By Grace Hart November 17, 2021

5 advantages for law firms that embrace intelligent drafting technology

With intelligent drafting technology, firms can operate more efficiently and profitably, serve clients better, and get ahead of the competition.

5 advantages for law firms that embrace intelligent drafting technology

Increased globalisation and the rise of alternative legal service providers (ALSPs) have made the legal industry more competitive than ever before.

Moreover, the profession is being rapidly disrupted by technology—with McKinsey estimating that 23% of a lawyer’s work can be fully automated.

This means that firms looking to safeguard their future, and get ahead of the competition in the process, should readily embrace innovative technology. But not all solutions are equal.

Intelligent drafting technology, a new approach to document automation, enables firms to:

  • Transform their client experience
  • Boost productivity
  • Increase their sharing of knowledge and best practice
  • Operate with greater speed and accuracy
  • Improve their reputation

What is intelligent drafting?

With traditional document automation toolkits, firms are left to build automations themselves, or forced to recruit document automation consultants to help with the implementation. Given that deep automations are complex and time-consuming to implement, firms often instead opt for a minimum viable product (with shallow automation that can only handle simple elements like party details). More advanced aspects are left to freehand drafting—thereby achieving minimal efficiency savings, and introducing risk and possible errors.

Intelligent drafting technology, however, provides deeper automations. It seamlessly handles advanced elements, such as data, entities, structure, cross-referencing, and advanced logic. Crucially, it understands legal documents and uses a highly structured data model to capture an entire matter. This allows suites of complex documents to be drafted up to 90% faster. Once the key information is within the platform, ancillary documentation can be produced almost instantly — a 100% time saving. Fee earners’ time is freed up for higher value activities.

What are the advantages of intelligent drafting technology?

1. Improved client experience and value

Intelligent drafting technology helps firms meet client pressure to deliver on time, on budget, and often for fixed fees, without sacrificing quality.

Firms that embrace intelligent drafting technology can achieve faster turnaround times and submit higher quality, more accurate work. Fee earners can therefore focus their time and energy on high-value strategic activities—instead of the mechanical and routine aspects of drafting.

Moreover, intelligent drafting technology ensures that everyone is using the most up-to-date precedents at all times, mitigating risk and maintaining consistency. This is especially pertinent given the rise of remote working.

2. Greater productivity across the firm

Innovation is the key to unlocking greater productivity, yet only 65% of the UK’s top 100 firms have an innovation strategy in place. Implementing intelligent drafting technology is an innovation that drives significant productivity gains.

With a matter-focussed platform, entire suites of documents can be produced in industry-leading times, enabling lawyers to be far more productive than is possible using outdated technology (traditional automation toolkits) which automates one document at a time. More matters can be completed, faster, driving greater revenue and improved client satisfaction.

Intelligent drafting technology also bolsters consistency and accuracy. Junior colleagues can therefore be entrusted with complex drafting—leaving fee earners to work on high-value activities. This will improve the rate, yield, and utilisation of your workforce. It increases your return on investment (ROI) by enabling fee earners to deliver greater value to the firm through optimal use of their time.

3. Operate with greater speed and accuracy

Blog insert - 1 - Legal IT Landscapes report

Intelligent drafting technology can reduce drafting times by up to 90%. Adopting a matter-based approach makes it possible to generate entire suites of complex documents from a single questionnaire, giving you greater accuracy, minimising the need for freehand drafting, and limiting the scope for human error. This allows you to maintain consistency and control by giving senior lawyers access to review data, while enabling more junior lawyers to draft within defined parameters.

4. Better sharing of knowledge and best practice

With intelligent drafting technology, expertise and knowledge are built-in and preserved thanks to ongoing updating and maintenance of automated precedents. It’s easy to make updates—simply send over a redline of the changes, and Clarilis will quickly implement them and roll out the updated precedents.

Working with traditional document automation toolkits, you would need to communicate these changes to the internal automation team. Not only is this time-consuming, but they might also be unable to implement the updates as quickly as you need. In the meantime, lawyers are left using out-of-date precedents.

Consider choosing a managed service, to handle all maintenance requirements (as well as building and implementing automations). That way, your internal team avoids exhausting all their time on updating existing automations, a task that quickly grows and is never complete.

As well as keeping automations in top condition, intelligent drafting technology also optimises the quality of individual documents, With a platform that incorporates drafting notes, powerful cross-referencing, and user-friendly review features, lawyers can smoothly and quickly collaborate to hone the final output.

5. Improve firm reputation for client acquisition and staff recruitment

Smart use of technology makes a firm more attractive to both new clients and new recruits, putting you at a clear competitive advantage. Clients want to know their fees are being maximised and that fee earners’ time is spent on strategic, bespoke advice. Employees want to spend their time on stimulating activities, while many—especially millennials and Gen Z—expect to use technology for handling the repetitive, automatable aspects of work.

The intelligent approach

Looking to the future, law firms are implementing tools that will make them more accurate, more productive, and more adept at sharing knowledge. Clarilis provides intelligent drafting technology as a managed service. Our platform allows fee earners to focus on high-value activities, transforms your client experience, and de-risks the entire process of document drafting.

Key takeaways

  • Automation offers a route to go beyond the time-consuming, mechanical aspects of document drafting.
  • With traditional document automation toolkits, however, only a shallow level of automation is typically achieved—providing minimal efficiency savings.
  • Intelligent drafting technology, delivered as a managed service, allows firms to benefit from deep and complex automations without having to spend large amounts of time and financial resources.
  • Traditional document automation toolkits also create an unmanageable maintenance overhead, especially when automation projects are trying to save significant time or generate a suite of documents.
  • Law firms can free up fee earners’ time, increase efficiency and productivity, share knowledge and best practice better, improve client experience, and enhance their reputation.

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Intelligent drafting technology helps firms meet client pressure to deliver on time, on budget, and often for fixed fees, without sacrificing quality.

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