In this post, we look at how legal document assembly software explicitly helps firms outpace their competition.
Become 12 x faster — would you do it?
If you could do anything 12 times faster and get the same results, would you do it? Imagine a:
- 5-minute workout delivering the same health benefits as 60 minutes of cardio
- Train that got you from London to Paris in 12 minutes instead of 2 hours and 15 minutes
- Flight that got you from LA to New York in 30 minutes instead of 5-1/2 hours
Now, what if the thing that you could do 12x faster delivered better results?
As in, a 5-minute workout burning even more calories. Or travel that got you there faster with more legroom and a customized cappuccino. Choosing the faster choice would be a no-brainer. That’s the impact of automating legal document assembly in your workplace.
Let’s look at an example of a pragmatic law firm that benchmarks its time savings by directly testing traditional, manual document management processes against legal document assembly software.
Automated legal document assembly vs. manual processes: the results
In their benchmarking exercise, the law firm used the traditional copy/paste/edit method to create a new document. It took them, on average, three hours with six errors in punctuation, spelling, omissions, or printing.
When they used a legal practice management solution equipped with automated legal document software to create that same document, the law firm testers completed the jobs in fifteen minutes and were 100% accurate.
Is faster always better? For legal document assembly; yes
Not everything in life is better faster. Most of us wish vacations lasted longer. Or that you had more time to finish the first cup of coffee in the morning. Or even that you could extend those moments of peace and quiet in your home or office. But for redundant practice management activities, saving time through document automation matters.
You could take that extra time to take extended vacations, lounge with that first cup longer, or even meditate for a few more minutes.
Benefits of document automation for law firms
Or you could simply enjoy the bottom-line benefits of incorporating automation in your firm. When you prepare support documents faster, you can file faster. You can settle cases more quickly. And you can better serve your client, thus increasing potential future business. 100% accuracy only strengthens your case.
The benefits don’t end there. Automated legal document assembly also makes it easier to train new employees. Support staff can feel more fulfilled by replacing low-skill tasks with higher-level, billable responsibilities. Plus, standardizing all company documents creates a consistency that helps the firm overall.
Combatting data security and leaks
Another benefit to legal document generation software you may not have considered is that it protects your documents from accidentally being shared with unintended parties. You can prevent data security breaches and leaks simply by adding passwords to confidential documents as a part of the automation process.
Why you should envy your competition
Nearly half of the law firms who are actively reworking and automating their work processes reported that doing so has significantly contributed to their firm’s performance. Law firms automating 100 tasks calculated a time savings of over three months of workdays in a year (69.4 days to be exact). Is there any other single action you can take to get back three months of error-free work this year? If not, it’s time to get automated.
Where to start with automated legal document assembly
First, you need to understand what legal document assembly is. It’s the process that allows you to pull information out of an existing database and drop critical pieces of information into a pre-made document template. It’s the automated version of cut-and-paste, without errors. No matter the legal case management software you use, there are four basic steps to creating new templates:
- Identify your preferred word processing program where you want to generate your templates
- Install the software’s toolbar or tool ribbon so you can create your templates
- Tell your software where your word processing program is on your computer
- Identify the path where all your document templates should be placed
Expect your document generation software to come with several preset templates that you can customize to align with your firm’s specific needs so that you don’t have to start from scratch.
The contract is just the beginning
Automated document assembly delivers much more than just cutting and pasting. It’s part of the entire process of how you handle communications in legal cases and matters. When you send a contract to a client, is there also a cover letter? Do you attach these items in an email? Imagine the process if you just had to say, “Hey, send that contract to the new client,” and your contract, letter, and email were all created and sent in moments. That’s the power of document assembly.
Make next time the last time
Imagine if the next time you prepared client documents by hand was the last time. And instead of preparing it for a specific client, you were preparing it for all future clients. That’s all you’d need to do to pivot to automated document assembly. Plus, you wouldn’t need to automate every kind of document all at once. You could automate documents as needed or on a schedule with a goal for the year. Either way, once you do it once, you’re done unless you decide to make changes.
Process your legal documents 12 times faster. Save 69 days of time. And then decide what to do with the time you get back.