In 2011, Jim S. Adler & Associates, a personal-injury law firm with four offices in Texas, deployed an EDM solution to tackle a growing mountain of paper files and improve existing processes.
A significant factor in the law firm’s decision to use EMC’s software and hardware solution, which includes EMC Documentum, Captiva, ScanPlus and IndexPlus, was the ease with which the firm could integrate the system with its established software.
A year into the deployment, the number of electronic pages the firm generates has jumped from 3 million to 5 million pages. While the number of employees needed to index electronic documents has been reduced by 75 percent, according to Director of Information Technology Dustin Engle.
But not all firms have adopted this approach. Relying on word processors, e-mail and other forms of electronic communication — without a strategy for managing the documents they generate — creates its own set of issues.
Establishing a repeatable workflow can increase productivity and ultimately reduce the costs associated with managing the litany of materials that every case generates. EDM solutions are especially helpful to firms striving to ensure or preserve:
Many firms employ case management software to track cases from start to finish, but a case’s journey through the system often is tied to or requires actions pertaining to specific documents. If the documents are paper-based, information must be entered manually (and correctly) into the case management system.
Today’s EDM systems can integrate with a firm’s case management system so that, for example, when action has been taken on an electronic document, the case management system sends triggers or alerts to signify that the case has entered the next phase in the process.
Many EDM systems also align well with other IT initiatives. For example, if a firm’s IT department is virtualizing its data centers, it can virtualize its document management system.
For more on legat IT and electronic document management for law firms, read CDW's white paper.