No Coding, No Problem: Document Automation with Patternbuilder
February 14, 2023
As you may have seen in our previous blogposts, Patternbuilder is one document automation solution that does not rely upon code, but rather an user-friendly series of dropdowns that makes it easy to build an app in minutes. But what is document automation? Legal document automation effectively solves endlessly repetitive, repeat-player, standard, or procedural forms. By relying on automation, lawyers and their teams regain the time they would have spent filling out those forms so that they can focus their attention on their clients instead. Not only is automation more time-efficient, but it can also be more accurate. Automation reduces human error in these forms, preventing the mistakes and typos that come from copying and pasting potentially sensitive information from one document to another.
Many legal professionals may think of document automation as intimidating or time-consuming to learn. But that's not necessarily true, and it's certainly not the case with Patternbuilder.
Patternbuilder is a non-coding, web-based, intuitive toolkit that can automate documents using its document automation feature. It can be picked up over the course of a few hours through the online guide or tutorials, after which you can be well on your way to constructing interviews for clients or fellow legal professionals and generating contracts, client representation agreements, notices of service, etc., with the information gathered. These interviews or questionnaires can be made public and shareable to even other legal professionals with a few clicks or kept private within firms by keeping the link exclusive.
Documents can be generated in editable .docx or printable .pdf formats and can include other attachments not generated with Patternbuilder. These documents can be emailed to addresses of the user's choosing or kept internally so you can reference that information later in your client records and save dynamically to clients' records or matters depending on your workspace and cabinet settings within NetDocuments. Document automation allows you to set yourself up for a successful and smooth representation of your client, ensuring that you make the most time out of any meetings you have with them.
"No-code," in this case, truly means "non-coding." Patternbuilder's graphical interface is easy to navigate, allowing you to customize and organize interviews as you see fit by dragging and dropping blocks into place or by selecting from different drop-down menus. If you can fill out an online form, you can easily make one, even without any prior programming background. If you like, you can connect your apps to pre-recorded videos of yourself explaining to clients and other users how to navigate the interview or what kind of information to input, adding a personalized touch.
Preparing documents means using either Patternbuilder's handy Microsoft Word add-in or online Word template builder. All you have to do is insert variables into blank spaces as needed to create your template. Because Patternbuilder also allows for conditional logic when generating documents, you can adjust your template so text can appear or change depending on the input. Patternbuilder's innovative formatting feature means document features like bullet lists or tables won't budge; the document will adjust automatically when it populates the document. This will ensure that those procedural posture court documents retain their proper formatting and minimize the editing required by paralegals, interns, or assistants. Automated documents can be as straightforward or as complex as you need them to be without having to go back and edit your interview accordingly. If edits to your interview are necessary, editing is just as simple as creating the original interview and done from the same portal on Patternbuilder's site. With Patternbuilder, document automation doesn't mean that the generated document will look formulaic – clients will still feel that personalized, tailored touch to their needs because one interview with one template can generate infinite variations of the same document.
On the user-facing side of things, these apps or interviews are similarly easy-to-use, look and feel modern, and even the visuals can be adjusted to best suit your practice's aesthetics with a variety of sleek color schemes and layouts. Patternbuilder's apps are mobile-friendly, so they can be used on the go, freeing up both you and your clients and adjusting to your schedules.
Even though Patternbuilder was designed to be simple to pick up quickly, they also have teams of experts that can either build projects out completely or help guide users through project-building. Just like Patternbuilder’s platform, the level of expert involvement is entirely customizable. We can automate the document or tutor you to ensure that you know how to automate your documents in the future. Document automation through Patternbuilder can open many doors for you and your practice, and our expert team can guide you through them. If you're looking for more Patternbuilder tips or document automation how-to's, keep following our blogposts and keep an eye out for our upcoming Udemy courses on several different document automation platforms, including Patternbuilder!