Smart Documents and the Future of Legal Doc Automation for Firms
There are just over1.3 million attorneys actively practicing law in the United States. Every year more new lawyers pass the bar exam and begin practicing.
So how do you make your firm stand out and be more competitive? You look at ways to optimize your firm’s processes.
One way to do this is to start using smart documents. These intuitive and automated documents are the future of the legal industry.
Are you not using document automation yet? Not sure what it is? Keep reading, and we’ll get you caught up!
Client Demand Is Driving Change
Implementing change within your firm can be tough. People inherentlydon’t like change, and the larger your firm is, the harder it can be to change your well-established processes.
The problem is that change is necessary to keep up with your client’s changing needs and demands. If you don’t listen to your clients, they will move on to a firm that will.
In a world of instant gratification, your client’s want faster communication and document production. It will become increasingly more challenging to keep up with this demand if you continue to do everything manually.
The Legal Industry Is Slow Moving
Lawyers by nature are skeptical, which leads to slow adoption of new technology in the legal field. The other problem is the legal industry is not known for innovation. Some law firms have never changed their processes, operating under the same policies for decades.
The problem with this is that they are using clunky, outdated software. Or they are even more antiquated and performing tasks with paper and pen. Both of these options are time-consuming for everyone.
This can be seen with the adoption of the cloud in the legal industry. We have all used The Cloud in our personal lives for many years, yet the legal industry is just now considering this technology for firms.
What Is Automation in Law?
The vast majority of lawyers already use automation to a certain extent. There was a time when an attorney had to look up case law in physical books manually. When they found their case law, they then had to look in another set of books for any precedent cases.
This process has completely changed thanks to software such as LexisNexis and Westlaw. Both these programs automate and streamline the process of finding relevant case law.
The latest automation development is software that can automate the process of document creation. If you are already saving thousands of hours doing research, why not save hours creating documents?
You create templates of your documents, then create rules for the input of information. Then all you need to do is put in the right information, and the software does the rest.
Adoption Makes Your Firm Competitive
Since your peers don’t have a strong drive to innovate, you can quickly get ahead of the competition by embracing development in technology. By optimizing your firm’s processes, you can streamline the document creation process and free up time for other tasks.
When you reduce the time it takes you to create documents, you can return them to the client faster. You also have more time for client communication. Both of these things are in the top demands and expectation of clients.
Self Service Legal Sites
The other thing to think about is the rise inself-service legal websites. These sites offer individuals the ability to create their legal documents automatically. By automating your documents, you can stay competitive with these services.
When you produce all of your documents manually, your risk of human error is high. We don’t have to tell you about the importance of not making mistakes. You could lose a case based on a careless typo.
Mistakes and different formatting also makes your firm look unprofessional. Clients and other lawyers will notice your poorly formatted documents.
When you automate, you have one base template, so all versions of that document will look the same. You also only put the information in once, so you have less chance of mistakes, which will change how yourlaw office works.
The Cost Factor
When you reduce the amount of time it takes for document production, you reduce the cost of services. You increase the profitability of your firm this way.
You have more flexibility in your pricing. You also have the ability o do more work in the same amount of time. Follow up document creation is a matter of a few clicks since all of the information is already input.
The Future of Law and Technology
It’s no secret that Millennials are technology natives,nine out of ten of them own a smartphone. Because they grew up in a world of developing technology, they are more open to new technological developments.
As more Millennials graduate from law school and enter the working industry, we will begin to see an uptick in the adoption of technology such as document automation.
Start Using Smart Documents Today
Don’t follow the trend of the legal industry by being slow to adopt new technology. Instead, your firm can be a leader in the industry by utilizing the use of smart documents.
Your firm can then optimize your document creation processes. This will give your firm the ability to produce higher quality documents in a shorter period of time.
Clients will notice your ability to respond and professionalism of your legal documents. This will help you grow your practice, and since you’ve automated document production, you’ll be able to keep pace with the growth.