There is perhaps no domain more notorious for its use – indeed, its overuse – of paper than legal research. If you think about the sheer volume of paper a drafting attorney, librarian or clerk goes through on a typical day, it is easy to see how the term “paper trail” has become synonymous with those working in the legal profession. Before digitization of documents, there was of course good reason for the need for so much paper. But now, with the continued evolution of digital, there is no shortage of alternative options offering a whole host of added benefits. So, why should you go paperless?
Paper processes are elaborate and cumbersome and sometimes it’s difficult to find what you’re searching for in a never-ending paper trail. By ending your reliance on paper processes and adopting a digital approach, you’ll save time, improve efficiency, and streamline workflow. An electronic filing system is infinitely faster than a manual one, as are digital document management and knowledge management systems – everything you need can be found at the click of a button, increasing productivity and efficiency by as much as 70%. This is particularly beneficial to legal researchers who have to tackle the continuous struggle of keeping up with the sheer volume of content being produced.
Over time, the amount of money a firm or organization can save from going paperless can be staggering. It isn’t until you begin to store everything electronically that you realize just how much money gets wasted on paper and print. Moreover, the space it takes up in an office environment can be put to more lucrative uses. A shift away from the manual processes involved in cumbersome and elaborate paper trails means reduced labour costs too.
Reducing the amount of paper you use will have a positive effect on the environment. The less paper you use, the fewer trees that need to be felled, which over a long period can make a significant impact to preserving nature and the protecting the environment. Furthermore, you’ll produce less waste and play your part in the pursuit of global environmental sustainability.
Going digital has a positive impact that stretches far beyond just your organisation – clients reap the benefits of a more efficient document management and digital file system too in that they get results quicker, they appreciate a more streamlined process, and oftentimes are able to access content and documents at their leisure through password-protected software solutions.