Key considerations for modern document management

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Over the past decade, the role of legal operations has grown in strategic importance through the adoption of digital transformation. Legal operations professionals have successfully leveraged digital technologies to achieve efficiency and innovation in corporate legal operations. Their efforts have played an important role in guiding organizations through the disruption and uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. As organizations look to the future, legal processes will play a vital role in delivering competencies in providing legal services.

According to the Annual Law Department Operations Survey 2020, the biggest challenge that legal operations professionals currently face is delivering measurable business value. The biggest challenge poll respondents expect to face in the next three years is “cost containment and savings or budget management”. In light of this, choosing the technology partners who will deliver what they promise and deliver value to the organization is becoming more and more important.

Document and email management is one of the primary legal technologies that legal departments invest in to improve efficiency, productivity and security. 37% of survey respondents will evaluate or implement this solution for their internal teams in 2021. With so many competing priorities and options in the marketplace, it can be difficult to get started. Here are some of the questions legal processes should ask to ensure the correct document picks and email management solution for their internal teams.

The most important questions when evaluating a DMS:

How is legal document management different from enterprise solutions?

Modern document management solutions are designed to meet the specific productivity, collaboration and security requirements of legal professionals. For example, legal DMS solutions organize information by material, with metadata and security inheritance so that the information can be appropriately distinguished.

Could your solution help me manage all my emails as well as my documents?

A modern document management system (DMS) should enable legal professionals to manage their emails as effectively as documents, in the same folder structures and workspaces. A solution should provide a single repository for all communications and documentation related to an issue, allowing professionals to quickly find the information they need.

How does your DMS help improve my document search ability?

Finding the right information and applying it at the right time is crucial for any legal professional. Modern document management includes more powerful search capabilities that save valuable time, increase the effectiveness of antecedents, and make the use of information resources more efficient.

Download the DMS Checklist of 15 Questions for Legal Processes here:

Clint Croceer is General Counsel and Privacy Officer at iManage, a Chicago-based technology company that is changing how professionals get work done by combining the power of artificial intelligence, content management and email. Prior to joining iManage, he was a lawyer at Reed Smith, advising clients on general corporate and transactional matters. Clint can be reached at

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