Sarah has worked with non-profits, law firms, and with alternative legal provider clients for several years. She has automated a wide variety of legal documents and used software integrations to increase the usability, efficiency, and value of her clients’ document automation projects. Automated documents are but one small part of getting the best return on investment from your Documate workflows that Sarah can provide!
What is your document automation experience?
Document automation is the process of replicating expert attorney knowledge into an online tool. Used well, it has the potential to make that expert legal knowledge accessible to more people in need at a lower cost. Document automation can help non-profits serve more clients and can help law firms open up new market segments which can’t afford traditional legal services.
Having worked with non-profit, law firm, and alternative legal provider clients for several years now, I’ve automated a wide variety of legal documents and used software integrations to increase the usability, efficiency, and value of my clients’ document automation projects.Automated documents are one small part of getting the best return on investment from your Documate workflows. As part of every document automation project, I also offer:
-Visual branding (custom fonts, colors, logos, and styles) to help your workflows look seamless and professional
-Complex document automation logic (get more information from users with fewer questions by using strategic automation principles)
-Software integrations (for simple actions, like pushing data to Clio or automating email notifications, to complex processes, like automating your entire client intake process end-to-end)
-Plain language writing (will your users be the general public? Make your questionnaires simple, understandable, and straight-forward. Legalese translated to everyday language)
Can you describe your process for how you build a document automation workflow?
The document automation process largely has the following basic steps:
1. Goals, goals, goals. Every effective document automation project starts with goals. When we meet, our most important conversation will be about what you want to accomplish. In a perfect world, what experience would you user have and what gets done? After we have a list of your goals, I’ll tell you exactly how we can make each of them happen by coming up with a project plan.
2. Understand the documents. Conversations with you or your staff to better understand the specific documents. I’ll review the documents, ask questions, and confirm the automation needs of each document.
3. Build the questionnaire workflow.I strategically streamline the variables we need to collect so that your user answers fewer questions and has a more efficient experience, while still ensuring you get all the information you need.
4. Automate your documents. Add all the variables to your documents, including complex logic within the documents, and test the generation of all documents.
5. Testing and revision. You and your staff will have the opportunity to test the full workflows and generated documents and provide feedback and revisions to each.
6. Integrations and branding. Once the content of your workflow is finalized, we can explore specific visual branding and start to go wild with any larger process workflows you want to automate using a combination of Zapier and other software including Clio,Outlook mail and calendar, Gmail and Google calendar, Airtable, Slack,Stripe/Square/Paypal, Calendly, SMS notifications, Dropbox, Excel, Twilio, and more. Check out a full list of apps which can be used in your complex process automations by using Zapier.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a document automation specialist to have when working with a client to automate their templates and forms?
Curiosity is key in document automation. The ability and desire to understand their client’s users, goals, and area of law is what sets a perfectly good automater apart from a document automation expert. While I have experience with family law, securities, immigration, personal injury, landlord-tenant, entity formation, and many other types of legal documents, I leverage my curiosity to capture my client’s knowledge of the law in order to automate workflows which contain their years of expertise and experience.
What do you do for fun?
I have an ever-revolving door of new hobbies(such is the ADHD life) but the ones that have stuck are rock-climbing and, you guessed it, legal technology. I do this work because I love it, and I think it has the potential to make the law more accessible for those who most need it. Automation reduces the time lawyers spend on non-law tasks, allowing attorneys to focus on the important legal work they were trained to do and pass those time savings onto their clients. For this reason, I love to work with non-profits who need a document automation expert and offer a significant discount to non-profits, community organizations, and social good companies who are interested in hiring me.
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