Opting to go paperless can feel like an overwhelming decision. Is it safe? Is it necessary?
The short answer is: yes. Service-based businesses, including law firms, are going digital. It’s convenient for your firm, and it’s convenient for your clients. In fact, not opting to go the digital route could signal to your clients that staying “with the times” is not a priority for your legal practice. And that’s not good for your bottom line.
Here’s what you need to know about turning your law firm into a paperless practice with file-sharing and eSignature.
File-sharing and eSignature: what are they?
Paperless solutions are now an industry norm, and clients are increasingly expecting them. Some clients prefer the convenience of digital practices, while others are passionate about reducing environmental impacts. Regardless of the reasons, if you aren’t meeting these expectations you’ll need to make accommodations to do so soon, or risk losing prospective clients to your competitors who are.
When you implement secure file-sharing and eSignature, you can take a big step towards paperless—but what are file-sharing and eSignature, exactly?
Secure file-sharing is a way to digitally share documents with the use of encryption or other technology to ensure your files are shared securely and privately. In short, it protects your documents from unauthorized viewers. And as an attorney, you know securing your clients’ information is top priority.
An eSignature is simply an electronic, or digital, signature. When you use secure file-sharing, it makes sense that you’d implement the use of eSignatures, too. Your clients don’t want to go through the hassle of printing documents to bring back to your office or put in the mail. With eSignature, they don’t have to. Digital signatures are efficient, secure, and trusted. And perhaps most important, legally binding.
Benefits of using file-sharing and eSignature in your paperless practice
Going paperless has numerous benefits. Companies that go paperless save $80 per employee when they switch to paperless systems and you can reap tax benefits at both the state and federal level for paperless systems. What’s more, the environmental impacts of paperless are manifold—reduced waste in landfills, reduced use of water, and reduced CO2 emissions.
But when you use file-sharing and eSignature as part of your paperless practice, you also have the opportunity to improve your law firm’s business practices. Consider the following:
1. Smoother client intake
When you choose to take advantage of secure file-sharing, eSignatures, and the many benefits that come along with the two, your entire client intake process is simplified.
Instead of manually entering data, your new clients can input their information into a secure form. This information is then imported directly into your practice management software, saving time and drastically reducing room for error.
Your clients will no longer need to travel to the office to complete onboarding paperwork. And you can say goodbye to sifting through stacks of paper and manually checking that each one is signed in the appropriate place. With digitized documents, signing areas are predesignated, and you can pull up a document in a matter of a few clicks.
2. Save time with streamlined workflows
A streamlined workflow is a faster workflow, and a faster workflow buys you the most important resource there is: time.
Implement secure file-sharing and eSignature and do away with the need for in-person appointments for every document that needs signed. No more back and forth, comparing calendars and spending valuable time waiting for schedules to mesh.
Instead, you can simply request a signature from your clients, and they can sign from wherever they are on a device of their choice. A process that used to stretch out for days can now be completed in a matter of minutes. You can even use customizable templates to further streamline your workflow and document management processes.
Using secure file-sharing software for your law firm also eliminates the headache of sending digital copies of large documents via email. Unlike email, with a secure file-sharing platform, there’s no limit on the size of documents you can upload. Instead of needing to download, print, and sign, clients and attorneys can use a secure link that takes them directly to the file-sharing platform where everything can be done digitally.
Digital files are easy to retrieve and keep everything organized in one place, which means you’ll find the files you need almost instantly.
3. Give your clients the gift of convenience
Your clients value your legal knowledge first and foremost. But in today’s world, you have to keep in mind that convenience is a close second.
With secure file-sharing and eSignatures, your legal firm’s processes aren’t only simplified. This technology makes things easier for your clients, too. They no longer have to spend precious time driving to and from your office just to sign a document. They can sign on their own time from wherever they are.
In fact, the time clients spend reviewing and signing documents with the use of secure eSignature software is reduced by about40%. That’s almost half! Going paperless signals to your clients that you value their time and convenience. When that’s clear to them, they’re more likely to stick around.
4. Increase the level of security for your clients
Despite the misgivings around the security of digital technologies, file-sharing and eSignature are actually safer than using email or the postal service—and you need this high level of security to keep your firm compliant.
Paper documents leave a trail and can easily lead to a breach of confidentiality. And email doesn’t use the same robust data encryption level as secure file-sharing software. Specialized data encryption tools, knowledge-based authentication, and secure links work to protect your documents and uphold the legal industry’s strict ethics and compliance regulations.
And a bonus feature? Your clients’ information is protected from physical threats such as flood, fire, or theft. Your documents are also protected with continual data backups, so you’ll be able to access your files even in the unlikely event of a data security emergency.
5. Experience faster collaboration with clients and colleagues
Authorized parties can log in to a secure platform to view confidential files with ease. These files can be accessed at any time, from anywhere. This allows you to collaborate with your clients and colleagues in real-time without needing to gather everyone at the office.
Language changes can be made live instead of sending paperwork back and forth. Receive live feedback as you edit instead of stretching the process out over days or weeks.
Streamline your legal workflows with secure file-sharing and e-signatures
As a legal technology industry leader, TimeSolv provides flexible, convenient and eSignature solutions powered by LexShare and LexSign. See secure file-sharing with TimeSolv in action first-hand! Contact us to schedule a demo or begin your free trial.