The Beyond Blog

Are Physical Records Weighing You Down?

Physical Records

Strategies to Deal With “The Albatross”

The rapid transition to remote working in 2020 has accelerated most law firms’ efforts to “go digital.”

In a world where no one is certain if or when the office environment will ever be the same again, there has been a massive shift away from paper-based processes toward using electronic files, online applications and digital workflows.

Yet the fact remains that most firms are still weighed down by a huge volume of physical records residing in offsite storage—tens of thousands of boxes of aging records that no one will look at ever again, but carry considerable costs.

Typically, these have accumulated over decades, cost millions to store and manage each year, and expose the firm to significant security, litigation and compliance risks.

Without clear policies and procedures for record retention and destruction, law firms run the risk of violating government regulations, information governance policies and clients’ outside counsel guidelines, and incurring unnecessary risks and costs that no organization can afford in these challenging economic times.

But there is hope—and several possible paths to a more paperless future.

In “Confronting the Albatross: Reducing the Costs and Risks of Physical Records Retention for a Post-Pandemic World,” Darrell Mervau explores strategies for dealing with the backlog of aging paper records that continues to haunt most law firms.

(An Information Governance White Paper originally published in ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine (Spring 2021))