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Legal Document Management: What It Is and What to Look For


Adhere to regulations, protect patient privacy, and increase productivity with digital legal document management.

The legal industry must adhere to some of the most rigid standards in records management. A firm must protect their clients’ interests, while also adhering to federal, state, and local regulations, and court requirements. And if you fail to comply, it can result in loss of client confidence, malpractice suits, stiff penalties, and/or hefty fines. 

Because of this, it’s extremely important to have the right technology serving your firm so that there is no question or concern about whether or not your firm will meet those rigid standards or fall short in the protection of your clients’ interests and information. 

Which is why having and choosing legal document management software for your firm is a big deal. Legal document management exists to serve your law firm in all of above ways plus a number of others. Your firm can benefit from legal document management in a big way.

The catch?

Sometimes knowing what to look for when deciding on legal document management can be unclear – which makes choosing difficult. You want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck and we want to help you; so here we’ve come up with a few tips to help you through the process of what to look for.

But before we get to the tips, let’s make sure we all know exactly what legal document management is. 

What Is Legal Document Management?

Here is a technical definition of the term out of the article Document Management in the Digital Law Office from The American Bar Association:

Document Management software captures all the content associated with a file or matter for requirements such as improved regulatory compliance, enhanced knowledge sharing, and document retention policies (when to keep and when to discard a document).

Most DMS systems feature secure content for better protection of confidential information, reduced unnecessary access to sensitive content, and increased control of core assets and expertise. 

In other words, software centralizes project/matter management for faster access for everyone who needs to view a document, spreadsheet, graphic image, email, presentation, etc. whether on site or extremely remote.“ 

Simply, successful legal document management software will track and organize specific information. This means you can find your firm’s documents – which also helps you squeeze more out of your work day and focus on all of the other tasks on your to-do list. 

What to Look For?

Now that there is a basic understanding of what legal document management is, what do you look for to ensure you’re choosing the best fit for your firm?

  • Compatibility: Though it would probably be music to your ears if you were told everyone was going to create every legal document on the same program and in the same format, they don’t. And they’re not going to. So, be sure the software has the capability to be compatible with multiple programs and formats.
  • Look beyond case management: Case management is extremely important – that’s definitely not the argument here. But you can’t depend on case management to serve both its own functions and legal document management functions. You need a separate software (legal document management software) that can keep your documents just as organized as your client information.
  • What kind of load can it carry: When it comes to choosing software that’s right for your firm, this ranks as one of the most important things to look for. First things first, figure out your firm’s document load (we can help you with that) and then look at software options that can support your business now and as it grows. The quality of the program should be just as good at 50 people as it is at 15 people.
  • Does it have a search bar: Now this last one may seem insignificant or less important, but it truly is a necessary part in having a successful system. A huge purpose of legal document management is to make finding and retrieving documents and information simple and fast, and without a search bar your find and retrieval process will be anything but that.

There is legal document management software that is the right fit with your business and we want to help you find that. So, let us know if you have any questions – we’d love to hear from you.

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Topics: Document Management Legal Tips and Tools