I have been asked recently to prepare a White Paper on Document Assembly as applied to a large Wall Street law firm, with a sophisticated and diverse corporate practice. This article will launch a series of articles that will take you through a law firm, department by department and identify those areas that are ripe for automation.
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I am myself a creature of Wall Street. That is where I got my start as a lawyer; it is a place that defines my view of the practice of law. It is a model, not the only model, that delivers exceptionally high work product and dedicated client service.
It is an area of the law practice that is exceedingly profitable. Partners charge upwards of $1000 per hour at premium rates or sometimes, a sliver percentage of very large transactions. The expectations of these clients is nothing less than perfection itself. And for that perfection, they pay. Profits derive in many of these cases from the raw talent of the lawyers combined with very long work hours.
It is my position that the profits of these firms (revenue minus costs of delivery of services) could dramatically increase with the judicious use of document assembly; that these law firms could increase their profits while at the same time decreasing the prices they charge for defined services. These profits would come with increased consistency of quality work product; faster turnaround of critical business documents; increased client satisfaction; and even increase attorney satisfaction.
This series of articles will make the case on a department by department basis, through a typical (if that is possible) Wall Street law firm.