Management Assistance Program

Portable Scanners Allow You to Scan Documents Anywhere

By Jim Calloway

Scanning documents in the law office is a common law office operation these days. Paper documents are often scanned so they can be digitally transmitted or filed in the digital client file. That wasn’t true when I first wrote about scanners for the January 25, 1998 Oklahoma Bar Journal calling scanners “today’s newest indispensable piece of law office equipment.” But today scanning is routine in most law offices.

Today we may need to scan when we are outside of the office. A lawyer may handle a will execution at a frail client’s home or in a hospital room, for example. Scanning with an app on your mobile phone works well for a page or two, but is harder to manage for a more lengthy document like a will. Your law firm might consider investing in a portable scanner that lawyers can check out when needed out of the office. PC Magazine recently published The Best Portable Scanners for 2024, which is packed with useful information on scanner features. For another set of portable scanner reviews, see Top 6 Portable Scanners for Easy Scans on the Go from maketecheasier.com. The Fujitsu ScanSnap line is being rebranded as Ricoh, its parent company.

Here’s an important tip. Create a complete set of instructions that accompanies the scanner and deals with possible contingencies. Is an internet connection required? Using your phone for a hot spot may be warranted rather than trusting the client’s home WiFi setup. Is the goal to leave the client a digital copy or to scan an original that you leave with the client? If you wish to scan and create a physical copy for the client, a portable printer may also be needed.