Top tier, full service law firm MinterEllisonRuddWatts is one of the most innovative firms in New Zealand. In recent years, the firm has made significant investments in technology to improve efficiency and consistency, including document management and collaborative communications tools.
In early 2019, the firm’s Technology, Media and Telecommunications team began using authorDOCS, an AI assistant from McCarthyFinch, for drafting and reviewing contracts. After introducing authorDOCS, the team experienced immediate efficiency gains, saving at least 20 minutes on every contract review – in some cases significantly more. This time saving has allowed the team to focus on improving quality, engaging with business partners, and increasing contract throughput.
Like many law firms, MinterEllisonRuddWatts had adopted technology to assist it with its day to day processes. However, finding a tool that significantly improved the process of reviewing and drafting contracts was elusive. That process remained paper-based, inefficient and lent itself to inconsistency.
How authorDOCS has helped.
In early 2019, Tom Maasland and his team began using authorDOCS, immediately saving time on contract work.
authorDOCS helped the MinterEllisonRuddWatts team to:
- Save individuals 1 to 2 hours a day on contract reviews.
- Increase capacity to take on additional legal work.
- Work independently and remotely, with reduced supervision.
- Build and share precedent and knowledge across the team, improving quality and consistency.
- Embrace an alternative training approach for junior lawyers.
- Reduce paper, which saves time and money – and is good for the planet.
Getting started with authorDOCS.
authorDOCS is designed to be a co-pilot for lawyers when reviewing and drafting contracts. Highly intuitive, lawyers can get up to speed with the tool within hours and for Tom, the impact has been immediate. authorDOCS can review contracts within seconds:
All this comes “out of the box”, without the need to train or configure preferences.
Tom and his team use authorDOCS to build and retain the knowledge of what clauses to use and under which circumstances to use them, enabling authorDOCS to master the specific policy and problem domains that his team manages on a day to day basis.
Over time, Tom and his team began to benefit from authorDOCS. Working more efficiently, the team had more time to collaborate, improve their domain knowledge and engage clients on meaningful business matters.
Changing how law works.
authorDOCS allowed MinterEllisonRuddWatts to start changing how it works and, for some lawyers, how they spent their time. Junior lawyers in the practice tend to do the bulk of contract work, but they are more productive. Tom saves up to 2 hours each day on contract review and drafting – spending less time on contract reviews means he can dedicate more time to the value- add work for clients.
Before authorDOCS, if you asked me to describe my day, I’d call half of it ‘yoyo scrolling’ or up to my neck in paper. Now everything I need is on screen and just a few clicks away.Tom Maasland,
Time reallocation with authorDOCS.
Tom Maasland’s favourite features.
In this case study, we looked at the positive impact authorDOCS had on Tom Maasland, Partner at MinterEllisonRuddWatts, when drafting and reviewing contracts. We take a look at two features Tom found most useful to his day to day work below.
The ClauseBank is essentially a reference base of clauses created or captured by Tom, which can then be easily accessed and added to any contract. The clauses are categorised into personal, team, and ‘all-user’ groups, allowing for individuals and teams to share knowledge.
> Concepts and the Comparison Shelf.
authorDOCS will produce a list of the different concepts in a contract. When Tom clicks on any of these concepts authorDOCS highlights all those instances within the contract where it appears. Tom can click through the list to easily navigate the concept.
Tom can then explore the ClauseBank to access standard clauses, compare these to the highlights, and decide what clauses in the contract to replace. Within the ClauseBank, Tom can access the Comparison Shelf. This allows Tom to directly compare different clauses for the same concept, along with drafting notes, before making a revision.