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Setting a Precedent for Automated Document Generation in Legal Workflows

By Nikki Manthey | 2024 Feb 02

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Summary: Even though digital document generation options are now more widely available, many legal professionals are still devoting a lot of time to manual paperwork processes. Learn how automated document generation technology can save time and money, reduce errors, maintain strict compliance, and improve accessibility.

 

The legal industry is in a transformative documentation phase – a digital era poised to topple towers of files, improve information access, enhance efficiency, and fortify security around privileged client data. (Plus save a few trees while you’re at it.)

Despite the benefits of automation and digital document processing, many legal professionals are still mired in manual processes, which means devoting a significant portion of the clock to paperwork. According to a Statista study, 75% of US attorneys spend 20+ hours per week on non-client facing administrative and managerial work like court filings.

To help make more time for clients, many firms and institutions have turned to automated document processing solutions for repetitive tasks.

In a recent blog post, we explored the benefits of automatic redaction in legal workflows. Here, we’ll dive into how these documents are created.

Read on to learn how automated document generation technology can help you save time and resources, reduce errors, maintain compliance, and improve accessibility.

What is Document Generation Technology?

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In a few words, document generation is an automated process for creating documents using predefined data and templates. Technology like the Apryse SDK (Software Development Kit) makes this process fast, scalable, intuitive, and cost-effective.

The type of document generation tool you choose largely depends on how complex your documents are. For example, if you’re generating relatively simple and repetitive documents like invoices or notices, you can use Apryse WebViewer to do that right in your web browser.

To try out WebViewer’s document generation capabilities, head over to our interactive demo. Or, if you’d like to see WebViewer in action, watch this video.

Note: Feel free to rewind a bit and explore more of WebViewer’s capabilities.

Alternatively, if you need a high volume of documents, reports, and presentations using templates with complex logic, Fluent by Apryse may work better for you. Fluent enables developers to quickly create and manage advanced, well-formatted reports.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all document generation tools are created equal. No matter where your documents fall on the scale of complexity, you should choose a solution that integrates easily with your technology and workflows, keeps client privacy at the forefront, stays compliant with changing regulations, and includes features you need, like digital signatures.

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Legal professionals can use tools like WebViewer and Fluent to generate many commonly used legal documents, including:

  • Agreements: Like non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) and lease agreements
  • Court documents: Includes documents used in legal proceedings like affidavits, complaints, filings, motions, and subpoenas
  • Contracts: Covers a wide range of legally binding documents like service agreements, real estate paperwork, and employment contracts
  • Intake forms: Helps your firm document important client details before the first meeting
  • Legal forms: Like power of attorney documents, divorce petitions, and other forms

Of course, this isn’t an exhaustive list. Apryse’s document generation tools are flexible and can be adapted to many different types of templates.

For more technical information on PDF generation, check out our developer documentation.

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Moving Away from Manual Document Generation

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Nobody’s right 100% of the time, not even experienced legal professionals. Typos can happen to anyone, and unfortunately, when those errors appear in legal documents, they can be costly.

For example, one errant number in a Canadian real estate transaction led to a $20,000 loss and quickly escalated into a fierce battle of claim and counterclaim. Longtime New Westminster notary Chris Dupuis and clients Colleen and Michael Kendall found themselves at odds after Dupuis’s office mistakenly recorded the sale price of his clients’ condo as $664,000 instead of the correct price of $644,000 when drawing up the paperwork.

This typo resulted in Dupuis’s office paying out an extra $20,000 to the Kendalls before realizing the error. The notary’s efforts to recoup the money from his clients have been unsuccessful, and each party now has a lawsuit against the other. In addition to soaring legal costs associated with the case, Dupuis has requested the courts grant him a “beneficial interest” in the Kendalls’ new home, which means he’d get a financial stake in the property.

Even imperfect punctuation can cause losses, as US company Oakhurst Dairy found out. One costly comma (or lack thereof) in Maine state law meant the business had to pay $5 million in back overtime to their drivers.

Automated document generation tools help ensure documentation is free of errors from the beginning, with all t’s crossed, i's dotted, and correct punctuation in place.

To learn about other ways Apryse document processing tools can benefit the legal sector, visit our website.

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Now that you know what could possibly go wrong in the world of legal document generation, let’s look at a few of the ways automation and technology can help.

Set a Precedent for Precision

As we’ve already explored, errors and typos in legal documentation can be expensive. Using automated document generation tools like those offered by Apryse significantly reduces the chance of human-caused mistakes. This adds an extra measure of protection against potential loopholes and ambiguity, and provides peace of mind that your documentation was done correctly the first time.

Conserve Valuable Resources

How many minutes does it take a legal professional to create a document? What if you multiplied that by a hundred documents? A thousand? Document generation technology significantly reduces the time and effort required to create documents at scale. This not only saves valuable hours in an industry where time is money, it also enables legal professionals to make the most of limited resources. And, of course, being able to quickly create documents is always helpful when tight deadlines are looming.

Learn how Apryse helps Wizz Air effortlessly generate 60 million documents per year, with runway for more. Read the case study.

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Keep Up with Compliance and Security Requirements

Just like the law itself, the regulations that govern legal professionals and processes are continuously evolving. This can mean a multitude of required changes and updates to your documentation for compliance purposes. Automated document generation tools like Fluent by Apryse enable anyone who can use Word, Excel, or PowerPoint to quickly and easily update templates. No developer resources needed.

Compliance and data security go hand in hand. To minimize vulnerabilities and the risk of data loss, the Apryse SDK has no outside dependencies. This means it can be deployed on your own infrastructure, so data doesn’t ever have to leave your platform.

To learn more about PDF security, read our developer documentation.

Make Legal Documents Accessible to All

Legal professionals serve an extremely diverse population. Globally, more than 2.5 billion people need assistive technology, so digital document inclusivity is key. Fluent by Apryse enables you to quickly generate accessible reports at scale that align with PDF/UA (universal accessibility) standards. This helps professionals ensure their full range of services are available and accessible to everyone.

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As the legal sector continues to court change and the digital transformation continues, tools like automated document generation technology can help maintain accuracy and compliance while giving processes a much-needed efficiency boost.

If you’d like to use document generation capabilities to help your office save time and resources, start a 30-day trial today. If you’ve got any questions or would like more information, feel free to get in touch with our team.

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Nikki Manthey

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