September 01, 2015

Document Automation: Using Technology to Improve Your Practice

Nerino J. Petro Jr.

So what is document automation (also referred to as document assembly), and why do lawyers need it? Simply put, it is a way to assemble documents or populate documents with variable information. Document assembly traditionally referred to the creation of documents from separate clauses and information based on the answers provided during an interview or question-and-answer process within a piece of software or on a website. Document automation, in contrast, was viewed as “a fill-in-the-blank form” where information such as names, addresses, company names, etc., was added. Today, the lines are blurred and either name can be used interchangeably. The terminology used is not what is critical—the real question is why do lawyers need document assembly? The answer is quite simple: money.

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