In our busy world with constant changes, the often overlooked task is template maintenance. It might seem like a mundane chore, straight to the bottom of the to-do list, especially when compared to crafting new content or rolling out new innovative technology. Yet, underestimating it’s importance can be a misstep for any business, particularly law firms where precision and correct, up to date, information is so important.

Why is Template Maintenance so Crucial? 

Think of it as the backbone of your content ecosystem. While implementing new technology such as a template and clause library  is like buying a shiny new car, maintenance ensures that the car remains in optimal condition – safe, and reliable. In the case of templates, failing to maintain and update content libraries can inadvertently expose your business to the risk of disseminating incorrect or outdated information. For a law firm, this could result in significant legal repercussions.

So, how can we make template maintenance less tedious and more efficient? Here are some actionable tips:

Allocate Review Dates to All Content

When you create a new piece of content or a template, immediately set a review date for it. This proactive approach ensures that you never lose track of when a template needs an update. Tools and software that offer reminders or alerts can be invaluable in this regard.

Run Regular Reports

Use inbuilt tools to keep tabs on your content. With the right software, you can easily run reports that highlight templates nearing their review dates, or content allocated to categories that are currently and potentially legally contentious. This systematic approach takes the guesswork out of the process and ensures that nothing slips through the cracks.

Delegate Around the Teams

Distributing the responsibility of template maintenance across various teams ensures that it doesn’t become  overwhelming for one individual or department. Different teams can be assigned specific content categories, making the process more manageable and allowing for expert eyes on relevant content.

Foster a Culture of Maintenance

Making template maintenance a part of your organisational culture can play a pivotal role in ensuring its consistent execution. Periodic workshops or training sessions highlighting the importance of this task and the risks of neglecting it can serve as constant reminders for your staff.

Always consider content building blocks

Constantly updating common content across a range of templates is a time consuming task and often wasted effort.  As part of a maintenance cycle, it is prudent to be on the lookout for opportunities to centralise content.  An initial template build might have missed an opportunity to link to a common clause in a central library, whilst a maintenance task has the opportunity to rectify this.

Prioritise and Categorise

All content is not created equal. While some templates might need monthly reviews, others might be fine with annual check-ups. By categorising content based on its importance and relevance, you can devise a more structured and efficient review plan.

Use Automated Tools

There’s a great range of tools available today that can automate large parts of the template maintenance process. From tracking changes and versions to integrating AI-driven content analysis, leveraging technology can drastically reduce the time and effort involved.

Whilst template maintenance might seem “boring” compared to creating new content, its significance cannot be underestimated. In industries like law, where accuracy and up-to-date information are non-negotiable, regular content reviews are an absolute necessity. By employing a strategic approach and leveraging technology, you can transform this seemingly daunting task into a smooth and efficient process. We have all the answers you are looking for to manage this seamlessly. Get in touch here – would love to chat and discuss how we can help you with this. 

The legal industry has forever been plagued by inefficiencies and reliance on (expensive) manual processes. However, with the constant advancement of technology and an increasing focus on innovation, automation is quickly becoming a game changer for law firms and legal professionals. Law firms are now leveraging advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and automation tools to deliver efficient, accurate, and cost-effective legal services. The benefits are usually obvious, but what are the risks? 

The Risks:

While automation has its benefits in improving efficiency, reducing manual labour, and minimising human errors, it also brings with it certain risks that must be carefully assessed and addressed. Some examples of legal content that AI may introduce risk with:

  • Engagement agreements
  • Court documents
  • (Final) advices
  • “Next step” documents/emails to clients which contain dates and tasks often structured around SLAs

Loss of Personal Touch

While you may think of errors or security as number one risk, the potential impact to customer service is a big one. As more and more firms move to streamlined ways of working, at similar price points, customer service can be what sets your firm apart. As law firms increasingly adopt automated tools and software for tasks, there is a risk of losing the personal touch that is often associated with obtaining legal services. The close bond between clients and their lawyers plays a role in fostering trust and understanding which is needed to provide a high quality service. Automation could inadvertently damage this client relationship if not implemented thoughtfully.

Ethical Concerns

The ethics surrounding law practice remain an important aspect to consider when incorporating automated technologies. Some things to consider include: Can a machine demonstrate the same level of professional conduct as a human lawyer? (This is debatable!) Will automation enable or impede equal access to legal representation for all people? Could it fail to recognise underlying values crucial in legal decision-making processes?

Data Privacy and Security

Automated systems are reliant on vast amounts of sensitive client data to operate effectively. As a result, law firms leveraging these technologies run the risk of becoming prime targets for cyberattacks. Ensuring robust security measures are in place is essential to protect confidential client data from unauthorised access, potential leaks, or breaches.

The Benefits:

Enhanced Efficiency

Automation can streamline various repetitive and time-consuming tasks, such as document drafting, data entry, and data analysis. By automating these processes, legal practitioners can focus on more complex and meaningful tasks and achieve better, faster outcomes for their clients.

Cost Savings

An obvious one- Law firms that incorporate automation tools generally save both time and money. Less manual processing required means your people can spend more time on clients cases and more time bringing new business into firms.

Enhanced Customer Service

As law firms embrace digital transformation, they can offer faster turnaround times on client requests and better manage case loads. Clients benefit from faster responses to their legal needs while experiencing seamless interactions with their lawyers through various platforms.

In law firms, the use of such technology is a fine balance between value and risk. These solutions appear to offer value in terms of productivity and efficiency, but we should be careful these do not come at the risk of a firm’s status, an employee’s reputation, and most importantly their client’s businesses and livelihoods. At Mosmar, we think AI is exciting but it has a long way to go before it will gain our full confidence. We recommend not going “all in” with AI, and easing your way into automation using tried and tested software. Need help? Would love to partner with you to help you on your automation journey. Contact us here.

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