Studies have shown that employees are only productive for three hours a day. When the study looked at the work week as a whole, average productivity was even less. Workers are effective for just 12.5 hours per week.
One of the biggest reasons found for lack of productivity was time spent in meetings. But particularly in the law profession, meetings are crucial. They are necessary for good client relations and a cohesive working environment.
Where then, can law firms save their employees time? Automated documents hold the answer.
No matter where someone sits in the hierarchy, they need to spend time drafting documents. What if that time could be significantly reduced?
Legal document automation is nothing new. But the latest technology makes it more effective than ever.
For your firm to truly thrive, its software needs three key modern elements. These are: guided intake, reuse of information, and multiple document creation.
Simple as these sound, only the best software gets them right. When these processes are optimized to work together, they save countless hours. Here is our guide to these three crucial automation elements, and how they change the game.
1. Guided Intake
The first key to more effective document automation is guided intake. Simply put, this means the software guides users through information input.
This key principle of automation is lacking in much automation software. Instead, they focus on streamlining replication and storing information for later use.
But automation isn’t just about making the process faster. The process needs to become more effective and accurate.
That’s why intake processes need to be improved upon. Instead of leaving users to their own devices, the software should make completing legal documents easier. And it should help to avoid errors.
For example, some systems use a specific question and answer format so that users input the exact information required of them. Adding long, clear questions to the documents themselves is out of the question. But document automation software can use these questions to gather the information that has to be entered into the document.
This added level of clarity improves the accuracy of legal documents. Users aren’t left guessing how much information they should be adding. The question and answer software makes it explicitly clear.
The key is that this doesn’t translate into a wordy document. Instead, the software adds the garnered information into the succinct document. But the process is user-friendly enough that no one is left confused by a succinct document to begin with.
Using Question and Answer to Create Automated Documents
Intake automation isn’t limited to filling in legal forms. It can be used to create them in the first place.
For example, imagine a junior associate needs to create a complex client document. There’s no need for them to consult their colleagues for advice. They can use the automation software to create a perfect version of the document.
Filling out the questions the software gives will identify which document they need. It will then pull up the best possible version of that document.
No longer do staff have to create legal documents from scratch. Instead, the software hands them what they need.
This element has many specific benefits.
Guided Intake Saves Time
First of all, it is a huge time saver. All the man hours across the firm usually spent drafting documents are now available. That gives staff more time for high-value work.
More time for high-value work leads to better productivity and client relations. This then contributes to a firm’s reputation and overall profits and success.
Guided Intake Facilitates Knowledge Sharing
Secondly, it allows for knowledge sharing.
Knowledge sharing is a powerful strategy. It allows even entry-level employees to benefit from the experience and expertise of partners. But it doesn’t have to be a strategy that requires a partner to lecture their associates in a meeting room.
Rather, automation presents employees with the best possible version of a client document. Then they are already learning from the experience of the partners.
They benefit from combined decades of knowledge. This leads to better client work, more accurate documents, and faster-learning employees.
They don’t have to learn these techniques through trial and error. Partners don’t guard their methods competitively to get ahead. Instead, everyone’s work improves.
And a higher standard of legal documents is one of the most powerful tools a law firm can have.
2. Reusing Information
One of legal automation’s best-known tricks is time-saving by storing data sets. What does that mean?
When a document is filled out on the system, the automation software saves the data. Then that data used throughout all of your documents.
In addition to repurposing general information throughout your legal documents, Knackly gives you the ability to reuse information of people with different roles. For example, a family member who is also an executor.
Every time that staff have to manually enter client data is a thing of the past. The intelligent software populates your documents with client details to save countless hours.
The software stores more than basic client data. It stores all data to do with your clients. Anything they have provided you with in the past is accessible on the system to save you time in future.
3. Produce Multiple Automated Documents at Once
Automated data intake and document populating are two very powerful tools. But the third key to maximizing your productivity combines these two strategies. Therefore, it can produce multiple documents at once.
If you have ever wished for client information to be transferred straight to a document, this is for you. The best legal automation software allows your clients to fill out their own information in an online form. From there, it directly populates a document.
There’s no need for a manual transfer of data!
Even better – your clients can do so from anywhere. With software like External Intakes, clients can submit their data from any device. That includes PCs, MACs, tablets, and other mobile devices like smartphones.
But how does this generate multiple documents?
Combining guided intake with data reusing capabilities, client data can populate limitless documents. This isn’t the same as a quick copy and paste between contracts. This is a fully automated document population across your entire workflow.
When clients use the power of automating multiple document creation, the benefits are immediate. On their own, the previous two key points contribute to time saving and accuracy. But when this is applied firm-wide, the hours saved are exponential.
Document Accuracy Firm-Wide
On top of that, your documentation becomes more accurate.
When documentation is all created, populated, and replicated automatically, there’s no human error. There is barely any need for human data entry.
All document templates are also pre-approved and checked for accuracy. Law firms can choose whether to use standard documents that come with the software or write and upload their own. Either way, it only has to be checked once.
Rather than each documented being uniquely created for your clients, they’re all ready to go and error-free.
Of course, it’s still best practice to proofread a document. But that takes hours less than creating and triple checking one each time you need it.
Once your system is up and running, your pre-approved documents are always ready to go. They are always accurate. And they are automatically populated and replicated when needed.
Talk to Automated Documents Experts
Automated documents are nothing new. But like all software, it needs to keep up with the times.
That doesn’t mean software should be flashy and full of gimmicks. Rather, it should be constantly evolving in a robust and practical way. Each update should have a measurable impact on your workload.
That’s why we designed Knackly. We wanted to work with software that could handle any workload you throw at it. At the same time, it keeps you at the forefront of automation technology.
Schedule a demo of our software today to see just how powerful it can be.