Legaltech: Online Forms Now Available
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LEGALTECH: ONLINE FORMS NOW AVAILABLE
Have you heard about legaltech? It’s technology used by lawyers. Today I saw an article in the local newspaper that said that the last Blockbuster video store in Australia is shutting down. After it closes, only one Blockbuster franchise store will exist in the entire world, in the US. Most of us remember making weekly trips to the video store and getting annoyed if we paid a fine for a late return. Nowadays, we all use Netflix or something similar, made possible by faster broadband Internet connections.
We are using Legaltech to automate document assembly
Technology develops constantly, and it changes the way we live and work. Lawyers also evolve. In the spirit of progress and providing a better, more affordable service for our clients, Irving Law is developing a series of online instruction forms which our clients can use to feed us instructions to assemble documents for them, like loan agreements, leases, other contracts, and basic Wills. The data fields in the forms will correspond with fields in the templates, allowing us to automate production of the first draft. After that, we will review the draft, and then discuss with the client what, if any, further editing is required.
Except in the case of documents with only a few variables, we don’t intend to give the clients direct access to the templates. Why not? Because we are responsible for the product. While we will do our best to make sure the templates are suitable for most people’s needs, if for any reason the information that is added to the template doesn’t fit properly, or if the finished product doesn’t meet all of the client’s needs, then we will to finalise the document in cooperation with the client.
How do we charge for automated documents?
By automating the first part of the document production process with legaltech, however, we will be able to lower our fee for producing the document. The automation will probably save at least one 30-minute interview per client. We intend to charge the client a fixed fee for this first, automated part of the drafting process. If we don’t do any further editing, the client can walk away with their document. Where we believe we should do further editing, we will explain why that work is needed, and agree with the client on a fair fee to complete the document properly.
As we are charging a lower fee per document, won’t that hurt our profits? No. We will sell more documents because they will be more affordable. High legal fees are a huge disincentive for ordinary people to use legal services. Most of our clients are small and medium business owners who are price conscious. We would rather get the same amount of fees by providing a greater number of clients with affordably priced documents than a handful of clients with expensive ones. That’s the benefit of legaltech. Better for us, better for our clients.
[The author of this blog post, James Irving, is a commercial and corporate lawyer in Perth, Australia. Please contact us if you would like to find out more about using online forms to order a commercial legal document. Photo credit: Digital Nomad by Perzon Seo, a public domain image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. CC BY-2.0. The photo may be formatted by our website settings.]