Form letters, court motions, and pleadings – oh my! For many legal professionals, manual document management is just a part of life. Fortunately, it’s possible to save time and improve your services through document automation! Document automation allows you to seamlessly populate client information into the appropriate fields in forms and letters.

Whether you’re brand new to document automation or simply searching for an alternative software, we’ve created this guide to help you find the solution that works best for you.

The Basics of Document Automation

Using document automation, legal professionals can eliminate the need to manually input information such as the name and address of your client, key dates, and details about the opposing party. Your software should be able to quickly prepare common/routine legal documents and export that information into a PDF or Word document within seconds. It should also be capable of small customizations like remembering client pronouns and other grammatical details. Furthermore, a good document automation software should enable you to collect electronic signatures without the expense and hassle of mailing physical documents.

Systems that Elevate Your Law Firm

Implementing a document automation system is one of the biggest steps that a lawyer can take to improve their practice and optimize workflow. While the standalone advantages are undeniable, to maximize the benefits you’ll want to integrate the service with your document management system and project management tools. Look for a program that will allow you to pull information directly from your existing client database.

Using a document management system will ensure that your files are secure, organized and easily accessible for edits and sharing. It should also easily update the files based on changes made by your clients or co-counsel. Combining automation with practice management software can even help you track and bill for all the time you’ve spent on a particular matter. Ideally, you’ll be able to associate certain documents or folders with a client identifier in your billing system.

Improvements Through Integration

Although many of the services we’ve discussed in this article are capable of direct integration, you may find that you’d like to use two separate programs that don’t natively “communicate” with each other. To overcome that obstacle, consider workflow automation tools like Zapier and PieSync. These applications help you make up for shortcomings or missing features by configuring new automated processes that wouldn’t be possible to create using just the provided features of your software.

Final Thoughts

Poor document management can lead to breakdowns in communication, while ineffective document automation could result in your filings being rejected by the court. You deserve a solution that allows you to track changes, search for keywords, collaborate remotely and seamlessly populate relevant client information – all within the same secure document repository.

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