By Brian Piatek, Senior Consultant

Here we are at the beginning of a new year and high on your IT director’s list for the attorneys is a request for you to manage your email better. You and many of your colleagues are rapidly reaching the limits of saved email that the email system can support. The dual requirements of saving important communications with your clients for the years mandated by cases that drag on for years and the American Bar Association (ABA) requirement that communications with clients on matters being saved for years after a matter settles keeps swelling the size of your Inbox and its many subfolders. But now your IT department wants you to limit how many new emails you can save. Since 2022, the ABA also recommends encrypting email both in storage and in transmission.

Changes wrought by email migration from on-premises server systems to more reliable and much more secure hosted email systems provided some temporary respite from the limitations of inadequate space – but even that is now strained.  And that does not address the essential issue of how you organize and search that morass of gigs upon gigs of email.

So here you are, stuck between the requirements of storing all that email and the IT department saying you are staining the limits, and it takes you forever to find a dialog of email you had five years ago with a client…

What can you do?

  • You can’t delete because the ABA says you cannot delete substantive client communications for years…
  • You can’t make more folders under the Inbox because Outlook is already straining and is slow to open…
  • You could move email to Archive, but that has limits, and it is harder to search…
  • You could move email offline, but then that is horrid to manage and worse to search because you must mount the offline folders first…


One great solution is to shift email filing to a DMS like iManage. Using a DMS with strong integration to Outlook can help you manage your email. iManage can ingest all or part of your Inbox and other email folders. The backend system can be Microsoft email either hosted or on-premises. iManage can even integrate with Gmail systems.

  • There are no storage limits.
  • Email can be organized in a like manner as an attorney’s mailbox or even along client/matter lines.
  • You can store emails individually or grouped in a conversation.
  • Each email is fully indexed automatically so it is easily searched along multiple lines.
    • Email can be simultaneously searched on To/From, Subject, or a concept or even a phrase in the email body.
  • iManage even performs OCR on attachments while they are attached to the email.
  • Emails can be rapidly moved to iManage:
    • In the background, synchronize your current email folders so that your Inbox is not tied up while transferring emails.
    • Using drag and drop.
    • Saved while sending.
    • Saved upon receipt.
  • iManage protects your email by being encrypted while in storage.
  • iManage encrypts email as it is being saved.
  • iManage maintains that encryption to your phone or PC.
  • You can use multi-factor authentication, keeping your IT department happy.

Using a DMS like iManage can integrate your email alone without documents or you can keep all your documents in it. A DMS can be implemented pretty quickly depending on your requirements. Using a DMS can benefit small firms or huge firms. Implementing the software can take just a few weeks and there are various training venues ranging from one-on-one to instructor-led training sessions to excellent online resources.

So, you can see that a DMS like iManage can help you:

  • Keep all the emails for a matter/case/engagement in one place.
  • Keep the IT department at bay as unlimited storage is a benefit.
  • Allow you to manage a matter more efficiently as all emails from yourself or others working on a matter can be in one place for you to review.
  • Search your email efficiently even along multiple threads.
  • Search even thousands of emails in just seconds.
  • Remove email from at-risk unencrypted storage.

Interested in learning how a DMS like iManage can help your firm overcome email storage limits? Contact an Innovative Account Executive here or at 1-800-541-0450.