9 Key Benefits of Document Management Software for Law Firms

9 Key Benefits of using a DMS designed for law firms

Legal matters are rarely straightforward. Even the simplest of cases generally require considerable collaboration and documentation. Within the environment of a law firm, where information is sensitive and privacy concerns are real, this only adds to the challenge. So, unless you are aided by document management software (DMS) that adequately caters for the quick and easy creation of, access to, and collaboration on documents, you are making life difficult for the legal team.

This can restrict your competitive advantage and even impact outcomes for clients.

Cutting-edge DMS software for law firms integrates the best features of matter management software with the best features of document management software.

Implementing a modern Document Management System for law firms should be a top priority if your firm is using a basic file/folder structure or a “dinosaur DMS”. These solutions do not address the unique data security and compliance requirements of the law firms.

Following are nine key benefits of making the switch to the latest type of document management software for law firms…

1. Create new documents faster

Key Benefits of Document Management Software for Law Firms

Do you remember when every time you wanted to create a legal document, it involved unnecessary repetition with formatting and saving documents – or, worse, you could not even find the latest template version you needed?

The latest document management systems for law firms include templates that make it easy to create new documents with legal matter information and to find and access the latest versions. This can save a huge amount of time for your legal team.

2. Locate information and documentation quicker

The days of searching high and low for legal documents should be over but hours are lost each day in law firms due to legal teams not being able to find what they want when they want it.

An integrated DMS for law firms solves that problem with advanced search facilities that help you locate what you need in seconds. A capable DMS will allow you to search documents and email:

  • By content (full-text search)
  • By document name
  • By client or matter
  • By document type (order, petition, contract)

  • By user (who created or modified)
  • By date (created or modified)
  • By internal notes and tags

3. Keep everything organized in one place

Document Management Software Organizing everything in one placeInstead of centralized filing cabinets taking up office space, with a modern document management system, your files are all stored securely in the cloud. An integrated system like this allows your people to find Word documents, PDFs, Excel spreadsheets, image files, videos, etc. for cases, as well as guides and training documents for your own team’s needs.

By providing a centralized location for everything, it naturally encourages people to use the software as a central library of relevant documents, email and notes–organized by client or matter. The whole team can use and share the files and everything feels more organized.

4. Create and access a “single source of truth”

Another benefit of creating a single depository that people access, share, and collaborate on is that it creates a “single source of truth” for each matter.

Rather than having to search for information with the uncertainty that it might not be the latest version or it has not been filed in the right place, you can be confident about the information you receive on each legal matter

Once your team is up to speed with the system, they will find it easy to use and can rely on the veracity and accuracy of the information there.

5. Work collaboratively with team members

In many legal matters, a team will need to work together and collaborate on documents with clients.

In the past, that meant physically copying and sharing documents and this frequently led to confusion about the latest version, etc.

With the latest document management systems, everything is stored and accessed in the cloud. You and your team can work from anywhere on any device and all access the same information at the same time – with real-time updates.

This results in documentation being prepared quickly and with less need for amendments of errors.

6. Leave software updates and maintenance to the pros

Law firms are not known for their IT skills and that’s okay with modern document management software. You are not expected to install updates or maintain your system servers. (Note that legacy, server-based document management software does require a lot in the way of IT resources and management.)

Because a modern DMS will be cloud-based system, the software is updated automatically at convenient times to keep everything running securely and smoothly with next to no downtime.

All the maintenance is taken care of and you can focus on your business and winning cases.

7. Integrate the system with Microsoft Office

Integrating Microsoft Office with Document Management Software for Law FirmsYour DMS should make it easy to save documents or emails from Word, Excel or Outlook directly to a specific case file.

The LexWorkplace DMS integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office so all your users can access existing files and folders anytime, anywhere from your virtual desktop. You can search emails and attachments, capture contact information, and record time stamps.

The document templates in Microsoft Office are also useful for drafting letters, agreements, invoices, appointment confirmations, and so on.

Other document management systems may not integrate with Microsoft Office, which can create problems for some law firms.

Most document management systems do not work with Microsoft Office for Mac computers, unlike LexWorkplace, which includes complete, native MacOS compatibility. Be sure to understand if your firm uses Mac computers, including people working from home.

8. Keep it secure and private

Law firms can easily set up permissions with their DMS to ensure that access to documents is given only to authorized people.

Think of your cloud-based DMS as a secure portal, where authorized members of your team can view, search, edit and download documents. Every action is documented so that there is an audit trail of changes and comments.

The hosting servers are encrypted with military-level security to prevent unauthorized access.

With attorney-client confidentiality a basic tenet of the relationship between a law firm and a client, it’s very important to demonstrate to clients that this applies even when the system has moved online.

9. Improve work-life balance for your team

Technology should be used so that we work smarter – not harder.

A cloud-based document management system can replace a manual system or an outdated digital system and your team will likely thank you for it.

Being able to access files securely from anywhere with an Internet connection, on any device, provides more freedom and flexibility for your team, equating to more billable hours and less time spent in the office.

Case-centric DM software

There is a big difference between case-centric document management software and standard practice management software.

Because of the stringent compliance regulations that law firms are expected to meet and the huge amount of documentation that legal cases demand, unless you are looking at DMS software designed specifically for law firms you may fall short of your expectations.

If your document management software offers all of the benefits described above, you are headed in the right direction.

Contact us if you’d like to book a free consultation about your document management needs.