A Guide to Legal Document Automation for Lawyers

Document Automation

Legal document automation isn’t anything new. Over the past decade, an increasing number of law firms and legal departments have embraced it to improve efficiencies.

Lawyers have always overseen the legal documents essential to business operations. They also oversee repetitive processes that eat into lawyers’ valuable time.

Though the legal industry has sometimes been slow to change, it’s constantly evolving. Document automation software is a part of that. And with the advent of generative AI, it’s taken some big steps forward.

But where should you start? While document automation can deliver a lot of benefits — notably, greater speed, greater efficiency, and lower costs — how can lawyers realise those benefits?

In this guide, we’ll explain what legal document automation is, what the benefits are when using it, and uncover what you need to look out for when buying legal document automation software.

Legal Document automation refers to the use of technology to automate the document generation process from request to drafting to eSignature.

In the past, lawyers and in-house legal professionals a huge chunk of their working week drafting repetitive legal documents — like NDAs and contracts.

Legal document automation helps legal teams save time by automating the drafting of routine documents and removing errors with automated, standardized templates. It also enables them to track and analyze the most frequently requested documents to make better decisions on workload, risk areas in the business, and where to invest resources.

For law firms, by speeding up these repetitive processes, lawyers also have more time to build stronger client relationships that ultimately improve the bottom line in the long term.

Legal document automation vs legal document management

Searching for legal tech can be difficult these days. With so many different options, all with slightly different naming conventions, things can get a little confusing.

In short, legal document management software enables you to centrally store and manage your legal documents. It was the first step on the path of digital transformation for many legal teams, replacing filing cabinets and email chains with software as a central document repository.

Legal document automation goes one step further. It enables legal teams to automate the entire document automation process. This includes automatically creating legal documents and templates like NDAs and contracts, to tracking and analyzing trends in how the business uses legal documents.

The benefits of using legal document automation software

It saves you time

Legal document automation software significantly saves time by automating repetitive tasks, streamlining workflows, and reducing errors.

Legal document automation software automates the generation of frequently used documents, which reduces the time traditionally spent on manual drafting.

Additionally, it simplifies complex workflows by automating the creation, review, and approval processes, ensuring that tasks are completed more quickly and efficiently.

By utilizing pre-defined templates and standardized language, the software minimizes human errors, which further saves time that would otherwise be spent on corrections.

Improves collaboration

Legal document automation software allows you to improve collaboration within, and beyond legal teams.

Legal document automation tools allow you to collaborate with teams in various locations, whether they are in the same office or in a different time zone.

Electronic documents enhance the efficiency of how people interact and collaborate online, which drives productivity.

It saves your organization money

The financial benefits of using legal document automation software are substantial. By automating many of the manual tasks associated with document creation, the need for extensive manual labor is decreased, leading to lower staffing costs.

It also reduces the risk of costly legal mistakes and related financial penalties by ensuring documents are accurate and compliant with regulatory standards.

The time saved allows legal professionals to focus on higher-value tasks, optimizing the use of organizational resources and further reducing costs.

Enhances client service

For law firms, client service is enhanced through faster turnaround times. Legal document automation software enables quicker document creation and processing, which improves client satisfaction by meeting their needs more promptly.

The ability to create customized templates tailored to specific client requirements adds a level of personalization and professionalism to the services offered.

Core features of document automation software

On a technical level, some key criteria are essential to any document automation software.

In a recent document automation webinar with Max Paterson, he shared those you should look out for when assessing the options on the market.

  1. Data Handling: The ability to bring in, push, store, and create data.
  2. Conditional Logic: Incorporating conditional logic in documents, such as clauses that vary based on specific conditions.
  3. Formulas: Using formulas for calculations within documents.
  4. Loops and Repeats: Reusing information multiple times without burdening the end-user.
  5. Document Sets: Creating multiple documents from individual responses.

These are necessary technical elements, features and functionality that should be the baseline of any robust document automation solution.

But if you want to make sure you’re buying a solution at the cutting edge in the document automation space, you’ll want to ensure you also have the following.

Fast document creation

Speed is crucial when it comes to document automation. Your document automation solution should allow you to generate documents quickly without sacrificing quality or accuracy. The most advanced solutions also use AI document automation to significantly enhance productivity and streamline workflows.

Integration with eSignature tools

A modern document automation tool should seamlessly integrate with eSignature solutions like DocuSign, making it easy to sign documents electronically. This integration not only saves time but also enhances the convenience and security of the signing process.

Lets you access your documents remotely

In today’s world, remote access to documents is a must. Whether you’re working from home or on the go, your document automation software should allow you to access, edit, and manage your documents from anywhere, ensuring flexibility and continuous productivity.

Sync, share, and track documents easily

Collaboration is key in any business setting. Your document automation tool should enable easy synchronization, sharing, and tracking of documents. This feature ensures that all stakeholders are on the same page and can monitor the progress and changes in real time.

Enterprise-grade security

In legal, security cannot be compromised. Your document automation software must provide enterprise-grade security features, including encryption, secure access controls, and compliance with industry standards, to protect sensitive information and maintain confidentiality.

Read: BRYTER leads on completeness of document automation features

Document Automation Use Cases

Employment Contract Generator

HR automation tools can produce an employment contract compliant with all applicable laws and business rules. If an organization wishes to hire people in a new market, the legal team will simply assess the hiring’s “logic.”

The legal staff would then not have to review each contract once the recruiting process began. Instead, the new employee would fill in the details of their job and where they live.

Our Employment Contract Template Generator would then generate contracts in accordance with local legislation, have workers sign them, and securely store them in the employee records folder.

NDA Generator

The NDA Generator allows businesses to quickly, transparently, and legally generate NDAs.

It takes the place of Microsoft Word-based processes and allows users to tailor the agreement to their requirements.

By decreasing the number of requests for NDAs received by the legal department and offering a self-serve option for business users, the technology saves time for both the legal department and business users.

To guarantee compliance with legal and internal standards, the legal department retains complete control over the generated NDA content.

Embrace legal document automation with BRYTER

Embracing legal document automation is not just about keeping up with technology but about transforming the way legal teams operate. By implementing advanced automation solutions, legal professionals can save time, reduce costs, and improve overall efficiency.

From generating NDAs and employment contracts, to enhancing client service and collaboration, the benefits are substantial. Start leveraging document automation today to streamline your processes and focus on what truly matters – delivering exceptional legal services.

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