Artificial Intelligence (AI) is disrupting every industry, including the traditionally paper-based legal sphere. While it’s taken time, lawyers are gradually getting on board with the idea of ditching their beloved red pens and legal pads in favor of technology that will help them do their jobs more efficiently.
In fact, the 2020 Report of the State of the Legal Market released by Georgetown Law and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute examined what type of legal technology firms should be using. They found that over half of legal professionals believe their organization should adopt document automation solutions (52%), document drafting solutions (45%), and know-how and precedent solutions (43%).
Reviewing and drafting contracts is manual, repetitive work that takes up to 70% of a legal department’s time. With increasing pressures on teams to do more with less, improving contract management efficiency and document consistency can be a serious cost issue. Contract automation, fueled by AI, helps teams spend more time on customer-facing tasks, improve business performance and reduce business risk.
But where do you start? AI might seem like a daunting technology to learn and integrate into your everyday work life, but in reality it doesn’t take long to become proficient. You just need to find the right product. We recommend looking for a contract automation solution that includes the following:
Allows You to Manage Contracts in Microsoft Word
First things first. We believe that lawyers shouldn’t have to completely change the tools they use or download separate software. Lawyers primarily use Microsoft Word to review contracts, which is why we created authorDOCS — an AI contract review solution — as a Microsoft Word plugin so lawyers can edit legal documents right within the software they are already comfortable using. Got a PDF that needs to be redlined? Not an issue. Microsoft Word automatically converts PDFs into Word Documents when opened with the MS Word software.
The authorDOCS Word plugin opens on the right pane of your document and lists alerts, clauses and details that it automatically detects in your legal contract that you should pay attention to.
Includes Contract Templates
Any legal AI tool worth its salt will have out-of-the-box, pre-configured checks for different contract review use-cases across multiple industries. These contract review templates speed things up so that the legal team doesn’t have to customize their own review templates for run-of-the-mill agreements.
authorDOCS’ ships with a range of preconfigured contract review templates to help you get started quickly, including legal document reviews in areas such as general supply, construction, employment, confidentiality, supplier agreements, due diligence, services and consulting agreements, etc.
Offers the Ability to Customize
While legal contract templates are the easiest to use, different clients, contract values or work type might require different legal standards for you to adhere to in your contract management process; so your solution should include the ability to easily customize it to fit your needs.
Taking the time to create a playbook of reviews for different matters will allow you to use AI tools more efficiently across a greater range of work, while ensuring consistency across your team. These work similar to the pre-configured reviews, but are customized with your firm’s own standards.
Allows You to Set up a Clause Bank
Don’t worry, you don’t need to have double majored in Computer Science to customize your own “review playbook.” One of the most important ways you can tailor your own legal contract review templates is by updating a central Clause Bank that stores your firm’s standard clauses, enabling you to draft and review contracts more efficiently with AI.
By using authorDOCS, you can capture new clauses while working on documents by simply highlighting the clause you want to capture, going to the Draft Tab and clicking on the “Create clause” tab. Entering relevant tags along with the clause language helps team members effortlessly find your work within the easily accessible ClauseBank available to the entire team.
If you need ideas, we provide sets of sample clauses that users can modify for their own use. In light of the global COVID-19 crisis, we have added extra sample clauses to the ClauseBank to help with your new drafting challenges. The sample clauses are pandemic tagged and include Force Majeure Delays, Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity Plan, and Pandemic Preparedness and Definitions.
Allows You to Jump to Legal Concepts and Details
Another way that AI comes in handy is being able to easily identify legal concepts, clauses and details within clauses without having to scroll back and forth.
Your legal contract review tool should automatically flag key contract issues and suggest edits that match successful precedent legal contracts. The more you use your chosen tool, the better the alerts and suggestions the AI provides for your given industry. In the case of authorDOCS, blended natural language processing, linguistic and machine learning techniques create an AI that learns faster from far less data with higher generalized accuracy.
At the end of the day, the legal AI tool you use should standardize the way your team identifies and remedies contractual issues, and improve collaboration efforts overall by widely sharing standard and fallback positions when drafting and negotiating contracts.
But don’t take our word for it …
If you’d like to learn more about our authorDOCS legal AI tool, and how it can help your legal team improve, set up a free, 30-minute demo today!