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How Law Firms Can Prepare for a NetDocuments Migration

Alex LinA successful migration of your document management system (DMS) not only avoids technical issues, but also improves the lives of the people who use it daily.

NetDocuments offers many features that make it an attractive option for law firms, but it has particular characteristics that must be taken into account. By being aware of the differences between NetDocuments and your current system, you can ensure a painless transition that accounts for the needs of everyone at your firm.

Document Types

NetDocuments metadata is not just a way to profile and search for information. It can also be used to automatically organize workspaces with the use of filters and saved searches. For this system to be useful, it's important that there are unique categories that present clear choices to users when profiling documents. Many firms are coming from a system with upwards of 60 document types or other organizational metadata, which can result in choice overload and difficulty searching for the content you want.

Where should this letter go?

By consolidating to 20-30 document types, you can be confident that users will profile documents correctly and easily. This will also prevent clutter in the workspace view and save/search dialogues. It will definitely be worthwhile to discuss which document types you'd like to consolidate with each of your practice groups.


NetDocuments generally works best in an all-folder or all-workspace based configuration. If you are planning to take advantage of workspaces and auto generated filters, I strongly suggest you leave any folders behind. In most cases the metadata-based organization of workspaces will account for all of the content in your DMS. It's important, however, to identify the people or practices that are relying on folders exclusively for organization. If possible, I recommend mapping those folders to the appropriate document type (or other metadata), which will allow them to be handled like the rest of your content going forward. Migrating folder structures should only be considered as a last resort.


There are be multiple ways that security cane be enforced in your current DMS system. It can be inherited from the folder structure, managed by a third-party ethical wall system, or dealt with based on the document profile. As part of a migration, the team at Kraft Kennedy makes sure that we capture document level security so that all documents maintain their current security settings. However, we also want to ensure that any new content is getting secured as users expect. It's important to be aware of the locations and workflows that users expect to use to secure their documents so that the appropriate security configuration can be created in NetDocuments.

Taking the time to discuss each of these issues will have you well prepared for a migration to NetDocuments that considers the needs of all users.

Alex Lin is an Enterprise Content Management expert based in Salt Lake City, Utah. Alex implements and manages document and record management systems for law firms. He has extensive experience implementing and supporting Windows 7, Windows 10, Windows Server 2012, Microsoft SQL, Microsoft Office, iManage, Worldox, and NetDocuments as well as several third-party integrated add-ons to these systems. Alex joined Kraft Kennedy in 2011 after graduating from Cornell University with a B.S. in Applied Engineering Physics. He is a Microsoft Certified Solutions Expert (MCSE) and is certified in Autonomy iManage 9.x and Autonomy Records Management.

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