Making The Case For Paperless Legal Departments

First Reviewed : July 6, 2023
Last Reviewed: July 6, 2023

Processing a single tree to create 17 reams of paper emits over 100 pounds of CO2 into the atmosphere.

National Law Review

Paperless offices were gaining popularity years before COVID-19 happened, forcing legal departments to work remotely and without hard copies of legal documents. There are several reasons why your legal department should go paperless, if you haven’t already. And if you’re already a paper-free legal department, find out how to boost your efficiency in 2023!

The Benefits of Going Paperless

Teams or individuals in professional fields working with paper spend 50% of their time looking for information… and take 18 minutes to locate each document


The legal industry processes reams of paper in the form of contracts, case notes, and compliance documents among others. It’s so important for these voluminous amounts of legal matter to be organized carefully and in an accessible way. Legal departments spend precious minutes looking for documents that could easily be located in seconds by digitizing and automating legal tasks. 

Eliminates extraneous processes

With less paper, legal departments can skip certain tasks by automating them. A great example of this is eSignatures. With a ready-to-use signature, your legal department can send out contracts or documents faster – without having to scan or manually sign hundreds of pages!

Offers exponential time-savings

Time is literally money for legal departments. Instead of wasting precious minutes rifling through a stack of paper or searching for a document on outdated tech, efficient management systems look up documents in seconds. Your legal department can save hours per month that would have been wasted searching for documents.

Provides freedom to focus on other matters

Disruptions such as COVID-19 or the economic downturn don’t have to upend your entire legal department’s workflow. You can run your office with little to no downtime, allowing you to focus on what matters most – instead of mitigating risks and firefighting.

Becoming Paperless

Prepare to Become Paperless

Every journey begins with a dream. Your legal department’s paperless journey starts by brainstorming and identifying what papers can be eliminated, and how. 

By understanding what legal tasks might end up on paper, you can redirect those processes to online or electronic formats. With a legal task workflow audit, you and your legal department can understand what needs to be digitized, and how to do so.

Create Paperless Workflows

Making a move from filing cabinets to legal tech may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. You may have systems in place that aren’t being utilized – your paperless journey is a great place to start. Scan, upload, and collaborate with colleagues or departments on legal matters. Whether you use local network technology, or advanced cloud-based platforms to share far and wide, electronic systems can store endless volumes of documents, data, and offer valuable insights too! 

If you already have a basic electronic filing system or contract lifecycle management system in place, you may consider going one step further. With tools such as eSignatures, and automating legal tasks, you can remove rote processes off your legal department’s plate. 

Use Superior Paper Alternatives

If you’re wondering what could possibly substitute the might of power, you’d be surprised by the dizzying array of legal tech for every need and challenge!

1) Scannable PDF

Make document and keyword searches a breeze by using scannable PDF software. By scanning your documents, you can look them up in seconds, and they’re all easy to access anywhere and at any time!

2) Cloud Storage

As discussed above, cloud storage offers you virtually endless storage for all your contracting and document needs – and then some. These platforms boast unsurpassed security, easy retrieval, and the power to collaborate across teams and locations. 

Worried about trying to go paperless when you’re a legal department? This JD Supra article addresses your concern and highlights a few of the important documents that you may want to hold on to.

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