About one third of all law firms have a formal policy for managing paper records, but no policy for managing their digital records, according to survey taken by the author’s company.
She suggests formulating a unified policy in preparation for the time when almost all records except for hard copy documents required by law will be digital. Formulation of this policy requires addressing issues like what to keep, what to destroy and which is the “official” record – the electronic or paper version.
The author provides several tips for creating a policy. If you have a hard-copy policy, she suggests using it as a springboard to implement digital and paper records retention and destruction programs. Many aspects of a paper plan can be adapted to the demands of digital document management. Scanning, which is now likely part of any firm’s hybrid workflow, will be a critical part of the migration to a reduced-paper environment.
Digital and Paper Records in Law Firms, Legally WedA partner with records expertise, sophisticated imaging technology and “scale” to handle large projects can help to map out and implement an imaging strategy, whether it’s “on-demand,” ongoing, or for specific large e-discovery projects. Once there is buy-in from senior leadership to unify the paper and electronic policy, the firm will be on its way to effectively managing a hybrid environment. That lays the groundwork for switching over to a purely digital system, which will be the norm in the not too distant future.