AmLaw 100 Law Firm Jackson Lewis Upgrades How It Manages Physical Records

Jackson Lewis PC – Law firm rolls out modern records management system for increased information governance and reduced on-site storage costs


Over the past several decades, Jackson Lewis P.C. has grown from a few scattered offices on the East Coast to 59 offices across the United States. Today, it is one of the 100 largest law firms in the nation. Throughout most of its history, the firm used a traditional records management system to handle physical records. This system worked well for decades; however as the firm continued its expansion, so did its records volume.

This situation posed several significant problems. Staff was spending considerable time tracking down documents, which impacted productivity. Moreover on-site storage costs were growing, and record disposition was becoming increasingly difficult. Unless the firm implemented a modern records management system, it would be unable to stay on top of its information governance (IG) or stay competitive.


Lack of legacy data

In 2013 Jackson Lewis set up a centralized department to handle firm-wide records management and hired industry veteran Bradlee W. Davis as the Director of Records and Information Governance.

“I realized that when I came on board there would be some pretty big challenges, primarily because we’d be implementing a new system from the ground up. There was no legacy data to upload, which meant there would be a lot of historical data to capture,” said Davis.

Focus on paper records management

At his previous firm, Davis had used FileSurf, which he discovered had some major issues: “When FileSurf was bought out by Computer Associates we weren’t able to get the tech support we needed to keep things rolling.” Understanding the pitfalls of implementing a new records management solution, Jackson Lewis’ team rigorously evaluated several big box solutions. In the end, they decided on FileTrail.


“A huge determining factor [for choosing FileTrail] was the end-of-life of so many other legacy records management systems. FileTrail was really smart about not falling prey to following trends. While big software companies are increasingly focused on managing electronic records only, FileTrail understands that law firms are very paper-intensive. FileTrail stuck in there with the physical records management portion of their product. As a result, they have become a frontrunner in records management for law firms,” said Davis.

Apart from its advanced records management capabilities, these are other reasons why Jackson Lewis’ staff members love FileTrail.

Simple implementation

“Once they’ve handed over the software and trained you, FileTrail can also rollout their software across your firm. However, because we lacked legacy data, we decided to do this in-house. Thanks to the ease of FileTrail’s backend administration, the setup for each office couldn’t be simpler,” said Davis. After each office is set up, Davis and his staff spend one week training staff and sticking around to ensure everyone is very comfortable using the system.

Excellent customer service

“FileTrail’s reputation for customer service was another huge reason we went with them. When we experience the rare issue, they are extremely prompt about getting back to us. Managing the records for a firm of 59 offices and hundreds of people on the system, we need to fix issues quickly. With the other big software companies, you just don’t get that kind of responsiveness,” said Davis.

Easy integrations

As the firm moves toward a fully modernized office system, its short-term goals are to create a seamless user experience by integrating its software for document management and client- and matter-related services: NetDocuments and Intapp. Thanks to FileTrail’s open architecture, these integrations will be easy to implement. 

Reasonable price-point

Creating data to populate a modern records management solution means that rollout takes time. As a result, the firm cannot enjoy the usual benefits of a quick ROI, which come from immediately reduced on-site records storage. Unlike big bundled software solutions, FileTrail’s records management software was priced to ensure the firm could afford the costs of the transition.


FileTrail improves records tracking and increases productivity On a daily basis, records management takes a lot less time and hassle, which has dramatically improved productivity. Secretaries and paralegals enjoy being able to quickly locate records. And attorneys appreciate the standardized labeling, as well as the reduction in lost and missing files.

As the firm continues to strengthen its information governance policies, Jackson Lewis expects to realize considerable cost-savings in the long-term. Said Davis: “Right now, we’re using a lot of square footage to store records. However, once we start using FileTrail’s tools to automate record retention and disposition, we expect FileTrail will pay for itself.”

Bradlee Davis, Director of Records and Information Governance quote, “FileTrail understands that law firms are still very paper-intensive and are far from being paperless. FileTrail stuck in there with the physical records management portion of their product. It also focused on expanding its IG retention policy management tools for both physical and electronic records so that law firms can manage policies across multiple repositories. As a result, they have become a frontrunner in records management and IG software for law firms.”

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Physical Records Management | Retention of Records & Documents | Matter Mobility | Document Archiving