Confessions of a Document Assembly Bounty Hunter

Source: Whitepapers

Large law firms have one of those “good problems” — a treasure trove of knowledge in the form of model documents that they find difficult to leverage and even find.

In this issue of BigLaw, former large firm lawyer and current HotDocs consultant Seth Rowland discusses his work as a “document assembly bounty hunter” using his recent experience with an AmLaw 100 firm’s trusts and estates department as an example. Seth explains the process of building a modern document automation system that law firms can modify on their own as their needs change.

Top Five Myths About Document Assembly

Source: Whitepapers

In this article, Seth Rowland, an application developer of document assembly systems, debunks the top five myths about document assembly software.

In doing so, he avoids the smarminess of many industry spokespeople and even admits to idiosyncrasies and limitations in the current generation of document assembly products. This honest approach has resulted in a valuable article that all law firms should consult before purchasing document assembly software. This article won the MasterPost, a writing contest in The TechnoLawyer Community.

Document Assembly Primer

Source: Whitepapers

With Document Assembly software, processes that took hours now take minutes. Document Assembly is the future of legal document production – the modern attorney should not ask “why” but “how” – and he should ask it soon – before he becomes as antiquated as Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s pen.

Template Design – Commercial Loan System

Source: Whitepapers

Commercial mortgage loan document assembly systems promise to reduce significantly the time spent adapting basic commercial lending forms to facts and circumstances presented by a specific transaction. Technophobes take comfort though – no commercial loan document automation system will produce perfect documents. At best, they will produce very good working drafts quickly.

The Cure for Global Warming

Source: Whitepapers

Global warming is a myth! Why else would we be sitting here in the tundra just a few miles outside New York City? Why else would we be facing yet another “snow day” away from the office? All kidding aside, whether you believe that “global warming” is the cause of the unseasonable snowy weather or that the snow disproves the warming trend, the reality is that we have had to spend more days “out of the office” this winter than in previous years. These “business interruptions” would have been less severe if you had moved some or all of your business to “The Cloud”.

Affording Document Assembly – The Group Approach

Source: Whitepapers

As a document assembly consultant, I am often contacted  by  solo  or  small  attorney  firms  who are overloaded with work, champing at the bit to get  a  Document  Assembly  system,  realize  the value but are understandably nervous at the cost. And,  they  should  be.  Creation  of  a  good document assembly system is expensive in both time  and  money.  So here are some ideas on how to underwrite a good system.

XpressDox Document Assembly

Source: Whitepapers

Document assembly conjures up thoughts of expensive software that often becomes shelfware once lawyers realize that they cannot figure it out without professional help. Document assembly consultant Seth Rowland has helped many firms that decided to invest in professional help. But in this TechnoFeature article, Seth reviews XpressDox, a new document assembly program that sells for $150 and promises ease of use regardless of your skill level.  Who better to test this claim than Seth? Read his review to see what this expert thinks of this new expert system.

White Paper – The Death of Travel

Source: Whitepapers

In “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” Thomas L. Friedman, argues that advances in technology and telecommunications have created a level playing field between competitors that has transformed the way business (and law) is conducted. In this article, Mr. Rowland looks at how “affordable” communications and web-based collaboration tools can now enable solopractitioners and small law practices to service clients on a global basis. In the “Death of Travel,” Mr. Rowland explains how “physical presence” is optional. Through technology, ad hoc teams of lawyers and specialists can be brought together on a moment’s notice with zero marginal cost to work together in virtual workspaces.

Systemic Approach to Legal Document Automation Part 2

Source: Whitepapers

The amount of savings from a well-implemented document automation system could be as much as one or two FTE staff members.  Properly implemented, document assembly will improve baseline work product; better forms mean better first drafts, period.

Still Using Microsoft Word 2003?

Source: Whitepapers

Word 2007 is a mature and well thought out product. If you have never used Microsoft Word, now is the time to switch. Finally, a product that places all your formatting commands no more than 2-clicks away. If you have used Microsoft Word as a “text editor” and struggled to format documents like the pros, you will find the new Ribbon much more intuitive. In particular, the ability to “preview” a change as you review the options will result in much more professional-looking documents. If you are a Word power user like me, you may be frustrated at first. But give it time. You will soon find many new features to love as you survey the “Ribbon.” You will find even more power and produce even more polished and professional documents

Review – HotDocs Professional 2006

Source: Whitepapers

If you take your law practice seriously and plan to stay in the law business over the next decade, you should seriously look into document assembly, and more specifically HotDocs. It is a truly great product that can dramatically enhance your productivity and profitability. Buying the software, however, is only the first step. Like my membership at New York Health and Racket Club, merely paying dues doesn’t make you healthy and fit.

Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus

Source: Whitepapers

Women are different. And that includes their approach to buying computer hardware, software and services.  We at Basha Systems have found that an emphasis on responsiveness and customization have been highly appreciated by our female customers.   For more on our approach and philosophy, please see the attached.

Online document assembly pt2

Source: Whitepapers

Below I explore DealBuilder, QShift, Exari, and Perfectus IPManager in detail, focusing on the strengths of each system. I also offer a peek at D3. Each of these solutions are incredibly sophisticated tools in their own right. Each tool would result in significant people multipliers from its use. Each tool empowers the author of templates to reach numerous end users and give them the tools to rapidly create sophisticated legal documents.

Online Document Assembly pt1

Source: Whitepapers

One of the chief virtues of a Web server-based document assembly system is the reduced cost of maintaining hundreds of workstations. By centralizing most of the processing onto the server, you eliminate the installation and maintenance cost of servicing hundreds of workstations. DealBuilder, Exari, and Perfectus are zero-footprint solutions and can be run in any Web browser. By contrast, QShift requires the installation of a local fat client and relies on integration with Microsoft Word. For a more detailed review, see below.

To All Wizards of the World

Source: Whitepapers

With the country going crazy about a boy wizard named Harry Potter (even my 7 year old has been read all five books and seen 2 movies dozens of times), I set to thinking about the role of the document assembly consultant in society of nonbelievers and came up with the idea of “Muggle Studies 102”. It started out as a workshop on project management and became … well you’ll see if you read on. Enjoy.

The Document Automation Revolution

Source: Whitepapers

In this article, legal technology consultant Seth Rowland explains why you should take a new look at “document assembly.” According to Seth, document assembly software is better than ever, more powerful, and easier to use. With Seth’s guidance, you’ll find the perfect solution whether you want to work on the Web, share your templates over a network, or simply build a library of your favorite clauses. Perhaps most significantly, Seth discusses new services that enable you to pay for document assembly on a per document or subscription basis.