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Automate these legal documents to improve efficiency

December 13, 2016

Every business strives to stay on the correct side of the law.

Each time you establish a business relationship with a purchaser or supplier, you definitely want to document the rights and obligations of both parties. This ensures that both sides are on the same page when it comes to payments, timeline, and other deliverables. The same goes for every time you hire a new employee or rent out your office space to a new tenant.

But are you spending more time than necessary on legal administration? There are many legal documents that you may use regularly for managing business relationships; and the need to repeatedly draft, check, and edit documents can take up a significant slice of your time, especially for a fast-growing business. Not to mention you may be prone to make careless mistakes hence subjecting your business to unwanted risk.

Did you know that it is possible to automate the process of putting together legal documentation?  

Here are 4 key reasons why it’s worth doing:

  1. Improve accuracy. Document automation technology ensures that any information you insert later are accurate, consistent, and in all the right places. Built-in controls can make sure important details are not overlooked, or inconsistent answers entered. Certain mathematical calculations, or dates, can be calculated automatically reducing the risk of human error.
  2. Reduce external legal spend. With document automation, you can quickly and effortlessly come up with a first draft of the document on your own, before seeking professional advice from a lawyer who reviews your document.
  3. Make full use of the precedents you have invested in. We know that your document templates usually contain a lot of balloon comments, footnotes, or inline guidance which users have to delete, [along with the square brackets] and highlighting. Instead of having to scroll through a document painstakingly to make sure that all the fields have been correctly filled out, automating your frequently used precedents will make them simpler to use.
  4. Improve efficiency & lower cost. With document automation you can produce documents at 10 times the rate, particularly if you generate multiple documents from a single questionnaire or are just pulling in information from other systems. If you have split your precedents into different versions (e.g. IT and non-IT services agreements), automation allows you to bring them back together so you have only one document to maintain. You can choose which version you want from a question, and all the relevant differences can be inserted or removed. If you change your mind later, you can come back and change the answer, and all the changes will flow through – there’s no need to start again with a fresh document.

Source: LawHawk

Document automation technology such as Dragon Law Document automation helps you produce legal documents 10x faster, keeps them accurate and consistent, and contain built-in controls to ensure important details are not overlooked or entered inconsistently.

Try Dragon Law’s document automation tool for free

 

Here are 3 types of documents that your business should consider automating:

1) Agreements for supply of goods and services

This is the core of your business and it is not a surprise that many companies would have multiple precedents in this area (e.g. long form/short form, buyer/customer/balanced, IT/Non-IT). Automation allows you to combine all these into a single document with questions that control which options are included. By having a menu of options the deal with issues such as intellectual property (IP) ownership, limitations of liability and insurance, you can give your employees the flexibility to deal with the typical negotiation points that will come up.

Agreements that we recommend you automate include:-

  • Sale of Goods Agreement & Supply of Services Agreement: Before a product reaches its final destination, it may pass through the hands of international manufacturers and distributors. Similarly, when you enter into an agreement with a supplier of services, there are so many terms to agree on (price, timetable, and standards of services etc). Automating these documents helps you make sure that you don’t miss any of the essential considerations and that each section of the document is correctly filled out.  
  • Purchase Order: If your clients or customers are placing repeat orders for your goods or services, you might want to consider providing a standard Purchase Order so that they can make repeat orders as and when they need them.
  • Invoice: An Invoice is vital, given that cash flow is vital to any business and getting the money you are owed by your customers or clients is key to survival. Automating your Invoices saves you time on generating this crucial document.

Learn more about Managing Cash Flow.
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2) Employment agreements and related documents

Employment Agreements are considered complex documents that ask for many variables (think: salary, benefits, hours, holiday, sickness, termination, confidentiality, etc.) and must be be highly-customised for each employee you bring on-board. Automating this would save you significant time and cost!

3) Company secretarial documents

There are a whole host of requirements you have to meet as a business, whether under the Companies Act in Singapore or the Companies Ordinance in Hong Kong. Getting through all that paperwork is often a hassle and time-consuming! Document automation can help you quickly and consistently prepare these frequently used documents, and eliminate worry about whether your documentation is in compliance with the most updated regulations.

Yes, the list looks daunting – exactly why you should have these documents automated!

Do you know what to look out for when selecting a Company Secretary that is right for your business?

 

Document automation is the way to go for improved efficiency, as well as save time and cost.

With Dragon Law, you get access to all the legal documents that your business needs, as well as automate your most frequently used documents so that you can create them at a 10x faster rate than you do today.

Our intuitive document builder and automation technology increases your business and legal productivity by letting you do the following:

  1. Identify: Find the legal document you need from our extensive document library of 500+ ready-to-use documents, localised for use in Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and New Zealand.
  2. Customise: Tailor legal documents for your specific needs. Find out how easy it is with our step-by-step question-and-answer interface.
  3. Share & e-sign: Finalise agreements on-the-spot or over the cloud! Truly seamless, truly paperless.
  4. Store & manage: All your legal documents in one place. Sort via folders, manage permissions, and access the latest document anytime, anywhere.

Watch our Document Builder in action:

With Dragon Law, you:

  • Manage legal at your fingertips. Legal on-demand: wherever you want, whenever you want. Let our document builder guide you through the process of creating even the most complex legal documents from start to finish.
  • Always have the latest document on hand. Never have to wonder “is that the latest version?” again. Yes, the law changes. But we’ll keep our documents up-to-date, so you don’t have to.
  • Enjoy predictable legal spend. One legal expense to meet your everyday legal needs throughout your business lifecycle.
  • Have your legal department in the cloud. Don’t wait till a problem happens that you call an attorney. We work hand-in-hand with you so you get legal right from the outset, and prevent problems from arising in the first place.

Have existing documents? Prefer to use your own template?

Let us automate it for you.

Contact us to learn more about Document Automation

Protecting your Rights as a Freelancer

Who are “Freelancers”?

Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) defines freelancers as “a person who operates their own business or trade without employing any worker. They usually provide services to their clients and are free to negotiate their terms and benefits with their clients.”

MOM statistics from 2015 reveal the number of “own account workers” in Singapore to be nearly 170,000. However, this number may not capture all freelancers, including other groups such as those giving part-time tuition or ad-hoc freelance work.

As the numbers of freelancers are expected to continue growing in the Republic, there is also the increasing need for their rights to be protected. Based on an article by ChannelNewsAsia earlier this year, freelancers are “hoping a central body can be formed that can put a stamp on the quality of their services.”

While freelancers are arguably their “own boss” – they are entitled to flexible working hours, they have the freedom to choose which client(s) they want to serve – there are several risks that come with being a freelancer.

If you are thinking of going freelance, here are some risks you might wish to take note of:

Less legal rights and no CPF contribution

Freelancers are generally not covered by the Employment Act (EA) and the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA) as there is no employer and employee relationship between them and their clients. This means that a freelance writer, for instance, might accidentally sprain a finger while typing out an article furiously but there are no means for them to seek compensation for their injury.

Related reading: All You Need To Know About Singapore’s Employment Law in 5 Minutes

Unlike employed workers, freelancers are not legally-entitled to Central Provident Fund (CPF) contributions. While it is not mandatory for freelancers to contribute to their Ordinary and Special accounts, they are still highly encouraged to make voluntary contributions to all three accounts (including Medisave account) to ensure they have sufficient savings for retirement. However, do take note that freelancers are required to contribute to their Medisave Account (MA) if they earn a yearly net trade income of more than $6,000.

Want to increase your credibility as a freelancer, and protect your personal assets?
Consider incorporating your company. Learn more in this guide:
The Guide to Incorporating Your Company in Singapore

 

Lack of employee benefits

As freelancers are not covered under the Employment Act, this also means that they are not legally entitled to statutory employee benefits; such as annual leave, medical leave or parental leave. Even if they are completely bed-ridden with high fever, the article or services promised to the client still needs to be delivered on time.

Pay increment is not guaranteed

A full-time freelancer needs clients to stay afloat. However, unless you have successfully established a name for yourself, the likes of Xiaxue or Ladyironchef, it is unlikely that you are able to negotiate payment with clients. Freelancers typically have to work within the budget set by the clients. Unlike employed workers, who are usually guaranteed annual pay increments, the rates of freelancers fluctuates based on their past experience or portfolios.

Deliberately delayed payment

Timely payments for services is one of the major challenges raised by freelancers. As freelancers are not bound by any contractual terms for late payment with companies, they are often given the least priority when it comes to planning the payroll schedule. This is a highly flawed perspective as freelancers should also be entitled to timely payments for the quality work that they deliver.

Manage expectations early and protect your rights as a freelancer.
Put in place a Supply of services Agreement.

Clauses to watch out for in a Supply of Services Agreement

 

Lack of central body to address grievances

Unlike unionised workers, freelancers lack the support of a union or central governing body who can represent them legally in the Industrial Arbitration Court. This puts freelancers at great risk especially when it involves the rights to intellectual and confidential property. Companies and clients very often make use of freelancers to gain full ownership of freelancers’ intellectual and confidential property without compensating them rightfully.

Read more articles about Intellectual Property protection

Singapore is slowly taking measures to address the needs of freelancers. However, treating freelancers the rightful way is a collective effort. If your company is currently engaging freelancers, reflect on how you deal with them and explore ways to achieve a win-win situation for both parties.

Related reading: Labour movement holds first fair to help freelancers

This a guest contribution submitted by Gpayroll. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view. Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.

About Gpayroll

Gpayroll is an easy to use, self-run online payroll service that will redefine and revolutionize the payroll industry. Its intuitive and automated system will help business owners focus on their core business without the hassle of managing payroll. Follow on Facebook

Want to read more articles related to payroll, HR & technology? Visit www.gpayroll.com

5 essential steps to preparing your business for 2017

December 12, 2016

Christmas is just around the corner – many of us take time off during this festive season to spend time with family and friends, and take time to give thanks and reflect on the past year. As we set personal goals and resolutions, it also pays to take time as an business owner to take a step back and review how your business has done in the past year, as well as determine how you want to take your business to new heights in the year ahead.

Here are some quick pointers to help you cover all your bases as you prepare your business for 2017:

1) Revisit your business plan

Some say that you should always be updating your business plan – every month, every week, and every day. This is especially true if your business is in any of the following situations:

  • A new financial period is about to begin. 
  • You need financing.
  • Significant markets change. 
  • New or stronger competitors are looking to your customers for their growth.
  • Your firm develops a new product, technology, service or skill. 
  • You have had a change in management. 
  • Your company has crossed a threshold (e.g. moving out of your home office, reaching $1 million in sales or employing 100 people).
  • Your old plan doesn’t seem to reflect reality anymore. 

When you’re too caught up in the daily grunt, you don’t often have the time to take stock of how your business is doing and revisit the fundamentals. There is no better time than now to do so.    Tweet this

As an business owner, you should already have a business plan that contains the following elements:

  • A summary of your business.
  • A description of your company.
  • A market analysis of your competitors.
  • The structure of your organisation.
  • A description of the products/services you sell.
  • How you’re marketing your business.
  • Financial projections.

Source: Entrepreneur

Make sure you revisit these key elements as you plan for 2017.

 

Revisit the 5 basic legal fundamentals.
Download our free eBook on Does the Law Matter?

2) Stay updated with business trends

As you review your business plan, it is essential to keep in mind industry trends that will affect your business prospects. Keeping up-to-date with relevant news, technologies and business developments is essential to ensure you keep learning as an opportunity. If you have been in your industry for a long time, it is good to step away from familiarity and observe how others are getting things done.

For those in technology, here are 4 trends that are set to grow in 2017:

  1. AI will improve improve consumer experience. Brands have only begun to scratch the surface for applying AI and machine learning to the customer experience. Personalised customer interaction, increased social presence and immediate answers to consumer queries are just a tiny portion of the multitude of ways businesses are using AI to enhance consumer experiences.
  2. More help for cross-browser compatibility. Browsers have begun to step up their game in following W3C specification and (possibly) with better JavaScript libraries, cross-browser compatibility issues may become a thing of the past.
  3. More startups enter the VR arena. Microsoft, Facebook, and Google have trail-blazed and poured billions into this perceptual computer wave – but VR is not just the domain for these mega companies. Be it in psychological therapy, social networking or gaming, the applications of VR are seemingly infinite.
  4. Mobile is still the future. Mobile web brings in more traffic compared to the app, so make sure that your websites are mobile-optimised!Related reading: 7 Online Marketing Tips for Your Small Business

Source: Tech in Asia

3) Plan your sales & marketing strategy

Have you updated your 2017 sales and marketing strategy to align them with your business goals? Read about upcoming marketing trends to help you be more ready vis-à-vis your competitors. For instance, while lesser known marketing trends such as beacon technology is still in its infancy, it shows strong potential to bridge the online and physical shopping experiences and generate more sales.

Related reading: Essential Legal Considerations for Online Marketplaces

When you review your marketing channels and plan your schedule of content, remember to do the following:

  1. Review your website. Ensure that all the information, graphics and links are up to date. Test to ensure that all the links and sequences are working.
  2. Plan ahead for sales opportunities (e.g. Black Friday, Cyber Monday). Planned sales are often more effective than flash sales, since your customers will have an opportunity to get their funds together.
  3. Update all your social media platforms. Remove anything that no longer fits with your brand.
  4. Plan out your editorial calendar if you have a blog. Decide what topics you will cover in the coming months and reach out to guest contributors early.
  5. Update your hashtags. Go through them and see which ones are still effective and research to find some new ones to bring new eyes in. Take advantage of holiday tags. 

Source: Rolling Out

To ensure that you remain up-to-date with industry trends throughout the year, make sure you subscribe to trade journals, engage in forums and discussion boards, scour websites, blogs and news sites, network and talk to your customers.

4) Review your business contracts

You may think that once both parties have signed your legal contracts, they are a done deal and you don’t have to bother with them again. However, legal contracts need to stay living, breathing documents to ensure that they are continually meeting your business needs and the most updated laws and regulations. It is crucial that you review your contracts on a regular basis, especially the following documents:

  • Confidentiality Agreements. These tend to be written generically, and they usually state that you and the other party are exchanging something like “business ideas, concepts, and information” and that anything disclosed that is not public information needs to be keeps confidential until it ends up in the public domain through no fault of the party receiving the confidential information. Make sure you review these documents once a year or so to check whether any changes need to be made.
  • Employment Contracts. Given that employment regulations are regularly updated, you should review Employment Contracts on a yearly basis to incorporate changes to employment law in your jurisdiction and ensure you stay compliant.Related reading: Amendments To the Employment Act: What It Means For Your Business
  • Website Agreements, such as the Website Privacy Policy and Website Terms of Use. You should ensure that what is put up your website reflects your latest privacy practices. If you start storing data that you didn’t previously or you start receiving geo-location info from users, you need to update this accordingly.

Dragon Law’s Managed Accounts provide you a Dragon Law-enabled plan along with
personalised service and advice from a Certified Advisor.

Learn more about Dragon Law Managed Accounts

5) Streamline business processes

As a business, you continuously strive to serve your customers with more speed and efficiency, all while keeping your costs low and prices afforable. Technology has provided us with additional options to optimise and streamline business processes in order to reduce time and resources spent on administration. Today, we term this digitisation and automation.

Related reading: Our CEO’s favourite productivity tools

You can employ the following methodological approach when reviewing your business processes: 

  1. Conduct an industry scan. Research the best practices in the industry for that particular business process.
  2. Determine current-state business processes and collect feedback on ‘as-is’ process flows. Conduct workshops or focus group discussions to review the feedback and discuss improvements to the business processes.
  3. Finally, draft your ‘to-be’ process flows and hold a business process ‘to-be’ workshop before finalising process recommendations.

There are various technology tools that are available to help you do more with less in your business. Legal productivity tool Dragon Law is one of them.

As a Dragon Law subscriber, you get unlimited access to our document library where you can select documents to customise to your specific needs using our easy-to-navigate Q&A interface. Upload, sign, and store your legal documents in the cloud helps you go paperless and reduce the unnecessary administrative burden.

Start a non-obligatory free trial of Dragon Law to experience
increased legal productivity in the cloud.

What tips do you have for fellow business owners as they review their business strategies? Let us know in the comments below!

Choosing The Best Lawyer For Your Business

December 6, 2016


All businesses have legal needs that should be addressed by a qualified lawyer. As a business owner you may need an attorney for the purpose of forming a partnership. A growing business requires a lawyer who can review contracts and leases. You may be involved in a legal dispute that arises from breach of contract.

These are just a few of the scenarios that make it necessary for business owners to find competent lawyers. You can start the process of finding a lawyer through business lawyer referrals and consultations that will help you choose the best lawyer for your legal needs.

Find a trusted advisor for your business.
View Dragon Law’s Advisor Directory

Begin your Search

It is always a good idea to start your search for a lawyer as soon as you can. If you put off your search until you are involved in a lawsuit or when a legal matter has progressively worsened, the situation will become more complicated and costly.

Referrals from Different Sources

  • One of the best sources of referrals is other entrepreneurs. While you may not want to hire an attorney who works with your competitors in the industry, you definitely need a lawyer who is well versed with your type of business. Get in touch with business owners and ask them for recommendations.
  • Local bar associations are organizations that consist of lawyers. Each state has them and they usually provide referrals to their members. People can find bar associations in their area by visiting their national website.
  • Online commercial referral services can also be used to ease the search for a lawyer according to their location and the area of law that they specialize in.
  • If you have previously worked with a lawyer for other legal matters, you can get in touch with them and ask about business lawyers that they can recommend. Lawyers can recommend other professionals who will be able to deal with your business issues. Learn about trademark infringement here.

Lawyers’ Websites

After gathering referrals, go through different lawyers’ websites. Many lawyers have websites that prospective clients can use to gather information about them. Some lawyers are sole proprietors and others are part of firms.

Law firms vary in size, specialists, scope of work and charges. Their websites should provide useful information that will enable you to gain insight into the work they do. You should be able to gather information about the lawyer’s credentials, the cases they work on, testimonials from clients and whether or not the lawyers specialise in particular legal fields.

Consultations

  • People can set aside time to consult a few lawyers and find out more about their expertise. Pick some candidates that you can talk to and narrow down your choices to a manageable number of consultations. The lawyer may charge a consultation fee.
  • Preparing questions beforehand will ensure that you get all the information that you need. Your questions should ideally be based on key aspects of your business and legal needs.
  • A consultation will enable you to determine whether the lawyer has the credentials and experience to help you with your business matters. Ask about their experience in your field, how long they have been practicing and how they communicate with their clients.

 

What other details do you look out for when searching for a lawyer?

Tell us, we’d like to know!

This a guest contribution submitted by David Wicks. The views expressed here are of the author’s, and Dragon Law may not necessarily subscribe to them. You, too, are invited to share your point of view! Learn more about guest blogging for Dragon Law here.
David Wicks has been a freelance writer for more than 5 years. He enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics. He describes his work as an ongoing opportunity to learn new things and share them with his readers.

How To: Leverage Legal Tech To Strengthen Your Legal Practice

Technology is changing the way that we live and work, and the legal industry is no exception. While the development of legal technology, or legal tech, is racing ahead in jurisdictions such as the United States, countries in Asia are increasingly catching up with the trend. According to Law Technology Today, there are five trends that are driving the growth of legal technology today.

  1. Mobile Applications. With the prevalence of apps for social networking, banking, traveling and other personal activities, it is only a matter of time before professionals will be able to practice law on the go as long as they have a data connection. This will improve client engagement and satisfaction.
  2. Movement To The Cloud. Cloud technology allows firms to save money, time and resources as they no longer have to build their IT infrastructure to a size to handle peak need.
  3. Security. Given the increasing amount of data stored in the cloud, security is a pressing concern for companies. It is crucial for firms to encrypt their data and implement proper processes for the storage of information.
  4. Analytics. Similarly, the increasing amount of data raises demand for software that is able to review a significant number of data points to identify trends that a human lawyer would not be able to.
  5. Artificial Intelligence. AI is set to move current analytic capabilities from descriptive to predictive, for instance by mapping the predispositions of judges to predict rulings.

Source: Legal Technology Today

In his address to the newly admitted advocates and solicitors at the 2016 Mass Call in Singapore, Chief Justice CJ Menon stated that new technologies are ‘poised to reconfigure the way in which legal services are accessed and delivered’. Examples of technology that he cited include Verifi, a computer programme developed by Linklaters that has the capability to sift through UK and European regulatory registers to check client names for banks, and the Term Frame system developed by Pinsent Masons which is able to read and analyse clauses in loan agreements and point lawyers to the correct precedents at each stage of the transaction process.  

In Hong Kong, the legal tech field has been steadily growing, with the fourth annual LegalTech Asia Hong Kong event targeting legal industry professionals with an interest in technology taking place earlier this year and the Law & Technology Centre at the University of Hong Kong established to advance research on the intersection between information technology and law.

Related Reading: The Latest Developments in Legal Technology

So…what exactly is legal tech?

According to a BCG report titled ‘How Legal Technology Will Change the Business of Law (Jan 2016), the legal tech landscape is organised into three broad categories of solutions: 1) Enablers, 2) Support-process solutions, and 3) Substantive law solutions.

Enabler technologies such as cloud storage tools and cybersecurity solutions focus on facilitating the digitisation of processes. Support-process solutions allow processes ranging from customer relationship management to accounting to be managed more efficiently. The third category of substantive law solutions involves the automation of simple or repetitive legal tasks, such as contract drafting and contract analysis, as well as document screening.

Why leverage legal tech?

With the growing narrative of innovation, transformation and disruption, it is no surprise that professionals in many industries view technology as a threat that potentially undermines their livelihoods and will eventually do away with the roles of junior professionals.

However, this does not have to be the case. Law firms can and should leverage legal tech because of its potential to help you prove your firm’s efficiency and productivity, provide better client service and bring you savings.

Learn more about Legal Fundamentals:

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1) Improve efficiency, productivity & quality of work

As pointed out in an article published by Thomson Reuters, improving law firm productivity is all about increasing billable work product output without increasing headcount or hours. Given that clients demand from their external lawyers what they demand of all their suppliers – more and better service at a lower cost – the way to go for law firms is to improve efficiency and productivity. According to BCG, partners of big law firms reveal that 30% to50% of tasks involved in supposedly bespoke cases may be automated through tech-based tools.

While artificial intelligence (AI) is often perceived as a threat given the fact that it might eventually replace humans, AI can be your ally. The concept that is central to AI is Deep Learning, where every time a programme or software predicts human behaviour based on previous actions and/or data, that programme or software “learns” how to make better predictions. In fact, there are already several ways in which AI is helping lawyers.

Related Reading: Is Cyber Security About To Get An AI Takeover?

  • Information Retrieval. While tasks such as sorting through thousands of emails to find incriminating evidence used to be time-consuming, AI-based platforms such as RAVN Systems helps legal professionals automatically organise, discover and summarise information retrieved from legal documents at a much quicker speed than human lawyers could ever achieve.
  • Document Management. AI can be used to analyse documentation for critical information, find errors, or run statistical checks to help firms complete cases with more efficiency.
  • Employee Management. AI-based employee management platforms can reduce the need to have an internal team for compliance issues altogether. An example is ComplianceHR which has created a platform of applications that contain hybridised reasoning methods based off if/then mappings, decision trees, situation sets, multi-value variables, instances and weighted scorings, and more.
  • Document Review. While the document review stage typically involves a team of lawyers going through all the information was was discovered, analysing these results, and performing new searches based on these analyses, this process can be made more efficient by AI-based platforms that are able to run multiple searches and QC checks simultaneously.
  • Case Management. What AI-based case management platforms do is allow lawyers and paralegals to work through the necessary steps of bringing a case to settlement by way of automatic document creation tools and customizable user prompts. This is ideal for legal professionals who are newer to their area of law, and need a subtle guiding hand that will help them reduce the possible margin of error.
  • Search Engine Analytics. Lawyers who know how to properly use search engine optimization (SEO) techniques tend to rank better and receive more new clients

Source: The Huffington Post

Beyond improving the volume of output that your firm produces, tapping technology also improves the quality of your work. Smart software can help you minimise human errors that inevitably arise given the tedium of going through large volumes of documents. Stronger search engine analytics can help you arrive at the results you want more precisely and reliably. With improved efficiency, productivity and quality of work, you are constantly bettering yourself as a law firm.

2) Strengthen your value proposition to your clients

Indeed, consumers are the ones leading the adoption of legal tech as they utilise online services for processes such as preparing wills, standard contracts and small claims. In-house counsel who are engaging law firms are also demanding more.

In order for a law firm to better serve clients as business people, the two key areas to focus on are project management and performance measurement. Offering legal project management that leverages legal technologies can be one way to stand out and differentiate your firm from the rest. Demonstrate to your client that you have a project team that can undertake all the work along the organisational chart, a framework of the work process, proof of delivery on similar projects and projected turnaround – with tech tools that will facilitate parts of the process. After adding value to your client through increased efficiency brought on by technology, you will have to quantify your edge through key performance indicators (KPIs).

Tapping on legal technology can help you offer more with less, and ultimately strengthen your value proposition as a firm.

5 Tips For Improving Customer Loyalty

3) Improve your operating model to attain cost savings

Lawyering is a profession. At the same time, law firms are businesses that need to have a solid revenue model in order to be sustainable. Gone are the days when law firms handled all legal tasks in-house. Legal process outsourcing (LPO) for low-skilled legal work and automation of high-volume standardised tasks has allowed law firms to shave off unnecessary costs. By investing in legal technology, you can achieve economies of scale – once you acquire the technology, the marginal cost of employing the existing tech solution for each new case is marginal.

Related Reading: Bid4Ad: 78% Cost Savings as We Raised our First Million with Dragon Law

How do I leverage legal tech?

Now that we’ve laid out the benefits that legal technology can bring to your firm, the more pressing question is this: How do you go about leveraging legal tech? Business leaders who declare that technology is the future often say that lawyers should learn how to code. Picking up programming is undeniably useful for one’s personal development, yet at the same time a significant investment of time and resources for the legal professional who is already swamped with client emails and contracts to pore over.

According to Oliver Goodenough, Professor of Law and the Director of the Center for Legal Innovation at Vermont Law School, we are currently at Legal Tech 2.0, whereby technology goes beyond merely supporting the lawyer, to performing tasks that were previously done by lawyers. For instance, there is E-discovery software that allows the entire process – from collection of evidence to discovery and trial presentation – to be ingested and produced in its original format, and provides full-featured document review platforms that have the ability to annotate and tag documents. Indeed, lawyers have been employing technology in one form or another for years. Legal technology is not new. There are existing technologies that law firms can adopt to improve their legal practice, and lawyers have the choice to compete or collaborate.

A key first step is implementing legal tech solutions within your practice to improve efficiency and cut costs. For instance, there are options to improve the efficiency of your legal research. Legal tech start-ups such as INTELLLEX in Singapore provide smarter search engines that aim to relieve the tedium of legal research and knowledge management. Other ways you can incorporate more efficient tech solutions into your daily processes include the following:

  • Go paperless. Eliminating paper can free up time spent on non-productive tasks, such as searching for documents in file cabinets. Storing documents in the cloud allows everyone in the firm to access files easily and also reduces printing costs.
  • Implement practice management software. Practice management software helps you efficiently keep track of your cases, organise documents, sync calendars and assign tasks.
  • Reduce in-house technology & use a cloud management system. Rather than maintaining multiple servers which can be costly business, put your documents in a cloud management system. While law firms are hesitant to adopt cloud technologies due to security concerns, experts believe that cloud software can be more secure, as documents are continually backed up and encrypted, and only individuals with authorisation can access the data.

Adapted from Naked Technologist

Learn more about The Cloud:

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Beyond adopting legal tech tools to improve efficiency and cut costs within your law firm, there are an increasing number of tech companies – both legal tech and otherwise – that offer opportunities for collaboration with law firms. Legal tech is a growing field and investors are increasingly backing new legal tech ventures.

Yet, even though legal information and legal services may be available online, lawyers still play a key role in providing legal advice that is tailored to the needs of the client. Strategic alliances between tech companies and law firms can provide clients with a more comprehensive solution than relying solely on one or the other.

Where does Dragon Law come in?

We believe in providing the best for our clients. This is why we recently launched the Dragon Law Partner Programme, where law firms can come on board and harness our platform to better serve clients all around.

What’s in for businesses?

Businesses pay a monthly subscription fee (for a minimum of 12 months) for access to our platform, in which they can create, e-sign and store legal documents. Naturally, these clients have business questions that range from simple queries and document reviews to more complex assistance like licence applications to comply with regulatory requirements.

View our Managed Account Plans

What’s in for partners?

As a partner who is certified to use the Dragon Law software, you can log in to your client’s account to amend their documents directly. We will also invite you to take on new clients. Growing the number of clients you have on Dragon Law grows your status level and benefits. This means greater cost savings that you can use to grow your business or pass on to your clients. You will also secure a listing on our website that provides information about your Dragon Law enabled plans to potential clients. Being known as a law firm that leverages technology for greater efficiency strengthens your brand.

Clients aside, on a lawyer-to-lawyer level (our team comprises former lawyers who understand the profession well!), the Dragon Law team is also excited about how harnessing technology can make lawyering interesting again. Lawyers spend a lot of time on repetitive, non-chargeable tasks and business development, and not enough on fee-earning. In fact, only two-thirds of a lawyer’s time is spent generating fee income. By encouraging your clients to use technology like the Dragon Law platform to solve their routine legal problems, you can free up your time to do higher-value, chargeable work. On top of making your practice more profitable, it makes lawyering more interesting!

Learn More about the Dragon Law Partner Programme

Questions? Get in touch with Ryanne, our Global Head of Partnerships, at ryanne.lai@dragonlaw.io