Document Assembly Beginner’s Guide

As with any new industry, document assembly suffers from a chronic identity crisis. Commonly, it is judged on what it was perceived to be 10 years ago, the common presumption being that “nothing has changed”. To draw from a published article of Seth Rowland, lets play a word association game. I say “document assembly” and you say “Court Forms”. Perhaps this was true 10 years ago, or even as little as 5 years ago, but it is a woefully inadequate representation of what document assembly is capable of today.

This perception in and of itself is not a problem, as it is simple to show progression and improvement in the industry. However, we are overcoming the same misperceptions. If the general consensus of document assembly were true, it should be tossed out on its collective ear for being an unwieldy and time costly pursuit with relatively small returns. But for some reason, there are growing numbers of law firms and other corporations that are banking substantial profits from document assembly. Why? Because they invested in document assembly, their approaches, their systems and most importantly: they invested in themselves and the intellectual property that is embodied by their documents and templates.

Purpose of this guide

This overview is designed to lead a beginner (or an expert!) slowly into the concept of document assembly. A brief overview of what it is, how it works, how to invest in it, the process to make it work and how to think in document assembly terms. Lastly, a case study defining the differences between a lawyer and a programmer, outlining the scenario of fuzzy grey shaded law being transformed it into concise and crystal clear logic trees.

Suspend cynicism and disbelief

When reading through the beginner’s guide, bear in mind one truth that may help you suspend disbelief. Basha Systems LLC was founded by Seth Rowland, a distinguished lawyer – we have been on both sides of the fence. It may be difficult to believe that complex “one off” transactions, multi-tiered leasing deals or entire estate planning systems can be built in such a way that will reduce revision to minutes or hours. The short answer is always: It is not only possible, we have done it.