As a law firm, you need effective document management for your daily operations. And while the days of crowded storerooms and jammed-pack file cabinets aren’t gone just yet, they’re on their way out thanks in large part to the rise in digital imaging for law firms.
From scanning and imaging to archiving and more, technology is changing the way law firms create and manage the thousands of documents they generate. Of course, for every document created or scanned there must be an efficient and secure method of storing it.
One of those methods is an often-overlooked Microsoft tool called SharePoint.
What Is SharePoint?
SharePoint is a Microsoft product that has flown under the radar in the public sphere, but is nevertheless a powerful tool for any business that creates and stores large amounts of data, from documents to images, maps, videos, and more.
How Can SharePoint Help My Law Firm?
SharePoint is primarily a document management and team collaboration tool. However, a better way to look at SharePoint is as a project management system not unlike Asana, RedBooth, or similar programs you may already be familiar with.
SharePoint users create “sites,” which are essentially content sections. From there, work can be collaborated on by in-house employees, remote colleagues, and even outside vendors, clients, and more. Since Microsoft is behind the service, SharePoint includes built-in integrations for the whole suite of Microsoft products, including Word, Excel, and Publisher.
Keep Your Files Organized
If you’ve used other document management systems, you know they can be nightmares to navigate. SharePoint helps clean up the process by allowing you to arrange and manage documents into fully customized sites, folders, or other areas you designate.
For example, all materials related to “The Johnson Case” might be contained within a single section set aside for that purpose. Within that site or folder, multiple sections can be created to organize different portions of the case.
Alternatively, you can also create multiple sites for different areas that are utilized across different clients. Sites dedicated to depositions, discovery, witness files, motions, closed cases, and more can be easily created, uploaded, moved, shared and organized. An easy search tool allows you to search your entire system by filename or content so the document you need is never too far away.
Collaborate with Colleagues
Since Microsoft administers SharePoint, all related programs integrate seamlessly. This allows you to work on and collaborate with colleagues and co-counsels on documents through the cloud-based Office 365.
The process is simple and includes document tracking, so you can access comments, changes, and multiple versions as needed.
Safety and Security
Due to the sensitive nature of legal files as well as regulatory requirements, the security of any document management system is important. SharePoint approaches security in many ways, from physical (with Microsoft’s servers, among the most secure and protected in the world), to the administrative (with SharePoint’s end-user controls, which allow documents to be protected or shared based on a user’s access level).
Is SharePoint Right For My Firm?
SharePoint excels as an effective, streamlined document management system. For firms looking to leverage their existing Microsoft investment, it makes a lot of sense to utilize SharePoint. It’s a low-cost, yet powerfully effective system that can benefit firms of all sizes, though is particularly useful to smaller firms.
If you are a law firm in the Mobile, Alabama, area and you are considering a change to your current file management system, contact Legal Imaging today. Our FREE Practice Management Assessment can show you the IT opportunities available to make your firm run more efficiently.
From litigation support to document services, Legal Imaging has the tools, talent, and most importantly the technology to give your firm the edge.