There are several excellent reasons to go paperless, obvious to those who have now made the jump. If you haven’t yet, though, consider this …
Think back to when you started business as a lawyer. Imagine back then that someone had offered you Option A or Option B. Option A was going ahead with paper files, storage onsite, printing and filing physical copies of everything and using the paper files as your primary source for file information. Option B was no necessity for paper (so no printing or physical filing and storage and no physical file on your desk), but instead your whole file was readable and accessible on your screen, accessible from anywhere with an internet connection, and completely manageable with a few clicks of a button or swipes on an iPad, with everything presentable to you in whatever form on screen you would like it. With the benefit now of afterthought, would you still choose Option A (the paper files)?
The simple but potent benefits of going paperless, most simply put, include:
- saving physical space (no more file storage, file cabinets or even paper files on your desk);
- saving printer resources (only printing when you have to, not because things have to go on a paper file);
- significant efficiency cost savings – there are several examples of this, such as filing correspondence and documents now taking a matter of seconds by clicking and dragging into a folder onscreen instead of a matter of minutes by printing, locating the physical file, putting holes in the document, filing it and returning the file to the cabinet (this saving alone can save the average small practice in excess of $100,000 per year);
- flexibility and portability – everything can be made securely accessible online, so you and your team can access client and firm files and resources from anywhere, at any time.
Purely commercially, though, there is another way to look at it. Going paperless means you spend less, you should have more chargeable time available, and things don’t take quite as long to do – all of which adds up to a potentially significant increase in revenue. Are there really any reasons not to go paperless?