Moving firms while using a Document Management System

October 28, 2019

I am not an attorney, so you might want to read this article for more guidance.  Having helped hundreds of lawyers move firms, here is a chronological checklist that describes the process:

  1. You announce to the old firm you are leaving.
  2. You and your old firm send letters to your current clients announcing your departure.
  3. Your clients slowly start sending letters to your old firm requesting the release of their files to the new firm.
  4. Your old firm begins releasing those documents to your new firm in batches.
  5. Your new firm creates a new client and matter numbers for your clients.
  6. Your new firm imports the documents into their DMS. (Document Management System)

Step 5 is almost always the bottleneck in the process.  If you want to speed up the process, I recommend downloading our transform and start filling it out.

Old Client # Old Matter # Client Name Matter Description New Client # New Matter #




Bluth Company


LLC Formation










Bluth Company


Employment Suit






Download our Client and Matter Translation Table

There always seems to be some hesitation to fill out this form because you are not 100% sure which clients are coming with you.  While this is understandable, it’s not a great excuse.  If a client stays with the old firm, we delete them from the list.  The earlier you can fill out this form, the quicker you can get to your documents.

Besides matching clients and matters, you will need to match document types that your old firm was using to document types of your new firm.

Old Doc Type New Document Type
Correspondence Correspondence
Emails Correspondence
Pleadings Pleadings
Attorney Notes Notes

Download our Document Type Translation Table

This is relatively straightforward; you will need to get a list of document types from your new firm and make sure that you can match it with document types from your old firm.  This is covered in sheet two of our firm transfer form.