- Leaflet Corporation

legal document automation
Leveraging the Wisdom of Crowds
Foley & Lardner Generates Value for Clients with Legal Document Automation
Since the beginning of the latest recession,
productivity as measured by profit-perworker increased by more than 50% to a
10-year high. Respondents to a recent
Deloitte survey of CFOs at mid-level companies attributed the gains to improvements
in business processes and technology, with
business process automation tools ranking
highest among the technology investments
in boosting productivity.
“Our goal in implementing document
Law firms and corporate legal departments
are also starting to use technology to deliver
legal services better, faster and cheaper.
Today’s document automation tools have the
power to improve productivity by reducing
cost, generating additional revenue, and
improving turnaround times.
automation was to show
our clients that we
were using technology
not just for our benefit
but for theirs as well.”
At Foley & Lardner, a 900-attorney global law
firm, document automation was part of a
larger initiative to demonstrate how technology could benefit their clients.
“As a business law firm, we want to be seen
as a value generator for our clients,” said
Gabor Garai, Partner at Foley & Lardner. “Our
goal in implementing document automation
was to show our clients that we were using
technology not just for our benefit but for
theirs as well.”
Foley & Lardner implemented the Leaflet
document automation solution in February
2011 and began to see some substantial benefits to the firm right away. Even small improvements made a big impact, like spelling
the name correctly in the signature block on
all documents because it is auto-populated
from a single source document.
The full benefit of the Leaflet automation
system was particularly evident to the M&A
and Real Estate teams as those areas typically
involve a large number of inter-related docume‐
nts. Users can choose a key clause and quickly
ripple that language through the rest of the
documents. The M&A team was able to create
specialized documents for biotech deals
that included all the required schedules for
FDA regulations and Intellectual Property.
For their Latin American clients, the system
questionnaire could be completed in the local
language with the documents produced in
For the firm, the system has greatly reduced
the time to complete documents. Garai
gives the example of a meeting with a VC at
a Starbucks, pulling out an iPad, completing
the online questionnaire, and emailing the
preliminary term sheet across the table. “We
can literally create documents with a push of
a button with results that are fast, accurate,
and reliable.”
The resulting time savings is of great value
to the firm but also is a value to clients. For
example, standard agreements can be
created that allow sales reps to choose from
among several alternatives that have already
been approved for use, thereby helping them
close deals faster.
For clients, using the document automation
tool is not always about speed. “Clients like
to be involved in the process and collaborate
in the creation of documents – it gives them
a feeling of joint control.” Clients can log in
and follow the changes being made to their
documents. And once documents have been
created for a client, those can be used again
for subsequent projects.
legal document automation
More importantly, the input from all users at
the firm is reflected in the documents, and
all clients benefit from any particular learning or improvements to language or clauses.
For Foley & Lardner,
the efficiency of the
system has translated
into a 35–40% savings in
time and cost for the
average project.
The rollout approach that Foley & Lardner
took also holds lessons for other firms looking to implement a document automation
solution. Foley took a bottom-up approach
as opposed to top-down (Garai refers to it as
the “guerilla method”). They started with a
progressive group – young associates who
were tech savvy to begin with and whose
clients were mostly tech savvy. Those early
adopters became opinion leaders throughout the firm.
They then ran a pilot with the M&A team
and trained the associates on the process.
Partners began to see the impact of the
system in improved timesheet productivity
with no reduction in accuracy, and others
began to adopt the system once word began
to spread. “Even the Trust & Estates team –
typically not heavy users of technology – is
now one of the biggest supporters of the
For Foley & Lardner, the efficiency of the
system has translated into a 35–40% savings
in time and cost for the average project. This
savings has implications for the business of
the firm, making it more feasible for them to
quote billable hour business at a lower price
and explore alternative fee arrangements
such as project-based billing. It has given
them an opportunity to be more aggressive
in bidding for work with better predictability
of costs.
Most importantly, leveraging the collective
input of users has yielded better results and
a better ability to reduce risk for their clients.
When everyone has input into the final product, the best practices of the entire firm are
merged and incorporated, leading to better
quality output.
Next up for Foley is expanding the rollout to
other groups. Market forces are naturally
accelerating use of the system within the
firm, and the partners are encouraging its
use. The resulting time savings is of great
value to the firm and provides direct benefits
to clients.
“We’re looking to have the collective knowledge of the entire firm embedded in the
system to result in better outcomes for our
For more information on Leaflet’s legal document automation services,
please visit www.leafletcorp.com, contact us at 888.509.9075 or email [email protected]
Copyright 2015 by Leaflet Corporation, the owner of trademarks on “Leaflet”. Other marks are the property of their respective owners.