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Document Management & Automation

Document automation, for lawyers, is not an absolute necessity, but it’s getting there. And we would certainly suggest it. Using some of the tools in this portal, a firm can to connect with their clients more quickly, generate intake materials with less effort, or even create pleadings at the touch of a button.

Legal document automation products can range from simple form-fill products, like mail-merge, to complex computable documents that can change based on the needs of each client. You can use them internally for document creation workflows, or externally to gather information from your client.

Some Law Practice Management Software (LPMS) provide built-in document creation and management, but they are usually not as feature-rich as the stand-alone products like the ones listed below. Additionally, many of the products here are low or “no code,” which means that you don’t have to have a computer science degree to use them.

In this Document Automation for Lawyers portal you can compare features, read community reviews, get additional details, and find the best application for your law firm. If you see an Affinity Partner badge, it means Lawyerist Insiders are entitled to a discount. (Already a member? Log in here. If not, register here—it’s free!)

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As a lawyer, it’s not always easy to find the right document automation software. We suggest you start your search by thinking about what sort of legal documents you want to automate. Then, think about what your system looks like after you incorporate the software into your existing legal tech stack. How does this software help your firm? The questions below should provide some guidance.

5 Steps for Choosing Law Firm Document Automation Software.

  1. Know your rights.

    First, know what you should expect from software with our Legal Software Bill of Rights.

  2. Determine your needs.

    Start by thinking about your end product. What sort of documents do you need to create. Be specific. Before you can make an informed decision about your legal document automation software, you need to know what you want to create. This will help you determine whether you simply need an add-on to Microsoft Word, something that integrates with your LPMS, or a stand-alone third-party system that provides high level functionality.

  3. Assess your capabilities.

    A lawyer’s next consideration for his or her document automation software should be to determine what their coding ability is. Or whether they are willing to hire a third-party to set their system up. Although many products do not require any formal coding experience, some of them are closer to actual programming than others. You’ll need to determine who will be setting up your system, and what their experience level is. It may be you. And the answer may be “none.” Which is fine. Just choose accordingly.

  4. Research your options.

    With your requirements in hand, use the feature filters in the list below to narrow down your choices. Browse the product pages, read the community reviews, and narrow down your choices to 1–3 likely options. Keep in mind what other software your application may need to integrate with. Do you want it to integrate with your LPMS? Will it create documents in a format you are familiar with? Where does it store the information it generates? Where does it get its information from?

  5. Try before you buy.

    Finally, sign up for a trial account with each of the likely options, put them through their paces, and select the one that will work best for your firm.

Document Management & Automation (Alphabetical List)

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Document Management & Automation Feature Descriptions

Open API. An open API means that the program has an application programming interface that will allow it to directly integrate with other software programs such your firm's timekeeping, accounting, or custom relationship management software.

Version Control. This means the software provides information on document revisions and makes sure you are using the most recent version of a template.

Document Automation Features. Document automation (also called document assembly) software uses your document templates and information from a form or other source, like your law practice management software or CMS, to assemble documents for you.

Document Templates. The document management program creates resuable templates.

Guided Interviews. The program can create a guided interview and then use the client's answers to automatically create a document.

Conditional Logic. If the software uses conditional logic, this means that you can choose to have certain text in your assembled document included only under certain conditions

Tables. This means the software can generate tables of any size and place them in your assembled document.

Calculations. If this field is checked, it means the software can perform calculations based on numerical or text input.

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