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    Tips and Tricks to Eliminate Paper in Your Law Firm

    Tips and Tricks to Eliminate Paper in Your Law Firm

      It’s standard practice in the world of business: being adaptable and adopting new processes to make a company run more efficiently and save money. After all, what CEO or business owner doesn’t want to look for ways to increase productivity and profits wherever possible?

      Your law firm should be no different.

      One of the most overlooked ways to save money and optimize workflows? Eliminating paper in your law firm. It might seem daunting for legal professionals to phase out old habits like printing, copying, and filing documents—but with the right tools and strategies, transitioning into a paperless law firm can have a big impact.

      Make a plan and communicate clearly

      Before committing to a large-scale change in your law firm's operations, it’s essential to make sure that everyone on your team knows what’s happening and is on board with the changes that will be made. Communicate your plan clearly, make time to answer all questions, and avoid rolling out significant changes all at once.

      A gradual shift in the right direction will give your team of legal professionals time to acclimate to a new way of doing things.

      Create an online client intake process

      A great start to going paperless is to move your client intake process out of the analog and into the digital world. You can use simple, industry-agnostic tools like Google Forms or Microsoft Forms, but you might have to input information multiple times in different places.

      Instead, consider supporting your client intake process with legal-specific tools.

      Rocket Matter’s legal CRM tool offers online client intake features that remove duplicate (and manual) data entry from your processes—and reduce the likelihood of errors along the way. Plus, once a client intake form is complete, it will be used to automatically populate fields within your practice management software to ensure fully synced information.


      The Paperless Law Office: A 12-Month Plan for Going Paperless

      This easy-to-follow plan for going paperless can help reduce your law firm overhead costs and boost profits.

      Digitize the paper you already have

      Another great way to reduce paper waste is to digitize all existing documents so that everyone on the team can easily locate and use them. Not only does this make your documents more useable, but it also reduces the amount of storage space you need to house documents.

      Law firms have a few options for storing digitized documents. Documents can be stored within on-premise servers, for example, but keep in mind that this can pose an accessibility challenge for remote working.

      Cloud-based solutions, on the other hand, offer greater flexibility for attorneys. Much like with client intake software, you can use an industry-agnostic cloud storage option, or you can turn to legal-specific software. A cloud-based legal practice management solution allows lawyers to upload and organize documents to the software. You can organize by client matter, tags, and more, making it a convenient and user-friendly way to keep documents organized.

      Make use of secure file-sharing and eSignature tools

      Want to save paper AND time for your clients and colleagues? Start using secure file-sharing and eSignature tools in your law firm workflows.

      With these tools, you can eliminate tedious back-and-forth between you and document recipients—instead, you can quickly send emails to deliver or request documents with just a couple of clicks. No more need to print off and mail bulky documents, or wait weeks for clients to do the same.

      You can even create customizable templates that enhance your brand visibility. Law practice management solutions like Rocket Matter also allow you to send and receive files from within client matters, keeping everything synced.

      Implement clear filing procedures

      While you’re digitizing client files and preparing to implement the same system for new files, it’s critical to have a filing system in place that everyone knows how to use.

      You’ll need a set of file naming conventions and protocols that make it painless to locate files in the office or on the go.

      Here are some quick tips on making this work for your law office when using law practice management software for filing:

      • Keep file names as short as possible, making them easy to locate. Creating standard abbreviations for naming will help with this process.
      • Avoid unnecessary words that lengthen the file name but don’t improve meaning, such as “the” and “a”.
      • Use capitalization as an element delimiter. Capitalize the first letter of each word in a file name. If the file name contains a capitalized acronym, it should appear in all capitals, and the first letter of the next word should also be capitalized.
      • You can also use underscores (_) and hyphens (-) as delimiters in your file naming system to make files easier to locate.
      • Avoid using special characters and spaces when naming files.
      • State the date “back to front” using YYYYMMDD or YYMMDD. Include two digits for the month and day in every file name. Whether you opt for a two- or four-digit year, be consistent in your usage.
      • Include the client’s name in the file name so that if a file winds up out of place, you will be able to tell what it is and who it belongs to, and re-file accordingly.

      The Paperless Law Office: A 12-Month Plan for Going Paperless

      This easy-to-follow plan for going paperless can help reduce your law firm overhead costs and boost profits.

      Feel good about making the switch

      Making the switch to a paperless law firm can seem challenging, but the benefits are massive. You won’t just be increasing your profitability—you’ll be saving your clients time, making their lives easier, and doing your part to reduce waste and help the environment.

      Don’t be afraid to tell others about your new paperless practice. Share the news in client newsletters, internal emails, and even on social media.

      Make going paperless easy with Rocket Matter

      When switching to a paperless legal practice, you want tools that can support your firm’s goals. As a comprehensive, cloud-based legal practice management software, Rocket Matter provides everything you need in one place.

      Even our essential tier of Rocket Matter provides robust features that allow for efficient, paper-free workflows, including:

      Our exceptional customer service is all U.S.-based, so you can reach out to our product specialists via messenger, phone, or email and get answers within hours. Schedule a demo with Rocket Matter or sign up for a free trial today.

      What to Expect When Moving to Cloud-Based Software

      Use this guide to anticipate potential negative reactions from your team and consider risks from external sources. Learn the benefits of cloud-based software so you can encourage your team by pointing out the benefits of making the move.

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