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Key prep steps for document automation

21-11-2022

Law firms are generally weary of legaltech. They tend to see adoption of new technology as a disruption. However, it does not have to be like that. To overcome the challenges of document automation, law firms should follow these two key recommendations:

1. Define team roles. Software implementation is a project. As with any other project, not having the right people in the right place at the right time may lead to project protraction and ultimately even failure.

Document automation team should have a project leader whose duty is to define an implementation plan and ensure timely delivery. The roles of lawyers and non-lawyers within the team should be clearly distinguished. The main role of lawyers should be to develop and equip documentary templates for automation in the software. This is an intellectual exercise that requires lawyers to draft best practice precedents for each type of legal document, foresee and properly mark variable clauses within the document and explain how they impact other clauses and insert know how guidance notes into the template. Automation exercise should begin only when the contents to be automated is properly prepared. For the automation, choose among your non-legal staff those with an engineering mind. They will do great and on top of that feel empowered with the new role they play for the organization.

2. Choose the right templates. Analyse your practices to determine where you use relatively standardized documentation. Employment and corporate law practices are usual suspects. Start the automation project with less complex documents.

If you start with most complex ones, you risk early-onset implementation fatigue. Most complex templates require most advanced automation skill, whereas the skill is naturally acquired and upgraded by practice. Furthermore, less complex templates are likely to be more frequently used, so if you start with those you will see the benefits of automation sooner.  

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Draftomat has been on the market for a year. We can help organizations with a tailor-made approach to their document automation.

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