- Published: Wednesday, 27 January 2016 15:58
- Written by Pearl Scan
- Hits: 1999
Why do Lawyers Love Paper so Much?
Law firms, however small, quickly amass a vast amount of paper. From case files and contracts to claims and official police reports, lawyers and solicitors have to keep a very accurate record of everything they do. However, nobody said this record has to be kept on paper – although lawyers still prefer to use paper and pen the majority of the time.
So why do lawyers love paper so much? After all, searching through reams of paper to find one document is time consuming and inefficient. Also, keeping years’ worth of case files in physical storage can be really expensive. Yet many law firms refuse to end their love affair with paper – here’s a few reasons why we think the profession is being slower than most to adopt digital documents.
Signed in Ink
Legal statements and contracts need to be signed in ink, which means they need to be printed a couple of times – one for the client and one to keep on file. However, this may be changing soon as electronic signatures are becoming more popular.
Courts Love Paper Too
Law firms aren’t the only culprits – courts and judges also love using paper. That means when lawyers go into court with a case, they carry a huge pile of paper documents which are presented to the judge. Sometimes other documents are also distributed between the jury and each representation. For no hard copies to be needed at all, law firms and the legal industry would have to work together to reduce the amount of paper used and invest in portable technology in court rooms.
Want to be Compliant
Many solicitors and lawyers believe that to stay compliant, and for documents to be held up in court, documents need to be hard copies. This isn’t the case – in practically every instance, scanned documents are accepted in legal trials and by official bodies as long as due diligence has been taken in their creation, indexing and storage.
The Law Society gives clear instructions for electronic document management to ensure companies still comply with the Data Protection Act. It is still possible to stay compliant when using digitised versions of files as long as they are kept for the required amount of time and the destruction of the original file is documented.
Lawyers – if you’re tired of paperwork and want to try ditching the paper, contact us.