Paper cut: A tree’s final moment of revenge!
It was reported in the United States of America in 2008 that a typical Lawyer uses between 20,000 to 100,000 sheets of paper a year. In lay man’s terms 100,000 sheets of paper equate to twelve 13-Metre-high trees.
At the high end these 100,000 sheets of paper further translate into the release of approximately 4.5 tons annually of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. It should be noted that the above is said to represent “the typical Lawyer”. There are currently over one Million lawyers in the United States, this is just one profession in just one country.
It is hard to ignore the impact we are having on the planet just one week after we have experienced three storms in just five days. The “Green Agenda” is likely to colour our decisions going forward and it is down to everyone to contribute. With the above in mind our firm has taken the collective decision to go paperless from the 1st of March 2022. We have noted a few helpful tips below in terms of some of the motivations of going paperless, other than the obvious effects on the planet, and a few tips on how to reach this goal.
Why go paperless?
Instead of dealing with paper files you can file documents easily and neatly in a searchable electronic document management system.
Enhances firm security.
If you use an electronic document management system it is possible to restrict access to a “need to know” basis, this approach cannot be guaranteed with paper files. Going paperless will also help you remain compliant and help avoid costly data breaches.
The obvious benefit of going paperless is reducing those overhead costs associated with printing, posting, and storing physical files.
Freedom to work in a way that suits you.
By digitally storing your files in a cloud-based electronic document management system, you remove the need to visit the office and pick up bulky files.
Future-proof your firm by going paperless
The Covid 19 pandemic forced offices into new business models such as working digitally “from home”. Before receding back in to the “old ways” we should consider what we have learned from this forced transition.
How to go Paperless?
1. Start digital wherever possible, i.e., use e-signatures.
2. Scan any paper as it comes in, then shred same.
3. Make sure that you use and make text-searchable scans.
4. Only keep documents that are required to be in paper form and/or require ink signatures.
5. Keep your paperless files organized.
6. Stop printing!
7. Stop faxing!
- Generally avoid creating more paper.
- Email files or share them digitally when possible.
The above article is one of a series of bi-monthly legal articles drafted by Conor McLaughlin, Solicitor and Principal at Conor McLaughlin & Associates Solicitors. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be acted upon without seeking legal advice particular to your set of circumstances. Conor McLaughlin & Associates Solicitors have their office in Bundoran, County Donegal. For further information on the above or any other legal issues you may have, please contact us on TEL: 071 984 1322.