Legal document management software should also be cloud-based, making upgrading the platform to the most recent security and compliance standards simpler. A cloud-based system means you won’t need to worry about additional setup expenses or technical issues.
Using the cloud, you may view your documents at any time and from any device without using complicated remote access programs. The cloud may assist you in ensuring that you are ready for anything that may arise in court and can be an essential tool for business continuity in any situation.
6. Billing and invoicing
Law firms may calculate billable hours for each client correctly with the help of a good legal document management system. Users may easily share credit and refund notes, as well as control the cost of each component. Depending on the designated billing cycle, they can also produce automated bills promptly.
The legal document management system allows lawyers to generate automatic reports to increase productivity and monitor daily business performance because all the paperwork and invoices are swiftly gathered. These reports are particularly helpful for making critical business choices, distributing tasks, or maintaining daily productivity.
Choosing the best legal document management software
Understanding your needs for document management and looking for solutions that meet them is the best thing to do. Every law firm is distinct, and they all have different needs. Your best alternative might be to use specialized document management software designed for the legal industry. However, when choosing a solution, the cost and scalability of the software are quite important. Many document management systems are on the market, but only a small number comply with regulatory standards. These specifically designed software stick to legal-specific operational and compliance aspects.
Angela Spearman is a journalist at EzineMark who enjoys writing about the latest trending technology and business news.