If you have ever come in contact with me in a professional capacity, you have likely heard me rave about the benefits of moving to a paperless practice. In fact, I firmly believe that going paperless will have more of an effect on you efficiency and productivity than any other single change you can make in your practice.

Yesterday, I experienced first hand what it was like to benefit from another attorney having a paperless practice. I am representing a client selling a piece of commercial property. I ran into a title issue that I needed to clear up. To clear it, I needed a document that my client would have received at the closing where he purchased the property.

My client was unable to find the document. However, I was able to track down the seller’s attorney from that prior transaction. I called him looking for the document and he was able to pull the document up in his system and to email it to me before I got off the phone.

I was on the phone with him for less than 5 minutes. He found the document (from a closing that had occurred 4 years ago) and was able to forward that to me without a hitch. If his files had been only in paper, I am sure that he would have had to travel to his off site storage to retrieve a 4 year old real estate file, dig through the file to find the document and then finally get it to me.

I know when the assistants at the firm where I used to work did this, it was usually a 2-3 day turnaround. Fortunately, I was dealing with someone who maintained their file electronically. Thus we were both able to be efficient and resolve this issue in a matter of a few minutes.

If you are still operating your practice from paper files, I cannot urge you strongly enough to move your practice paperless.