We recently came across an article published a few years back on the software review site Capterra: “15 Things You Could Be Doing Instead of Legal Paperwork,” by Halden Ingwersen.  The article is a hilariously irreverent look at how “Being a lawyer is ridiculously time-consuming.” 

Unlike many articles and reports on legal technology that try to focus around a mythical 40-hour week for lawyers (we’re looking at you, Clio), Halden shows that she is willing to speak truth to power when she states right away that “Many lawyers work well over 60 hours a week, every week.” 

Indeed, she admits that the situation may seem bleak: “All that work may leave you thinking that free time is something for other people.”

However, all is not lost, and in a meme-filled spin towards good news, Halden holds out hope and a helping hand:

“But what if I told you that there really are ways to make your job easier so you can get through work faster and spend more time doing the things you love?

It’s true, and many of these solutions are a mere click away.”

Halden then goes through five common “Legal paperwork time sucks” where automation can help: billing, scheduling, case management, operations, and discovery. 

She provides good technology alternatives to save time in each area, along with three suggestions for how you can better spend the time you can save (our favorites: “Not becoming the dad from Cat’s In The Cradle,” “Writing the next Okay American Novel,” and “Coming up with weird hobbies to list.”).

However, we did have one “quibble” – kind of a big one, actually.  If you’re going to talk about doing something other than “Legal Paperwork” shouldn’t the number one time suck be “drafting documents?”

So, in the same irreverent spirit, we’d like to add to Ms. Ingwersen’s list of time sucks, and propose our own solution – along with three alternative ways to spend your time saved.

Legal paperwork time suck: documents

We all know that lawyers love documents.  They say that they hate them, but that can’t be true because they spend so much of their time working on documents, creating documents, finding documents, cursing over the fact that they can’t find documents, and such.

You can’t run a law firm, or deal with clients without dealing with documents all day – and if you’ve not yet automated, likely most of the night.  Of course, your clients expect you to get everything perfect, which would seem kind of unreasonable, until you remember just how much they are paying you.

We also realize that for many lawyers, particularly those at small firms or solos, there isn’t an expensive document management system or even SharePoint to keep track of everything. 

Welcome then, to Versioning Hell.  Oh, and it just gets worse when you try to save your documents to your Desktop (see sad otter meme below).


The solution: agile document automation

There are many solutions out there to help you automate your documents – what Capterra calls “Document Generation Software.”  Some of these solutions have been around for so long that they call them “legacy systems.”  And they are expensive to implement, in terms of both financial and human capital.

However, a new band of agile solutions is making document automation accessible for solos and small law firms, and even lawyers in larger firms who want the freedom to customize their own templates. They’re built for the end-user, rather than the IT team.

And one of those solutions, is, of course, Woodpecker. We’re proud to have a 4.6/5 rating on Capterra.  And we’re even prouder that one of our “Cons” is:

“[I’ll] let you know when I find one. Everything that I have used and seen in this product works like they said that it would.”

Because if that’s a “Con” for using Woodpecker, just imagine what the “Pros” are (and in fact, you don’t have to imagine, just go read them!).

So you can get back to:

1.     Organic gardening

2.     Wildlife rescue, especially sad otters who lose their documents by saving them in the wrong place

3.     Going to the ABA Techshow 2020 next week (Feb 26-29) in Chicago, to watch Woodpecker CEO Alex Melehy compete in the Startup Alley pitch competition on February 26 – we’re in the #1 slot, with the most votes of any startup!

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