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How to Claim Your Share of Document Automation Treasure


Seth Rowland ofBasha Systemshas been buildingdocument workflow automationsolutions since 1996. In a recent issue of“Big Law” by TechnoLawyer*, Rowland proclaims himself to be a “bounty hunter” who spends his days traversing through the jungles of law firm document repositories in search of “hidden treasures.” He then uses the information he finds to teach law firms how to harness their untapped resources and put them to good use indocument automation systems, like HotDocs.

Most large law firms turn out thousands of documents a day, including estate plans, wills, trusts, and corporate and regulatory filings. When they’re not needed anymore (or at least not for the time being), these documents are thrown into what Rowland says often becomes akin to a “trash heap.” However, all you need is some organization and education to turn your document automation system into a true “treasure trove of knowledge.”

HotDocs can produce perfect drafts of complex documents in a matter of minutes – not hours. That means paralegals and junior attorneys can create documents that don’t require the careful review of a senior partner. While many firms have recognized the potential and power of HotDocs, the document automation systems they create are often left incomplete and begin to atrophy over time. So how can you make sure your outdated document automation system reaches its full potential?

A complete system check may be in order. You could hire a consulting firm to complete this inventory for you, or if you’re feeling ambitious, you could tackle it yourself. It will undoubtedly take a lot of work, but you will reap a great reward in the end. Your system check may include re-organizing your template library, cleaning up the template coding, renaming variables to make them clearer and/or more concise, reviewing variable placement, creating new variables, deleting redundant variables, implementing repeat structures, removing clause libraries and replacing them with INSERT templates to increase ease of editing, auditing paragraph numbering, checking cross-references, creating new computations, and more.

Rowland concludes: “Over our almost 15 years in the industry, Basha Systems has learned thatno good document assembly system is ever truly complete – a good document assembly system should become organic to the firm and grow with the firm's needs as well as the changes in the law.”

With HotDocs, you don’t have to settle for “good enough”—you can have the most powerful, dynamic, organized template system in the business if you are willing to put in the time and effort. You don’t have to do all the work today—just chip away at it a little at a time and sooner than later, your evolving document automation system will become a great benefit to the productivity and efficiency of your business.

*From TechnoLawyer’s 4-11-12 issue of “Big Law: Confessions of a Document Assembly Bounty Hunter”

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