Demystifying Legal Software – Three

Document Management Softwaredreamstime_m_5561248

This blog is about three weeks late. You may not know that, but I do. I have to admit that I went through a software overload a couple of weeks ago when I was researching software options for a couple of clients.

In the past 2+ years since I’ve been out on my own, I have literally learned over eight new software programs well enough to create my own website, handle software implementations and recommend software to attorneys. Needless to say, I spend at least 10 hours a week learning new software or learning more about the software I use. My mind simply imploded. I stopped what I was doing and sat on the couch for most of three days.

What I’m trying to say is, this stuff isn’t easy to understand. Every day we are bombarded with ads and people claiming to want to “help us be more productive”. . . really? Heavy sign. My goal is to help some of you reduce your pain when trying to decipher some software programs.

So, let’s get to electronic document and email management in a law firm.

Small Firm’s traditional legal document management:

  • Create a shared drive on an office server and save documents in folders based on specific firm criteria.
  • Use VPN or Citrix to access files from outside the office.
  • Emails and documents stored separately.

Document Searching:

Try and remember what the document was named, where it was saved or who created it.

  1. Open the correct drive
  2. Either search for what you want or
  3. Open the client folder
  4. Open the matter folder
  5. Open the document type or author
  6. Look through the documents to find the one you need

Backed up by software at the server level. Hopefully it is saved somewhere off-site.

Large Firm’s with Document Management Systems have benefits of:

  • Ease of finding documents
  • Security and ethical walls
  • Ease of transferring client files
  • Emails and documents in on place

In Comes The Cloud

New services are developed and older software adapts to cloud.  Services are now available for small firms and solos.

Two types of document storage services in the Cloud – Document Storage & Sharing Software and Document Management Software

  • Document Storage and Sharing Software

    • Developed for personal use
    • Simplicity a priority
    • Service Providers
      • Dropbox
      • Box
      • Google Drive
      • OneDrive
      • Citrix ShareFile
      • Legal Practice Management Suites
    • Features
      • Documents in one location
      • Documents backed up
      • Documents available over multiple devices
      • Varying document security
      • Document sharing outside of firm

If you are going to save your client documents into the cloud, get the most security you can. The free version of the document storage and sharing software isn’t secure enough for client documents. These systems were really designed for our family Christmas letters and pictures of our animals.

  • Document Management Software (Legal):

    • Developed for lawyers
    • Security a priority
    • Integrated with Microsoft and some legal software like Adobe
    • Service Providers
      • iManage
      • Worldox
      • ProLaw
      • NetDocuments
    • Features
      • Documents in one location
      • Documents backed up
      • Documents available over multiple devices
      • Documents searchable across matters
      • Advanced Security
      • Secure transfer of documents
      • Email saved in same location as documents

If you want to have a document management system in the cloud, I recommend NetDocuments. I have worked with iManage, ProLaw, DocsOpen and proprietary programs. NetDocuments has the best end user experience for attorneys and staff and is the easiest to manage the back end. You can contact me or www.NetDocuments.com for a demo or go to www.netdocshelp.com for short clips of How To’s.

Next month I’ll blog about legal accounting software.  I hope you find this information helpful.

The first blog in this series is on Practice Management Software:  Demystifying Legal Software 1

I will be speaking at the Association of Legal Administrators on June 16.  The Topic is Dealing with Difficult Situations on a Law Firm More information here

Diane L. Camacho, CLM, SPHR

www.dlcconsultingsrvcs.com // diane@dlccs.com

 

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