Document Management Systems - Which System Is Right For Me?

Document management systems (DMS) have been a part of legal environments since I started in law firms over 15 years ago. These systems are especially important to law firms because knowledge management is a key to productivity.

A good DMS allows retention of documents, emails, notes, and other associated files associated with a case. And since this retention happens within the DMS and away from individual hard drives, the risk of losing intellectual property and institutional knowledge from a computer crash is averted.

Just like other software packages, document management systems have greatly improved during their life spans. Now, saving documents to the DMS is as easy as one click, and you can easily search for and access all documents your law firm has ever generated.

For those of you still saving documents in a typical folder structure, let me explain some of the benefits of saving to a DMS. A DMS has many features that create efficiencies, including:

1. Versioning

  • Ability to see different versions of a document.
  • Ability to compare what has changed quickly.

2. Custom footers

  • Ability to put date field, document number, and versioning of document.

3. Full text searching of documents contents.

  • You will now be able to search for a word, or string of words, within your library inside a document.

4. Create ethical walls

  • You can create ethical walls quickly and easily with a DMS

Long ago, when DMS was in its infancy, profiling a document almost took as long as creating it! Fast forward to the present, and profiling can be as easy as hitting the save button, or dragging an email to a folder. DMS vendors have accounted for frequent needs of law firms to make saving documents to a DMS quicker and easier than ever before!

Which DMS is right for me?

Determining which DMS is right for you is a process that the Hilltop team can assist you with. We have partnered with multiple DMS solution providers and can help you select the DMS that will best serve you and your clients. Please contact us if you are interested!