Paperwork is a plaguing problem in the legal sector. While document management solutions are gaining popularity in the industry, finding the right one to eliminate paperwork in your law firm can be a daunting task.
You might encounter a bunch of new terms, a plethora of DMS vendors, and an influx of contradicting opinions on what you should and shouldn’t look for. However, we’ve put together a good objective guide that you can refer to. Here are some pointers to remember if you’re looking for the right DMS for your law firm.
1. Check for authenticity
Many law firms that want to implement authentic DMS are often misled into buying Legal Practice Management Software (LPM). While these softwares provide relevant functionality to law firms, they are not document management solutions, and are instead falsely labelled as such.
Mistakenly buying such software in the hopes of using them as a full-fledged DMS would be an unfortunate waste of resources. While there are certain law firms who could use these LPMs as a lite DMS, these will not suffice the complex needs of a majority of organizations in the legal industry.
2. Ask about its learning curve
Once you’ve eliminated misleading document management solutions, it’s time to find out whether or not it’s easy to learn to operate. A DMS’ ultimate demise in your law firm would be a direct result of your colleagues’ inability to pick up and master its functions.
A great way to determine this is finding out the last time the DMS had a user experience and interface overhaul. Many older document management solutions have cluttered interfaces with confusing navigation structures, thereby making adaptability an issue.
3. Make sure OCR is included
OCR (or optical character recognition) is one of the key selling points of a DMS. Its main function is recognizing text in scanned documents so that you can search for a document by its contents. One of the most important feature that a DMS should posses is built-in OCR engine.
OCR enables full-text search (or robust search, as we call it in our DMS). When OCR scans and converts image text to selectable text, it helps with indexing documents. Not only this—OCR & robust search work together to help a user search for content within texts of any and all documents.
4. Research over its relevant features
Many document management solutions cater to certain niche industries and rightly build their software to assist organizations that fall under the same. These DMS vendors might have the best features among competitors in their league, but if they aren’t features that are relevant to the requirements in the legal sector, then there's no point deploying one. In such a case, look out for other vendors.
Some of the features you should keep an eye out for include:
● Document Management & Storage
● Security & Permissions Management
● Integration with Regularly Used Software
● Document Metadata
● Audit Trail Management
● Version Control
To conclude, we understand that there are multiple options to choose from. We prefer to think of this more as a guide to help you weed out the DMS that would be unsuitable for your law firm. In addition to this, we’d recommend checking out our features page to check for yourself if there are any features our DMS offers, that seem fitting as per your requirements. We’ve been in the DMS scenario for a good while now, which is why you can also schedule a call if you’d like us to help you make a good choice.