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Advanced Document Automation Capabilities Without the Complexity

By Neil J. Squillante | Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Today's TL NewsWire Hot Product is a popular document assembly product rewritten with more accessible authoring tools embedded in Microsoft Word and a modern browser-based experience for end users (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to many previous TL NewsWire Hot Products, including cloud billing and practice management software that now includes full business accounting, eliminating the need for a third-party solution. Don't miss the next issue of TL NewsWire.

Document automation software has long promised to accelerate legal document creation while reducing errors. However, in the effort to empower end users, the authoring tools have traditionally added layers of technical complexity that impede wide adoption. With the launch of a new platform, a document automation pioneer seeks to make authoring more accessible so that anyone in any law firm can automate any document.

HotDocs Advance in One Sentence

AbacusNext rewrote its venerable document assembly software to create HotDocs Advance, which offers a modern user interface and authoring tools that run inside Microsoft Word.

The Killer Feature

HotDocs Advance consists of HotDocs Author (this replaces HotDocs Developer) and HotDocs Advance web application (the template repository and drafting tool for end users).

"HotDocs Advance is the new simple, scalable, and modern document platform from the market leader in document automation," says senior product manager Nigel Richards. "We have taken our vast years of experience building our market-leading products and crammed that knowledge into the all-new HotDocs Advance, providing our users with an unparalleled platform for creating and consuming HotDocs templates."

HotDocs Author resides in a tab in Microsoft Word's ribbon. From here, you can turn existing documents into templates using the HotDocs Field Editor, a palette similar to what you would use to apply styles. For example, you might select a party's name and convert it to a "Content Placeholder," a dynamic text field that can later be populated by the end users who run the template. You only need to create a Placeholder once as HotDocs Author finds all the other locations.

AbacusNext is especially excited about the ability to use complex, interdependent logic that built the HotDocs reputation without having to write code. Instead, creating rules resembles formula building in Excel, thus lowering the barrier to entry to the most powerful aspects of template creation.

These advanced template options include grouping related questions, conditional True/False or If/Else/Or logic to skip irrelevant provisions, connecting to auxiliary templates to add boilerplate language, mathematical calculations, and multilingual documents.

As an example, a template for an employment agreement can offer different provisions depending on the employee's compensation, title, and geographic location.

Other Notable Features

End users access dynamic interactive HotDocs interviews via a web browser. Each interview consists of form fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, etc. with progress indicated by green checkmarks. There's no need to fuss with formatting. The template repository now includes role-based permissions to selectively present templates to users, reducing the friction created by sorting through irrelevant templates.

HotDocs Advance Workgroups add to the platform's collaboration capabilities. Workgroups permits multiple users to collaborate within a template simultaneously, while maintaining audit trails of user activity and changes. You can even edit answers to quickly correct an error in a document.

According to AbacusNext, HotDocs Advance's modernized user experience can reduce drafting time by up to 90%.

What Else Should You Know?

HotDocs Advance can be deployed on-premises or as a cloud service. Integration capabilities include Active Directory to automatically define workgroups and permissions, connections to document and practice management systems for auto-populating data, and the ability to embed templates on your website for dynamic, self-service document generation. The new architecture that facilitates these integrations will make it easier to incorporate emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and smart (blockchain) contracts. Explore HotDocs Advance and bookmark the website.

About TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. Each week, TL NewsWire reports on the hottest new products for lawyers and law office administrators. The innovative structure of TL NewsWire articles enable you to quickly understand each product's value proposition, and then zero in on its killer feature and other notable attributes. In each issue, you can easily revisit our back catalog of articles and the most recent TL NewsWire Top 25 Products Awards. Subscribe to TL NewsWire.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire

Streamline Deal Closings and Automate the Creation of Closing Binders

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, August 23, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers software for managing deal closings, including creating signature packets, tracking who has and hasn't signed, and generating PDF closing binders (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of cloud real estate closing document automation software for CD and HUD transactions that handles all calculations and tax filings, document comparison software that adds legal-specific functionality to Microsoft Word's Track Changes and which integrates with popular document management systems, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Transactional practice is mostly logical. You argue and obsess over phrases and other details to arrive at a compromise that satisfies all parties and minimizes future litigation. But when it's time to close, lawyers often fall prey to mind reading. "Why haven't they signed? Did they get the signature pages? Should I call them?" It's time to rethink closings.

SimplyAgree … in One Sentence

SimplyAgree is cloud-based transactional management software for streamlining and tracking deal closings, and automating the creation of closing binders.

The Killer Feature

SimplyAgree's co-founders, CEO Will Norton and COO Sam Beutler, spent several years practicing corporate law. They noticed that closings had not changed much since the advent of email 20 years ago. As a result, creating signature packets remains a time-consuming, manual process. Moreover, they found online signature tools inadequate for complex transactions with multiple signature pages and signatories.

"While other electronic signature tools have been focused on general business use cases, few have considered the unique challenges faced by transactional attorneys," says Norton. "That's where SimplyAgree comes in." "Transactional attorneys have proven processes to close complex deals," adds Beutler. "Our goal is not to reinvent the wheel, but to give these processes more horsepower."

SimplyAgree automates the creation and distribution of signature packets. You securely upload the documents associated with the deal to SimplyAgree and enter the name for each signatory. SimplyAgree then identifies where each person needs to sign and creates signature packets comprised of the signature pages for each signatory. You can include duplicates if one or more counterparties requires multiple original signature pages rather than a single copy.

Print signature packets for an in-person signing or email them in PDF format to each respective signatory. SimplyAgree integrates with DocuSign if you want to offer electronic signing and other timesavers such automatically filling the signatory's name and other stored data.

Other Notable Features

SimplyAgree's dashboard lists all active deals. Within each deal, you can track who has and hasn't signed, and store copies of completed signature pages. You can even reject invalid signatures and record why in case you need to show an audit trail someday. SimplyAgree holds all executed signature pages in escrow so that you can continue to negotiate terms.

When deals close, clients often demand closing binders but don't want to pay for them. SimplyAgree automates this thankless task. Upload the final version of your deal documents and connect them to the executed signature pages, arrange the documents in the order you want them to appear, and enter metadata such as party names and the closing date for the cover page. The software then merges all the documents into a single PDF file with bookmarks, corresponding slip pages, and a hyperlinked index.

You can customize the design of these closing binders with your firm's logo and colors. Creating different versions of a closing binder or updating a closing binder with new documents takes seconds rather than hours. In fact, you can use SimplyAgree solely for creating closing binders if you don't want to use its project management features.

What Else Should You Know?

"SimplyAgree is an excellent tool that expedites the closing and post-closing process, saving valuable attorney time and thus saving our clients money," says Aaron Moody, an associate lawyer at Eversheds Sutherland in Atlanta. Learn more about SimplyAgree.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Generate Error-Free CD and HUD Real Estate Closing Documents Online in Minutes, Not Days

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, August 17, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud real estate closing document automation software for CD and HUD transactions that handles all calculations and tax filings (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of document comparison software that adds legal-specific functionality to Microsoft Word's Track Changes and which integrates with popular document management systems, a Mac document management system that combines the familiarity of the Finder with legal-specific tools such as automated email capture, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Real estate transactions involve creating the same set of documents repeatedly — perhaps more so than any other practice area. Additionally, it's now a highly regulated market so it's more important than ever to produce error-free closing documents. These are good reasons to automate your real estate deals not to mention saving money and remaining competitive in a crowded market.

Easysoft Online … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Easysoft Online (Easysoft) is cloud software for automating Closing Disclosure (CD) and HUD real estate transactions, including tax filings.

The Killer Feature

You can start using Easysoft in seconds with any web browser. Create an account, designate a settlement agent, and enter your InfoTrack credentials. The software includes unlimited CD and HUD transactions. It complies with all regulations (including RESPA and TRID), calculates taxes, and files 1099 tax documents via InfoTrack.

Your clients will appreciate always knowing the cash to close and closing cost no matter how often the deal terms change. You'll appreciate not having to hire a title agent, which will save you approximately $500 per transaction. Easysoft costs $69 per month so after two transactions it will have more than paid for itself.

"Easysoft allows real estate attorneys to simplify their closings by providing an easy-to-use solution," says Easysoft's Managing Director Jeanette Knight. "With Easysoft, you save time by completing the closing disclosure in a matter of minutes rather than days. And the wonderful thing about Easysoft is you can access it from anywhere at anytime with no installation required."

Other Notable Features

Easysoft's dashboard lists all your deals, including file number, type (CD or HUD), borrower, seller, and status. Easysoft walks you through several screens that mostly consist of forms. You never need to enter information twice as Easysoft auto-populates fields that require the same data. Also, Easysoft performs all calculations so you won't need a spreadsheet.

For CD transactions, Easysoft covers loan terms and costs, taxes and any applicable prorations for city, county, assessment, school, and sewer, prepaid items such as insurance, interest, property taxes, and as intimated above all the inputs that comprise cash to close. Easysoft also walks you through loan disclosures, and adjustable payment and interest tables. A ledger lists all deposits and payments related to the deal and includes check printing if needed.

You can choose from several options for the signature pages, including a Consumer's Confirm Receipt Signature, Seller's Signature Addendum, and Interested Party's Signature Addendum. You can print two versions of the CD — the standard version for the seller that becomes the public record, and a more verbose version for the buyer with all the details.

HUD deals such as cash closings and reverse mortgages offer a similar process without the lender components and generates all the requisite documents, including a Good Faith Estimate.

What Else Should You Know?

Knight tells us that Easysoft reduces the amount of time required to create deal documents by up to 70%. Devan Ingram, a real estate closing assistant at Inzer, Haney, McWhorter & Haney in Gadsden, Alabama, agrees. "My experience with the new online version of Easysoft has been very positive," says Ingram. "Easysoft allows us to run a smarter and faster closing process using automated documents." Learn more about Easysoft Online.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Document Automation That Resides Where You Work and Store Data

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document assembly software that you can use within other applications such as your document or practice management system (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of case management software that runs on Windows, Android, and iOS with features, customization options, and integrations that acknowledge today's world, an online marketplace for finding contract lawyers without running afoul of ethics rules, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Document automation software should be as common in law firms as word processing software. It solves several once intractable problems — creating documents faster, reducing errors, using data that already resides in other systems and ensuring regulatory compliance when applicable. One company believes what's preventing wider adoption is where users access it.

HotDocs Hub and HotDocs Developer 11 … in One Sentence

AbacusNext's HotDocs Hub and HotDocs Developer 11, the new version of the granddaddy of document assembly platforms with 60% market share, focuses on making template authoring and third-party integrations easier.

The Killer Feature

Traditionally, when you needed to generate a document from a HotDocs template, you would open HotDocs on the desktop. You can still do this but HotDocs' new integration tools (a "REST API") enable you to incorporate it into applications that house your client data. With HotDocs serving as middleware, users at your firm may not even realize they're using HotDocs.

The most obvious front end for your HotDocs templates is your practice management system, which can autofill fields such as client name and address, opposing counsel, etc. AbacusNext's practice management products — Amicus Attorney and AbacusLaw — integrate with minimal setup. But as Global Sales Director Gary Eunson stresses, you can incorporate HotDocs into many third-party practice management systems not to mention document management systems.

The HotDocs Professional Services group can assist you with integrations and create templates for you. "Operational efficiency is still a critical issue for law firms of all sizes," says Eunson. "Creating legal documents using our market leading document automation technology provides value, not only for the law firm, but for the clients it serves."

Other Notable Features

Getting started involves a Content Author (someone at your firm or a consultant) using HotDocs Developer to create templates for all the documents your firm regularly creates. You build templates using elements such as text fields, date variables, true/false and multiple-choice dialogs, clause selectors, math formulas, etc.

Completed templates then reside in the new HotDocs Hub cloud repository, which also offers tools for user management. Version control enables you to keep all template versions and rollback changes. Template Groups collect related templates such as those for a practice group in your firm. Integration with Active Directory and other identity systems enable users to access templates. You can host HotDocs Hub behind your firewall, through HotDocs' hosting services, or with Abacus Private Cloud.

Users access templates via their browser. The main tab contains the "interview" as HotDocs calls it — essentially a form. The middle tab offers a realtime preview of the document being built. The third tab lists all the data entered into the interview. When finished, choose from formats such as Word, WordPerfect, PDF, etc., and HotDocs automatically saves the document to your practice or document management system per the integrations discussed above.

What Else Should You Know?

"HotDocs is the quintessential software for document automation," says Michael Savage, operations manager at Baugher Law Firm PLLC. "It's very robust and the possibilities are endless. Generating documents and pleadings now take a fraction of the time they normally would using any other software. I highly recommend this product." Learn more about HotDocs Hub and HotDocs Developer 11.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire

AbacusLaw Goes Beyond the Practice Management Status Quo With Client Intake, Court Rules Calendaring, and Legal Accounting

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, June 21, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an accounting and practice management system that automates client intake, rules-based calendaring, and document creation (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a corporate messaging service that automatically saves discussions and shared documents to NetDocuments, a Microsoft Word add-in that scores your briefs and offers a spellchecker-like tool which suggests corrections and stylistic improvements, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Why is Elon Musk so focused on rocket launches? Because with space travel everything stems from the launch. Now think about your cases. They all start with intake, a process that many practice management systems ignore. But shouldn't intake be a priority?

AbacusLaw … in One Sentence

AbacusNext's AbacusLaw is a popular practice management and legal accounting system with customizable intake tools, court rules calendaring, Outlook integration, and a mobile app.

The Killer Feature

AbacusLaw has an Intake button on its toolbar, which underscores the company's reverence for this aspect of law practice. Click this menu, choose the applicable PALS or Practice Area Legal Solution, and begin entering information about your new matter. AbacusLaw offers PALS for all major practice areas. Each PALS consists of special fields, reports, document templates, and smart intake forms. You can customize a PALS to fit your needs, and create entirely new PALS for niches within your practice.

The intake forms in each PALS are "smart" because they automatically check for duplicate data and link to related information. These forms populate all areas of the software, obviating the need to enter data in multiple locations. Instead of entering all the data yourself, you can have clients, witnesses, and others securely enter information into these forms on your website. You can still take advantage of this automation even if you create a matter the old-fashioned way. Just assign a PALS to the matter and all the associated fields and forms appear for data entry.

Other Notable Features

Rules-based deadline calendaring for litigation matters is another area most practice management systems ignore. By contrast, AbacusLaw includes calendar rules for civil actions in federal courts and most state courts. The calendar rules for California even include specialty courts such as family law. You can set up the applicable rules as part of an intake form or do it later after filing a complaint. The rules calculate all deadlines, and automatically adjust them as continuances and other delays occur.

AbacusLaw also offers automation for transactional practice areas with its built-in document assembly. Choose from dozens of bundled forms and create your own (AbacusNext provides training). After choosing a form, assign it to a matter, fill it out, and generate a Word, WordPerfect, or PDF document for further editing and sharing.

In addition to managing your legal work, AbacusLaw also manages your finances with a full accounting system — general ledger, accounts payable, trust accounting, and of course billing. Every screen in AbacuLaw has a Time Tix button that can start a timer or record a time entry. Reports include all those you would expect, which you can customize. You can also create your own reports.

Because AbacusLaw is matter-centric, you can access all information related to a matter in one place, including calendar events, contacts, documents, and invoices. If you use Outlook, you can also save relevant email to a matter using AbacusLaw's add-in. With the free mobile app, you can access your matters on the go.

"Designed for lawyers, easy to use, and powerful, AbacusLaw helps me manage my practice and do my billing," says Delaware solo practitioner Thomas Shellenberger. "The calendar coordinates well with Outlook and my mobile device."

What Else Should You Know?

Most law firms use AbacusLaw via Abacus Private Cloud, AbacusNext's virtual desktop service. You can host AbacusLaw at your firm if you prefer. Learn more about AbacusLaw.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Clients to Law Firms: Automate or Die Plus 53 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, June 18, 2018

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 54 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Richard Tromans of Artificial Lawyer on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Law Firms are Inefficiency Factories, Automation is the Cure

Replace Internal Email With ndThread

Microsoft Is Redesigning the Office User Interface

More on the Microsoft Office Redesign

How Siri Shortcuts Can Revolutionize iOS Automation

Shortcuts: A New Vision for Siri and iOS Automation

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets

Reviews of Zola Suite, Smokeball, Epson WorkForce ES-500W Scanner

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, May 18, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Stephen Silverberg, Review of Zola Suite for Integrated Accounting and Practice Management

Ted Alatsas, Review of Smokeball for Practice Management Plus Cloud Storage

Scott Lawson, Review of Epson WorkForce ES-500W Scanner

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars

Reviews of Firm Central With Deadline Assistant, Kanban Tool, Asana, Swift ToDo, HotDocs Market, PhantomPDF Business, TextMagic; iPad Pro Woes

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, April 6, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Michael Kelly, My Task Management Portfolio: Reviews of Firm Central With Deadline Assistant, Kanban Tool, Asana, Swift ToDo

Thomas F. McDow, Review of HotDocs Market With Surface Pro and iPad

Austin Wilkerson, Review of PhantomPDF Business

Jason Pink, Review of TextMagic

John Root, Problems Using an iPad Pro to Draft Legal Documents

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL Serendipity

Add Document Assembly Tools to Microsoft Word’s Ribbon

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, March 29, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document assembly software that resides within Microsoft Word and offers a simplified way to create templates versus traditional products (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software that transforms legal billing from a multi-day process into one that takes minutes, a Microsoft Outlook add-in that predicts where to file your email and even lets you know when a colleague has beat you to it and already filed the same message, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Traditional document assembly software outputs a Microsoft Word document. But you don't work within Word. Instead, you must either master the intricacies of the document assembly software or hire a consultant. A new alternative seeks to flatten the learning curve.

Word DA … in One Sentence

Infoware's Word DA adds document assembly tools to Microsoft Word, and optionally integrates with sibling add-in Word LX Professional or Word LX Enterprise for enhanced functionality.

The Killer Feature

Word DA resides in the Microsoft Word Ribbon. The clauses you regularly use when drafting reside in Microsoft Word documents. These "Templates" as they're called use Word's styles to categorize the clauses. A template can also consist of an entire document such as a trust, will, etc. that doesn't require the use of different components each time.

You create data fields (a.k.a. variables) within clauses and document templates by placing square brackets around placeholder text. Word DA replaces these data fields with the information you provide during the drafting process. For example, the data field "[Client Last Name]" would be replaced by your client's last name everywhere it appears. You need only enter the last name once when prompted.

You assemble documents from stored clauses using Word DA's Clause Tool. This three-pane window lists available clauses on the left, a preview on the bottom, and the clauses you've selected on the right. After adding clauses, you can change their order and preview the document you're about to create. When you're all set, one click combines the selected clauses into a Word document.

"Our Word DA document assembly tools provide firms with an easier way to build and manage their content while designing templates that incorporate logic and intelligence to quickly automate document creation," says Michael Barrons, Infoware's Vice President Marketing & Operations. "Our tools live within Microsoft Word, providing a simple and extremely cost-effective solution that saves legal professionals time and improves document quality and accuracy."

Other Notable Features

Many small and midsize law firms use both Word DA and Word LX Professional. The latter, which we covered previously in TL NewsWire, features a number of tools to ensure document consistency across your firm. These tools reside on the Ribbon alongside Word DA.

One such tool — Prompt — enhances the functionality of the data fields in Word DA templates by storing the information you enter. This enables you to make a change (e.g., correct a misspelling) and update that field throughout the document. The Prompt tool lists all data fields in a panel, making it faster to enter and update the fields than using Word DA alone.

Word LX's Template Designer enables you to create Word DA templates with your firm's logo and address, preferred margins, typeface styles, etc. Word LX also makes it easier to access frequently-used templates. You can even add dedicated template icons to the Ribbon. After using Word DA to create a document, Word LX can make quick work of many formatting tasks, including consistent paragraph numbering and styles, adding a DocID, and generating a table of contents.

What Else Should You Know?

Word DA costs $150 per user per year standalone (less if bundled with Word LX). Infoware helps you get up and running, including training for those at your firm who will maintain templates and create new ones. Learn more about Word DA.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | TL NewsWire

Improve the Consistency of Your Firm's Documents and Reduce the Time It Takes to Create Them

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, November 2, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Microsoft Word add-in that enforces firm standards through automated document creation, including data connections to Outlook, document management systems, and other software (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a legal research service that automatically locates statements of law in cases and directs you to the best authority for each of them, a specialized legal research service for trade secrets, including coverage of the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 and tools for comparing jurisdictions, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The larger your firm, the more difficult it becomes to maintain efficiency and document quality. This relates both to the time it takes to create certain document types and the way they look. The secret is to enhance Microsoft Word and better integrate it with your other software.

Word LX Enterprise … in One Sentence

Infoware's Word LX Enterprise is a Microsoft Word add-in that automates document drafting tasks, and enforces your firm's work product guidelines.

The Killer Feature

When your firm pulls the trigger on Word LX, Infoware works closely with your implementation team to create all the document templates you'll need at the outset. Just as importantly, Infoware integrates Word LX with your existing software to further enhance document automation. For example, Word LX can retrieve contact information from practice management software and Document IDs from your document management system.

Out of the box integrations include Active Directory, Outlook (including Office 365 and Exchange), InterAction, iManage, OpenText, Amicus Attorney, PCLaw, and Time Matters. If you use products for which an integration doesn't exist, Infoware can build one using its API.

"Any law firm that wants to improve their document creation process should take a close look at Word LX," says Ivaylo Nikolov, Director, Information Technology at Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg. "For many years, we've relied on it for increasing the efficiency of our staff and lawyers, and maintaining the accuracy of our documents."

Other Notable Features

Word LX resides in Microsoft Word's Ribbon. Click the LX New Docs button to view a customized dialog box, the top left of which lists templates for the most common document types — typically Letter, Memo, Envelope, Labels, etc. Use one of these or search for more specific template such as one related to a practice area (Word LX calls these "precedents").

Selecting a template or precedent unfurls additional options. These variations can accommodate different practice groups, offices, languages, paper size requirements, etc. Thanks to the Active Directory integration, users can create documents on behalf of others such as their boss. Personal settings enable you to control the zoom level and other niceties.

Once you finalize these options, a custom form appears. Here you can import data from connected applications per the integrations noted above. You also choose from a number of predefined options. For example, the Letter template offers choices for delivery method, salutation, cc/bcc, closing, and more.

When you need to print a document, Word LX's MultiPrint tool incorporates all of your firm's idiosyncrasies. Examples include printing final versions from the letterhead tray, applying stamps such as Draft or Copy, outputting a corresponding envelope, and creating a PDF version simultaneously for emailing or filing.

Word LX seeks to end the heartbreak associated with paragraph numbering and styles with a range of prebuilt options designed to work reliably. Infoware can create customized versions for your firm. CEO Dan Sharp tells us that Word LX offers more customization options than any competing product.

Other Word LX tools similarly improve on Word's native functions, including page numbers, section breaks, tables of authorities and contents, exhibit indexes, signature lines, headers and footers, and more.

What Else Should You Know?

"Our goal is to make document creation faster and easier for the legal profession," says Sharp. "Our solutions optimize and extend Microsoft Word with tools that are easier to use and that are more specific to the task of creating legal documents." Learn more about Word LX Enterprise.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | TL NewsWire
 
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