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You don't have to automate everything

Posted by Gene Turner on 26-Nov-2022 15:30:26

Because of our focus on document and legal automation, you might expect us to advocate for automating everything, but as with most things, it’s about context.

Automation is great when you have very high volumes, many standard options you need to choose from, and/or details that need to be entered multiple times. In those situations, you can save 75% or more of the drafting time while ensuring that the right clauses are inserted in the correct format. It can get you 90% or more of the way there, allowing you time to add the final 10%.
You don’t need to automate all documents, though.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Self-Service Legal Automation, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

The value of making contracts easy to read and follow

Posted by Gene Turner on 26-Nov-2022 14:54:22

“A good contract can go in the bottom draw and never be looked at again” was what people said when I started as a lawyer in the 1990s. Contracts were seen as legal documents to be written by lawyers, negotiated by lawyers, and read by other lawyers - if there was a dispute. 

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Topics: Document Automation, In-House Legal, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

Microsoft Word Styles for Lawyers

Posted by Gene Turner on 26-Nov-2022 14:20:00
An issue that affects almost every organisation that we have worked with is formatting of their Word templates.  

In most cases they are consistently inconsistent and terrible.   

It not only reflects badly on the organisation and how the substance of the document may be perceived, but it’s a huge cost as it takes a lot of time for highly paid staff to fix, and refix, formatting each time a document is created.

If you want to automate your documents, its really important to fix your Word styles first.  Even if you don't want to automate right now, it's still worth fixing your templates. 

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Topics: Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

Use your software as its intended to be used

Posted by Gene Turner on 23-Oct-2022 19:00:18

I often talk to in-house lawyers who are unhappy with a technology solution they're using and are looking for a replacement.

When digging deeper, it often appears that they are not using it as intended to be used and are overlooking core features, which is a large part of the issue. Without using it properly, I think it's unfair to make judgements about how good it is, and hard to tell what you need in an alternative. 

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Law Firm Management, Digital Signatures, Legal Automation, Email Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

The Maturing of Technology for Legal Work

Posted by Gene Turner on 18-Oct-2022 19:50:47

Earlier this month I was at the ILANZ conference. It was an excellent event - the best ILANZ I have been to.

There were several indications that technology for lawyers has matured a lot over the last year.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Digital Signatures, Self-Service Legal Automation, Compliance, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

The value of contract data

Posted by Gene Turner on 17-Oct-2022 08:44:10

This year's ILANZ conference got off to a great start with Craig Hudson, until recently Xero's Country Manager, giving the opening talk about his personal journey, how that led him to Xero, and how vital a sense of purpose has been to him.

Xero has been such an incredible success story that most New Zealand software companies have at some time described themselves as the Xero of [insert market here].

It's still a very relevant analogy for technology companies helping lawyers.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

The only place 'success' comes before 'work' is in the dictionary

Posted by Gene Turner on 02-Oct-2022 09:50:38

Artificial Lawyer recently published an article by Karl Chapman, the CEO of Kim Technologies. The Democratization of Document Automation: We have Reached the Tipping Point.

I'm sure that Kim is an excellent piece of technology, and anything that can make it easier to create automated templates at lower cost is a good thing. But this article significantly oversimplifies the work required to get good outcomes from an automation project.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Law Firm Management, Digital Signatures, Self-Service Legal Automation, Automated NDAs, Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

What are the costs of delaying an automation project?

Posted by Gene Turner on 29-Sep-2022 10:16:12

A lot of the focus when procuring new technology is on the initial upfront costs and the ongoing software and support costs. Fair enough, these are important in evaluating the cost of the new solution.

What often seems to be overlooked are the costs of the current process and the costs of delay. This often comes up when someone in charge of the business process has determined that they have a problem they would like to fix. When a solution they would like is agreed upon, they then need broader support from other teams, such as IT or procurement.

This can result in months, sometimes years, of delay, perhaps while the IT team consider if it would cost less for them to build a solution themselves.

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Law Firm Management, Digital Signatures, Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

Think broadly in building a business case for legal automation

Posted by Gene Turner on 27-Sep-2022 09:44:23

An issue with getting a legal technology project approved in an organisation is proving the importance of the project and that there will be a good return on investment.

It can be easy to focus too narrowly on what the benefits will be.

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Self-Service Legal Automation, Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

Good technology relationship are proactive

Posted by Gene Turner on 26-Sep-2022 19:43:11

In an earlier post, I suggested that customers should focus more on the relationship with their suppliers and less on the current technology features. Because requirements are changing so quickly, the supplier must be able to keep up.

A great relationship should not just be reactive. A good supplier will understand and care enough about the customer's business and changing requirements to proactively suggest improvements that the customer can adopt to get even better results.

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Topics: Document Automation, Procurement, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Digital Signatures, Legal Automation, Matter Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management

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