We have many acronyms in the software business, but one of our favorites relates to a process, not a techno-flavor of the month. It’s the DRY principle, and it stands for Don’t Repeat Yourself. Legal document automation is one area that’s completely ripe for the DRY principle. Document automation allows lawyers to easily convert existing documents into flexible, automated forms which, in turn, helps them draft matter-specific documents with ease. This process can help a law firm provide services faster and more efficiently than ever before.
Many cloud-based legal practice management solutions (such as Rocket Matter) offer integrated document automation functionality. If you’re still not using some sort of document automation solution at your law firm, take a look at these six benefits of legal document automation below. You’ll see how this powerful functionality can help your law firm be more efficient and offer better client service.
1. Document Automation Saves You Time
Document automation enables lawyers to create documents up to 80% faster than if done manually. It’s much quicker to click a button and produce a document than it is to find a similar document, open it in Word®, save a copy to the right location, and copy the information you need into that document.
Document Assembly programs allow you to link to a CRM or database program and spit out copies of your legal documents, instantly merging them with the information you store in your database. So if, say, you’re already storing the docket number, address, and beneficiary information of your client, you can instantly create a new form with all of that data inserted in the right place.
2. Automation Reduces Errors
One of the biggest problems in software, as well as in legal services, is the consequence of error. So we go to great lengths not to screw up. That’s the main reason why you wanna embrace the DRY principle.
When you have multiple copies and versions of something, you create a situation in which you can easily propagate errors. Making matters worse, you might find an error and fix it in one location but not another.
In addition, when you’re not automating document creation but copying fields from a database to a document manually, you run the risk of introducing human error and screwing up your new doc. When this manual step is removed in favor of a computer-driven merge process, the risk for error is eliminated in the data transfer stage.
3. It Makes Life Easier
If you’re not using document assembly, most likely you’re digging through similar or sample files to locate something you can use for your new document. That takes energy and can be a royal pain. Not to mention if you believe the science behind decision fatigue, you’re really whittling away your willpower by constantly searching for sample documents and data to stuff into them.
Instead of constantly locating documents, generating new legal forms based on your defined templates eliminates the painful process of finding these samples and the information needed for them. It’s a one-step process, not a multi-step process, and gives your neurons and synapses a rest.
4. Document Automation Makes Training New Associates and Hires Easy
Anytime you standardize a repeatable process, you make it easier to bring on new hires. The worst position you want to find yourself in is with administrative staff holding proprietary knowledge over a business process.
Everything, from client intake to invoice creation, should be scriptable. And the creation of legal documents is a major part of that. When you embrace document generation with a tool like Rocket Matter, it’s clear how to create the subpoena, pleading, or notice of hearing. You can teach a new hire how to make one in an afternoon.
5. It Fits Into a Larger Philosophy of Efficient Workflow
Stepping back to a 50,000-foot view: If you’re an attorney committed to a paperless office, mobile computing, and other top-echelons of efficiency and business techniques, document assembly is part of that fabric and philosophy.
For those that have squeezed the last ounce of productivity from their law firms, but have NOT yet embraced document assembly, a big, brave frontier awaits exploration. It’s an area ripe for opportunities to save time and ultimately increase profits.
6. Document Automation Allows Lawyers to Perform More High-Value Work
By reducing the time spent on administrative tasks, you can focus more on actually practicing law and serving your clients. Document automation also gives lawyers the pricing flexibility to respond to clients’ pricing demands without hurting profitability. Lawyers can then employ fixed fees or lower rates without losing money.
By using document automation in conjunction with online client intake, lawyers can easily attract new clients and drive more business from existing clients. It’s truly a win-win situation for everyone involved.
Rocket Matter legal practice management gives you the document automation tools your firm needs to run a more efficient practice. Click the button below to schedule a free personalized demo today!