Articles Posted in What Kinds of Legal Work Can be Automated?

My most recent post — about a December 17, 2019 article entitled “10 Ways That Outside Counsel Disguise Overbilling” — cited a case where an expert in auditing law firms’ bills for inaccuracies found this:

The law firm charged 5.1 hours for work on a confidentiality agreement where opposing counsel had already provided a comprehensive draft agreement for comment and markup … This time is excessive. We propose the charge be reviewed to a total of 2.5 hours: 2.0 for analysis and markup of the draft agreement, and 0.5 for negotiation of points with opposing counsel.”

The legal bill auditor’s point: This law firm charged 5.1 hours times the attorney’s billing rate for a task that should have consumed half of that.

But I saw another point:

What’s any lawyer doing consuming 5.1 hours in creating a confidentiality agreement? Or consuming even half of that?

5.1 hours might have been justified. I’d need to know more in order to make a definitive judgment.

But.

A lawyer charging a client for 5.1 hours — or even 2.5 hours — to conclude a “confidentiality agreement”, is a big … red … flag.

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How to cut legal costs and equip front line employees to avoid basic risks?

  1. Automate as much as possible of the otherwise clumsy, slow, and (traditionally) manual process of creating and negotiating contracts;
  2. Then automate use of those contracts’ terms to execute what you agreed to do for your customers;