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How to Choose the Most Complete Legal Document Management System

How to Choose the Most Complete Legal Document Management System

Legal Document Management System Photo by Mikhail Nilov:

Gone are the days when law firms could put all their legal documents in one folder and keep them in a closet. With most records stored and shared on desktop computers, many law firms are now turning to legal document management systems to stay organized and efficient. A DMS also helps ensure digital document security and legal compliance for your practice.

While any industry can benefit from using a DMS, legal departments require specific operational and compliance capabilities. For this reason, legal document management software must be specifically designed to meet the storage, sharing, and organizational needs of law firms.

Each legal DMS is designed to meet unique business needs. Some software solutions integrate time tracking and CRM features to manage customer relationships. Others, on the other hand, include accounting functions to manage financial transactions.

Here are some of the main factors to consider when finalizing a legal document management system:

Do you need a cloud based solution or on-premises software?

Suppose your law firm operates out of several offices across the country. In this case, a cloud-based legal document management solution ensures everyone stays on the same page. This allows all your branches to streamline workflows and work on cases together. Or, if you only have one location, you can choose local software installed on the server.

Would you like to integrate DMS with other software you are currently using?

As your practice grows, you may want to add more functionality to your legal document management system. For example, some document management solutions may not include electronic signature functionality. You can also search the DMS integrated with QuickBooks for invoices.

Is your favorite software compatible with Android and iOS devices?

It is best to choose a DMS that is designed to be easy to view on Android and iOS devices to improve communication between team members. Your employees should be able to access the records anytime, anywhere, whether they are on the go or in a meeting with a client. You also need to view file updates, make changes, upload documents, and share them with colleagues and clients.

Does the chosen solution fit your budget?

The legal document management system is available with a free trial, subscription fee, and one-time license. Before committing to a solution, try it with a free trial. If you have defined the features, you should set up the demo in your DMS and then use the freemium version. If you need the latest features from access control to admin privileges to electronic signatures, a subscription-based plan is best suited for your business needs.

Top Features To Look For In Legal Document Management Solutions

    • Advanced Search: Find important documents quickly through metadata filters with this time-saving feature.

    • Version Control: Allows you to retrieve older versions and view changes made to a document, even when multiple users are accessing and editing it.

    • PDFs and tools: Legal documents are usually created in PDF format because they are read-only, allow the addition of electronic signatures, and are easy to edit and manage.

    • Document scanning: The scanning tool makes it easy to save screenshots of documents in various formats. These documents can then be saved as digital images and archived for other purposes.

    • Document Tagging: Tagging makes it easy to classify and organize legal documents by type and purpose for quick reference and evergreen document creation.

    • User Access Control: This feature gives you complete control over legal documents in terms of who can view, edit, share or write permissions

    • Security and Compliance: Data encryption is very important because almost all law firm data is privileged and confidential. The solution you choose will also help you maintain industry compliance.

In a Nutshell

There are several advantages to using software to manage legal documents. Any solution that increases productivity and improves operational efficiency ultimately increases profits. DMS helps streamline all aspects of documentation, from sorting and storing to sharing and retrieving. It also helps eliminate human error while maintaining compliance and security.

However, before committing to a DMS, it's important to understand which features you currently need and which features you may need as your practice develops. And once you have chosen a legal document management system, it is important to ensure that the solution is implemented properly by training your staff to ensure optimal use.