Document Assembly Software for Lawyers
The last 25 years have seen a profound change in the way legal documents are created. Oddly enough, even with the advances made in legal technology there are thousands of law firms that still cut and paste. While they have the necessary computer horsepower and resources available, they are not leveraging the power of legal document assembly systems.
Why Law Firm Document Automation is Important
The next 25 years will hold some unfortunate surprises for firms that fail to keep up with technology trends. With the help of legal document assembly software, competitors will be doing the same work in a fraction of the time without any errors. They will have 10 error free jobs done while your attorneys are cutting and pasting their way to their next mistake.
Commoditization of legal forms is an eventuality. At some point in your career, the paper you create will not be the source of the revenue you generate. If you can leverage legal document automation software to quickly and simply assemble all your documents in seconds, then you’ve just saved thousands of hours of billable time. Time that can be better spent providing clients with the legal advice and strategies they need.
Getting Started with Legal Document Assembly Software
There are three common ways to approach document automation:
1. Program your own templates using document assembly software
Using legal document automation software to prepare templates saves a ton of time. If the form takes 10 minutes to prepare without document assembly, it will take 1 minute or less with. By the time you have created form 100 times you saved 15 hours. Multiply that by the number of forms you have programmed, and the time savings becomes staggering.
Once you program a form once, you reap the time-saving benefits for the rest of your career.
More often than not, document assembly software allows your to prepare workflows that used to take hours in a matter of minutes, so the actual time savings are usually much greater, and over time, add up to weeks and months worth
2. Hire a consultant to program your processes
Not every firm is able to develop their own templates. There are knowledgeable consultants who can develop a document automation system for your office which will result in similar time savings.
3. Buy a preconfigured platform
Invest in a legal document assembly product that has customizations for various practice areas and jurisdictions that work out of the box. When you purchase a well-done document automation product it literally pays for itself on the very first use.
Benefits of Document Assembly & Automation
Legal document assembly software enables standardization of workflows, and in time, becomes an integral part of a truly paperless office.
Document assembly is as easy as filling in the blanks in interviews and selecting the forms and documents you wish to create. Document automation allows you to mine information collected in a database into the forms and documents with simple mouse clicks.
The few minutes it takes to complete most assemblies is often less time than it took to find the precedents you were going to use to cut and paste. For many complex jobs, it will take more time to manually print and stuff into envelopes than it will to do the same job with document automation — and there are no cut and paste errors.
Prepare your law firm for the future. Don’t get left in the dust by the competition that’s leveraging document assembly and automation systems.
Based in Albany, NY, David Brickman has been licensed for 30+years and handles cases in litigation; business and real estate transactions; probate; and family law.