According to the “2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market” produced by Georgetown University, more and more firms are changing from hourly billing to a flat-fee model. It’s not difficult to see why; a flat-fee model appeals to clients, who want to know the total cost they’ll pay for their legal work, and can be highly profitable for firms if you can manage to get the productivity vs. fee balance right.
One of the most effective ways to bump up your productivity without increasing staff resources is to implement a document automation system. A typical lawyer spends about 60% of their time drafting and reviewing documents – including collecting client information, creating and revising a new document for that client from an existing form or previous client’s document, and the typical rounds of review and revision – so reducing the time you spend on each document is an essential part of making flat-fee models profitable.
Document automation systems like Knackly can decrease your drafting time by up to 80%, which means a huge productivity boost for you. For instance, if you currently spend ten hours on the drafting process outlined above for a single case, after automation with Knackly you would be able to produce the documents for that case in two hours – meaning that in the same ten hours of work, you could finish documents for five cases instead of one, exponentially increasing your profit margins in a flat-fee model.
Getting started with document automation is easy. First, you’ll create a base document from your existing forms – one with no typos or errors, which has all of the up-to-date provisions and optional pieces of language you want to be able to use in various circumstances. Once you have your base document, you will mark what information needs to change from client to client and when those optional provisions should be used. Finally, you will automate the base document into a template with the Knackly system.
That’s it – once the template is in Knackly, you can start producing documents from it, documents that will have the correct information, provisions, and formatting you need. No find and replace, no errors from multiple instances of data entry, no typos or outdated provisions from old forms. Just your documents produced exactly as you want them.
As the legal industry continues to change and grow, it is important to stay on top of trends like the flat-fee model in order to stay competitive; when you combine the flat-fee model with document automation, you’ll find that you can boost your firm’s productivity and profits to the next level.
Click here to learn more about how Knackly can fit your law firm’s individual needs.