Friday, October 21, 2005

Paper is Dead. Long Live Paper!

Remember how the 2000's was going to mark the beginning of the paperless office? Electronic media in the form of documents, forms, letters and even books and magazines were going to replace their electronic counterparts.

Alas, things never goes as they should. I work with attorneys, specifically big city (Los Angeles) attorneys who deal with multi-million dollar lawsuits. When corporate lawsuits occur, each side will inundate the other with invoices, drawings, contracts, letters, emails, financial reports and all sorts of goodies. Many law firms deal with this stuff completely electronically and hand over CDs (or DVDs) filled with electronic documents. Unfortunately, you'll always get the one firm or attorney who insists on actual paper. To me, a CD holding 10,000 pages that I can search through on a laptop computer is far more appealing than scrounging throught 3 25lb banker's boxes. Yet, our office is in a seemingly constant state of printing out and boxing up paper documents because an attorney insists on doing it the old fashioned way. It is not uncommon for a job to consist of 100 boxes or more. That's 300,000 pages that has to sit in some warehouse somewhere for attorneys and paralegals to find their key documents. It's absolutely unbelievable!