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This law firm, established in the early 20th century by H.W. Santen, had an antiquated filing system that wasted many hours of productivity searching for misplaced or “lost” files which were located in two separate off-site storage locations in addition to an on-site file room. When the partnership decided to split into several different legal firms, this exacerbated the issues and necessitated:
  1. Identifying all files and determining which files belonged to each firm.
  2. Inventorying and separating records to be sent to applicable attorneys.
  3. Delivering each file to the appropriate attorney for verification.
  4. Improving the file management systems for Santen & Hughes.
Partial view of "vault room" area
  1. Inventoried all records at the file level located at the off-site storage locations.
  2. Inventoried all on-site files at the file level including those stored in attorney’s offices.
  3. Redesigned on-site file room to create more usable space.
  4. Designed a customized and secure database.
  5. Destroyed files deemed not suitable for long term use.
  6. Re-labeled, in some cases, and organized all open files.
  7. Developed procedures for proper use of the database.
  8. Trained staff in the use of the database.
  9. Maintained off-site backups of the database.
  10. Destroyed off-site records according to an attorney-approved retention schedule.
  11. When a decision was made to move the S&H headquarters to more suitable space, JL Associates coordinated the move of all on-site paper records.
Work in process
  1. Initial entry of over 20,000 records into the database to facilitate the move.
  2. All attorneys located at other offices or at their homes received the appropriate files.
  3. Inventoried 360 boxes from off-site storage and identified files suitable for destruction resulting in significant cost savings and the closing of one of the storage sites.
  4. Quick, accurate and flexible access to over 77,000 records via a customized, secure database.