Legal automation means the use of software to handle and manage the activities and tasks that are common to the legal function such as document creation, review, work allocation, project management and many other related activities. Legal automation can be important for both in-house legal teams and law firms. You can easily find various platforms that can help in providing services such as document workflow automation, document generation, review and related legal solutions, all of which can be done by Legal Automation Software.
Benefits of Legal Automation Software
Here’s a list of some of the most common benefits of legal automation software:
- Reduces enterprise risks
- Provides ease and luxury of remote working
- Reduces administration tasks
- Internal clients can get their services done faster
- Adheres to regulations and compliance
Some of the other benefits are increased job satisfaction, consistent work quality and less fear that something important may be overlooked.
Types of Legal Automation
There are various types of legal automation and these include:
- Reviewing of documents, drafts and final copies
- Managing the deadlines of contracts
- Process of digital signature
- Document automation for low complexity agreements
- Setting up processes, tasks, updates and also internal/external communication
- Automation of the process of workflow such as triage, work allocation, intake, managing approvals and briefing of external lawyers
- Analyzing and capturing important data and information across the function, securely and digitally
The repeatable processes can be mapped out with the help of an in-house counsel. It can also be automated with the help of software to ensure that the best knowledge is applied by the entire team to reduce risk and to ensure consistency.
Steps to Automate a Document Workflow
Document workflow means an orchestrated and repeatable pattern of business activities which is enabled by the organisation of resources, in a systematic way that can help in providing services or processes information. Every organisation requires document workflows to help complete the daily tasks. The steps implemented can fully automate the workflow, eliminate the need of papers, excel spreadsheets and informal methods of communication such as chat, emails etc. Let’s take a look at the key steps that can help in automating a document workflow.
Choose the First Automated Document Workflow: It’s always important to start with the right process. The selected document workflow should balance the complexity which includes the document flow, users involved etc. It should also keep in mind the importance of documents to the organisation. It would be ideal to choose a process that can be directly related to the organisation’s value proposition to motivate the team and gain immediate results. It should also be a relatively simple model as it would be the first automated workflow.
Model the Automation Quickly: Identify and recognise the main stages of the document workflow. It would be best not to waste too much time on minor details. The main aim should be to design a simple diagram with the help of simple, precise and easily understandable ideas.
Identify the Participants of Document Workflow: The first step is to identify the key roles and users who would be working on the process. The second step would be to define the user and their role of work on every step of the workflow. Following this, you can identify the permission for users and roles. In other words, you can define the access level of each participant such as the reader, editor, assignee and so on.
Link the Related Forms to the Process: For this, you will have to identify the types of data or fields that are relevant to the document workflow. You have to then define the fields that are visible, editable or required at every stage of the workflow in the form. You should also identify the information or fields that should be searchable to filter out the information or to classify it.
Attachments in the Document Workflow: You need to define the files that can be attached along with the document workflow. You can then define whether it is necessary to search through the attachments.
Select the Right Tool for Automation: Based on the requirements identified, you can select the right tool that might cover your needs. There are various types of document-oriented software that can be best suited for administrative and legal use. Such software would be designed for document workflows and would meet all the requirements that have been defined. Production oriented software is more suitable for industrial companies with integrated production machinery.
Measuring the Execution of Document Workflow: You can easily measure the results of implementing your document workflow by checking the processes initiated in a certain period and by checking the average time required to complete a process. You can also keep a track of the time required for each stage of document automation. This can help in detecting the possible barriers or issues in the process.
The improvement cycles must be quickly completed. Most software would not require an additional step or programming or even complex configurations. An employee in the organisation can easily automate a document workflow without the help of any IT professional or someone with technical knowledge. Legal automation is not a futuristic concept. It has already been used in legal firms and can reduce the workloads of lawyers and paralegals, as the work is fully automated.
Though automation can really help the legal industry, a complete automation of any job may not be as possible as of now. Despite the benefits offered by the automation of workflow, lawyers cannot be replaced by any developing machines. However, some elements in a task can be easily automated and the remaining work will be required to be done manually. As a result, legal tasks would always require human capital.
The intervention of new technology can make a positive impact in the field of law and automation can definitely transform the legal services for the better. Automated software offers various legal solutions such as Document Workflow Automation, document generation and other related solutions. Additionally, automation enables more support to the clients in terms of helpful tools, giving lawyers more free time to focus on other important tasks.