The Management Of Client Files In 2020
A critical administrative function for an office, including and perhaps especially one that engages in the practice of law, is the competent maintenance of client files. Before computers became an integral part of a law practice, layers were entirely reliant on the collection of client data in a physical form. Today, in the digital age, clients may electronically manage and preserve client information.
Any client file contains some work product, client information, and other important paperwork that may include pleadings, correspondence, legal documents, and client records. This information must be maintained or preserved until the physical file is returned to the client or the file is destroyed.
There have been many changes in recent years regarding digital technology systems, and lawyers have more options than ever before when deciding how to create and retain client files. In 2020, it is possible to maintain and protect this physical collection of data through regular backup, conversion from a physical to a digital medium, and other cost-efficient, space-saving tools. Utilizing the proper tools and having a set system in place, a law firm of any size now may save client files digitally and reduce much of a firm’s paper trail.
Every law practice, regardless of size, must establish a uniform file organization system, applicable to all types of files, whether for litigation or non-litigation matters. Based on risk management concerns, standardized files reduce the chance of lost or misplaced documents. Based on practical concerns. standardized files reduce the time spent searching through other firm members’ files for documents, trying to determine which method of organization is in place.
For maximum professional embarrassment, fail to locate a client’s file when he or she is sitting two feet in front of you in your office. If clients must routinely wait on the telephone or in an attorney’s office while staff and counsel frantically search through files for documents located somewhere in a file cabinet or on a computer, the competence and professionalism of the firm and attorney are subject to question.
Any student engaged in online, distance learning at a progressive law school like California Desert Trial Academy College of Law, has the freedom to study whenever and wherever, at their utmost convenience. In these current troubled times, CDTA students are at an advantage based on the online resources available to them on campus and at the CDTA website. Call us today at (760) 342-0900 or find out more online here.