What is document automation?
Simply put these are systems that automatically create new electronic documents by using text and data you already have. This is useful for letters such as cease and desist requests or simple contracts.
Using document automation amongst lawyers has become more and more popular over the years. The market for available software has grown considerably too. The most powerful automation software can seamlessly make documents of over a hundred pages. In general, they need minimal human proofreading.
Why is document automation as a lawyer important?
The most useful aspect for an attorney to use document automation is time-saving. In the field, it used for general tasks like minimizing tedious and repetitive tasks like data entry. Additional benefits are financial and ecological savings in paper handling, storage, and waste.
In legal services in particular this technology has been a success. In particular, in fields like employment contracts, this has been a great tool. The software, in general, works with a decision tree. The lawyer using the document automation software simply picks the applicable option from a list, prompting another list. The process is repeated until a customized contract is made.
While this technology is not perfect, it does save a lot of time. Even less experienced lawyers will easily be able to proofread and check for any inaccuracies.
What are the numbers?
Software on the market today promises an increase in executing contracts anywhere from 60 to 90% percent faster. Others don´t give percentage but state that you can make complex legal contracts in minutes instead of hours. Good trustworthy computer programs for lawyers do come at a price, however. We at The Best of Legal Tech have done a small poll of 20 companies to see their pricing and found numbers going from $560 dollars a year all the way up to $4500.
Using document automation software for attorneys and law firms is highly recommended. Even when you do not use the actual output of the program it does help to have a fast first draft for your clients to look at, or when you are nearing a deadline. The technology shines in standard contracts that are more or less the same. Rental agreements, Non-competes, and labor agreements are the most common and most recommended contracts to automate.