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As fascinating as the practice of law can be, it is a profession rife with repetition. However, that fact also makes automation of many of the aspects of legal process management feasible. As an example, converting documents into flexible automated forms has a number of benefits for law offices.

What is Document Automation?

The process of creating automated templates for legal documents is referred to as legal document automation. Once produced, these templates enable the completion of legal forms simply by responding to a series of questions. Given the pertinent data, the automation software then generates the finished document.

This relieves attorneys of the tedium of creating a document from a blank screen each time they need to file a motion, draft a contract or the like. After all, the vast majority of the forms required for the legal profession are quite similar. Once a template is crafted, the next time something comes up in that area, generating the proper document becomes easier, faster and less prone to error.

Key Benefits of Legal Document Automation

Time Savings – As noted above, once the templates are created, the documents basically complete themselves after the pertinent information has been fed into the algorithm. Pointing, clicking and answering key questions are much faster than drafting a form from scratch each time. Further, the best automation software is capable of saving the finished documents based upon case numbers, which automatically keeps all documents associated with a particular case together.

Error Reduction – The existence of multiple iterations of contracts and various forms can easily lead to costly filing mistakes. Further, it can create a situation in which a single error gets replicated over many different forms. In such cases, the error may be caught in one document, but overlooked in another. Automation software can correct that error across the entire range of documents associated with a particular case with minimal human interaction.

Process Simplification – Using manual processes, the typical procedure for drafting a document is to locate one similar to the one being created to use as a template. Digging through filing cabinets to find these is both time-consuming and irksome. Moreover, lengthy searches of this type can contribute to process fatigue. Automation simplifies this process by eliminating the need to search for sample documents.

Make Training Easier – Standardization is key to operational efficiency, particularly when it comes to processes that must be conducted repeatedly. Having regular procedures in place simplifies the training of new people. Previously complicated tasks become much simpler with automation. An administer can be provided the relevant information and plug it into the software, which then creates the document.  This process can be taught quickly and effectively.

Frees Attorneys to be Attorneys – With the tedium of document creation removed from their list of tasks, attorneys can focus on performing more high-value work. This also provides a greater degree of flexibility when structuring fees. In situations in which cost is presented as a major impediment for a client, the office can have more leeway in that regard because less time is consumed crafting documents.

In Summary

Legal process management incorporating document automation holds the potential to make any law practice  less bogged down in minutiae. This can significantly reduce time costs, expenditures of effort and the financial costs of producing documentation. It can also help streamline workflows, which can make a law office run more smoothly and efficiently. For those who have yet to consider the introduction of automated processes into their practice, the time to do so has arrived.