Things to Consider with Document Automation for Law Firms
Document automation for law firms can have multiple objectives for legal practices. We see them as opportunities for your law firm to be smarter about both data collection and file velocity. Typically when we work with law firms on document automation, here are some other things they consider.
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What is Law Firm Document Automation?
Legal practice is changing rapidly. Not only is the landscape becoming more competitive, but legal consumers are more educated on what their objectives are in seeking legal intervention and in doing so, conscious of both legal costs and whether or not a traditional response to their legal issue is in fact the best.
In this context, as legal consumer habits are influenced by the array of smart technology that interfaces with them daily, be it in the guise of banking, insurance, fintech and even telemedicine, they come to legal services with similar expectations. For example, they not only want to book an appointment online with your lawyer, but they also want that meeting to occur via video-conference, possibly after hours and they want to hear from you on potentially your firm’s commoditised services that give them fixed fee certainty. There are of course a myriad of other examples where legal consumers want a much more technology-driven solution to their legal challenge.
With this being said, document automation for law firms is essentially automating the process of creating various types of documents, at scale. The process works by pulling data and text from a variety of sources and inserting it into predefined areas of document templates or precedents.
How is Law Firm Document Automation Done?
Up until 2 years ago, document automation for law firms was largely facilitated by a very small number of document automation software platforms. Now of course there are literally thousands of document automation software platforms for law firms to choose from. Thew majority of these solutions will allow your law firm to generate automated documents and their flow from word or pdf documents. The process of building the stack of automated sequences is still somewhat tedious, enter a bunch of start-ups that offer ready to integrate document automation for law firms.
Things to Consider Before Document Automation
If your law firm is considering document automation, being focused on the benefits from a client-facing perspective is a great place to start. In other words, if your law firm is considering document automation, your client’s objectives are far more important than your law firms at this stage, as they will be the primary drivers of whether or not automation will be successful in your law firm.
In this context, we recommend at the outset considering a design-thinking sprint to understand more fully the law firm’s objectives and the potential interplay with clients who will use the service. Having a small, select group of clients involved early on in the design-thinking process can be incredibly useful.
At Fast Firms, we recently designed and developed for a law firm a portal for real estate agents to access special conditions, among other things. The objective of the law firm in doing this work was largely about creating an ecosystem for agents that kept them close to the law firm and engendered a good degree of loyalty from them. The platform has been successful primarily because of the design-thinking methodology that was applied, including having agents involved in the early iterations of the prototyping.
How Can Fast Firms Help Your Law Firm
At Fast Firms, not only have we used multiple platforms for document automation, but we have experience in assisting law firms to identify the key objectives through a design-thinking strategy, then through the various steps of protyping through to full deployment of the technology.