Just about all of us have seen a television show or movie that has a scene that features a law firm shredding documents. And while initially this might seem like a bit of an odd practice, the reality is that it’s necessary for all law firms to do. The reason why is because each week, law firms accumulate a lot of confidential information that they are legally bound to keep private. And in order to honor that agreement, not only do law firms store certain documents, but they also dispose of the ones that they no longer need too.
So, if you work at a law firm and you’re interested in knowing more about what the process of shredding legal records entails, we have provided you with five of them below:
Shredding is necessary. When you work at a law office, there are all kinds of documents, contracts and other forms of information that’s needed in order to pursue a case. However, once the case is over or closed and you actually don’t need any of the files anymore, being that a lot of it contains private information, you don’t simply want to throw it away. That is why you shred it. In fact, no matter what law firm you speak with, they will tell you that shredding is what helps to protect them as well as their clients.
It needs to be done by someone who can be trusted. Being that those files contain confidential information, you don’t want to hand over the shredding task to just anyone. It needs to be given to an individual that you trust. So, while you could use an intern to do it, if they are only going to be with you for a few weeks, we recommend using someone like a paralegal instead.
Shred first. Incinerate second. Even after you’ve shredded the files, something else you can do that will give you additional piece of mind is to follow that up by incinerating all of the shredded paperwork. One safe way that you can do this is by investing in a thermal shredder. One website that provides additional information on them is Burn Right Products. Just go to the site and put “burn barrel” in the search field.
Check state laws and protocol that address the shredding process. If you were to consult with a company like Global Document Solutions about what you can do to dispose of paper or even electronic records, one of the things that we’re pretty sure they would advise is that you do some research into what your state laws say is the proper protocol when it comes to the shredding process. You can do this by going to go favorite search engine and putting “shredding”, “state law” and your particular city and state in the search field.
You may want to look into hiring a professional shredding company. Finally, something that you might want to invest in is actually hiring a professional shredding company. For many law firms, that is the most efficient and secure way to shred their files. For more information on professional shredding companies in your area, visit Shred It.