Ways to manage standardised clauses is one of the most common requests we get. Standardised clauses are important for accuracy, firm representation and consistency.

We’ve developed two sets of Clause Library options for DocAssist users depending on their existing systems as well as firm requirements. These options are:

  • Clippings and;
  • Clause Bank

Both solutions are available with the DocAssist’s Word and Outlook Add-ins.

Clippings

Clippings is the standard clause library that comes as part of your standard or premium DocAssist implementation. The way we describe Clippings is “Auto-text but better”.

While Clippings are just .docx files saved in a directory, there are two major differences between the standard auto-text functionality and our solution:

  1. You have the ability to save your clippings to up to three locations with separate security policies applied to them:
    • Personal
    • Shared
    • Global
  2. Clippings allows you to preview and search for clauses in a compact user interface before inserting them into your document, without having to search for it in a different location.
Preview of Clippings interface with a preview of a clause stored in a “Personal” location.

Clause Bank

Clause Bank is a functionality developed specifically for firms who utilise iManage. It has been integrated with their latest release (Work10) in order to provide users with seamless access to their curated clause library managed by the KM or Precedents department.

Like Clippings, Clause Bank allows users to select relevant pieces of text, tables or images saved to a central repository.

Like Clippings, ClauseBank allows users to search for and insert accurate clauses into their documents with the click of a button.

You can also create your own library of curated clauses by adding them to your favourites. 

Clause Bank interface showing curated folder structure

What’s right for me?

There are many compelling reasons to use either Clippings or Clause Bank. Most firms using iManage will utilise both.

For those firms, the main use case for having both is to provide users with the flexibility to access either their personal or departmental clause options via Clippings as well as the firm-wide curated clause library.

The advantage of using both is that it allows users to personalise Clippings (ie modify clauses) and keep them in their “Personal” Clippings location. It also allows departments to maintain their own clause libraries  without having to go through IT, KM or Precedents departments.

For non-iManage sites, Clippings can be a powerful utility where security policies can be applied to the Personal, Shared and Global locations to dictate Read/Write/Modify permissions. This way KM/Precedent departments can still have the power to curate Global and Shared locations, but provide users flexibility to modify and use their preferred clauses via their Personal location. 

The option that is right for you depends on your firms policies and preferences.

When I have conversations around change and innovation one of the most common objections I hear is “we’ve always done it this way”.  It is one of the most dangerous phrases when it comes to business and I work hard to ensure that the businesses and individuals I deal with understand both the tangible and intangible reasons for change. Often I break up these reasons to three categories that all ultimately result in the same thing; change for the greater good. And of course, simple to adapt and adopt solutions also help with this cause. This is why we developed DocAssist as a “solution for the people” and not just for those who code their days away…

Keeping up with technology

While it’s true that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”, this reductionist point of view no longer rings true with most businesses. Technology is developing rapidly and the longer businesses leave their technology upgrades, the harder it becomes to ever make that leap. If you’re business hasn’t digitalised its processes not only are you missing out on amazing new technologies such as AI and data analytics, but you are also putting your business data at risk.

A simple example of this is a personal experience I had a number of years ago. The small town I was living in at the time suffered a great flood where almost every business on the main strip was submerged for 2 days. While most of the physical damage done to the businesses was covered under insurance, a number of businesses including the local optometrist lost all of their client related data which was still maintained manually on pen and paper.

Drying patient files… The simple act of creating a digital database and storing data off-site could have easily protected the decades old patient files.

How can DocAssist Assist: DocAssist’s writeback feature can help you retain important data in its own database, so you can not only use the data again and again but you can also report on it. DocAssist also integrates seamlessly with other solutions (such as a PMS or
CRM), creating a secondary repository of contact and other client related data.

Keeping up with the changing workforce

It’s been cited in numerous research articles that the new generation of workforce value their time, space and flexible working conditions. Chaining them to a desk is not going to create a productive GenY/Z, and an unproductive workforce is not profitable. Businesses are responsible for creating an environment where their employees are able to perform their duties in physical and mental comfort.

How can DocAssist Assist: As a business tool DocAssist provides users with flexibility to change their documents and collaborate with colleagues as required. Unlike other document automation solutions you are not “stuck” with your answers, you can come back and change your options as required and see your document evolve in real time. It’s interactive nature means you won’t need to complete an entire interview
form to see the changes in your document. It all happens IRL!

For those working on the go, DocAssist also offers an off-line database, which means you can continue to access your clients, matters and contacts even if you’re not “on-site”.

Keeping up with changing customer expectations

The driver behind changing business environment is often changing client expectations. Clients are increasingly expecting to have control over their data. And like internal teams, they expect to collaborate with their lawyers when it comes to drafting documents. While digitalisation of data collection and document drafting solutions has somewhat eased this process (for both clients and lawyers), issues such as data integrity and security are still on the top of everyone’s list of concerns.

How can DocAssist Assist: In the simplest terms, a draft DocAssist document can be shared with the client in any secure means necessary for review. Because DocAssist’s main data entry and collection functionality relies on content controls, third-parties can be given some access to complete missing information on the document using only Microsoft Word. This data can even be written back to the DocAssist database once the document is received back from the client.

Additionally, data collected from client portals can also be integrated into the DocAssist database for use in the automation process.

What is your firm doing to adapt to new and emerging technologies?

Janders Dean makes up an important part of the legal technology and innovation ecosystem in Australia and overseas, and #JDHorizons is a date that most inhabitants of this ecosystem save in their calendar well  in advance year after year.

This was the second time we were invited to sponsor #JDHorizons in Sydney. We were blessed with two days of Spring in the middle of Winter with marvellous views of Sydney Harbour, accompanied by a carefully curated program of speakers.

What we liked about the Conference
  • Curated speakers
  • Promotion of diversity
  • Large number of female speakers
  • SheBreaksTheLaw launch
  • Cocktails at 10am doesn’t hurt anyone except your brain
  • Fantastic opportunity for up and coming university students
Why we’ll be back
  • We like the delegates – a great mix of people with common industry, innovation and a collaborative mindset
  • It’s fun and relaxed
  • The topics are relevant, not just to Delegates but to Sponsors too
  • The values of the conference align with outs (diversity, inclusion, wellbeing)

New Features

  • Introduction of document data caching – meaning values of content controls are always available whether inside Select or Optional Paragraphs
  • Batch Processing tool to allow a group of DocAssist documents to be generated against a set matter and author
  • Tool to Deconstruct/Reconstruct Repeaters for ease of updating and maintaining Repeaters
  • Addressee’s email address will auto-populate into the To box when DocAssist emails are created
  • Option to retain the Outlook email signature in DocAssist emails
  • Ability to start a new precedent automatically in filtered mode – to only take the user to incomplete content controls
  • Centralised management of DocAssist licences by allocating licences to specific users, in DocAssist Admin utility
  • Centralised management of DocAssist licensing key via DocAssist Admin utility

iManage Feature Changes

  • Clause Bank dynamically updates with additions to folders and documents
  • Precedent Bank, Email Precedent Bank and Clause Bank can point to a Work10 folder in addition to a Work10 workspace

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