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Selecting the Right Printer for Your Law Office

January 15, 2016

Do you have to move stacks of papers off your chairs when someone walks into your law office and needs a place to sit? Though legal tech has made great strides, it's hard to break the paper habit. With all of the research, draft writing and discovery sharing, your law office needs a printer that can keep up with your workload. Here are some things to consider when selecting a printer for your law office:

What kind of printer is the best for our office?

Law firms don't need fancy, wide format printers that can print on multiple types of media. What they need is a legal size document scanner and printer to keep up with their high printing demands. The best investment for a law office is a multifunction printer that combines printing, scanning, copying and faxing in one. An MFP serves as a central point for document management because it stores all documents for easy access, sharing and distribution. With a centralized records management system in place, your office will save money on printing cost, save time on document retrieval and make your clients happy with easy digital document sharing.

How much speed do we need?

Most print jobs in a law office aren't one or two page documents; they can be hundreds of pages long. If every lawyer or paralegal in your office is sending these jobs to the printer multiple times per day, you could be waiting all day for your job to get to the head of the printing queue. If you're sharing a printer with 5-10 people, 50 pages per minute will keep productivity humming. At a larger firm, you’ll need a printer capable of producing at least 80 pages per minute.

What kind of security features do we need?

Data privacy is critical in a law office; in fact, professional services firms face steep fines for noncompliance with data protection legislation. Choose a provider that offers security features such as password protection, data encryption and audit management so you can track user activity and create a paper trail if necessary. It pays off to invest in a disaster recovery system, as well.

What will it cost us?

Pay more attention to the cost per page/copy than the printer's price tag. Sometimes, less expensive printers have a higher cost per page than more expensive machines. Almost every multifunction printer comes with cost per page information, which factors in the price of toner. With so many options to choose from, you should have no problem finding an affordable multifunction printer that suits your needs.

What extras do we need?

Automated finishing features like stapling, hole-punching and collating are nice, but do you really need them? It depends on how often you or someone in your office is performing these tasks. If it's a daily occurrence, then it's a no-brainer that the extra cost will save you time and labor.

How much machine do I really need?

It depends on how many documents you produce a month. Luckily, manufacturers include a monthly volume range for their equipment, which tells you how many documents a printer can produce per month without burning out. They tend to pad those figures to be on the safe side, but remember that hitting or going over that number consistently may cause breakdowns over time. Just make sure you have enough on-board memory to handle large print jobs.

What other factors should I consider?

Look for an MFP that saves energy, ink and paper. An MFP that intuitively deletes duplicate documents, can print double-sided or fit two pages worth of text on one page will save your office quite a bit on printing costs.

Even by narrowing your search with the above considerations, there is a huge variety of MFPs on the market that might fit your needs. Let Pacific Office Automation help you with printer comparison and selecting the best printer for your law office. We have more than 30 years of experience in offering businesses custom workflow solutions. Contact us today for a free workflow analysis.

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Call or e-mail us today to learn more about our multifunction printers, IT services or submit a service work order. We'll be there to help you say, "Problem Solved."