Paper2Digital Blog

6 04, 2022

Top Information Governance Principles for your Mailroom

2022-04-06T06:09:23-07:00April 6th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

Top Information Governance Principles for your Mailroom

Do Information Governance principles now apply to your firm’s mailroom?

Mail has been a perfunctory function aligned with other physical office services, but the pandemic shifted mail to a critical, and digital operation.

Mail workflows include sensitive client information, launch new work, and therefore often billable activity. This means matter-centric record creation is starting right from mail delivery, not later, from a pile on a desk, even if it be a digital pile on a virtual desk. Protection and integrity of client information has always been a part of our client agreements. Scanning to a digital format does not negate our obligations to sort this information correctly at the beginning of the process.

Since scanning and document description is involved, it is more technical as well. This brings in issues of data compliance and availability but also transparency and accountability from new processes created for the mail distribution. In short, no matter who this process belongs to organizationally, it needs to be a part of your well thought out Information Governance policy, and refined on an ongoing basis, just like any other records management.

Let’s simplify to just three areas of focus for your current digital or ‘soon to be digital’ mailroom operation. Below the 8 “generally accepted record keeping principles” registered as the “The Principles” by ARMA, have been highlighted for you in the areas of focus.

Stakeholder Consultation.  This all-important key sponsorship ties the Digital Mailroom (DMR) to the firm’s ever-growing maturity on conversion to digital matter files.

Setting attorney expectations of ‘maximum electronic delivery and storage’ for overall firm efficiency helps create the all-important buy-in. The greatest success of a mailroom modernization project is standardization across all locations and practice areas which cannot be achieved without strong firm leadership.

A documented, smooth-running mailroom can only be achieved with a design driven by:

  • Accountability from senior management, and
  • Transparency of purpose toward overall law firm record keeping goals.

Protection of Sensitive Data.  This concept is paramount in today’s legal environment (See the current LIFGS white paper on Client Information Governance Requests[i]). Monitoring and auditing tools such as logs of mailroom processes must be used to ‘trust and verify’ as well as safely satisfy internal, as well as external, compliance and potential audit criteria.

Much law firm mail will end up classified as a record, so every bit of accurate metadata added along the way adds integrity to these document classifications and the overall process. Adding further to the integrity, records policy can be amended to start in the mailroom, rather than documenting records only at the time of transfer to longer term storage repositories.

Comprehensive Chain of Custody.  Firms must maintain a comprehensive chain of custody– ‘cradle to grave’ – from mail receipt and opening, sorting/naming/scanning, through a short physical retention and shredding.

In cases of, admittedly, necessary secondary physical delivery, we must minimize and document that process. Adding documentation at this step like “We mark here in the log we were asked to drop it to a desk after scanning the envelope,” is crucial to maintaining the chain of custody in these situations.

Providing fast and appropriate availability of mail items along the way to careful and documented disposition, makes the law firm more competitive, as well as providing a defensible protection strategy for key client and law firm files.


28 02, 2022

6 Tips to Optimize Attorney Productivity with Digital Mail

2023-09-22T11:42:05-07:00February 28th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

6 Tips to Optimize Attorney Productivity with Digital Mail

The Arc of Time:

Do you remember the introduction of the fax machine? It was a primitive first step but had a dramatic impact on the practice of law. Documents could be moved in minutes rather than hours (and in a bit of irony, the paper document was converted back to paper after having been digitized – but that soon changed with the advancement of email). Examples such as these are numerous and have meant that over the arc of time, the practice of law has moved along the path of digital transformation to become more productive.

The business of law has been the beneficiary of a continuous stream technology which has made the literal practice of law more productive. Much of these advancements have helped us move along the path of digital transformation. Digital transformation takes place at the intersection between technology and process. As technology has advanced, the implementation of technology has often meant changes to the process of the practice of law.

Digital Transformation Comes to the Mailroom:

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the “process” of handling incoming mail had not advanced since the invention of the stamp. As the pandemic moved us out of the office and away from our incoming mail, the old process became much less efficient. Recipients either had to travel to the office to get their mail, have it re-delivered to their homes, or perhaps the mail was “digitized” and delivered electronically.

Digital Mail and Attorney Productivity:

The digital transformation of the mailroom has begun and the opportunities to leverage this transformation will yield improvements in attorney productivity with appropriate changes in the process of mail delivery. Here’s how:

  1. One obvious benefit is that digital mail can be delivered faster than paper mail. This improvement in speed of delivery means that responses happen sooner. In some instances, this quicker response can be critical.
  2. Digital mail can pass through a “quality control” step to assess the quality of the scanning process. The impact is that attorneys are not pestered with poor quality scans which can be hard to read or worst case – incomplete.
  3. Another benefit is that digital mail can be delivered to the firm’s repository-of-record, typically the document management system. This assures that security rules and ethical wall rules are applied (automatically by the DMS), editing contention is managed, and versions are carefully controlled.
  4. Digital mail is searchable. A DMS user can use DMS search tools to query “today’s mail” for specific content –making it possible for the attorney to assess and respond more quickly and certainly more easily.
  5. Digital mail is easier to share as needed. Rather than making copies of a paper mail item, the electronic version can be easily shared among team members as needed.
  6. Once a mail item has been digitized, it can be managed “in stream” with other digital content for compliance purposes. This is essential in situations where records are under scrutiny.

The digital transformation has come to the mail room.  As technology advances, so too does productivity and efficiency. The digital transformation within the law firm mailroom allows for corresponding improvements in the mail receipt-and-delivery process. The arrival of new technology and processes are yielding improvements in productivity and efficiency – an important step forward.

2 02, 2022

Law Firms Must Transform Mailrooms as 40% of First-Class Mail Will Now Take Longer

2023-09-22T11:42:15-07:00February 2nd, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

Law Firms Must Transform Mailrooms as 40% of First-Class Mail Will Now Take Longer

Law firms throughout the country are still being held back by one thing — paper. Postal mail and a law firm’s mailroom have logistical challenges on a scale we simply never saw before 2019. The traditional format of a mailroom creates a significant bottleneck in attorney productivity as presently constructed because they were never designed to support the new realities of work from home with a hybrid workforce. As if that wasn’t causing enough pain already, the United States Postal Service (USPS) recently introduced new service standards that will only make things worse.

USPS Mail Delivery TruckAt the end of 2021, the USPS changed the services standards for first-class mail. These changes have resulted in lengthened delivery times for 40% of first-class mail and packages. This means time-sensitive law firm and client documents delivered through the USPS could take up to five days to arrive, instead of the standard two days.

The new service standards are not only affecting delivery times, but also price. First-class standard sized mail and large envelopes such as letters, bills, and statements are all seeing about a 10 percent increase in price. These changes are all a part of current Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy’s 10-year Delivering for America plan to tackle the agency’s massive debt.

For people operating outside of a law firm’s mailroom, these changes may seem inconsequential, but the slower delivery times are a new risk factor that will impact a law firm’s ability to get inbound mail routed internally on time. Law firms are critically dependent on paper mail from clients, courts, opposing counsel and research sources. Postal mail delivered to a law firm will often mandate a calendared response, contain sensitive client information, or contain information that is critical for a court case or essential to the progress of an active matter.

The question now stands: With a distributed workforce and the physical mail slowing down,
can a law firm afford to operate this way?

Clearly no. To combat potential delays, firms are now able to implement a best practice digital mailroom solution that serves the entire firm as a reliable, efficient, and SLA-based operation that consistently provides the fastest and most secure method of delivery possible. It will have an immediate impact and offers enduring value to the firm because it involves a critical component of attorney-client communications. Attorneys and their clients will notice this difference. Speed wins.

A best practice digital mailroom is designed as a seamless, efficient digital operation with batched workflow steps, built-in quality controls (QC), and direct-to-DMS delivery with configurable routing rules as needed for different types of documents.

The solution is the Airmail2 Digital Mailroom software by DocSolid with certified DMS integrations. DocSolid deploys Airmail2 with best practice workflows designed for law firms to solve the productivity and logistics problems of inbound mail delivered by the post office or couriers. It also aligns with information governance policies because it works with the firm’s existing document management system (DMS) to store matter files and sensitive information where they belong right from the start… in the DMS where it is profiled, protected and governed.

Simplistic scan-to-email methods are not sufficient. Paper mail should not just be piled on top of office desks. Makeshift mail scanning is just a fire drill on the way to becoming a train wreck because a completely different approach is needed to meet the needs of a hybrid workforce. Don’t wait for slower postal mail and unforeseen outcomes to negatively impact the quality and speed of service at your law firm.

19 01, 2022

QC for Digital Mail in Law Firms

2022-03-02T13:48:25-07:00January 19th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

QC for Digital Mail in Law Firms

In law firms, Quality Control (QC) occurs as part of various processes: Conflicts Checking, Proof Reading, and Citation Checking are just a few examples. But rarely do we apply QC measures to a law firm process like document scanning.

The Remote Workforce is Transforming the Back Office

With the advent of the pandemic, law firms have been adapting the back-office to better support remote working. Finance, HR, Marketing and most other back-office functions including the Mailroom, now work with remote teams and serve internal customers who are also working remotely.

It is now typical that incoming mail is routinely digitized to facilitate distribution to the remote workforce. The digitized mail can easily be delivered to the firm’s document management system and to attorneys and staff working remotely. In this new digital process, it is essential to apply QC measures.

Here’s why:

  • Quality Control Assures High Quality of Scanned Documents

Scanning equipment has become much more reliable over the years. Common problems like double-feeds are less common, but they do occur, along with skewed pages, and errors introduced by humans like mis-ordered pages.  As part of the Mailroom process, checking the quality of each scanned document will eliminate poor quality documents making their way through the process.

  • Quality Control Assures Accuracy of Metadata related to Scanned Documents

In a digital mailroom process, documents are cataloged as to recipient or other relevant information. Part of the QC process is to review this metadata to assure its accuracy.

  • Quality Control Engenders Confidence in the Digitization Process

A key benefit of the digital mailroom is to shred the paper after the QC step. Shredding only happens when recipients have confidence in the image (scan) quality and accuracy of the metadata. But if this confidence is gained, then firms can dispense with delivering or retaining the paper version of the incoming mail.

Implementing Quality Control

Let’s look at the digital mailroom and implementing quality control. There are 5 steps in a quality control regime.

  • Apply a Unique Identifier to Each Document

To effectively manage the QC process, each document should be identified with a unique identifier.  This “fingerprint” will assure that each document can be tracked from initial processing through disposition in the document management system and will provide a full-proof way to link the electronic and physical versions of a document.

  • Create a Written Document That Defines Quality

Quality is determined by how it is defined and measured. A quality document is a single source which guides the quality control process. It takes the guesswork out of the quality control objectives in your firm.

  • Develop Procedures

Employees work best when they have specific step-by-step procedures to follow. In the example of the digital mailroom, you should define which documents are checked and how they are checked.  This will define whether all documents are checked or just a subset as well as whether to include steps like ‘survey thumbnails’, ‘compare first and last page’, ‘compare page counts’, or ‘compare every page’.

  • Develop Instructions

Once procedures are established, they should be documented in step-by-step instructions sufficient to guide even the new members of the quality control team.

  • Collect Data

A very valuable component of a QC process is the opportunity to collect data, which can then be used to refine the imaging process. Are there higher error rates with certain scanning equipment? Are there common issues like pages out of order (a document-prep issue perhaps)? Is double-sided vs single-sided scanning creating errors? Is color captured appropriately? Data can be your guide to a more efficient process.

This article will guide you in implementing a quality control process in your digital mailroom.

10 01, 2022

New Design Thinking for Law Firms’ Digital Mail and Records Operations

2023-09-22T11:42:22-07:00January 10th, 2022|Paper2Digital Blog|

New Design Thinking for Law Firms’ Digital Mail and Records Operations

What is Design Thinking?

At its core, design thinking is a human-centered process for creative problem solving that encourages organizations to keep a focus on the key stakeholders the current problem involves. If implemented correctly, design thinking leads to more innovation, better products, services, and internal processes.

When an issue arises that requires a solution, a top question should always be, “What’s the actual human perspective behind this solution?” Design thinking defines the creative process for non-creatives and creatives alike by using a systems approach.

System Thinking:

  • Ask the right questions to solve any problem and properly identify the underlying challenges.
  • Visualize and organize information effectively to foster creative collaboration.
  • Involve the necessary stakeholders who the problems affect.

Why do Law Firms Need Design Thinking?

Law firms find themselves facing unique challenges due to the pandemic. Work from home, hybrid work situations, and return to office planning and implementation are disrupting operations in ways that just were not a consideration before the COVID-19 pandemic. Not to mention, ever-evolving security threats and the complex nature of information governance. The costs and inefficiencies that permeate from paper records rooms and offsite storage are problems that can be solved with a design thinking mindset. The value proposition of office space is a driving force of change, but while some firms are right sizing for a smaller real estate footprint, others must contend with new challenges from growth.

Design thinking processes can benefit law firms as they prepare to tackle these issues in a dynamic business environment that is unprecedented in the history of modern law firms. Law firms need to start asking the right kind of questions, involve the people directly affected, and create innovative solutions that address the following topics:

  • Work From Home
    • How can internal office operations or contracted facilities management process daily mail more efficiently and securely by re-designing the mailroom to become a digital mailroom?
  • Office Restack, Consolidation, and Expansion
    • How can law firms eliminate the paper footprint and need of physical records rooms?
    • How can law firms eliminate costs and put a stop to the flow of physical records into offsite storage?
  • Security
    • What are actionable steps law firms can take to reduce the risk of evolving security threats targeting law firms and their sensitive documents?
    • How can the process of mail distribution and records storage become more efficient and secure?
  • Adapt to Change
    • The COVID-19 pandemic affected all businesses. What solutions can law firms put in place that will have an immediate impact and enduring value to address environmental and systemic threats?

Applying Design Thinking to a Specific Problem:  Paper-based Mail and Records

As we roll into the new year, many firms are still being held back by one thing: paper, and this includes the mailrooms and postal mail. Current solutions to deliver daily mail were rapidly cobbled together and they have allowed law firms to get by during the COVID-19 pandemic, but as presently constructed, they are not long-term solutions, because they were never designed to be. It is important to acknowledge the heroic efforts that were put in place while understanding those were stop-gap measures that urgently need a permanent, more durable, and more efficient workflow. For many firms, the ringing of a new year is a wakeup call to fix this problem, but digitizing daily mail is a different sort of problem for law firms and that’s where design thinking helps.

Legal mail items contain sensitive client information. The quick fix has been scan-to-email, but this method involves high-security risks that puts the law firm and the client’s information at risk. A best practice Digital Mailroom operation negates risk completely by delivering mail directly to the digital management system (DMS) where sensitive client information can be properly filed according to the law firm’s information governance policies. A best practice Digital Records Room operates in a similar fashion by building a digitization project for scanning large volumes of physical records and storing them in the DMS.

These best practices focus on eliminating a law firms paper footprint by reducing costs and inefficiencies. The results are essential digital workflows that are better by design. Law firms not only save on unnecessary costs, but also create the ability to keep attorneys and staff productive no matter if they are work from home, in a hybrid work environment, or working in office.

Not only are these problems capable of being solved—they already have been. DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records completely transforms a law firm’s paper-centric mail and records into digital operations that support work from home and return to office strategies.

The Airmail2 software provides law firms with digital delivery of sensitive and time-dependent mail and file requests with digital delivery into the DMS, allowing firms to distribute information fast and securely.

Daily Mail Digital Delivery Flowchart

Daily Mail Digital Delivery Flowchart

Client Requirements

In design thinking, identifying the key stakeholders is the first step in being able to properly create innovative solutions for them. For Digital Mailrooms, the key stakeholders who most need a robust solution are attorneys, mailroom operators, and records managers.

Attorneys: Mail Notifications

From the perspective of attorneys and legal administrative assistants, the most critical element of digital mail is the inbound email message that confirms when new mail gets delivered to them digitally into the document management system. This email message needs to be fast, informative, and immediately actionable when necessary.

Airmail2 notifications include a secure link to the digital document, a thumbnail image, and information about the mail item that enables recipients to make decisions and take next steps, including whether the physical mail needs to be kept for legal record keeping purposes. Attorneys always have the option to flag any physical mail item they want kept, but it is getting rare for that to be required by a government entity or the courts.

The mail notification message is multi-purpose:

  • It has import to the addressee
  • It represents a task to the practice team
  • It is a step forward in the efficiency of handing-off paper

The simple and quick alert of incoming mail should contain enough information to triage and accurately file the digital document. This better facilitates any further work on the related matter. Delivery of digital mail is faster because it eliminates all worker location constraints that are the result of handling physical mail manually. For example, a law firm spending $3,000 per month to pay for courier drivers to deliver physical mail to attorneys working at home fails to compare, of course. Speed wins.

Mailroom operators:  Simplicity and Reliability

From the mailroom perspective, this work is thankless drudgery, so they need help with repetitive portions of this time sensitive task. The Airmail2 software enables quick labeling of each item based on information visible on the envelope. Everything else is pre-configured according to routing rules in the software.

Scanning and quality control can be done separately to batch the work with simple checklists. When the operator is done, they need to verify the delivery status, image quality and page counts. That mail delivery session is then closed, and the operator starts the next one. If needed, they can easily go back to retrieve and fix a mail item. Paper handling is constrained within a few feet of the front door rather than travelling further inside the building. Or worse, travelling miles further outside the building. Most importantly, the documents get to their intended recipients fast.

Records Managers: Integration with the Matter File

For Records Managers, the requirements are to clear the clutter and capture the true documents as early as possible in the digital matter file. As mentioned, the requirement to retain a physical document are rare— once and done is the name of the game for records and retention compliance. With permission to shred after scan and with reasonable quality controls, Mailroom and Information Governance (IG) staff can focus on efficiency: careful identification and training on naming conventions and any exceptions to the firm’s scan and shred policy.

Requirements will include the ability to direct the images to the best places possible in the DMS. A person knowledgeable about the document types will need to intervene, but this does not always have to be the legal secretary. If standards can be put in place over time for repetitive doc types, everyone is more efficient.


Law firms have unique requirements and no two are exactly alike, but this is the reason why design thinking is the smart way to achieve your goals. DocSolid uses the principles of design thinking to develop the Airmail2 Digital Mailroom and Digital Records Room software and supplies. These are proven solutions with certified DMS integrations for iManage and NetDocuments. Are you looking to adopt a best practice because your law firm needs to deploy a mission critical Paper2Digital Transformation like this? DocSolid Design is leading the way.

15 12, 2021

Client Requirements for a Digital Mailroom Solution – Who Cares?

2022-01-14T09:22:59-07:00December 15th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Client Requirements for a Digital Mailroom Solution – Who Cares?

What do attorneys, mailroom operators and records managers need from a digital mail solution?

Law firms now need a best practice digital mailroom operation, moving beyond the scan-to-email workaround established at the onset of the COVID-19 crisis. In seeking a best practice solution, it’s useful to consider the needs of the key stakeholders who most need a robust solution: attorneys, mailroom operators, and records managers.

 Attorneys: Mail Notifications

From the perspective of attorneys and legal administrative assistants, the most critical or useful element of digital mail is the inbound message of available mail. This message needs to be as fast as postal mail was in terms of arriving onto the desk—and faster is even better and perfectly possible with today’s available technology.

Getting a notification with an image, mail recipients are enabled to make decisions and take next steps, including whether the physical mail needs to be kept later for legal records keeping purposes. This requirement is getting rare however for most state governments and their courts.

The mail notification message is multi-purpose:

  • It has import to the addressee
  • It represents a task to the practice team
  • It is a step forward in the efficiency of handing-off paper

The simple and quick alert of incoming mail should contain enough information to triage and accurately file away the image for all further work on the matter to enable the flow to next steps happens faster with less cleanup required.

Mailroom operators:  Simplicity and Reliability

From mailroom perspective, this work is thankless drudgery, so they need help with repetitive portions of this time sensitive task. Firstly, this is quite simply a strong firm stance on what the standards are for efficient, defensible cost-conscious processing of physical mail. IT can’t be all things to all people and should not be forced into a position to double, or even sometimes triple their work in re-delivering postal mail multiple times/places physically or even digitally.

A good system from a mailroom perspective allows for simple efficient labeling of each item based on information available on the envelope or on-screen recorded in the software tool.

Scanning and quality control can be done in groups as a matter of course with simple checklists. When the operator is done, they should be able to verify the status and the counts and easily go back to pull up any items for which a question is returned. That mail delivery session is then closed, and the operator then has a clean start ready for the next one. Paper is handled and trashed within a few feet of the door rather than travelling miles further inside the building.

Records: Integration with the Matter File

For Records, the requirements are to clear the clutter and capture the true documents as early as possible in the digital matter file. Since as mentioned, the requirement to retain the physical mail is rare, once and done is the name of the game for records and retention compliance. With permission to shred after scan and with reasonable QC, Mailroom, and information governance (IG) staff can focus on efficiency: careful identification and training on naming conventions and any exceptions to the new rule of scan and destroy.

Their requirements will include the ability to direct the images to the best places possible in the DMS. A person knowledgeable about the document types will need to intervene, but this does not always have to be the legal secretary. If standards can be put in place over time for repetitive doc types, everyone is more efficient.

The best system will include feedback mechanisms for tuning the postal mail delivery and any exceptions for each practice, or even a specific recipient.

Wouldn’t it be great if over time the notification message to the addressee and matter team about a mail item delivered an hour ago included a link to the DMS where the item is already filed in its proper client/matter workspace and folder?

In the end, each group will have its own requirements for digital mail, and a robust solution should take into these key considerations as you design your firm’s digital mail room solution for the long term.

18 11, 2021

The Top 3 Reasons to Build a Digital Records Room

2022-03-02T13:49:36-07:00November 18th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

The Top 3 Reasons to Build a Digital Records Room

The fiscal year for law firms is ending on a high note—with more to come. Thomson Reuters’ most recent data shows that a solid majority of firms (70%) predict that the moderate to high growth in demand experienced in 2021 will continue well into 2022. Regarding operational planning for 2022, the top 5 tactics law firms will take are:

  1. More efficient real estate/rethinking space;
  2. New practice tools to drive efficiencies;
  3. Rationalizing secretarial support;
  4. Improving billing and collections; and
  5. More technology.

Clearly, many if not most firms are abuzz with talk regarding a more efficient or reconfigured use of their current real estate footprint—but what does it take to achieve this vision of the future? One thing that can hold a law firm back from the new-“visioning” taking place is paper—and the shocking amount of real estate most firms currently dedicate to housing an onsite records room.

As a part of firms’ strategic thinking for 2022, firms need a strategy for onsite paper, i.e. their onsite records rooms. This is a digital records room, and it’s way past due. A digital records room is a firm-wide system of software, workflow and services, to digitize paper records to the DMS, replacing paper file rooms with a new digital operation.

A digital records room supports the firm’s strategic plan to reduce and rethink real estate by eliminating the paper footprint of records rooms and scattered file storage. It is also used to service attorneys working from home more efficiently—and does so more securely and in line with the firm’s information governance policy. Let’s dig in to these 3 reasons to build a digital records room.

1. Efficiency and Productivity of Attorneys

When records are digitizedrecords retrieval is transformed and dramatically improved for the end users—the attorneys. Records managers no longer must rifle through shelves to locate boxes, and then sort through to find the right manila folder to locate the actual document, taking valuable time away from the attorneys’ review.

The records are digitized typically through a scanning and cataloging process that associates keywords or matter numbers or other valuable data within a document enabling users to search on what they know to produce a list of possible matches. Results are produced in seconds or minutes versus hours, or even days.

In a hybrid operation which most firms are planning on, this process becomes even more simplified as records retrieved would need to be shipped offsite to individual attorneys’ home offices, a logistical and security nightmare.

A tertiary benefit is quickly realized through this process of digitizing records, which is that the record can be queried using a full-text searching tool. A full-text search tool can usually be combined with another search tool letting users add criteria like matter number or keyword to zero-in on the exact document needed. Not only this, but digitization helps firms unlock the the information in their matters so they become searchable. Firms are in an improved position for their knowledge management processes, and attorneys are able to search and find prior work product more quickly. This is simply not possible unless your records are digitized.

Another significant benefit of a digitized records room that directly benefits attorney’s efficiency and productivity is the ability to back up and make copies of the files. Duplicating an entire physical records room is simply not feasible. Once documents are digitized, however, they are easily copied and thus protected against accidental destruction from flood, fire, or even accidental discard.

2. Security and Information Governance

With a physical records room, the effort to share useful documents securely and within the firm’s IG policy is significant. With a physical records room, firms must apply physical security to restrict access. This means locking file cabinets, keycard systems, and other similar measures, which require time and attention. And with a physical records room, it is daunting to locate the proper files for destruction.

In a hybrid operation, the security of physical records put the firm at an even greater risk—greater risk of lost or compromised files in transit; greater risk of logistical errors, greater risk of exposure as files move through various domains not directly monitored by the firm.

With a digitized records room, a firm’s documents are cataloged using a retention schedule, and destruction of the appropriate files is simply reporting, approving and then automatically deleting files.

Once digitized, firms can apply common computer security measures to control who sees what documents. This sort of security can be organized globally, by type of document, by case, author or any other criteria as needed by the firm’s policies.

3. Real Estate Reduction

Finally, an obvious benefit of digitization is the elimination of real estate dedicated to the storing of onsite records. Law firms routinely recover hundreds or even thousands of square feet of valuable floor space when they digitize their records.

Real estate is the second biggest expense for a law firm. As firms aggressively roll out their real estate compression plans, they must eliminate the floor space required for records rooms and ad hoc paper file storage.

The majority of firms spend approximately 6-8% of gross revenue on real estate costs in major metropolitan areas. Cushman & Wakefield projects that firms will be able to save as much as 3.5% of revenue by renegotiating their leases.

Firms can run projects to digitize the existing records rooms in each city office, then apply the same solution to maintaining ongoing digitization of new paper records as they are received and used.


The concept of a digital records room has appealed to firm leadership and IG professionals for some time. Everyone understands how paper records make firms less agile. The substantial costs, risks and inefficiencies of paper records just keep accumulating. This impedes profitability and growth on many fronts. For firms that have been waiting for a business case to win the project with their executive committees, now’s the time.

2 11, 2021

Industry Wired: Steve Irons is Transforming the Legal Industry with Digital Mail

2023-09-22T11:42:47-07:00November 2nd, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog, White Papers and Articles|

Industry Wired: Steve Irons Transforming the Legal Industry with Digital Documentation Solutions

Steve Irons is the Founder and CEO of DocSolid, a legal technology company that creates enterprise scanning, workflow and paper reduction solutions, i.e. DocSolid’s Paper2Digital® solutions. These patented Paper2Digital solutions are enterprise-level implementations deployed with unmatched consulting expertise to reduce the costs, risks and inefficiencies of paper records for leading law firms and corporate legal departments.

In an interview with IndustryWired, Steve explains how DocSolid swiftly created new software for the market during the onset of the pandemic to help law firm clients digitize daily mail and records room operations, mission critical functions in a law firm or legal department. The new software is DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records Suite, and it transforms a firm’s paper-based mailroom and records room functions into streamlined, digital operations supporting work-from-home and return-to-office strategies.

Transitioning Law Firms: A Paper2Digital Transformation

DocSolid is an 11-year-old company that focuses on one mission— to help law firms through a Paper2Digital transformation. Historically, law firms are an entrenched paper-based operation because paper has long been the preferred medium of its producers of work product: the attorneys. Transitioning away from this long history changes the relationship to their craft. DocSolid provides the change management required to gain the buy-in from the attorneys, which is pivotal, as well as patented methods to manage scanning, printing and shredding in law firms, all tightly integrated with leading document management systems.

An Entrepreneur with a Digital Mindset

Steve Irons is a serial entrepreneur and the founder of DocSolid. He started DocSolid with the intention of addressing the burden of paper for law firms and, to date, the company has accrued 14 patents on the methods that the team uses for managing paper digitally. The most important thing about DocSolid’s patented technology is that it innovates in its marketplace to fix real problems. Over the years, the team has learned a lot about how to help law firms by building innovative technology that helps to eliminate paper from their existing processes.

Early Success and Driving Market Demand

Prior to the pandemic, DocSolid drove much of its own market demand by evolving a broad set of technologies and Paper2Digital solutions for law firms. At that time, it was a truism that about half of the attorneys still preferred working with paper. DocSolid’s methods were generally about changing the operations behind, underneath, around, without asking the firms to change personal behaviour— and the company has had success with that approach. Four of the top ten law firms in the US have Paper2Digital projects with DocSolid, as do many, many others. However, it was a highly bespoke business proposition every time. The team was capable of repeating the solutions but were tailored for each law firm, sometimes to each office.

Paving the Way During the Pandemic: WFH Solutions

The pandemic sent the law firm workforce into home offices and, initially, everybody worked hard to make that process stable, secure, and productive. DocSolid quickly realized that the only efficient method was to go digital, as it was critical for the attorneys to receive sensitive client information that was arriving by postal mail to their home offices.

Law firms had started to address this by building own makeshift digital mailrooms— scanning mail and delivering it as email attachments, which is unsecure and time-consuming for the receiving attorney. DocSolid has core expertise around helping firms manage the transition from paper to digital and this now includes building a new standardized digital mailroom for the law firms. The team went to work on it aggressively and delivered its market leading software in record time. In addition to the digital mailroom, the company has now launched a companion digital records room. The digital records room lets firms digitize their records rooms to enable removing paper footprints in each office as firms are now shrinking their offices in conjunction with the permanent work-from-home (WFH) posture that’s settling in.

Understanding the Target Market: A Drive to Success

Steve Irons is proud of how the company was able to pivot during these tough times. The team was able to completely change the business focus and create an impact solution for the target market. DocSolid went through a rapid, formal product management process, talking to the customers, prospects and partners. In a few short months, the team had its first version of software rolled out by working on that for about two months, then released the second version as MVP (Minimal Viable Product). The company listened to customer feedback and really stepped up their game, and the solution is evolving quickly as the company builds its base of customers and feedback loop.

Innovating with Expertise in the Normal Now

Airmail2Digital Mailroom and Digital Records Room were born in the pandemic. DocSolid saw what was happening and reacted by applying their expertise and courage. The company was remarkable in its ability to create a new solution as the team was dodging the COVID-19 bullet and suffering the same business slowdown as many small companies. The team envisioned that law firms would start believing that a large portion of the workforce wasn’t going to return to the downtown office, even in the post-pandemic times.  They would need permanent digital mailrooms and the floor space dedicated to paper records would become an intolerable expense as they started to shrink their offices and their real estate budgets. Firms are making decisions about sustainable new operations adjusted for what DocSolid calls the “Normal Now”.

Losing Our Religion to Create Something New

Steve Irons does not give up easily. Before the pandemic, the company was experiencing incremental– but not breakthrough–success and he kept grinding. The team had to change their previous belief system in order to put forth a new category of solution that was much more targeted and tactical and back office. It was a big change— the team called it “losing our religion”— but the DocSolid team had to turn all efforts from concentrating on traditional solutions to create something new and risky.

A Paper2Digital Future

DocSolid believes that approximately 40% of  the law firm workforce will work from home moving forward. New productivity methods, staffing models and standards will emerge and have to be built into best practices and sustainable solutions. Right now, law firms need to pay increasing attention to security and information governance. DocSolid is perfectly situated. The company jumped into that pool and started swimming with their law firm customers, helping them to digitize their records rooms and stay digital going forward. All firms were running paper mail rooms.  Most firms still have records rooms but the intense need for real estate compression and distributed workforce won’t allow either anymore.

Every day is fun for DocSolid and another opportunity to innovate. Steve Irons looks out and observes a tremendous digital wave and the company is riding it forward. DocSolid intends to use their new solutions to be the innovative technology partner a law firm needs for its paper-to-digital transformation.

10 08, 2021

Law Offices Get Smaller, Records Rooms Get Digital: A DocSolid White Paper

2022-01-14T09:57:08-07:00August 10th, 2021|Paper2Digital Blog|

Law Offices Get Smaller, Records Rooms Get Digital: A DocSolid White Paper

Law firms are facing a tremendous opportunity to reduce real estate, but paper-based records rooms are an obstacle to this.  As firms strategize real estate compression plans, eliminating floor space required for records rooms and ad hoc paper file storage is key. Not only that, but the new hybrid workforce of in-house and at-home attorneys cannot be supported securely or efficiently when records room workflows are paper-based.

The DocSolid white paper, “Law Offices Get Smaller, Records Rooms Get Digital” outlines a digital records room strategy and implementation plan. A digital records room is a firm-wide system of software, workflow and services, to digitize paper records to the DMS (including iManage or NetDocuments), replacing paper file rooms.

Jamie Blomquist, CIO at Maslon, comments: “There are essentially three use cases for transitioning to a Digital Records Room: reduce costs by reducing the footprint of paper so we can optimize our office space for higher value work; improve productivity and help attorneys have anywhere access to their files; and lastly, driving our paper files into one centralized DMS file helps us govern and reduce risk better.”


The white paper includes insights from information governance and records professionals and details IG and security requirements for a best practice digital records room such as:

  1. Tight DMS / RMS integration with leading industry platforms such as iManage, NetDocuments and FileTrail
  2. Vendor DMS expertise and solution flexibility so that a firm’s DMS customizations can be accommodated
  3. In-house and outsourced staff empowered with DMS profiling-scanning capability without DMS logins
  4. Enterprise software that matches a firm’s security regime
  5. Avoidance of scan-to-email attachments or new operating repositories
  6. Built-in auditing of the overall capture process, down to the document level
  7. Paper document disposition-retention-shredding built into the process
  8. Ability to segregate processes for confidential content e.g., HR documents

For more information about the DocSolid white paper, “Law Firms Get Smaller, Records Rooms Get Digital” go here:

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