Document Automation: 5 Ways To Boost Your Legal Team’s Efficiency
Meet Jessica. She leads the legal team at a popular real estate firm. Her team is hardworking and dedicated - but she’s noted their performance has been faltering as of late. With heavier workloads, the team clearly wasn’t working as efficiently as they could be.
Each day they’d spend hours drafting complex contracts by hand, tediously copying and pasting clauses and explaining contracts to different parties. There were communication breakdowns due to poor collaboration between colleagues - and even some contract errors. For Jessica, it was evident: the legal team was placing all their energy into drafting legal documents, instead of supporting the real estate firm to really thrive.So, she opted for legal technology and introduced a cloud-based document automation software - designed to leverage digital signatures, automated and dynamic forms, and real-time analytics to keep track of all the information the team needs.
Wondering, how will this help to boost her legal team’s efficiency and improve the legal project management in her firm? Let’s find out:
Save time and boost productivity
For Jessica's legal team, going through templates clause by clause to add or remove information can be repetitive, uninspiring, and take up hours of unnecessary time. Automated document creation, on the contrary, can empower both legal teams and clients to use dynamic forms to input all the data needed within just a few minutes.
Document automation software also features digital signatures, eliminating the need for all parties involved to print, sign, scan, and send paper documents all over again. This streamlines the whole process to get contracts signed quicker, which you guessed it - translates into more business deals. Notably, we found businesses using digital signatures complete contracts 91 percent faster.
Of course, all this time-saving leads to real business benefits. According to our data, a big law firm that leverages document automation software can save about 13,200 hours annually, resulting in €307,200 away.
A legal team that spends less time on tedious contract creation is also bound to be more efficient, and have more time to focus on growth. This gives them a greater sense of purpose at work. And it all comes full circle: workplace happiness can, in turn, lend to a 12 percent increase in productivity.
Work anywhere and promote flexibility
Many document automation products enable users to work on a range of mobile devices - both online or offline. This empowers Jessica's legal team to complete contracts from anywhere, including in transit between client meetings to deliver legal documents at rapid speed.
It also gives team members the freedom to get paperwork done during commuting hours. Eventually, it results in providing them with more time to collaborate and build relationships at work, but also, the ability to step out of the office early every once and a while - knowing they’ll be able to finish work while on the bus or train home. The data syncs online once connected to the internet, so there’s no risk of losing information.
Communicate and build customer relationships
Communication with clients is key when dealing with legal documents. But while having face-to-face meetings and phone calls can be effective, they can take up loads of time. And when it comes to putting an offer on a property or renting an apartment - something Jessica’s legal team helps clients to do every day - time is always of the essence.
Document automation software helps teams to efficiently communicate with clients by sharing dynamic automated forms. Legal professionals simply need to share the forms with clients to collect all the necessary information - cutting out the obligation to send emails back and forth and explain legal jargon. The software also sends automatic notifications to clients about the next steps, tracks the progress of the contract, and lets legal teams know when the contract is about the expire. It’s communication, streamlined.
Collaborate and build team spirit
Workplace collaboration is incredibly important. It helps to keep team members engaged, more motivated - and yes, also makes them perform better. In fact, one study published in this Forbes article shows companies that promoted purposeful collaboration were five times more likely to be higher performing. Particularly, if there were incentives involved.
Since document automation software is cloud-based, contracts are kept in one safe place - letting Jessica’s entire team revise and manage them. This, in its turn, enables team leaders to control editing permissions, to keep information ultra-secure. The team can also keep track of editing history to have visibility over who edits what.
This helps to keep track of workflow, but it also enables leaders to see which team members are the most productive. And for newer or less experienced legal professionals, this doesn’t have to be a scary thing. A united team might take this as an opportunity to add a fun, competitive element to document management - helping to build team spirit and motivating everyone to perform at full capacity.
Facilitate integration and simplify adaptation
Introducing new tools into the workplace can get tricky. Employees might experience a learning-curve or push back due to changing processes. However, the benefits and reasons to use document automation certainly outweigh the risks, and good document automation software will integrate with the most commons CRMs and ERPs - think Stripe or Garantify, for example. Some companies offering document automation will even provide custom solutions.
This enables legal teams like Jessica’s to save time transferring data between platforms at the risk of duplicating work. It also reduces headaches for teams not privy to change, making it more likely for them to embrace the software - and of course, reap the benefits.
Jessica knew her legal team was made of high performers. However, the way they managed contract creation was holding the team back. Now, since integrating document automation software, they’ve been able to save time and better communicate. They’ve had more fun collaborating, and are definitely enjoying the option to manage contracts from anywhere. And finally: they feel a greater sense of purpose, know they’re helping the real estate firm to thrive.