There’s a lot of talk about using bots to complete documents (and even some unfounded talk about how bots will somehow replace lawyers; spoiler alert – that won’t happen!). The real question as we see it is: can using bots to complete documents really help lawyers avoid or recover from a bar complaint?
What Is a Bot?
A bot can be simple or complicated, but we’re going to keep our explanation simple. A bot is a way that can help law firms with automating legal processes. It could be programmed to do a number of things. Some of the most common things a bot can do is help you get through the client intake process faster. It can also be used to complete basic legal documents that are based on a template.
How Using Bots to Complete Documents Might Protect You from a Bar Complaint
Using bots to complete documents is just one potential legal tech solution that you could use to help protect yourself from facing a bar complaint. Here’s how:
It could improve your competence and diligence. Competence and diligence are two requirements that lawyers must fulfill. It’s easy to put off the little things, isn’t it? You know that completing client intake should only take a certain amount of time. You know that preparing a specific legal document or form that your office uses over and over again shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes. And yet, those easy things are also easy to put off until later. It’s something all lawyers have dealt with: there are more pressing and important things you feel like your time is better spent on.
The issue occurs when you have an appointment with a new client and they didn’t complete the form. Or they completed the form, but not all of it. Now you have to spend part of your appointment time not just reviewing their responses, but also continuing the quest for basic information. It makes it difficult for you to do more than client intake or follow-up during the appointment. That is just as frustrating for the client as it is for you (even if the consultation is free). Using bots to complete documents such as client intake forms can save you and your client time and frustration. They can complete the intake process from the comfort and privacy of their own home. The information is put together and provided to you. You can review it and determine what, if anything, you need to clarify or follow-up on.
The same applies with commonly used legal forms and documents. Sure, it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes to do, but they must be completed. If they’re not, you could become the subject of a bar complaint because you did not follow through and provide your client with diligent or competent representation. The bot can take necessary, basic information for the document or form and complete it. Then, you review it and make any necessary adjustments.
It could streamline your office and make you more productive. In the legal industry, it’s important to be productive. Using bots to streamline the completion of documents can mean that everyone saves time. It could help lower stress as well as improve productivity.
Related: [PODCAST]: Lawyers and Wellness: Beyond the Usual Discussion with Jennifer Longtin
How Bots Could Help You Recover from Bar Discipline
Bar discipline is an intense experience. When it’s all said and done, you have an important job on your hands: recovering from the experience and making the necessary changes to avoid repeating the experience.
Related: Lawyers, Here’s How to Recover from Bar Discipline
Use a bot and other legal technology to help you improve how your practice operates. As mentioned above, using bots to complete documents can ensure that the process is done quickly. Yes, you must review the output, but the basic process of completing the form or document can be done for you. You can use legal technology to help you with timekeeping, billing, document organization, and scheduling. The hardest part is taking an objective look at what happened so that you can choose, implement, and use the right solutions to avoid a future run-in with the bar.
Bots Aren’t Out to Take Away Legal Jobs
Bots aren’t out to take away your job. They’re here to make your life a little less stressful. Think about exactly what you need or what you’d like to accomplish. That will help you be more prepared to either create your own bot or find the right individual or company that can create a bot to meet your needs.