Should Your Law Firm Go Paperless?

Many law firms, even some of the most successful ones, are slow to adopt new ways of doing business. This is evidenced in the stacks of paperwork you’ll likely see when you walk into a law office.

Whether it’s outgoing invoices, incoming bills, or miscellaneous files, paperwork is a part of life for many firms. But what would life look like for your firm if you decided to go paperless?


If you’re considering going paperless at your law firm, you’re likely already aware of the obvious benefits. For example, paperless offices are less wasteful and more environmentally friendly.

But there are other benefits that serve the interests of your firm in addition to those of the environment. Going paperless helps law firms save thousands of sheets of paper every year, which saves on costs.

It also helps team members keep track of documents in centralized computer systems, which improves communication. For example, when you’re looking for a client’s file, you can easily search your system instead of weeding through a pile of manila folders.

When you’re operating completely in a cloud-based system, you’ll also find that your documents are more secure than they would be in paper form. Having backups of important legal documents ensures that vital processes don’t hinge solely on the existence of a single paper document.


  1. Take the switch from paper-based to paperless seriously. Create a deadline to switch to paperless communications internally and with clients and other third parties. This often includes a period in which you communicate electronically AND on paper before switching completely. That gives your clients or any third parties time to adjust.
  2. Invest in technology to facilitate the switch. Practice management systems can help your firm pivot away from paper to solely digital communications, so you’ll be prepared when it comes time to make the change.


Going paperless isn’t an all-or-nothing proposition. If you’re on the fence about your law firm going completely paperless, don’t let it prevent you from taking steps in that direction.

For some firms, a quick transition to paperless isn’t realistic. However, going paperless in some of your firm’s processes is still an option.

Consider testing out paper-free interactions within your firm. For example, instead of receptionists taking down hand-written phone messages, ask them to enter those messages into your practice management software, so they’ll be easily accessible by the message’s recipient.

Experiment first with whatever facet of your legal practice that most lends itself to paperless communications. Perhaps you might initially consider implementing paperless billing, or switching to paperless internal memos in your law firm. Even if you’re not completely paperless, you’ll still start saving on costs and reducing the mountains of paperwork your team encounters every day.


When transitioning to a paperless law firm, choosing the right technology is crucial. The ideal practice management software should not only accommodate your firm’s current needs, but also adapt to future challenges.

Here are considerations law firms should focus on when selecting a practice management software:

  • Customization and Flexibility: Look for software that offers extensive customization options. It should allow you to tailor aspects such as intake forms, task automation, and records management to fit your firm’s unique workflow while keeping as many documents as possible in the digital realm.
  • Comprehensive Integration: The ability to integrate with existing digital tools (Office 365, Google, email marketing services) ensures a seamless transition and minimizes disruption.
  • Cloud Storage: Unlimited cloud storage is a must for the accessibility and safety of documents, enabling your team to work from anywhere without the need for pen and paper.
  • Task and Calendar Management: Features that help organize tasks and schedules efficiently, including automated task triggers and calendar integration, are vital for reducing your dependency on paper calendars.
  • Digital Signatures: The ability to upload digital signatures for mail merge further eliminates the need for paper to be involved in many routine tasks and processes at your firm.

Choosing software with these features will ensure that your firm not only goes paperless, but will also benefit from improved productivity and client service.


If you’re considering making your law firm paper-free, you need a practice management system to communicate, store documents, and automate processes. Backdocket has helped many firms dramatically improve their operations and give them the easy option of a paperless workflow.

Find out more about our software and contact backdocket today for a free demonstration.

Originally published September 21, 2020. Updated April 5, 2024.

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