Matter centricity is crucial for the modern law firm. Having access to all of the documents, files and materials pertaining to a case in one location is crucial from a productivity and organizational perspective. That’s why a smart legal document storage system that connects or replaces multiple data repositories is crucial for any firm looking for legal matter management.
In fact, matter centricity has been an issue ever since the first case file left cabinets and their folders. Technology is the primary cause of problems when it comes to matter centricity. Email attachments, file sharing tools, hardware, network hard drives and even FTP servers have all contributed to a growing need for legal document storage by a matter-centric tool.
Here are four reasons why you need a legal document storage solution that helps you when it comes to matter centricity.
1. Access to Legal Documents from Anywhere
Remote access is proving pivotal for matter centricity, and any legitimate legal document storage solution will provide ways to connect to these centralized case files. This means you need access on any device and from any location.
Your legal document storage solution should offer secure remote access without a VPN, along with a variety of access methods for the end-user to pick from.
2. Eliminate Email Attachments
Email is probably the leading issue when it comes to matter centricity. Email simply isn’t secure enough, as you never know if the person on the other end has a fully encrypted email provider and connection. In addition, email attachments eat up space on servers, cause collaboration/versioning headaches and simply get lost.
While strong email organizational best practices are necessary for keeping track of messaging back and forth, attaching files to emails should go the way of courtroom wigs. Instead, use secure share links created by your legal document storage tool to link someone directly to the file in question. The best tools include email plugins to help make this as easy as sending an attachment directly to someone.
3. Consolidate Network Storage and File Sharing
Legal document storage solutions that can connect or replace file servers and file sharing tools kill two birds with one stone. Every lawyer needs to exchange files, so file sharing is important. At the same time, a local NAS that the firm can easily access is crucial for day-to-day activities.
It’s important to find a legal document storage solution that can act as both your traditional file server and a cloud file sharing tool as well. If you already have a file server, your legal document storage solution should be able to connect to that and enable file sharing capabilities. If you want to replace or don’t have a file server, your legal document storage tool should be able to act as a drop-in replacement for it.
Put an End to File Sprawl
Ensuring compliance and security is critical for law offices. This means you need to contain file sprawl, which is basically the antonym of matter centricity. File sprawl means you have files in a variety of systems and locations, and you’ve lost visibility over them. You don’t know if the files are encrypted, and you don’t know who has accessed them
Your legal document storage tool should be an all-in-one tool that is easy to use. Because it can handle a variety of end-user tasks through several different access methods, it will be the one go-to solution your paralegals and fellow attorneys will choose. It’s also important the UI is simple. If it’s clunky, your team will turn to their own tools, called Shadow IT tools, that contribute to file sprawl issues.
For IT, this tool will provide insight into file activity and should have the option to at least encrypt files during transfer and at rest. Legal document storage solutions should offer both of those capabilities as options for your law firm.
4. Legal Document Storage Solution That Does All The Above
At this point, you’ve hopefully identified that all of the above criteria are necessary, but you might be wondering what tool can do all of that. SmartFile is your answer, regardless of the size of your firm.
SmartFile’s on-prem option, FileHub™, offers enhanced security features and is deployed behind your firewall. This lets it work as a truly enhanced file server with cloud capabilities on top of your infrastructure.
Additionally, SmartFile offers cloud plans that are terrific options for smaller firms who don’t want to set up any hardware or companies with fewer compliance concerns that still desire a strong legal document storage solution.