Have you looked at your fee agreement lately? Does it include your document retention policy?
A clear and concise document retention policy will let your clients know how long they can expect their lawyer to keep their documents. If you do not inform your clients about your policy then you may be stuck with maintaining client files for a long time. Ethics Opinion 15-02 makes clear that clients are entitled to their file at the end of the representation. But, that does not necessarily mean that you have to keep all of your client files available indefinitely. The length of time that you should retain your clients files after the conclusion of the representation may vary based on the practice area. You should also consult your malpractice insurance provider in case they have a proscribed length of time that you are required to keep client files to be covered.
If you are not sure what your document retention policy should say, never fear! We have a sample available along with sample fee agreements and numerous other handy forms. Practice 2.0 also offers a free review of your fee agreement.