Benefits of Digital Documentation in the Legal Field

by Conor Smith | March 21, 2017

It’s possible that no other industry can benefit as greatly from digital documentation as the legal field. As anyone in the field will already know, even the simplest matters generate substantial paperwork.

Associates, interns, paralegals, and secretaries spend much of their time managing documents; every piece of paper added to a case file must be read, reviewed, and organized so it can be found again if needed. Thick binders of paper are created just to keep track of all the other paperwork!

Experts agree that administrative and paperwork time are among the biggest causes of lost billable hours. Digital documentation is the future for the legal arena – streamlining case files, reducing inefficiencies, and increasing billable time for attorneys.

How PDF Technology Can Help the Legal Industry

Instant Search and Time Tracking

PDF technology allows all documents to be instantly searched for names, dates, or key words. It can eliminate time spent in searching for a missing document, or trying to track down a fact or piece of information from within the entire case file.

Revolutionizing Legal Research

Digital documentation can also revolutionize how legal research is conducted. It’s relatively common for lawyers to begin their legal research by searching their own in-house files. They are looking for similar cases that they know they have worked on in the past, but need to be able to narrow it down to the correct case, pull the entire case file, and find the specific information needed.

With PDF technology, you can search all in-house records for a reference to a specific case law, keyword, or legal argument, putting the entirety of your previous work and research at your fingertips. Lawyers may be spending up to 36% of their time on research; streamlining the research process can substantially increase productivity, increase net revenue generation, and reduce overheads.

Powerful, Built-in Collaboration Tools

Collaboration is becoming increasingly important in the legal sector. Digital documentation makes collaborating easier than ever before, whether with colleagues in your own office, co-counsel from another firm, or experts from around the world.

With the right technology, PDF documents can be shared and edited, allowing changes to be made on the spot. Formatting is preserved, and the latest version of the document can be instantly shared among all team members.

Enhanced Productivity During Travel and Remote Work

With more attorneys working remotely, PDF technology allowing you to work from anywhere – on any device – is even more important. Enhance productivity when working from home or when travelling with complete access to all of your files from any workstation. PDF files are fully compatible with mobile devices as well, keeping all features and formatting when opened on your phone.

Increased Security and Documentation Rights Management

Increased security is another major advantage of digital documentation in the legal field.  Documents can be password protected, ensuring they are only accessible to those with the authorization to view them.  Computerized documentation can be frequently backed up to ensure important information is never lost or misplaced.

Use in Courts

It’s important to note these benefits aren’t exclusive to the private sector; courts can take advantage of the same features. Instantly search through past motions, briefs, or rulings while reducing the administrative time spent handling paperwork and filing.

To Recap,

The legal field can benefit from using digital documentation (and more specifically, PDF technology) in the following ways:

  • Searchable Records – Never misplace a document or browse through an entire case file for one pertinent fact again. Digital documentation allows a comprehensive search of documents for a name, date, or key term.
  • Revolutionized Legal Research – Take advantage of all of the in-house research that has already been done by searching your own records first when starting legal research.
  • Ability to Collaborate and Work Remotely – Use PDF technology to facilitate collaboration between colleagues and team members, while maintaining access to all of your documents from any device.
  • Enhanced Security – Password protect sensitive or confidential documents, and choose who has access to the information. Feel confident knowing your data is secure and easily backed up and retrieved.

Recommended PDF Technology for the Legal Industry

Foxit Quick PDF Library is a versatile and easy to use PDF SDK perfect for both law firms and independent lawyers. It’s 900+ functions are available with just a few lines of code, enabling you to add PDF functionality to an application in minutes. Learn more about Quick PDF Library’s features or get a free trial now!