Theo is a Product Manager at Litera. He has spent the past 4 years working in legal technology focusing on how lawyers work within the document lifecycle, mostly focusing on [the review and collaboration of document drafting]. Before that he studied postgraduate law at University College London and the University of Oxford.
Traditionally, transactional attorneys are seen as bringing people together, while litigators break them apart. The 'desk lawyer' researches, prepares, and reviews the documentation to unite two parties, from a multi-million dollar purchase agreement to a well-drafted employment contract. Litigators live inside the courtroom, raking witnesses across the coals, poking holes in arguments, and bullying opponents into dropping their case. Transactional lawyers are a constant presence, while litigators enter at the last second to save the day.
This is untrue and largely influenced by TV. Michael Kuzak from L.A. Law could get a case tried and decided within a week to enhance the drama. Unfortunately, this bleeds into client expectations. Most litigation work happens outside the courtroom: researching, fact-finding, and, when court time is necessary, arguing procedural motions.
One of the many pressures facing litigators is the ad hoc nature of their hiring by clients. The ranks of big law litigation teams will ebb and flow based on the matters in the courts at that moment. Short of restructuring the practice of law, there are two ways to make yourself essential as a litigator: doing better work and improving your client relationships.
The advantage of automation is that it leaves more time to focus on what matters – crafting compelling arguments. Many motions and briefs are, due to time constraints, copy and pasted documents that follow the path of least resistance. You can improve most things in law by spending more time thinking it through, giving it another proofread, or working another angle. This is where Litigation Companion can help you do better work and create better documents. You can proofread, validate citations, review phrasing, and edit mistakes quickly and efficiently.
Automation is taking a lot of the grunt work out of litigation; as this lost time is recovered, lawyers have more time to build a relationship with their client. A crucial part of providing the best possible service for your clients is to be there for them and support them throughout a challenging and confusing process. While this is business as usual for a lawyer, the emotional toll of litigation can be new for clients, and reducing that burden is another item in the long list of responsibilities taken on when you accept a case. Spending less time preparing documents gives you more opportunities to communicate efficiently with your client and make them feel confident in your work and their decision to work with you.
Simplicity is a challenge facing modern legal practitioners, and changing attitudes towards what makes a good lawyer are reframing the role of the litigator. Managing the needs of the client is frequently given second-attention, but leads to stronger relationships and passes benefits along to the lawyer and the firm.
Learn more about how Litigation Companion can give your firm the competitive edge.