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Automated Estate Planning: The Advantages of Using Automation Software for Drafting Wills and Enduring Power of Attorney Documents

Posted by Gene Turner on 24-Feb-2024 16:35:32

Estate planning, particularly the creation of wills and enduring powers of attorney (EPAs), is an underappreciated field requiring a lot of expertise.

Lawyers and legal executives often invest extensive hours researching, verifying, and customising clauses for wills, all while managing the heavy administrative load of gathering and inputting data into multiple documents for various individuals.

It doesn't have to be this hard, though.

Embracing technological advancements has transformed the process of will and EPA creation for modern firms wanting to adopt the most efficient processes and provide the best outcomes for their clients.

In this post, we delve into why leading industry players are now turning to software solutions for the streamlined creation of even the most intricate documents, specifically focusing on wills and EPA documents.

This article focuses on specific document automation software, not the basic functionality you get in practice management systems, which is often marketed as if it has the same capabilities.

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Topics: Future of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, Wills, Estates, Law Firm Management, Legal Automation, Law Firm Marketing, Law Firm Strategy, Law Firm Profitability, Law Firm Pricing

What type of relationship should Legal and IT teams have?

Posted by Gene Turner on 18-Feb-2024 17:29:46

Thinking back over many of the projects we have been involved with over the years, one thing that stands out is the importance of, and key dependency on, the legal team's relationship with their IT team.

What happens without a good relationship?

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Topics: Document Automation, Procurement, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Legal Automation, Legal Operations

Best resources for improving contracting processes and outcomes

Posted by Gene Turner on 22-Jan-2024 14:00:41

When I’m asked for the best resources to improve overall contracting processes and outcomes, there are two that I can recommend knowing they will provide excellent insights and return on investment.

While particularly relevant for in-house legal teams and contract managers (who can get immediate benefits), they offer significant value to commercial lawyers in law firms who want to understand how they can really add the most value to their clients’ businesses.

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Topics: Document Automation, Procurement, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Law Firm Management, Legal Operations, Contract Management, Law Firm Strategy, Productivity

LawHawk's Major Themes for 2024

Posted by Gene Turner on 14-Jan-2024 10:40:00

Looking ahead to the coming year, I think (maybe with a bit of hope thrown in) several themes will be key. This is what we will be focussing on helping our customers with, and in our own business.

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Topics: Practise of Law, Future of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, Law Firm Management, Compliance, Legal Operations, Contract Management, Law Firm Strategy, Productivity

How not to waste money on a proof of concept

Posted by Gene Turner on 21-Nov-2023 08:35:10

When evaluating new technology, a proof of concept can be a very helpful way of ensuring you get what you think you are getting while avoiding unnecessary costs.

However, we sometimes see proof-of-concept projects that go off the rails, don’t achieve the expected outcomes, and cost a lot of money.

There is one particular mistake that we frequently see people make.

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

Maximising Contract Views in SharePoint: Making Data Work for You

Posted by Gene Turner on 18-Jul-2023 18:10:20

If an organisation is a collection of contracts that cover everything the organisation buys and sells, then contract data is the new oil. But there can be a lot of data!

Utilising document automation to generate contracts provides the advantage of transforming every question in the questionnaire into valuable data that can be input into a contract database. Additionally, the capabilities of the document automation solution enable the creation of various additional data points through complex calculations on the initial data. However, when confronted with a multitude of data columns in a document library, it can be challenging for users to leverage this wealth of information effectively.

Fortunately, there are several options available to enhance the usefulness of contract views in SharePoint:

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Topics: Document Automation, Legal Automation, Legal Operations, Contract Management

The Value of Specialised Document Automation Solutions in CLM

Posted by Gene Turner on 18-Jul-2023 18:07:03

While Cognito Forms has proven to be a valuable solution for moderately complex documents and streamlined contract requests and can be a better option than many CLMs offer (as shown in this earlier post), there may be better choices for some use cases.

When faced with more complex documents or the need to generate multiple documents simultaneously, as well as the requirement for seamless data integration from other systems, alternative solutions become necessary. That’s where specialist document automation software, such as HotDocs, shines.

HotDocs offers robust capabilities to handle even the most intricate and complex documents we’ve encountered. With its strong APIs, it can seamlessly integrate with other systems (including SharePoint lists), bridging gaps in document generation wherever needed.

Knowing when a simple document automation solution within a broader CLM solution will suffice and when a more powerful solution is required is not easy and requires extensive experience in the field. If you don’t live in this space, it’s easy to screw it up. When working with the wrong solution, and trying to push it to do things it wasn't designed to do, you can easily find yourself in a situation where you're 90% done, 90% to go.

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Topics: Document Automation, Document Assembly, Legal Automation, Legal Operations

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

When Law Firm Problems Become Client Problems

Posted by Gene Turner on 02-Nov-2022 16:17:54

 

 

via GIPHY

 

A recent series of articles published by Zac de Silva and Mark Fisher touched on issues that we've been observing recently too.

Mark Fisher states, "I've never seen a candidate-short market as extreme as this… and I worked in London through the GFC from 2006 to 2012. It's putting so much pressure on all of us and that's across every single industry, whether it's nursing, retail, hospital, professional services, engineering, tech, digital – every single industry is dramatically short."

It's clearly become very challenging for law firms too, and it will get worse.

The article above contains some great suggestions on better managing retention and staff recruitment.

There's another lever that can also help – technology.

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Topics: Practise of Law, Document Automation, Legal Technology, In-House Legal, Document Assembly, Law Firm Management, Legal Automation, Legal Operations

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