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If there was ever a group of professionals that could be overrun with paperwork it would have to be lawyers! Thankfully, there are ways to manage the overwhelming amount of paper, emails and electronic documents that law firms produce.

And, thankfully, we have a Platinum Business Partner to help us with the job: Pacific Records Management.

Richard Steed, Nitza Medina-Garcia, Mike Young (l-r)

Richard Steed, Nitza Medina-Garcia, Mike Young (l-r)

Richard Steed and Mike Young of Pacific Records Management brought speaker and consultant Nitza Medina-Garcia, CRM to our October luncheon to give us tips on how to get our business information back under control. Nitza (as she said, it rhymes with “pizza” – simultaneously making us not only remember how to pronounce her name but hungry as well), is a Certified Records Manager and shared some terrific ideas for keeping our firms organized!

Nitza runs InfoCompass Business Solutions and provided terrific solutions for keeping our paper and electronic records manageable. Nitza gave us specific take-aways that can be easily implemented into our firm procedures such as:

  1. Include “review offsite storage documents” on the Departing Partner Checklist;
  2. Create a Records Policy Statement and include it in the Employee Handbook;
  3. Create a Retention Schedule grouped by types of documents;

Keeping control of the mounds of paper law firms produce is not only a “real estate” issue but also a legal one. There are plenty of reasons to keep documents for as long as legally necessary but also plenty for disposing of them when the time is right.

Sue Nielsen, Richard Steed, Paula Lee (l-r)

Sue Nielsen, Richard Steed, Paula Lee (l-r)

Creating a solid Records Policy and Retention Schedule can be overwhelming at first. To help, Nitza suggests creating two paths for records management: procedures for handling documents going forward and procedures for handling documents pre-policy.

Creating records management policies and procedures using this method is a good way to break the task up into more manageable pieces.

Working with your offsite storage vendor is also an important piece of the task. I have personally worked with Pacific Records Management as part of our overall records management organizational project and have been very satisfied. Not only are Richard and Mike accommodating and flexible in helping us achieve our goals but their staff is friendly and knowledgeable as well.

We could definitely tighten up our procedures (and from the show of hands at the luncheon, other firms are in the same position) but using Nitza’s suggestions will help us stay on the right track.

Thank you to Pacific Records Management for sponsoring an important topic to many law firms and many thanks to Nitza for sharing her expertise!

Coming up: The November 16 luncheon will feature a panel discussion hosted by Sierra Office Supply and Printing on Print Collateral for Law Firm Marketing & Business Development.

2016-october-luncheon-place-settingsAlso, mark your calendars! The SVALA Holiday Party will be Wednesday, December 7 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Empress Tavern. Please RSVP by November 15 to Paula Lee at plee@klinedinstlaw.com.

Hope to see you at an upcoming event soon!

Trish Hughes Kreis