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Using Templates to Draft Legal Documents Faster and More Accurately
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Using Templates to Draft Legal Documents Faster and More Accurately

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By Danielle Davis-Roe, Affinity Consulting Group

Despite all the automation available today, many legal documents are still drafted using a method that’s highly prone to error. Most attorneys simply search for a document they’ve created in the past for a similar client or purpose, perform a “Save As” with a new name, and adjust the document’s contents to fit the new circumstances.

While this approach is certainly better than starting with a blank page, it presents several problems. Beyond its inherent inefficiencies, the potential for errors (failure to catch every necessary change required, text addition, text deletion, and both minor and major items that were negotiated terms for a specific instance) creates significant risk that could be detrimental to clients. In short, drafting new legal documents based on existing ones is a risky proposition at best. But there is a better way.

This article outlines the pitfalls of drafting legal documents using a traditional process that leaves attorneys vulnerable to common errors, and presents the benefits of using a carefully crafted set of document templates to create new documents faster and more accurately. The author shares why having a system for producing customized documents based on a library of your best language for each circumstance reduces risk, and shares basic rules to follow for creating those templates.

About the Author

Danielle Davis-Roe is a senior document automation consultant at Affinity Consulting Group. Whether it’s teaching clients a new skill, writing a macro to automate a complicated task, fixing a document that doesn’t work properly or automating a complex set of documents, Danielle’s focus is entirely on improving the work and lives of her clients.

Vicki LaBrosse
Vicki LaBrosse