5 05, 2022

DocSolid Booth 425 at ALA Conference & Expo May 15-18

2022-05-12T16:09:04-07:00May 5th, 2022|Events and Conferences, Featured|

Meet with Team DocSolid about Digital Mailroom Design

DocSolid Team - ALA 2022 Headshot Photos

Business Matters Session – Design Thinking for your Digital Mailroom

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Add To Calendar May-16
ALA 2022 Business Matters DocSolid
ALA 2022 Business Matters DocSolid
ALA 2022 Conference & Expo

Visit us at Booth 425 May 15 – 18, 2022

ALA Business Partner - DocSolid
Conference Info

4 04, 2022

Secure and Efficient by Design – ILTA Peer to Peer Magazine Article

2022-04-04T17:30:19-07:00April 4th, 2022|Featured, White Papers and Articles|

ILTA Peer-to-Peer Magazine Thumbnails
ILTA Peer-to-Peer Magazine Cover

“The typical scan-to-email approaches are short-sighted and, in many ways, dangerous.”

Michael Herzog
Michael HerzogDirector

International Legal Technology Association Logo Used With Permission

PEER TO PEER – FULL MAGAZINE ISSUE 1 | Vol. 38

http://epubs.iltanet.org/i/1463380-spring22/33

28 02, 2022

6 Tips to Optimize Attorney Productivity with Digital Mail

2022-02-28T07:35:24-07:00February 28th, 2022|Featured, 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

2022-03-10T08:08:06-07:00February 2nd, 2022|Featured, 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.

10 01, 2022

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

2022-01-14T09:31:22-07:00January 10th, 2022|Featured, 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.

Conclusion:

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.

2 11, 2021

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

2022-03-02T13:51:25-07:00November 2nd, 2021|Featured, 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.

View Full PDF Here
28 06, 2021

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

2021-07-09T11:50:01-07:00June 28th, 2021|Featured, White Papers and Articles|

Law Offices Get Smaller,
Records Rooms Get Digital
Free White Paper

Law Firm White Paper PDF DocSolid Digital Records Room
  • Eliminate the firm’s paper footprint for real estate optimization

  • Keep attorneys and staff productive wherever they work

  • Stop the flow of paper records to offsite storage

Now is the time for the Paper2Digital® transformation firms have been delaying. Law firms today are presented with two key transformational catalysts: 1) attorneys have embraced technology and digital skills to enable their work from home preferences; and 2) firm office lease expenses can be greatly reduced in conjunction with a smaller in-office workforce.

Customer Success

“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.”

– Jamie Blomquist, CIO at Maslon

Customer Success

“The Digital Records Room was a key component of building a truly comprehensive information governance environment.”

– Deb Rifenbark, CIGO, IGP, CRM, Director of Information Governance, Stinson LLP

Fill out this form for immediate, complimentary access to this white paper

DocSolid Logo 300px

Airmail2 Digital Records Room integrates with iManage and NetDocuments

iManage or NetDocuments

1 06, 2021

5 Steps to Get Information Governance Policy to Control Your mailroom

2021-06-02T16:32:23-07:00June 1st, 2021|Featured, White Papers and Articles|

5 Steps to Get Information Governance Policy to Control Your mailroom

Distributed work in some capacity or other is here to stay, and if that means continuing to scan inbound postal mail as an attachment to an attorney’s email, this brings us to the question: Should we be concerned about IG now?

Should the mailroom now be owned by the information governance arm of the firm?

Pre-pandemic, this wasn’t a necessary consideration. Then, when the pandemic hit and sent the workforce to home offices, most law firms quickly started scanning to email to get the mail out. Facilities management or available clerical staff went into the office and cobbled together this new work process. In the midst of the crisis and no indication of its duration, it is likely to say that no firm had information governance on its mind once again.

Mail has been a perfunctory function aligned with other physical office services, but the pandemic shifted mail to a critical, and digital operation. The proportion of U.S. lawyers who now want to work remotely at least one day a week has doubled from the pre-pandemic period.

5 Steps to Control Your mailroom

Legaltech News Article

1 11, 2020

White Paper: 7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mailroom Operation White Paper by DocSolid

2021-10-20T17:08:05-07:00November 1st, 2020|Featured, White Papers and Articles|

7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mailroom Operation

7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mailroom Operation PDF
  • Digital distribution of daily mail is mission-critical

  • Legal mail must be delivered to the DMS, not the email system

  • A Digital Mailroom operation can be transformational

Now is the time for the Paper2Digital® transformation firms have been delaying. Law firms today are presented with two key transformational catalysts: 1) attorneys have embraced technology and digital skills to enable their work from home preferences; and 2) firm office lease expenses can be greatly reduced in conjunction with a smaller in-office workforce. 

This white paper takes a in-depth look at the catalysts for change, key benefits and then we explore the Digital Records Room solution designed for law firms.

Key Points

  • Eliminate the firm’s paper footprint for real estate optimization 
  • Keep attorneys and staff productive wherever they work 
  • Stop the flow of paper records to offsite storage 

Customer Success

DocSolid® Airmail2® Selected as Digital Mailroom by Maslon LLP, for Direct Delivery of Daily Mail to NetDocuments

“With Airmail2, sensitive mail information goes from the mailroom directly into NetDocuments, where it is protected and governed by our DMS best practices. And Airmail2 leverages our broader use of the DocSolid Paper2Digital platform, and its integrations with NetDocuments.”

– Jamie Blomquist, CIO Maslon

Customer Success

Stinson Deploys DocSolid® Airmail2® Digital Mailroom for Direct Delivery to iManage Document Management System

Inbound legal mail needs to get in the DMS, not the email system where it is delayed and exposed. Airmail2 is a digital pivot into the times ahead.”

– Steve Irons, President DocSolid

Fill out this form for immediate, complimentary access to this white paper

Digital Delivery of Daily Mail to the DMS

iManage or NetDocuments

30 09, 2020

Law Firm Scanned Mail Should Not be Delivered by Email

2022-03-03T13:00:19-07:00September 30th, 2020|Featured, Paper2Digital Blog, White Papers and Articles|

Law Firm Scanned Mail Should Not be Delivered by Email

Email Danger Icon

Also published on LegalTech News
Also published on LegalTech News

When the pandemic sent the workforce to home offices, most law firms quickly started scanning daily mail to email inboxes. Facilities management or mailroom staff went into the office and cobbled together a new work process to accommodate this method of digital delivery. But delivering scanned mail via the email system compromises the security, compliance and the integrity of the process.

Email is a highly susceptible point of security and compliance in the lifecycle of matter documents and client information. And it has proven to be a poor workflow management tool and perhaps more importantly, nearly impossible to govern.

Legal documents arriving in daily mail should not be delivered via scan-to-email for these reasons:

  • Scanned documents are stored residually in the email server, unmanaged. Sensitive client information delivered as attachments violates basic principles of information governance regarding storage and access.
  • The email inbox is not a workflow tool and cannot be easily shared with other workers to manage the multi-step process of review, profiling and notification. And there is no way to monitor that every item was properly processed, or even reviewed.
  • Scanned images create larger documents that may violate attachment and/or Inbox size limitations. Not to mention bloated message stores that create headaches for IT managers.
  • Email messages are a key attack vector for phishing attempts while email attachments are a significant source of malware. Building a mission-critical application on arguably the weakest link in the IT infrastructure would never be advised if starting from scratch.

Clients pay attention to this.  Year over year, the ACC survey of Chief Legal Officers show that the governance and management of their information is a top concern. Accordingly, law firms have invested heavily in document management systems (DMS) to store client information. The DMS has become the primary productivity and governance tool for firms to service clients and protect their information. Therefore, the DMS should be the delivery platform for scanned daily mail.

Lawyers and law firms storing documents outside of the DMS expose the firm and its clients to multiple layers of risk—financial, ethical, regulatory and security risks. Such exposure is magnified by a new scan-to-email delivery of legal mail to remote workers.

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that our shift in operations to include a home workforce is not temporary. Therefore, law firms need something better than the patched together scan-to-email process established earlier this year.

Forced to use existing copier-based technology, law firms are jamming mission-critical mail delivery through a system designed for ad hoc use where scanning occurs one document at a time. Quality checks are difficult and unstructured, evidenced by the fact that scanned mail is still retained in makeshift filing boxes, or delivered to empty desks for later pickup and review.

If the firm’s existing scanning system and email platform is not well suited to take on this important application, what does a modern, compliant mailroom operation look like?

The modern mailroom is a digital operation, comprised of software, process and clerical workers. The operation is founded on productivity, security and reliability. Software and process enables current clerical staff to work efficiently and with minimal training. They scan, QC, and securely deliver daily mail as searchable PDFs to a legal practitioner’s daily mail folder in the DMS, e.g. iManage or NetDocuments. Digital mail delivered into the DMS should accommodate the options of delivering to attorneys, their assistants, profiling staff, or even directly into the matter when teams are sharing work.

Mailroom software should make DMS deliveries using existing secure methods, but not require mailroom operators to have DMS logins. Nor should mailroom operators need to learn complex profiling procedures, or unique and changing delivery preferences and notifications for mail recipients. The solution must support batching of work – such as profiling, stack scanning, and QC checking. It should enable scanning with in-place multi-function copiers or scanners, without adding hardware, software, or requiring complex or error-prone keystroking while standing at an office machine.

To provide operational integrity, firms will also need automated quality controls for the process, a remote help desk and reporting.

The good news is that a Digital Mailroom, run optimally, now routinely digitizes the biggest remaining flow of inbound paper documents – daily mail. The better news is that longstanding Paper2Digital® initiatives will now accelerate, without the pushback from attorneys who insist on paper files. A Digital Mailroom now becomes the driver towards a conclusive Paper2Digital® transformation.

About the Author
In his role as VP of Customer Success, David Guilbault provides strategic vision and management for the Customer Success program and the Consulting Practice. Dave is a U.S. patent holder with a degree in Computer Science from the University of Southern Maine with more than two decades of experience in document solutions.

David Guilbault, VP of Customer Success

David Guilbault

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