No form of writing comes easy. While some may be a bit more stressful than others, writing is generally not regarded as a pleasant process. It may be fulfilling, satisfying at the end, and even extremely rewarding, but a good piece of writing will require a meticulous process to maintain the highest possible standards. The work may be tedious, but the result is always worth it. For lawyers, the process is usually twice as stressful, due to the many factors at stake. Almost every task performed by lawyers involves writing. The concept of “law” itself usually involves following the stipulations of “written” laws, which should be no surprise. Lawyers need to have things written down, to provide proper evidence when the time comes – things are generally easier that way. Failing to properly document facts, events, transactions, and arguments can make disputes prolonged unnecessarily, which serves no good for anyone.
DOCUMENT DRAFTING AS A NECESSITY
From outside the legal profession, it is quite difficult to fully realize the degree of importance placed on writing by the profession, and by lawyers themselves. One of the reasons why writing is such an important tool is the need to provide evidence when due, as stated above. Besides this, the factors at stake also raise such a level of importance. When lawyers have any type of case, it is always on behalf of one party or the other. If it is for a civil dispute between two parties, there is likely a property to be gained or lost, or a huge amount of money to be paid in damages. For criminal litigation cases, the stakes are even higher; the freedom of a client is most likely at stake. Or even worse, his life. For transactions between individuals/companies, the contracts facilitating both sides have to be as airtight as possible. Every obligation required of each party must be written down, to prevent any overlap or confusion in duties and expectations. In any case of breach of contract, the written transaction is always there to be referred to, showing the specific extent to which the party has breached the contract.
Letters, Bills of Charge, Memoranda, Opinions, and other documents peculiar to lawyers also reflect the importance of writing – and writing properly – within the legal profession. An activity with such significance surely must be done with the highest level of care and attention, which is where legal tech comes to help. Humans can only do so much in any endeavor, no matter how much time and energy are devoted to making it happen. For this reason, Legal Tech (particularly legal drafting software) comes into the picture.
LEGAL TECH AND THEIR BENEFITS
It is no news that tech generally makes life easier, and has affected the lives of practically everyone on earth, in at least one aspect of their lives. The development of technology in today’s world has become so prevalent to the extent that people have to make conscious efforts to reduce how much technology they consume. “Reducing screen time” and “tech detoxifying” are very common phrases thrown around nowadays when people try to reduce the negative effects of technology on their lives. Legal Tech in itself has no specific definition, it simply refers to any technology, physical or digital, that aids legal practice for lawyers and related personnel.
This description opens a wide range of technology products that can be described as legal tech. Writing and editing software, research applications, storage, and sorting software, and many others, are utilized by lawyers in completing legal tasks, particularly drafting and perfecting documents.
In the segment below, we highlight a few benefits that lawyers stand to enjoy professionally when the use of legal tech is included in their drafting process.
Research is interestingly the most important of a lawyer’s writing process, as well as the most difficult. Many funny quotes can be found on the internet and in academic circles on the frustrations that come with conducting research at times. Depending on the legal article to be written, the time spent on research compared to the writing period can be a ratio of 70:30 in some cases. Many innovative tech-minded lawyers have collaborated with software developers to create useful web-based software or applications where many legal materials and resources can be found using simple keywords and phrases. With this, research processes are sped up at a geometric rate.
Speed and Quality
This is a general advantage to using legal tech in legal drafting. The quality of the document is simply better, and lawyers complete their drafting processes faster. Many types of writing software actually serve different purposes in making the quality of the document better and getting work done faster. Most notably, different editing software we have nowadays has been quite useful in increasing the speed at which lawyers correct grammatical mistakes and rearrange sentences. Unlike the human eye, the software flags the relevant areas at once, leaving the writer with relatively little to do. Grammarly and Hemingway Editor are prominent examples of these kinds of editing software.
By nature, the internet and digital technology have rendered concepts like globalization and communication across borders as common norms. Lawyers have not fallen behind in using this norm to their advantage. Nowadays, writing software platforms like Google Docs and Microsoft Office 365 have made the collaboration between lawyers as smooth as imaginable. Colleagues across borders can work on the same documents at the same time, which promotes teamwork and generally increases the quality of documents. The second pair of eyes can sometimes be invaluable.
The benefits of tech (or legal tech) cannot be exhausted within a single article. Word automation in contracts, template generation, and other technical benefits come with the application of technology to legal services. However, in the general sense, the advantages stated above are the most common, and most encompassing, regarding the legal profession and using technology. Certainly worth it, especially when you consider the state of things if technology was excluded.