Paperless Manifesto: The Value of a Paperless Practice & Three Steps to Make it a Reality

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No conversation about law practice technology can begin without first assuming a paperless practice. Why not? Because a paper-based practice is the antithesis of law practice technology. Advances in law practice technology are designed to

increase access to data, decrease the cost of accessing it, and at the same time get it to us faster. Practitioners running a paper- based law practice cannot even avail themselves of most of the technology that’s available to the legal community today. Much of that technology revolves around the cloud, which, for all intents and purposes has made traditional filing cabinets obsolete. Even for those who are cloud-averse, however, buy- ing a 64 GB USB thumb drive for as little as $40 allows for the storage of data equivalent to 250 file boxes (as scanned, searchable PDF files)1 in one’s pocket.

The prophecy that there would one day be paperless offices is actually not a new one. In fact, many sources credit the origination of the concept to advertising campaigns by the IBM Corporation, and a 1975 Business Week article, “The Office of the Future.”2 Perhaps because of significant advances in photocopier technology, paperless law offices finally start- ed to become prevalent roughly 30 years later.

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