Benefits of Implementing a Document Management System in Law Firms

Maybe you are at the beginning of a document management project, designing the business case or projecting a likely return on investment.  If so, then this article can help you understand the many benefits of implementing such a solution.

So, what are the main reasons why law firms implement a document management system?  Cutting costs and increasing efficiencies are two key factors especially when justifying capital expenditure.  Increased control and security, improved team working and knowledge management are the other main drivers.

The benefits of successful implementations of document management are seen by lawyers, legal support staff, customers, IT staff and the law firm as a whole.  Here we have grouped these benefits into five themes:


Increased Productivity / Efficiencies (doing more law)

  • Less wasted time spending time browsing and searching for information in multiple locations (email, file systems, local drive).
  • No more wasted time retyping documents or working out which version of a document is the latest one.
  • Easier and quicker to share information with other users and groups, in different departments, across physical locations.
  • Work with documents anywhere and anytime.


Cutting Costs (saving money)

  • By centralizing document management services, it is possible to retire old file systems and simplify backups reducing server maintenance and administration costs.
  • By scanning in and promoting use of electronic case files results in multiple cost savings including savings on printers and paper, less administration, and freeing up valuable floor space previously occupied by filing cabinets.


Compliance / Control (minimizing risk)

  • Comply with legislative and regulatory requirements and help with specific processes: for example, new matter intake, conflicts of interest, e-discovery, chinese walls and matter billing.
  • Better document security: single secure central repository, rather than shared drives, local drives and email.
  • Provide detailed auditing of all document activities.


Quality of Product / Service (competitive advantage)

  • Better sharing of documents to external parties (customers, opposing counsel, third parties) through extranet portals or deal rooms.
  • Improved knowledge management leading to better informed lawyers.


Law Firms Reputation (marketing)

  • Is a matter of prestige that the firm is investing in the very best technology to manage their customers’ documents.
  • In order to attract the best lawyers, need to consider that many younger lawyers will have only worked with document management systems during their careers and will be used to the benefits that they bring.
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