Are We Any Closer to a Paperless Office?

Happy Earth Day. Today is a good day to think about consumption.

The concept of the paperless office has been mentioned on Slaw in the past: How to Take Your Law Firm Paperless which links to a Lawyers Weekly article quoting our own Omar Ha-Redeye and Revisiting the Paperless Office to name just a few. There is also a great roundup on the Cyberlaw Central blog on “paperless” topics from the 2010 ABA Techshow.

A paperless office may not be universally achievable immediately in an organization but using less paper certainly is. Here are some easy things you can do:

  • Store your stuff electronically, say NO to binders
  • Save that email in your document management system
  • Use your scanner
  • Correspond electronically
  • Fax from your desktop
  • When gathering research materials – save first and print only if you need to

None of this is rocket surgery so I am sure we can all do our part. Is your organization moving towards a paperless environment? Have you achieved it? Share in the (paperless) comments…just don’t press print.


  1. Donna Neff (from Neff Law Office) and Natalie Sanna wrote two articles with great practical advice on going paperless:
    > Our Paperless Office ( from the June 2009 issue of Law Practice Today webzine.
    > The Document Naming System in Our Paperless Office ( from the September 2009 issue of the Law Practice Today webzine.

    The entire September 2009 of LPT ( focused on the paperless office.

  2. Francis Barragan

    It is in fact a great day to talk about this and I must have been hiding under a rock today because I sure did not.

    Yay me.

    Francis Barragan

  3. Francis Barragan

    In fact, I forgot to add that actually, it was the first time that I heard so much about earth day, but I didn’t make the connection with the paperless office. I will try it out tomorrow. Some in the profession, and I can understand them, do not see the point of going towards paperless, so there are very interesting debates.

    Thanks for the tip on faxing from my desktop, that one had escaped me.

  4. I was asked last year whatever became of paperless government, and I responded with a slide deck. (Well, each to his own form of expression…) That was ten years after the first time I looked at it, asking whether paperless government was legal.

    What will I be writing in 2019?

  5. Forget the paperless office aim for a paperless desk, good luck with that, let me know if you have any success.

  6. The paperless office (or as our American friends say the “paper less office” is a recognized brand of Ross Kodner, and is used here without his permission.

    An old partner of mine said in 1995 that he expected a law firm without paper to arrive at the same time as the paperless toilet. That was of course reported in 2006.

    The legal link is back through Professor John Woo and the Geneva torture convention.