Everything You Wanted to Know about Law Firm Document Management

It wasn’t long ago that law firms had only a few choices when it came to managing their client, matter and firm documents:

  • Store files on the local file server (eg: “The G: drive,”), or
  • Get an expensive, premised-based law firm Document Management System (DMS).

Today, law firms have much more choice when it comes to managing their documents (managing, in the broadest sense). You still have simple, on-premise file servers and legacy/premise-based DMS platforms; you also have basic cloud storage as well as more sophisticated, modern law firm Document Management software. Even some Legal Practice Management software (that traditionally manages your time, billing, calendaring) has rudimentary document management functions.

In fact, today there are so many options and lots of different (and sometimes contradictory) terminology, it can be hard to make sense of it all. What exactly is document management? Is it the same as practice management? Should I look to the cloud for a solution?

In this guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to define your firm’s specific document management needs, understand the options available to you and identify the right type, maybe even the exact product that will help your firm take control of your documents, email and other data.

  • Matter documents scattered between local file servers, network drives and individual computers.
  • Matter-related emails spread across multiple employees Outlook or Gmail accounts.
  • Notes saved without any consistency, on paper or in stand-alone note-taking apps.
  • Other files and data stored in Dropbox, Google Drive or some other, separate cloud app.
  • Document Types, such as Motion, Complaint, Contract or Invoice
  • Document Statuses, such as Draft, Pending Review or Complete
  • Additional Document Tags, custom labels that you can create and apply documents, such as Filed, Urgent, Do Not Destroy
  • About the Author: Dennis Dimka
    Dennis Dimka is the CEO and founder of Uptime Legal Systems, North America's leading provider of technology, cloud and marketing services to law firms. Under Dennis’ leadership, Uptime Legal has grown organically and through acquisitions to become the nationally-recognized legal technology company it is today. Uptime Legal continues to innovate and disrupt the legal technology space, and has been named to the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private for the past six consecutive years. Dennis was also an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year finalist.

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