Filevine Cements Its All-in-One Status With the Addition of Document Assembly Plus More From the TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide
November 30, 2022
Filevine is a cloud-based practice management system for law firms with a new approach to document assembly designed to make it easier for lawyers and their teams to automate, draft, and edit documents. Read our new TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide Report below.
Filevine Cements Its Status as an All-in-One Law Firm Management System With the Addition of Document Assembly
For decades, legal software companies have created all sorts of ways to connect their document assembly tools to Microsoft Word. Microsoft never transformed Word into a true platform like Windows. Word documents today are just as static as those from 30 years ago. Filevine decided to do the work Microsoft wouldn't by building a new word processing environment built from the ground up for automating legal document creation.
The Killer Feature
Most document assembly applications need to integrate with external data sources such as a separate practice management system. By contrast, Filevine contains all your client and case data. Also, Filevine's built-in document management system stores all the documents you create, including multiple versions.
The document assembly platform in Filevine doesn't require any programming. Using drag and drop tools, create variables for any data field in Filevine and use conditional logic to insert or omit stored clauses depending on the characteristics of the client and matter. You can use these tools to create forms or document templates. Either way, you end up with what Filevine calls a "living document" with a live preview of how the final document will look. Filevine automatically stores the entire document history, enabling you to revert to any prior version.
Filevine uses its patented .vine format for these documents. This has caused some confusion among legal technology influencers. To set the record straight, Filevine is not trying to replace the DOCX or PDF format standards. Instead, it wants to replace Word for some or all of your document drafting while still supporting these industry standard file formats for the final version.
Online word processors such as Google Docs have become preferred among younger lawyers but lack a legal focus. Filevine wants to bring this modern approach to legal drafting. The .vine format facilitates Filevine's automation, data connections, and version history but at any point you can export a document to Word or PDF format and then proceed as you normally would. Filevine even includes formatting styles that carry over into Microsoft Word.
"Filevine Document Assembly represents a reinvention of the legal document," says Dr. Cain Elliott, Head Legal Futurist at Filevine. "Documents shouldn't be static reflections or archives of the information you had. They should be live tools that move with the speed of your legal team."
The .vine format at the heart of Filevine's document assembly technology facilitates a live document preview and other next-gen features.
Other Notable Features
Filevine offers an immersive environment for each of your matters. This eliminates errors and makes it easy to create ethical walls. While you can customize the toolset for each matter, Filevine offers two fixtures — the Activity Feed and Matter Summary. The Activity Feed is an interactive tickler listing every document, event, task, etc. In contrast to this granularity, the Matter Summary offers an interactive dashboard with a big picture view of a matter — current status, staffing, key deadlines, and more.
Filevine doesn't only automate document creation but also signatures, tasks, and time and expense entries. Vinesign captures eSignatures on documents. Workflows let you create templates of tasks with triggers for automating task assignment and deadlines.
On the time capture front, Filevine tries to not let billable hours fall through the cracks. For example, it can automatically create time entries for all attendees of a meeting. Also, you can start timers, add expenses and time entries to items in the Activity Feed, and review all expense and time entries on dedicated dashboards. Filevine includes trust accounting and integrates with QuickBooks for general accounting.
What Else Should You Know?
Filevine offers two companion products that you can activate — Lead Docket and Outlaw. Lead Docket provides client intake and marketing automation tools to capture and nurture leads. Outlaw provides contract management tools such as redlining and project management.
Take a Closer Look at Filevine
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TopLaw, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office personnel. Many consider TopLaw newsletters the only ones they need. A Fastcase 50 award winner, Neil has a long track record of inventing successful advertising and publishing technologies and related best practices. Previously, Neil practiced commercial litigation at Am Law 100 firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher. He received his J.D. from UCLA School of Law and his B.A. from Duke University. At UCLA, Neil served as a Managing Editor of UCLA Law Review.
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