How Do I Choose the Best Legal File Cabinet?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 12 March 2020
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When choosing a legal file cabinet, you should first ensure that the file cabinet dimensions are appropriate for legal-sized documents in your jurisdiction. You will also want to ensure that the cabinet is sturdy and secure and, if it will contain particularly sensitive documents, you may wish to ensure that it can be locked and that it is fireproof. Other things to consider are file cabinet sizes, including the number of drawers in each unit. You will want to make sure that the file cabinet is well constructed so that you can easily pull out drawers and access files without worrying about the drawers becoming stuck. Finally, it is important that you find a legal file cabinet that is affordable.

In many places, legal documents are often printed on paper that is longer than that used for many standard documents. In the United States, for example, a legal document is often printed on a page that is 14.75 inches (37.46 cm) in length. As many standard file cabinets can only accommodate documents that are 11.75 inches (29.84 cm)in length, storing legal documents either requires folding the document so that it can fit into a letter-sized folder or purchasing a legal file cabinet that has the room to store legal-sized documents. When reviewing file cabinet options, pay attention to the dimensions quoted for the individual drawers in a unit.


It is generally a good idea to actually visit a store showroom to examine a file cabinet or any other piece of office equipment before making a purchase. Also test the drawers to see how easily they glide in and out of the cabinet. If you believe that you will need more than one legal file cabinet, you may also be able to negotiate a better price on each unit, so speak to a salesperson about your budget and storage needs before committing to a purchase.

As legal documents often contain sensitive information, you may wish to take steps to ensure the security of all documents stored in your legal file cabinet. Your jurisdiction may have regulations or guidelines for this type of state storage, so you may wish to investigate these regulations or industry standards before making a purchase. Some legal file cabinets lock using a key system, and others may have additional security features, such as a bar lock, that can make it even more difficult for unauthorized persons to access the file cabinet's contents. It is also possible to purchase a legal file cabinet that is fire resistant and that can therefore protect the documents inside in case of a fire.



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