The ways attorneys prefer to work has transformed. 76 percent now favor remote work, according to the 2021 Peer Monitor and Georgetown Law State of the Legal Industry Report.
And if attorneys change the way they work, that means everything changes: from how attorneys receive client mail and request matter files, to large scale financial decisions that affect one of the most expensive costs law firms have after salaries: real estate.
This is why we shouldn’t be surprised when Sherry Cushman, Vice Chair and Executive Managing Director of Cushman & Wakefield, predicts “The legal sector will be downsizing its real estate needs on average 10% to 30% — and in some cases, 40% to 50%.”
The opportunity to recapture real estate costs is extremely attractive to law firms, but firms first need to solve the paper-based problems of daily mail and onsite records.
When it comes to daily mail, attorneys and staff working from home absolutely require reliable, digital delivery of daily mail. Scan-to-email workarounds were hastily applied at the onset of the COVID-19, but now the mail room needs to be made into a durable, permanent and secure operation.
Legal mail items contain client information, and the methods for processing them digitally should incorporate the same standards applied for all client data at the firm. In retrospect, building a daily mail delivery process based upon email was not a good idea.
A best practice digital mail room operation delivers mail directly to the DMS where sensitive information can be delivered securely and governed according to firm policy. A best practice digital records room is similar, building a digitization project for scanning large volumes of paper records and storing them in the document management system. Built-in quality controls enable confident shredding of the scanned documents. It’s a Paper2Digital Transformation that can make entire file rooms disappear.
These are best practices focused on the critical paper-based workflows inside the law firm. The value proposition is strong just based on eliminating the costs and inefficiencies of paper records and nothing more. However, a multitude of other high value, and high visibility, goals become possible including; repurposed office space, hoteling, and downsizing. Beyond the tangible cost savings, these digital workflows are required to keep attorneys and staff productive, no matter where they may choose to work on any given day.
DocSolid’s Airmail2 Digital Mail + Records Suite transforms a firm’s paper-based Mail Room and Records Room functions into streamlined, digital operations supporting both work-from-home and return-to-office strategies simultaneously, while enabling firms to optimize their real estate.
The Airmail2 Suite provides scanned delivery of sensitive and time-dependent mail and file requests via the document management system (DMS), enabling firms to govern, secure, and distribute information efficiently, according to policy and in keeping with individual client guidelines.
More can be learned about the benefits of transforming mail room operations in our industry white paper:
7 Reasons to Upgrade to a Digital Mail Room Operation .