Peer to Peer Magazine

June 2012

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 36 of 135

case studies Lose (Paper) Weight and Keep It Off: How Our Firm Successfully Performed a Paper Bypass by Jeff Hutchinson of Mendes & Mount, LLP Let's face it, most law firms are overweight. The influx of paper documents is constant, whether they are mailed, printed or delivered. This might be the norm today, but a law firm must veer away from paper if it is to position itself for long-term success. The law firm of 2020 no longer accommodates paper and file-room reliance. Instead, it has evolved an enterprise scanning strategy, which scans and captures paper digitally when it arrives and moves it to an electronic information platform. This seamless process uses existing scan devices, simple human workflows, built-in process integrity and security, and integrates images with the firm's document management, records management, accounting and other information solutions. Mendes & Mount has been in existence for almost a century and has many practice areas. The firm has roughly 325 employees across four locations — New York, New Jersey, Los Angeles and London. We knew the realization of this paperless vision would take time — enterprise scan capture must be implemented, technology and culture must be adopted and related back files must be converted — but we were determined to conquer the challenge. Curbing Our Insatiable Appetite for Paper Today, Mendes & Mount uses scanning to deal with our onslaught of paper as part of our preparation for 2020. However, scanning brings its own set of complexities. For example, how can we ensure the scanned documents get filed correctly? How do we connect them to the matters in our document management system? How can we avoid an overload of email messages as documents are scanned and attached as PDFs? On top of that, how do we move beyond "convenience scanning," which might get the occasional job done but does nothing to reduce our dependency on and costs of paper files? A few years ago, we noticed a unique set of challenges that signaled the need for a more focused scanning initiative. Our letters of credit (LOC) department, in particular, needed more than convenience scanning and requested a better way to handle their historical and newly inbound paper records. Normally, employees would take documents to the multifunction printers (MFPs) and run each document one-by-one through the feeder, which would send it back to their desktops via email. Then they would either share the resulting electronic document with the appropriate parties or manually profile them in the correct location within the DMS. This procedure worked in terms of converting to an electronic format, 38 Peer to Peer

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