The legal sector has long had a reputation for being traditional, but it seems the tides are starting to turn. In fact, the industry has been working extremely hard to improve its reputation as a technological laggard. Some companies are even leading the way in embracing workplace innovation.
Our latest ‘Death of the Paper Trail’ report, highlighted the legal sector as being ahead of most other industries, including education and construction, in moving towards a paper-free working environment. Four-fifths of the legal workers we surveyed stated that their bosses had introduced paperless working policies.
But, while 80% of companies have moved towards paperless working, 20% still haven’t. This means there is work still to be done. In light of this, here are our top tips for legal firms hoping to further reduce their paper consumption.
Digitalise your paper
Two of the biggest issues with paper documents are that they can be lost or damaged incredibly easily. The knock-on effect of this could be a misplaced document, which for the law sector could lead to a range of compliancy issues, or even a case being thrown out.
Thankfully, solutions have now been developed to enable businesses to digitise their paper documents.
Digital data capture is a solution rapidly gaining popularity. It allows employees to access important documents from their own hand-held device, such as a smartphone or tablet.
Not only is this incredibly convenient, but the technology would also prevent cases being lost or thrown out due to documents being destroyed or misplaced. A digital version can be quickly accessed from any mobile device, anywhere and at any time.
Reach for the cloud
For staff working between locations, juggling paperwork used to come as part and parcel of the job. However, it’s far from ideal when operating remotely, as there is a high chance of documents going astray.
Thanks to the cloud, businesses can further reduce their paper usage, while ensuring documents are stored safely.
With this technology allowing businesses to store an endless number of digital documents, which are safely backed up for employees to access from any location, workers can avoid having to carry around large paper files while on the move.
This not only avoids the opportunity for anything important potentially going missing, but it also allows for an extra level of security.
Embrace Augmented Reality (AR)
Remember the days when groundbreaking technological developments included the shift from floppy discs to compact discs? Well, who would have thought in the not-too-distant future we would have wearable and fully immersive tools such as AR at our disposal. Yet, besides AR having huge benefits to consumers in gaming and shopping, the technology is also applicable to streamlining a business’ working practices.
For instance, in a legal firm, lawyers could wear an AR headset to pull up useful information on their display about a case. So, if a partner was working on a job where a complainant had been affected by unlawful planning permission, an AR device could be used to scan the building, allowing the worker to see visually through the headset if the building was in or outside of the design plans.
In conclusion, technology is helping to revolutionise the working practices of a whole magnitude of industries by removing their reliance on paper, with the legal sector at the forefront. But while a host of firms have already taken the leap to going paperless, some legal agencies are still lagging behind. Catching up is crucial, not only for law firms, but for businesses across all sectors – failing to adapt could have detrimental effects in the long-term.