Does a desk covered in paper drive you crazy? A messy desk can be enough to make any solo attorney feel disorganized. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the amount of paper that can pass through a law firm on a daily, weekly and monthly basis. From junk mail to client file folders, countless pieces of paper can quickly and easily turn an orderly office into a jumbled state of disarray.
If you’ve ever found yourself staring at piles on your desk and wondering how to reduce the clutter caused by paper, it’s time to consider a paperless law office. Even though the idea of a completely paperless law office can seem impractical (…how exactly would a law firm function properly without a single piece of paper?), it is possible to create a law office that uses less – or practically no – paper.
Following are a few reasons to consider a paperless law office:
It’s easier to stay organized without a constant stream of paper making its way onto your desk. When you have a non-paperless office, there is a seemingly never-ending barrage of paper that you must handle every single day. When paper is not physically organized, filed, or recycled each and every day, it makes its way into piles that can become disorganized.
Paper is easy to misplace, lose, or throw away by accident. Any solo attorney knows that misplacing, losing, or throwing away an important piece of paper can be a recipe for disaster. When a law office is paperless (or even semi-paperless), files are stored electronically – which means it’s difficult to misplace important documents.
Paper costs money – and so do storage bins. Most solo attorneys (especially new solo attorneys) have a limited budget. Running a law firm can be expensive – especially if you have rent to pay each month. Keeping monthly costs as low as possible is imperative for a solo law practice. Even though reams of paper are only a few dollars each, the cost of paper can add up over the course of a year. When you go paperless, you save money not only on the cost of paper but also on the cabinets and bins you must purchase to organize and store the paper.
Sending and receiving documents is easier with a paperless office. When you employ a paperless system, you are able to easily send, receive and file electronic documents. Paperless means no more copiers, no more fax machines, and no more printing and mailing client invoices. Additionally, a paperless system is faster and more efficient. Not to mention that it’s much better for the environment!
Some solo attorneys avoid the idea of a paperless law office because they have a system in place that involves paper and they don’t want to make any changes. If this describes you, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to “go paperless” in a single day.
Reducing the amount of paper in your office can be a process you institute gradually over time. As you begin to move towards running an office with less and less paper, you may slowly (but surely) realize that a paperless office is exactly what you need to help you stay organized and efficient.