How to Save Time in the Legal Industry with Document Automation
February 14, 2023
The problem: more paperwork, less client time
For many attorneys, the paperwork isn't the most exciting part of the job, but it also makes up most of it. Even the most Microsoft Word-proficient legal professional, who may rely on pre-established templates provided by their legal practice, spends hours and hours each week filling out the same packet of forms for their clients. They may even use these templates multiple times for each stage of the client matter. Although these forms are undeniably crucial to the outcome of the case and can even determine whether or not a judge will hear the matter, repetition can take its toll. In addition to taking up valuable time, doing paperwork by hand can also open up your practice to errors in those papers caused by incorrect duplication of information, tiredness, or just plain boredom.
The solution: new tools that capitalize on what you already have
Document automation removes all of those worries. Rather than having to re-enter the same information into dozens of forms, document automation can capture all of the relevant data and output it accurately into a variety of those same templates that you often already have handy, as many times as you need. Using integrations with the practice's case management systems, document automation platforms can also push that gathered information into the system to be re-generated whenever needed, reducing the margin of error created by a slip of a key or an incorrectly copied piece of information. If a mistake happens, document automation also makes it easy to correct by editing entered information and re-outputting the forms with a button.
Document automation is not meant to replace your legal expertise but instead allows you to use your hard-earned experience and know-how in more flexible ways that work for you. By automating these processes through easily-accessible online platforms, you can take your legal practice on the go, allowing you and your clients the freedom to generate and sign forms anywhere. You can also dictate the rules for each automated workflow, so you only get the data and results you need, with dynamic outputs based on your client's information. Document automation is a tool that, if used correctly, can open your schedule to allow you to spend more meaningful time with your clients and your loved ones.
Document automation in the real world
Take, for example, HelloDivorce, which uses an attorney-supervised document automation process to expedite divorces in New York, California, Colorado, Texas, and Utah. Their workflows are attorney-designed and coordinated but allow clients to complete their divorces entirely online in around 1/3 of the time as the average divorce while spending around 1/10 the cost. HelloDivorce recently announced a seed investment of $3.25 million led by the Artemis Fund and is only continuing to grow.
Navigating Inheritance is another document automation project spearheaded by Resolve Estate Law in Queensland, Australia. Although the ins and outs of wills, trusts, and other aspects of estate law can frustrate many an attorney, much less a grieving client, Navigating Inheritance has used document automation to simplify and manage the process. By filling out a questionnaire and uploading a few documents, clients can receive a packet of all their documents needed for probate without any worries or headaches.
In addition, we recently helped law firms such as Klug Law Firm LLC, Coastal Legal Counsel, Bloom Law PLLC, and many more with projects that require the automation of documents.
Are you interested in seeing how a document automation platform might be your firm or practice's solution to a more efficient workplace and schedule? You don't have to explore the world of document automation alone. Check out our Document Automation Handbook for some pointers on which platform might be best for you and your practice. For more insights into legal technology, be sure to check out our other blog posts, follow A2J Tech on social media, or sign up for our newsletter!