Modern technology has dramatically changed the legal industry. Today’s legal professionals have more flexibility to undergo discovery, undertake research, commence depositions, and manage minute book records for multiple cases.
The best solutions enable professionals to streamline common workflows and operate more efficiently. Streamlined workflows equate to significant time savings, particularly for paralegals and law clerks whose primary duties revolve around clerical and administrative tasks to support the interests of their respective firms.
What accelerated the adoption of new legal technologies?
One of the accelerants that fueled the adoption of innovative legal technologies was the COVID-19 pandemic. Confined to home environments and locked out of their offices, paralegals were no longer able to conduct their duties in the traditional sense.
According to MinuteBox co-founder Sean Bernstein, in an interview with Canadian Lawyer, the pandemic forced firms to introduce innovative legal technologies to their workflows, because there were no paralegals at the office to get legal talent answers to their clients’ questions.
“In COVID times, that’s the one thing they couldn’t do. And as a result, their clients suffered, their work product was delayed, and they couldn’t deliver what was necessary in order for them to have a good legal practice.”
What purpose does legal technology serve for legal talent?
Legal documentation is one of the most time consuming and repetitive processes in any operating firm. In many cases, clerical and administrative work can actually get in the way of client relations and billable hours. In fact, the average lawyer bills just 2.5 hours in an 8-hour workday, amounting to only 31% of their professional time.
It’s not just law firms that struggle with an abundance of clerical work. According to EY Law and the Harvard Law School Center on the Legal Profession, a survey of 2,000 business professionals, 87% of corporate general counsel say their departments spend too much time on clerical duties and legal documentation.
During the pandemic, many professionals acknowledged their need for a unified minute book management process that was more efficient, flexible, and autonomous. According to Sean, this drove firms to consider document automation solutions that functioned within the digital cloud.
“There is now the belief that things not only should change but need to change, and that feeling is coming not just from legal innovators but also from the law firms. They recognize that in every circumstance, service needs to be delivered in different ways. And in many ways, it needs to be delivered in a better way to ensure the client experience.”
How document automation software improves paralegal workflows
So how can document automation software improve paralegal workflows and enable legal departments to function more efficiently? Here are the four main ways that legal departments are becoming more streamlined thanks to document automation solutions.
Reduces laborious time spent on clerical work
The biggest advantage of document automation software is the time savings it delivers to firms. Document automation software is an intuitive innovation, automatically generating structured PDF-style minute book records when new client data is uploaded into the platform.
Instead of combing through individual files to organize the minute book, the software does all the organization for paralegals. Suddenly, a process that once took several hours for each client case file can be fully automated and completed in a matter of minutes.
No code document assembly means no technical expertise required
Sometimes, companies are slow to adopt innovative technologies because they lack the technical expertise to manage those solutions. Law firms and corporate counsel no longer have any need to fear document automation technology since it’s built to serve the non-technical legal professional.
This is a feature that MinuteBox has perfected and that few other document automation solutions can deliver. No-code document generation easily creates and customizes legal documents without the need for a trained developer. The platform is intuitive enough to generate those organized minute book records without human technical assistance. All your paralegals have to do is simply upload the data, and the platform will do the rest.
Built-in automated compliance module helps firms follow the letter of the law
Law firms or in-house general counsel are often tasked with creating a compliance program. The sequences involved in creating a compliance framework are also time consuming, and enforcing the policies requires diligent management by legal professionals.
Using a document automation solution, the platform’s built-in compliance module monitors all entity data for any errors and statutory non-compliance risks. This extends to monitoring organizational charts, calendars, workflows, date-based compliance tasks, and other templates that could derail the effectiveness of a compliance program.
The penalties of non-compliance include stiff financial penalties for the business entity, as well as potential jail time for the executives and directors who permitted non-compliance. Document automation software helps your legal team enforce compliance and protect the business.
Efficient workflows empower paralegals to deliver greater client service
When paralegals are no longer spending up to 70% of their working days on clerical work thanks to document automation software, more time is available to work directly with clients on their case files. Client service is essential to boosting client retention rates and improving Legal Recurring Revenue for a firm.
Since document automation software like MinuteBox is a cloud-based solution, paralegals can also service clients from locations of their choosing. Granting clients access to the digitized documents in the platform allows them to view the records from remote locations. Service is far more convenient when clients aren’t required to visit law offices to discuss their cases.