How to Be a Better Lawyer: The Benefits of Document Assembly
Did you ever think that using document assembly software would make you a better lawyer? Document assembly has long been a standard in the legal industry, but many lawyers still resist incorporating the technology into their practices.
We recently discovered a great article for lawyers about the benefits of document assembly, written by Tom Schoolcraft as part of the May 5, 2011 issue of TechnoLawyer’s Answers to Questions.
Here are some of the highlights of Schoolcraft’s article:
There are several advantages a good document assembly system has over the word processor, including:
1. All client and case information is saved and reused as needed for future documents. This saves data entry time and reduces errors that result from repetitively keying the same information. Enter the data correctly the first time and it will be correct in every subsequent document.
2. Each document begins as a clean document so there is no chance that irrelevant language from a previous case will be accidently included in the new document.
3. Forms are kept current automatically, so there is no need to spend time manually updating them as legislation, case law or agency changes dictate.
And, here is a benefit our customers told us about that simply floored us:
Document assembly software can make you a better lawyer. A typical document is 80%, or more, standard boilerplate. But a major portion of the document assembly time is spent on that boilerplate. Document assembly software enables you to plow through the boilerplate in a fraction of the time. This leaves much more time for you to focus on the actual legal points of the case– what you are really being paid to do.
For a new firm, it is tempting to avoid adding costs such as document assembly software to your overhead. However, consider that many attorneys report that it enables them to practice without a legal assistant until the firm revenue warrants hiring one. Additionally, the time savings from document assembly may enable you to spend more time on rain-making so you can comfortably, and more quickly, afford that support person.
HotDocs is the recognized global leader in document assembly software, with over 1,000,000 users worldwide, including 80% of the AM LAW 200. Solutions range from small solo practitioners to company-wide access across multiple locations. Click here to find out how many law firms use HotDocs in their practice.
TechnoLawyer is an excellent and free resource about legal technology. If you are not subscribed to their newsletter, you can do so at www.technolawyer.com. There, you can also access the archives and search for articles on any particular topic, including document assembly.