Contracts are an integral part of modern life. Businesses in every industry use these documents to facilitate the provision of products and services. But in the legal world, contracts have a much greater significance. Lawyers and their staff dedicate much of their billable time to drafting, reviewing, and managing these important documents. Contracts are a cornerstone of most modern law firms.
As digital transformation is embraced across diverse industries, law firms are quickly recognizing how process automation can help them free up valuable time and streamline repetitive tasks. Today, we’ll look at how lawyers can wield the power of automation to optimize the contract creation process.
Contract processing: The ties that bind
In order to manage relationships with clients and vendors, law firms are tasked with drafting contracts frequently. Processing these important documents usually includes a number of repetitive physical and digital tasks.
Traditional, manual methods of contract processing, unfortunately, create many opportunities for inconsistency, human error, and inefficiency. A single mistake or delay could cost the firm (and client) significantly, in all sorts of ways.
Enter workflow automation. Creating contracts becomes significantly easier when lawyers can automate processes that used to slow them down. Selecting the right content and ensuring rapid execution (including signatures) are common sources of stress and bottlenecks. But how exactly can automation help?
Expedite contract drafting with document generation
The contract process typically includes four steps: draft, review, revise, and execute. Consultation and negotiation often cause the review and revise steps to be repeated multiple times. While client-specific details must always be customized, boilerplate language shouldn’t be the cause of bottlenecks.
Building a template library of frequently used information can give lawyers and their staff a head start in drafting contracts. Document generation lets legal firms create their own libraries of pre-approved templates, along with the ability to drag and drop clauses to create tailored contracts. Giving lawyers the right building blocks both accelerates the process and reduces errors and revisions.
With pre-approved templates and clauses, the day-to-day part of contract creation is streamlined. The library ensures that when templates are created or updated, the latest version is saved in the correct location and quickly accessible to all. Lawyers and staff can find any contract language they need at a moment’s notice and be confident of its accuracy. This allows them to work faster and more efficiently.
Get signatures in minutes with e-signatures
Getting signoff from internal stakeholders can also be time-consuming. With legal contracts requiring multiple rounds of feedback and approval before being shared with the client, this is another area ripe for bottlenecks. An easy way to transform contract processing is to digitize approvals as well as content.
Long recognized as a legal form of signature, e-signatures are an easy way for law firms to streamline the internal contract approval process. Electronic signatures allow a stakeholder to remotely sign a document, eliminating the need for a paper contract. This can reduce signoff time from days to minutes, even when multiple signatures are needed, because an automated workflow platform can request all required signatures simultaneously.
Leave due diligence to the bots
Another task that can consume considerable time for a legal team is due diligence. Collecting requisite background information from multiple databases, then inputting that data via manual copy-paste actions, can be accomplished more quickly, and with fewer errors, with automation.
Robotic process automation (RPA) “bots” can be trained to complete menial tasks like crawling databases for specific criteria, or scanning documents and recognize common errors. They’re able to complete these repetitive tasks in seconds, with no human error. Law firms can focus on generating high-quality contracts and maintaining excellent client relationships, while bots act as highly efficient support staff.
Don’t compromise on speed or accuracy: choose Nintex
Nintex offers an all-in-one workflow platform with which law firms can generate contracts, including e-signatures, on a single screen. DocGen® transforms the contract generation and management process. It’s the central repository of pre-approved templates and clauses a law firm can rely on. e-signatures are supported within the workflow platform, harnessing the power of automation to collect signatures. This reduces the task of chasing stakeholders.
Unified within a single library in the platform, contracts are kept in a secure location where they can be retrieved at any time. Compliance is built into your contract processing, and your lawyers can focus on important work like negotiation. The Nintex Platform helps you put polished legal contracts in your client’s hands faster than ever before.
To find out more about how the Nintex Platform is transforming the legal landscape, get in touch today.