Many law firms, regardless of size, are now discovering the value in digitizing documents for all kinds of legal case files. Even if they still have to retain physical copies of various documents, the ability to quickly and easily search for key information is an incredible time-saver that provides a strong return on investment for firms of any size.

Of course, in order to make the right decision on what kind of equipment to invest in, law offices will have to look into the options that fit their budget and work for their unique needs, according to JD Supra's interview with document management executive Derek Miller. That may start with having the ability to more clearly define what their goals with such adoption is, and then find something that suits those goals.

Getting it right
Once a firm makes its choice, one of the most important aspects of using these platforms effectively is to ensure everyone in the office knows the procedures for putting files into the systems, and how to use them on an ongoing basis after the fact, the report said. For instance, it's all well and good to be able to scan a file in, but if a user doesn't necessarily know how to properly redact information in those files, it could lead to a grave mistake.

Likewise, if people who are searching these documents don't know how to pull up what they're actually looking for, they will be unlikely to get the full value out of the platform the firm has invested in, the report said.

A more pressing need
In addition to the day-to-day uses for these platforms, the value they provide can also come in the form of what happens when disaster strikes, according to Bigger Law Firm. Document digitization and ongoing use of document management platforms also helps keep important information safe in the event of things like fire, flood or another natural disaster that would have otherwise been a huge blow to any firm.

It's always important for legal offices to have a disaster recovery plan in place, and a document management platform is part and parcel with such an effort. It should not be counted upon as the be-all and end-all in crisis response, but certainly built into the larger, overall plan.

With all this in mind, the value of a strong legal document management strategy buttressed by a great platform that meets your ongoing needs cannot be overstated. Any firm without such software in place may find themselves falling behind.