Legal Records Management: Preventing Privacy Risks

Law firms are known for their plethora of paperwork. They rely heavily on accessible, preserved, and secured legal records management and storage. Within these records lie private client information, sensitive financial documents, and other confidential information that puts them in jeopardy of legal ramifications if their records are improperly managed and stored.

The Issue

Law firms require accessibility to all of their records. To ensure their records are correctly managed they need legal records management that can secure and store their records while still keeping them readily available. Since lawyers frequently review old/closed cases, the company providing records management must provide them with quick and easy access to both current and past records. To do this, they must scan and store files with a secure document management system as well as safely store hard copies in a highly organized and accessible way.

Law firms would need copious amounts of on-site storage space to create their own document storage center. The cost to purchase enough real estate for present and future records while maintaining a high level of security is tremendous, and not typically within a law firm’s budget. Furthermore, since almost all information stored at a law firm is of a sensitive nature, an information leak could be catastrophic for not only the law firm but for the individual and any related legal case as well. Verdicts can be lost even from the simplest of data breaches.

Ensuring Access Control

Access control is the first step in protecting records while still providing ample legal records management. Law firms should only provide authorized personnel with access to their storage area as well as the stored files. To establish these types of sophisticated controls, most firms need to enlist the help of professional legal records management. These companies can use secure-access storage centers, video surveillance systems, and other security technologies to ensure only authorized personnel can access the firm’s records.

The Solution

Law firms need to hire a company that is an expert in the area of legal records management. They can assist a law firm with short- and long-term storage as well as disposal. Since records cannot be discarded like regular household records, this service offers secure shredding and disposal services can be highly beneficial.

When law firms are ready to employ a system for legal records management that is efficient, cost-effective, and secure, they should follow these recommended best practices:

• Identify all important documents and records. Keep records that are critical to day-to-day operations in-house and send non-vital records to an off-site storage location owned and operated by a company that is trusted in this field.

• Create a destruction policy in collaboration with a management expert. Ensure that all employees and staff members follow this policy explicitly.

• Develop a detailed deletion and discard schedule for staff. This ensures that unneeded or unwanted information is securely shredded and not exposed to theft risks.

• Join forces with an experienced and reputable service that provides management and understands the legal and privacy issues surrounding law firms and their files.

Protect your legal records by only hiring a reputable company that specializes in legal records management.

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