What is an Email Management System (EMS)?: How Attorneys Can Take Control of Their Inbox Part 1

The NetDocuments Team
Feb 21, 2020

With the average office worker receiving about 126 emails per day1 and employees requiring upwards of 20 minutes to regain momentum after an interruption2, emails can increasingly hinder – and not always help – productivity.  

When focusing on the legal profession, productivity challenges around email are often amplified as attorneys typically receive significantly more email communications than the average worker. Additionally, attorneys are required to file each email communication and associated attachments into project or matter files – adding to time spent away from critical tasks.

Luckily, email management systems (EMS) are here to help and can dramatically reduce the time attorneys spend in their inboxes.

In this three-part series, we’ll be exploring what email management is, why forward-thinking legal firms are adopting email management systems, and critical questions to ask when searching for an EMS.

What is an Email Management System (EMS)?

An EMS involves the systematic control of all email communications within an organization to mitigate the risk of a compliance or data breach. Using an EMS will help attorneys adhere to data policies while maximizing in-office time and ensuring they don’t lose track of important messages.

The Top 3 Features for Any EMS

While the features of an EMS depend on the specific system, there are several key features recommended to have with any vendor.  


Robust EMS, like ndMail, will provide necessary integrations with a firm’s document management system(DMS) in order to mirror the organization structure in the DMS to the email system. This ensures that emails and attachments can be easily filed in the correct locations and increases adherence to compliance and information governance policies across the firm.

Mobile Access

Cloud-hosted EMS solutions offer anywhere-access, making it possible for employees to search, access, and file emails no matter if they’re in the office, meeting with external stakeholders, or finishing up important tasks at home.

Powerful Integrations

An EMS should seamlessly integrate with the applications and tools your team is using as a whole, to enhance effective collaboration and smooth out any kinks in workflows.

With that in mind, EMS that integrate directly with attorney’s favorite tools, such as Microsoft’s Outlook and the DMS, allow the EMS to function as the connective tissue for critical platforms and attorney’s work.

Is an EMS Right for Your Firm?

Legal teams of all types can – and should – look into overhauling their traditional email setups in favor of a system that can provide productivity enhancements for attorneys.  

Small-Medium Firms

Small firms benefit from the ability to build complete digital matter files without adding to daily workflows. EMS also improve the speed and efficiency of onboarding new attorneys, free up space on email servers as the firm grows, and save precious time as attorneys tend to client needs.  

Large Firms

EMS provide large firms with a variety of benefits. In addition to the time savings and efficiency enhancements, an EMS makes it easy for attorneys and their staff to follow compliance policies and keep everything organized in a central location no matter where they are in the world—a huge boon when it comes to keeping track of both large-scale and minute details across multiple offices.

Corporate Legal Teams

Corporate attorneys are constantly challenged to become more of true legal generalists – which means they’re working on a variety of unrelated projects with internal and external stakeholders alike – leading to incredible influxes of email.

An EMS provides in-house attorneys with a smooth way to keep everything organized, filed, and moving along as they continue to wrangle their workloads.

Ready to dive deeper into email management? Stay tuned for part two of this three-part series next week and in the meantime, be sure to download the new Definitive Guide to Email Management.

If you’re ready to say goodbye to a full inbox, schedule a 15-minute demo of ndMail and experience the productivity enhancements for yourself.

1Source: The Radicati Group, Email Statistics Report, 2015-2019, 2019

2Source: University of California, Irvine; No Task Left Behind? Examining the Nature of Fragmented Work, 2005

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