How firms can leverage their existing work product and increase profits
The legal landscape is changing. Lawyers are under increasing pressure from clients to produce more for less. And if you cannot deliver with the speed and efficiency your clients expect, they may not be your clients for long.
So, what can firms do to adapt? There is one clear solution: To remain competitive and profitable, successful firms must discover new and innovative ways to streamline operations and increase productivity. And the simplest way for firms to achieve this goal is by leveraging their most valuable asset: their extensive legal knowledge and know-how.
Lawyers routinely draft various documents for their clients. And they continually repurpose and refine the content when similar client needs arise. Over time, these documents evolve into the firm’s gold standard for their intended purpose and reach a point where they only need the slightest of alterations to be ready for use in the next matter. These exemplar documents can be used repeatedly and allow the firm to complete the same high-value task in a fraction of the time.
The brain drain conundrum
Historically, lawyers have spent a significant percentage of their time researching and drafting contracts and other types of legal documents. While more experienced lawyers often possess the knowledge needed to produce these documents relatively quickly, newer associates often struggle – spending an excessive amount of time and effort drafting documents from scratch or trying to cobble something together by copying and pasting from similar documents. Firms that operate under this arcane business model are constantly draining rather than filling up their firm’s reservoir of cumulative knowledge.
To increase efficiency and profitability, many forward-thinking law firms are taking steps to address how to leverage their lawyers’ knowledge and know-how. One of the easiest and most effective means for accomplishing this is to invest in document automation technology.
The basics and benefits of document automation
Utilizing questionnaires and cross-reference capabilities, document automation technology increases the ease and speed with which lawyers can produce even the most detailed contracts and legal documents. Additionally, robust compliance and relevancy tools can help ensure that the documents lawyers draft are accurate and complete, every time.
Using firm-created templates, lawyers can access and edit a wide range of legal documents, depending on their specific needs. And even better, they can do it in mere minutes. It’s important to note, however, that not all document automation technologies deliver the same quantity or quality of capabilities, and firms must, therefore, be prudent when selecting an automation technology in which to invest.
By harnessing the various capabilities of document automation technology, law firms can capitalize on the knowledge and know-how of their more experienced lawyers and reduce the amount of time newer lawyers spend on mundane tasks associated with document research and production. In turn, all lawyers are afforded the time and mental capacity needed to work on more complex and rewarding tasks. This ultimately provides more opportunities for a firm’s business to grow and expand – thereby improving the firm’s bottom line.