The Hesitancy of Adopting Technology
Corporate legal professionals have been performing the same tasks using the same workflows for decades. Even though the adoption of technology such as email, fax and applications like Microsoft Word have undoubtedly helped with productivity and efficiency across many professional sectors, law firms tend to be skeptical around the adoption of new and emerging technology.
Closing deals manually is undeniably time consuming. And even more – it is severely error-prone. According to the American Bar Association, legal professionals have up to a 17% chance of being sued each year due to mistakes. However, by using software that offers document automation, the risk of error can be reduced to virtually 0%.
Document automation is a workflow that assists in the creation of electronic documents. Software that offers document automation takes pre-existing template documents and/or data, inserts the details that change from transaction to transaction, and assembles a new document with those new details – which results in minimal effort for the user in creating documents.
The Benefits of Document Automation
According to the Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, lawyers spend around 10 hours per week on non-billable administrative work. It’s simple: time is money – and with less time being spent on redundant, manual, soul-crushing labor – your firm’s people can use their time more productively.
Using the same Thomson Reuters study from above, if lawyers spend about 10 hours a week on non-billable tasks, at an average blended hourly rate of $425, firms are losing almost $225,000 per lawyer per year in potential revenue. This means that even a small firm of only a handful of lawyers is missing out on hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars annually.
As mentioned above, it can be easy to make a mistake when manually drafting documents. With document automation, instead of manually going through hundreds of documents and swapping out each and every detail, you now only have to do it once and the document automation system does the rest. As a result, the chance of making a costly error is substantially reduced (or even eliminated).
Being a legal professional has many benefits – and advocating for your clients is at the top of the list. However, few legal professionals enjoy the time spent on the redundant parts of the job that involve completing non-substantive details in documents, reviewing, editing, and saving legal documents. With the adoption of document automation, the soul-crushing part of your job is eliminated, giving you more career satisfaction.
With such tedious, time consuming manual processes, it can take even the most experienced legal professional significant time to complete all the documents included in a deal. This is why many new legal professionals can find the traditional way of drafting documents too cumbersome, resulting in employee churn. A 2021 survey of associates by The American Lawyer found that 60% of respondents said that they would leave their firm for a better work-life balance. Document automation reduces the time the legal professional must spend on simple tasks that do not require their expertise and leads to dissatisfaction in their work day.
We know that having automated processes in place can help with employee retention. However, employees leaving your firm is inevitable – and when that employee is leaving they rarely have the time to train a new employee how to do their work as the new employee has likely not been onboarded yet. With document automation, drafting documents is intuitive and easy to learn and can be part of your onboarding process.
If your firm is considering implementing document automation, it is likely that innovative technology solutions are at the forefront of your firm’s strategic objectives.. Less than 20 years ago, most law firms were still completing deals with pen & paper, fax, filing cabinets and deal rooms. Now, according to Clio’s 2020 Legal Trends Report, over 79% of law firms are storing firm data in the cloud. In order to stay ahead, becoming a modern, flexible law firm is imperative.
Clients are more sophisticated and are demanding value added services from their law firms, which includes both costs and delivery certainty. Furthermore, many tasks that are seen as ‘administrative’ are no longer willing to be paid for by clients (and some clients refuse to pay for the work of junior lawyers). By delivering efficiencies, better accuracy, transparency and collaboration, law firms are delivering more for less—and client satisfaction and retention is on the increase.
dealcloser is a transaction management solution that offers a large suite of features that will help corporate legal professionals transform the way they close deals. This includes custom-built e-signature solutions, cloud document storage, easy collaboration, one-click closing binders and more.
Recently, dealcloser announced its Zero Effort Deals™ initiative, powered by a complete document automation system built into the overall platform. This cutting-edge system allows our users to draft documents with minimal effort and with zero mistakes, enhancing the Complete M&A Experience. With document automation, firms save valuable time and earn more revenue – all without leaving the dealcloser platform.
With dealcloser’s document automation system, legal professionals can complete a full deal and know with confidence that they haven’t made any mistakes. Each time document automation is used, the documents are generated from template Microsoft Word documents that you can ensure are perfect.
dealcloser’s application empowers legal professionals to complete hundreds of documents in minutes. Enter the details once and we will generate all of the documents for you. Did the closing date change? No problem, update the input and dealcloser will enter in the new date in every single place in every single document.
dealcloser will generate your documents for you, set them up for signature automatically, and distribute them to your firm’s clients. All the user needs to do is sit back and watch the signatures come in – no effort required.
Interested in seeing dealcloser’s Document Automation feature up close and personal? Book a tailored demo with one of our Account Executives to get started.
[ Artificial Lawyer is proud to bring you this sponsored thought leadership article by dealcloser. ]