Document Management & Production | 4 min
August 22, 2023
Handling legal matters, particularly litigated cases, can be complex and often requires legal professionals to file specific legal forms and documents depending on the type of legal matter being litigated.
Because of the complexity of litigation practice and the wide variety of related documents, attorneys often need to collaborate internally with their colleagues and externally with their clients, adversaries, and the courts in order to complete documents and keep cases progressing.
Preparing documents for use in litigated legal matters – such as pleadings, motions, discovery documents, financial disclosures, and various correspondence items – can be complicated, and law firms run the risk of errors and inaccuracies if they fail to take advantage of automation technology to assist with the document creation process.
Document management and automation software, especially software that is purpose-built for use in busy legal practices, reduces these risks while offering three distinct benefits:
Access up-to-date and accurate files – ensure one version of the truth
Do more work, more quickly – take on more clients and make more money
Securely correspond, send, receive, and collaborate – minimize security risks
It can be difficult to keep case and client information well organized, especially when an attorney is handling many active matters simultaneously. However, by implementing a centralized system to hold case and client details and documents, attorneys and their teams can be confident that they always have reliable access to accurate and current case data.
With a cloud-based system that syncs in real-time, busy attorneys and their teams can access their matters from their personal computers using LEAP desktop, their mobile devices using the LEAP app, or from any device with an internet connection.
Documents and other matter files can be arranged and organized in accordance with user preferences. Folder structures are customizable, and users can easily search for documents within a matter or globally across the entire cloud-based system.
By implementing a modern cloud-based legal practice and document management system like LEAP, legal professionals eliminate the need to dig through e-mail inboxes and dusty file rooms and can even eliminate the need to maintain a law firm’s own servers. All files, documents, and data are centrally stored in one cloud-based system, and attorneys and their teams can access their office’s files whenever they need and from wherever they may be located. By providing reliable access to accurate and up-to-date documents and data, LEAP ensures that everyone in a law firm is always working off of the ‘one version of the truth’.
After entering all matter and client data into the cloud-based legal practice and matter management system, law firms will be very well positioned to take advantage of document automation technology. This, in turn, allows firms utilizing these systems to complete more client work in a shorter amount of time.
For example, by entering various matter details into the system at the outset of a matter, document automation software facilitates users’ generation of a wide variety of litigation documents with just a few clicks. This allows firms to avoid duplicative data entry and saves attorneys and their teams significant time previously associated with generating lengthy but somewhat mundane legal documents.
By freeing up the time it previously took to produce important but sometimes repetitive documents and correspondence items, legal professionals will be able to devote a greater share of their time to more meaningful and substantive work. This allows law firms to serve more clients in the same amount of time, which in turn allows firms to take on a greater number of clients, expand their practices, and earn more money.
Most attorneys would agree that litigated matters rely heavily on both internal collaboration within a law firm and external collaboration between a law firm and its clients, adversaries, and the courts. However, when handling sensitive information such as parties’ financial details, medical information, and other private items, attorneys need to ensure that they are taking all necessary precautions to keep sensitive information confidential and preserve attorney-client privilege.
Per Comment 8 to ABA Model Rule 1.1, attorneys operate with a duty of technological competence and are obligated to stay abreast of changes in technology to the extent that those changes affect their areas of practice. Comment 8 also states that attorneys are expected to understand the common technologies of the day and how to properly utilize those technologies to correspond effectively while still honoring their duty to keep client information confidential and secure.
Common e-mail and file-sharing systems such as Outlook, Dropbox, and others are not purpose-built for legal practice and may lack enhanced security features like encryption that assure attorneys that their correspondence will remain private and confidential. Further, as these programs are generalist file-sharing systems not built for legal practice, these providers are unlikely to integrate directly with legal practice management software systems and are less likely to include powerful document automation features.
As the only legal practice productivity solution, LEAP includes access to LawConnect, a secure document-sharing and collaboration tool that is designed specifically for law firms. LawConnect provides LEAP users with built-in data encryption and security features, and also allows them to automatically save correspondence back to the relevant matter in the LEAP legal practice productivity solution. LawConnect’s integration means that LEAP is the only software system needed by law firms that want to streamline their technology setup and ensure consistent, secure delivery of documents and correspondence relating to the legal matters handled by their firms.
Law firms, particularly those with busy litigation practices, must be diligent when working on sensitive legal matters and should embrace technology that will allow them to operate more securely and efficiently.
By implementing document automation and management software, particularly software like LEAP that is designed specifically for legal practice, law firms will be set up to provide better client service, leading to improved client satisfaction, growth, expansion, and increased revenue for their businesses.
Learn how LEAP can help your law practice and book a demo today.