Cloud Document Automation That Works With Microsoft Word
August 8, 2019
Today's TechnoLawyer Buyer's Guide report covers cloud software that automates the creation of legal documents in Word format and which saves time by storing client and matter data for reuse in new documents.
Cloud Document Automation That Works With Microsoft Word
Legal applications have moved to the cloud with increasing celerity in recent years but document automation has lagged because of Microsoft Word. Most lawyers prefer the Windows or Mac version of Word, which seems like a formidable obstacle for a cloud-based solution. But one company has figured it out.
Lawyaw in One Sentence
Lawyaw is cloud document automation software with time-saving data retention technology and which generates Microsoft Word documents.
The Killer Feature
"You should never have to find and retype the same information or cut and paste across multiple documents for a given case or transaction," says Lawyaw's founder and CEO Tucker Cottingham as he begins my demo. "Lawyaw's new data retention feature makes it super easy to auto-populate new documents with information from previous drafted documents."
Lawyaw runs in any web browser. When you enter client-related information into a template for the first time, Lawyaw stores it for automatic entry in future documents.
You can also store data up front using several methods. Lawyaw integrates with Clio, automatically ingesting all client and matter information. You can also add contacts on the fly. Perhaps most importantly, Lawyaw enables you to create intake templates for data capture so that users can quickly get started on a new client's work. Click the Contacts or Matter icons on the left navigation bar to view all the available data for a given client.
Lawyaw document templates support advanced features such as alternative clauses.
Other Notable Features
You create dynamic templates in Lawyaw using the Template Builder — a Microsoft Word add-in. Start with a finished or model document, select text in the document that you want to convert into a form field, and then click the appropriate field type in the Template Builder. Repeat this for each field you want to create. There's no syntax or programming to learn, eliminating the need for a consultant.
Lawyaw includes a set of standard fields like Client Name and Date, and supports all field types from text entry to multiple choice for saved alternative language and clauses. Advanced tools include formatted text, drop-in bulleted lists, or entire formatted paragraphs, as well as automated use of singular/plural and the applicable pronouns. The ability to copy and paste cards from other templates speeds up the creation process and ensures consistency. You can add tool tips and group similar fields into cards with labels to make the template user friendly.
"Lawyaw is light years ahead of its competitors, particularly in its ability to allow you to easily create templates from existing documents," says Josh Noffke, partner at JPWN Legal. "The time-savings are epic. As far as document automation goes today, there really isn't a close second."
When you finish creating a template, Lawyaw stores it in your firm's secure cloud account, enabling those in your firm with access rights to use it. Users log into Lawyaw in their web browser, select the template they want to use, complete the interview, and then download the completed Word document. An panel on the left side of the document keeps users apprised of their progress. The finished document retains all of the styles from the original document.
What Else Should You Know?
Lawyaw provides training and helps create your first template (you can pay extra to have your entire library converted). Additional support includes live chat and a library of video tutorials. Lawyaw's monthly price depends on the number of users and whether you want access to Lawyaw's built -in e-signature tool and library of California and federal forms. Explore Lawyaw and bookmark the website.
Meet Neil J. Squillante
Neil J. Squillante is the founder and publisher of TechnoLawyer, an award-winning network of free email newsletters for lawyers and law office administrators. Many consider TechnoLawyer the only email subscription they need. 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.
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