The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Money

April 20, 2014

Simply green

Law office is becoming a little less tree killer, a little more eco-friendly

— A new “greener” law office has been planted in downtown Beckley.

Adam Taylor, a native of Pineville, opened the doors at The Law Office of Adam D. Taylor Inc. a few weeks ago with a philosophy that he says will help the environment while streamlining his workflow.

According to Taylor, his office offers services that include family and estate law within Raleigh and the immediate surrounding counties.

“My business is a general legal practice right now. I specialize mainly in family law and guardian work for children. I also do criminal matters, mainly in Raleigh and Wyoming counties, but I’ve also worked in every surrounding county,” Taylor said. “I do a little bit of personal injury and I’ve also been expanding my focus recently to estate matters, like trusts and estate litigation and especially wills.”

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The idea of an office without paper files is quickly gaining traction throughout the country. The American Bar Association endorses paperless offices and offers resources on the subject to help lawyers who may be considering making the change. Among the most popular reasons are:

n No clutter around the office.

n Locate documents and files quickly.

n Save money; no file cabinets, no paper — as little as one ream a year, savings on printing costs and no space wasted on file and paper storage.

n Some courts require e-filing. Paperless offices already have the files ready on the computer.

n No more filing papers for hours at a time.

n Cloud storage allows access to documents anywhere you have Internet with phone, tablet or computer.

n Few or no staff required.

n No off-site storage costs for large cases involving huge amounts of paperwork.

n A lawyer can give files to a client electronically for their records.

This idea appealed particularly to Taylor; he said that his years of experience with both technology and law had prepared him for the undertaking.

“It’s kind of a win-win from my perspective because I have always been very technologically oriented. I’ve built computers since I was 11. I grew up putting things together, coding, playing video games, the whole 9 yards.

“When I saw the opportunity to expand and open my own office, I started looking at what the most efficient and economical way was to run my filing and paperwork. It turns out that with my background in law and technology I was able to, very easily, put together a paperless office,” Taylor said.

“It’s been advantageous so far because it, obviously, saves paper, cost and time when I don’t have to go back to my filing room to get a paper. I don’t have to sit there and dig through page after page. I can just open that up on my monitor and look at it there.

“Right now I get my faxes through e-mail. They are already scanned through as a PDF; they come to me that way. Instead of filing a paper, I scan documents and adjust the file names. When I go to court I don’t have to take all of these different file folders. I can have something saved to my tablet and have it readily available.

“Like a lot of things in life, it was one of those things that you ask yourself, not why, but why not do this? And it’s been great for the environment and great for me as a time-saver and a money-saver. I don’t see why more people don’t do this.”

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When asked why he started his own practice, Taylor said, “I have always been of the mind that if you can do something and it betters your life and it betters the lives of those around you, then you should probably take a serious look at doing that. I was very pleased with the work I was doing, but I saw an opportunity to better my own life and to step out and challenge myself again and keep moving upward.

“As you go further in life, you start to get a better idea of what you are actually looking for and it became very clear to me, even as I was going to law school, that this was what I wanted to do and now I’m here.”

Taylor said that he has had a busy few years since law school and that he is looking forward to enjoying his practice.

“I graduated from law school in 2011. Since then I have moved three times. I’ve gotten engaged. I’ve worked for a judge, Judge Bedell in Harrison County, that was a great experience. I’ve worked for another local business around here and have since started my own office. I’m just looking forward to a period of relative stability in my life and making sure this practice continues to grow.”

The philosophy of his practice, Taylor said, is to be available to clients and make the process less complicated and more human.  

“I provide very personalized legal service. I try to make myself extremely accessible to my clients and I try to approach the practice of law on a very human, reasonable level. I believe that most of the practice of law, be it criminal or family, is inherently unpleasant. You don’t need to complicate it further by being unpleasant to those who are around you. While I do zealously fight for my clients, I also recognize that there are human beings involved in this and that it’s good to not create unnecessary problems and conflicts. That’s what I try to bring to my practice.”

For information on going paperless in your practice, visit www.americanbar.org. The Law Office of Adam D. Taylor Inc. is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. To contact the law office, call 304-894-8733.

— E-mail: cboyd@register-herald.com

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