Thursday, August 21, 2014

Why lawyers love paper

I have - for a long time now - been confounded by the lack of adoption by attorneys when it comes to the 'paperless office'.  There are some great tools available - which are improving all the time which make the paperless office entirely possible.  So its not for a lack of good technology.

Adoption is the key to any technology initiative, and efforts to create the paperless office often run into problems when it comes to 'how to read a document'.  Lawyers prefer paper to reading on screen.  Thanks to Scientific American magazine, I have a new understanding of the issue of paper vs. on-screen reading.

Turns out - there is a scientific reason for a preference for paper.  (read the article here).   So what's the solution?

First step - recognize that attorneys will continue reading from paper.

Next Step: efficiently facilitate creating paper copies of documents.  My suggestion:  (a) in the context of the paperless office, continue to scan everything and (b) create a way to easily print a 'reading copy' for lawyers to work from.   The reading-copy would likely be identified by a footer added to the MS-Word document or PDF document which indicates date-printed, version number of the document, and a notation indicating "Reading Copy - not for filing".

Are you already doing this?  Comments and suggestions welcome!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Use email encryption in Outlook

Do you know how to use the email encryption options in Outlook?  Its disarmingly easy and you should be very familiar with these functions.   Here's a Microsoft article on the topic - and a screen print which will guide you to the functions available when sending an individual message (you can also turn encryption on for all messages)..

PLEASE NOTE:  You will need a digital ID to enable encryption, which would be added to Outlook.  Here is a list created by Microsoft of digital ID providers.