A magnifying glass pointing to digital document processing explained at-a-glance

How Much More Can You Do With Quick Retrieval Of Your Legal Files

Published on : 04/02/2022 04 February Feb 02 2022

Law firms and corporate legal departments often have a massive load of unstructured data and information that's difficult and time-consuming to retrieve. As a result, many are drowning in paperwork, and others fail to enforce policies effectively.

The average time spent retrieving or processing files or contracts is a key performance indicator for legal professionals. It is determined by the nature, format, or complexity of the files. 

Knowledge management software is essential for many organizations to help them reduce this KPI by setting up workflows for every stage of the legal process. Furthermore, workflow automation makes it easier and faster to retrieve legal files by keeping all relevant files organized so that lawyers and in-house counsel spend less time working their way up through massive quantities of legal documents.
But what are the positive effects of reducing the time used to retrieve files? Let’s explore this further.

Boost Productivity 

Handling many files manually is an activity that affects employee productivity. That's because they spend so much time processing low-value files, which eats up the time they need to spend working on high-value tasks. 
Manual file searches also make it difficult for the legal department to prove its worth and value to the organization. This ultimately affects employee morale, productivity and leads to routinely missed deadlines. 

When you automate legal processes and enable quick and more efficient retrieval of documents, productivity is improved because less time is spent searching for documents and other elements. 

In addition, it becomes easier to identify areas that need improvement to avoid clogging up productivity and increase client satisfaction. 

Some of the areas you need to automate to reduce file processing time and improve employee productivity include:
  • Automating recurring tasks, like billing 
  • Generating standard contract templates or document preparation 
  • Automating deadline reminders and other notifications
  • Responding to frequently asked questions and regular customer requests 
  • Signing and track contracts digitally
  • Filling in related data 

Promote Work Efficiency

Workflows and document management software enable legal department staff to deliver accurate projects fast. For instance, with version control, they'll never lose control of the latest document format. 

Nonetheless, quick file retrieval ensures your clients are served faster because answers to their questions are just a mouse click away. Legal staff can provide the answer almost immediately from the latest contract version whenever a caller requests information without asking the caller to call back to allow them some time to search for the document manually.

The contractual cycle is also made more efficient when lawyers and in-house counsel can sign contracts rapidly from anywhere, at any time, and on any device. The best part is that you can use legal knowledge management tools to measure, record, and report your legal team's performance.  

Save Time and Energy 

Inefficient processes such as slow document retrieval cost an organization time that would be spent applying legal knowledge. The time lost running the business also affects business profits because it is reflected in the quality of legal work you produce. 
It's also a demotivator that affects your attitude at work and could cost an organization its reputation and referral opportunities. But, on the other hand, automation promises to make you stand out from the crowd by ensuring you work more efficiently and do away with mundane business tasks. 

Besides, it ensures all files are collected and stored in a single database, such that you can access, retrieve, modify, and update them easily. And also makes files searchable and findable so you can respond to client and other stakeholder requests quickly. 

Improve Accuracy and Build Your Reputation

Data centralization ensures everybody in the organization is working from the same set of facts, and honest answers are derived rapidly. It also minimizes the likelihood of errors reducing duplication efforts. 

It's easy to teach a system a streamlined process and even harder for it to forget. For example, you can use a document generation tool to securely draft different types of documents and contracts while ensuring various departments apply a consistent contract policy. You can also make it easier and faster to retrieve documents by automating document naming. This also boosts consistency by preventing the multiple naming of a single copy.

Minimize Legal Risks and Duplicate Efforts 

Information research is among the most critical yet frustrating aspects of practicing law. More often than not, you will be required as a legal professional to find information from contracts, reports, or client history, and nobody wants to spend hours doing this. 
Law firms and corporate legal departments can quickly find information with a practical knowledge management system, thus reducing costs and duplication efforts. It also reduces legal risks by making it more straightforward for lawyers and in-house counsel to measure their response time, determine their workload vs. cost, and their deadline compliance. 

Furthermore, automation warrants that everyone has a clear understanding of the tasks at hand and enhances productivity, efficiency, and compliance. 

Reduce Non-compliance Risks

Compliance requirements can be pretty complex, especially for particular files. Unfortunately, non-conformance to the requirements can result in license revocation, fines, or criminal liability. Therefore, it is essential to reduce the risk of non-compliance using legal document management systems. 

An organization's exposure to non-compliance risks is mitigated when artificial intelligence tools are leveraged to recognize subjects at risk and the risk levels. In addition, early detection of the risk is possible if you can quickly access files, and it ensures you intervene sooner rather than later. 

Developing clear legal processes also enables the legal department to achieve improved control compliance to a company's policies and regulations. 
Invest Today for Faster Legal File Retrieval 

Document management solutions help businesses automate workflows, hasten the file retrieval process, and generally streamline business processes. Being able to retrieve information and knowledge quickly offers massive productivity improvements, saves time, and improves decision making. 

You may benefit from investing in a legal business management system that allows quick retrieval of relevant files, interactions and documents while ensuring effective enforcement of policies Discover how much more you can do with a modern, efficient solution that won’t leave you behind your peers. 

About the author: 
Legal Suite is the worldwide leader in digital transformation for lawyers. We have delivered our state-of-the-art software for lawyers, law firms, and in-house general counsel to 65,000 users for over two decades. www.legal-suite.com


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