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The Best Scanner for a Paperless Law Office

One of the biggest challenges to having a truly virtual, paperless law practice is what to do with all the paper? You can’t ignore it; your practice is going to generate some of it (although arguably less), and it’s certainly going to receive it. So what do you do with the paper?

Scan and shred.

But if you are just starting the process, you will need a scanner (or 2 or 3, depending on the size of your office).

Scanners to Consider

Which one do you choose? Well, I already have mine, and have my preferences, but here are some models to consider.

    • Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500
    • Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500
    • Epson WorkForce ES-500W
    • Brother ADS-2800W
    • Raven Pro Document Scanner
    • Kodak i3250
    • Kodak i2900
    • Kodak i3450

What to Look for in a Scanner

When looking at these models, there are certain features that are important, and the one you decide on should excel in all of them.

OCR Accuracy

Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a critical feature for law offices looking to digitize and manage their documents efficiently. OCR technology converts scanned images into searchable and editable text files, allowing you to quickly find specific information within large volumes of legal paperwork.

This capability streamlines document retrieval, reduces the need for manual data entry, and facilitates seamless integration with other software platforms.Scanners like the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 and the Epson WorkForce ES-500W are renowned for their exceptional OCR accuracy, ensuring that your scanned documents are accurately converted into text-searchable formats.

Handling of Different Paper Sizes and Types

In the legal field, you may need to scan a wide range of documents, from standard letter-size papers to larger legal briefs, contracts, or even bound materials. A scanner’s ability to accommodate various paper sizes and thicknesses is crucial for maintaining a smooth and efficient document management workflow.

The Brother ADS-2800W and the Raven Pro Document Scanner excel in this area, featuring versatile feeder trays that can handle different paper sizes and thicknesses with ease, minimizing the need for manual intervention or separate scanning processes.

Software Integration and Wireless Connectivity

Integration with other software platforms and wireless connectivity are game-changers for small law offices, enabling seamless document management and collaboration across multiple devices and systems.Many modern scanners offer direct connectivity to cloud storage services like Dropbox or Google Drive, as well as compatibility with popular document management systems.

The Fujitsu ScanSnap lineup, for example, integrates seamlessly with applications like Nuance PaperPort and Evernote, while the Kodak Alaris scanners (i3250, i2900, i3450) are compatible with Kodak Capture Pro Software for indexing data and routing to business applications or content management systems.

Wireless scanning capabilities, as found in the Epson WorkForce ES-500W, Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500, and the Brother ADS-2800W, eliminate the need for cumbersome cables, allowing you to scan directly to your computer or network with ease.

Overall Recommendation

While all the mentioned scanners offer valuable features for small law offices, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX1500 emerges as a top contender, and is by far seen as the choice for a law offices in everything I have read. With its exceptional OCR accuracy, versatile paper handling capabilities, seamless software integration, and wireless connectivity, the ScanSnap iX1500 provides a comprehensive solution for streamlining your legal document workflows.

While it may be a bit pricier, its combination of speed, user-friendly interface, and wireless capabilities make it a valuable investment for attorneys looking to streamline their document management processes. The ability to scan directly to the cloud and its intuitive touchscreen interface make it a time-saving tool that can enhance your practice’s efficiency.

However, the choice ultimately depends on your specific needs and budget constraints. Investing in a high-quality scanner can significantly improve the efficiency and organization of your solo or small firm practice. Carefully evaluate your requirements and budget to select the scanner that best aligns with your needs, and you’ll be well on your way to achieving a more streamlined and productive legal practice.

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Steven J. Richardson

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