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The case against the paperless office

Going paperless is all the rage in many corners of the tech-savvy, eco-friendly legal world. Downsize your file cabinet, go mobile and save trees - who could argue with that? But there are downsides to throwing out your paper files.


  1. The article makes no sense because paper documents are more likely to become misplaced, damaged or destroyed than e docs. I scan all paper and then shred it.

  2. I think the risks described above could be easily eliminated by following just a few simple steps: back up files, have clients sign an agreement that incorporates the fact that your office is paperless and there are risks involved, require confirmation of email receipts, and make follow-up calls to make sure that emails have been reviewed.

    Similar risks are involved if you have a traditional paper office…Paper files can be destroyed or lost, causing the same risks to important info and protection of client property. And letters are often lost in the mail. Once these paper documents are lost, there may be no way to recover them, while documents saved in a virtual law office or in an email inbox can be recovered, backed-up and easily transfered to different computers and locations no matter what happens to the hardware.

    I think the key is to build a strong attorney-client relationship and thoroughly communicate with your client. You can make case-by-case decisions to determine what communication route and document storage route is best for your client. If your client prefers paper communication, that may be the best way to work, but many tech-savvy clients prefer emails.