Top 10 Document Automation Software for Lawyers

Rohit
Jun 5, 2024

Contents

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The key to reclaiming time and preventing losses from manual legal document creation and management lies in a document automation tool that: 

  • Allow creation of dynamic templates adaptable to various conditions
  • Seamlessly integrates with your existing legal software
  • Is easy to learn without extensive technical expertise
  • Has robust security measures to safeguard the confidentiality of legal documents

But how do you find such a tool without investing time in trial and error?

We’ve researched the top 10 legal document automation software to help you find the best fit.

This article will explore their features, pros and cons, and pricing.

Features to Consider in Legal Automation Software

Template Creation

The software should offer multiple template creation options, including premade templates, importing existing ones, and creating from scratch. It should support various file formats such as PDF, HTML, XLSX, and Docs to ensure compatibility with your existing template. Additionally, it should allow users create templates easily without advanced coding skills, preferably through a no-code or low-code interface.

Data Integration Capability

Your preferred software should seamlessly integrate with your existing data sources to autofill dynamic fields, preventing errors and saving time. It should also integrate with sharing and storage platforms like Email and Dropbox and automation tools like Zapier, to extend its capabilities. 

Dynamic Fields and Conditional Statements

These features customize your documents based on specific information provided for each case or client. This way, you can incorporate unique names, and addresses, add or hide clauses, and ensure accurate pronouns and subject-verb agreement throughout your documents.

Searchable Repository

The large volume of documents lawyers handle demands a document automation system with a centralized location for storing all documents related to cases, clients, and matters. It should allow categorization into folders and offer search functionality for quick document retrieval. This saves time on manual searches and mitigates legal risks associated with document loss. 

10 Best Legal Document Automation Software

1. Docupilot

Docupilot caters to lawyers who want an affordable solution without sacrificing ease of use, integration, and security. 

The first thing you'll notice when you open Docupilot is its clean, simple, and intuitive interface, as echoed by our user Harshna L., who said, "I've been using this tool for a while now. I must say, I'm impressed with its features. The user-friendly interface of the software is definitely the standout aspect for me because it's so easy to use and navigate." 

An intuitive interface lowers the learning curve and removes any fears adopting the tool. 

Docupilot integrates with the popular legal practice management software, Clio, allowing you to auto-populate document templates with client case and data. 

As for your data's confidentiality, Docupilot adheres to strict security protocols. This includes encrypting your data during transmission and while at rest, alongside role-based access control that restricts access to assigned tasks. 

Docupilot outshines its competitors with features, such as:

Flexibility in Template Creation

If you prefer to create from scratch, Docupilot provides a native Word editor with rich formatting tools for professionally looking templates. However, if you have existing templates stored in Excel, LawCloud, MS Word, or Google Docs, Docupilot allows you to import them in their original formats saving you the stress of conversions.

Merge Fields

Instead of spending countless hours manually customizing repetitive content, autofill them with merge fields by creating placeholders for variable terms enclosed in curly brackets {{ }}. There are four types of merge fields in Docupilot and they include:

  • Tokens: Use them to populate templates with names, dates, addresses, and other data without manual input.
  • Conditions: Empower you to create, remove, add, or adjust data based on specific criteria, such as choosing between "he" or "she", or "Mr." or "Mrs."
  • Loops: Ideal for repetitive data, such as itemized lists or instructions.
  • Tables: Provide a structured format for creating columns, ensuring organized and neatly presented data.

Bulk Document Generation

With bulk document generation, you can generate multiple documents simultaneously by pulling data from sources like CRM or Clio to fill merge fields. This quickens bulk document generation while ensuring accuracy and consistency. 

Other Features 

  • Zapier and Make integration for extending Docupilot's capabilities beyond its native functions. 
  • Folder and search functionality for managing and retrieving documents.
  • Integration with your favorite signing tools, including Docusign, Signnow, and Yousign to streamline approvals.
  • Testing functionality ensures your workflow runs as intended.
  • Incorporate dynamic features like maps, QR codes, and barcodes for interactivity.

Pricing 

Docupilot offers a 30-day full-access free trial. Pricing is credit-based; you spend one credit per document created or delivered. This provides a transparent way of tracking usage and managing costs. With six pricing tiers, there's a suitable plan for you, whether you're a solo practitioner or part of an established firm:

  • Starter: $29
  • Plus: $99
  • Pro: $149
  • Premium: $199
  • Business: $399
  • Enterprise: $699

Pros

✅ Suitable for non-technical lawyers  

✅ Highly praised customer support on review sites

✅ Offers various security measures including encryption, password protection, access control, and more

✅ Automatically generate form from templates for manual filling

Cons

❌ Historical version is in the works

❌ Fewer template

2. DocuSign

Though DocuSign is most popular for its e-signature tool, it also offers a contract lifecycle management (CLM) tool for creating, automating, signing, managing, and analyzing contracts from a single window. 

DocuSign can speed up your work if you’re an in-house lawyer who creates and approves contracts all day. It allows you to create contract templates with dynamic fields and conditions, and pre-approve them for other business teams to access anytime.

Another way DocuSign makes your job easier and shortens time to execution is through contract workflow automation (create, review, approve, and run). You can use the drag-and-drop editor to design your workflow from scratch or choose from the 100+ pre-built workflows available.

Key Features

  • Dynamic fields and conditions: Auto-populate data from tools like Salesforce and adapt it to different scenarios with conditions
  • Contract repository: Offers centralized storage for all contracts, making it easy to organize, search, and access contract documents.
  • Collaboration: Enable negotiation of terms and revisions with internal and external stakeholders. Track changes and maintain version control throughout the negotiation process.
  • Electronic signature integration: Integrate with DocuSign e-signature to enable electronic signature functionality. You can also track signing progress, and receive notifications for signed documents.
  • Contract tracking feature: Monitor the status of contracts throughout their lifecycle and gain insights into their performance, compliance, risk, lifecycle times, and renewal rates
  • Renewal management: Set alerts and reminders to track contract expiration dates and renewals to avoid disruptions.

Pricing 

Docusign CLM is part of DocuSign's enterprise plan hence you have to talk to sales to get a quote.

Pros

✅ Native workflow builder using drag-and-drop interface

✅ Integration with over 400 mostly business tools

Cons

❌ It’s a high-end enterprise solution, making it unaffordable for small firms.

❌ Lacks advanced conditional logic and formatting options for better customization

❌ Hard to implement and has a steep learning curve

❌ Unreliable customer support

3. PandaDoc

PandaDoc is ideal for business lawyers as it excels in creating business proposals, quotes, and contracts. It has the largest template library of tools on the list, featuring over 1,000 beautifully designed templates for different businesses' needs. Another notable feature of PandaDoc is the “suggest edit” feature that allows you to collaborate with your client on template and document creation.

It integrates natively with various business tools including CRMs for auto-populating dynamic fields but not with any law practice tool.

PandaDoc prioritizes security with measures like AES encryption, role-based access, two-factor authentication, and compliance with ISO 27001, SOC 2, PCI DSS, and eIDAS standards.

Features

  • Timestamped signature: Provides an accurate record of when signatures occured.
  • Panda AI: Helps to draft contracts and offers suggestions for specific document parts.
  • Premade legal document templates: Offers arrays of templates, including non-disclosure agreements for different US states, Deeds of Trust, and more.
  • Full-text search: Allows broad document searches by title and document text.
  • Smart content: An add-in that allows you to add conditions and dynamic fields to your documents.

Pricing 

PandaDoc offers a free plan that permits up to five documents sends monthly and a 14-day free trial. 

It’s three paid plans billed monthly include: 

  • Essentials: $19
  • Business: $49
  • Enterprise: Contact sales

Pros

✅ Integrates with over 1100 apps

✅ Visually appealing and easy to use

Cons  

❌ Lacks advanced condition and text formatting.

❌Appears affordable but most of its best features are locked in the higher plans, including smart content add-in which is purchased separately or as part of the enterprise plan

4. Gavel.io

Gavel.io, formerly Documate, was founded by lawyers and purpose-built for lawyers. It uses a Microsoft Word add-in for document drafting, reducing the learning curve for users familiar with Word environment. 

If you're intimidated by coding but still crave the power of conditional statements, Gavel.io offers a code-free solution for creating them.

Gavel.io also streamlines onboarding processes by allowing users upload existing templates and use an AI called Blueprint to suggest workflows based on specific rules. It integrates natively with Clio, e-signature tools like HelloSign, and Zapier for other applications.

And if you want to make extra bucks, Gavel.io has a marketplace where experienced lawyers can create and sell legal apps as forms that generate customized legal documents for users.

Key Features

  • Blueprint: Gavel’s AI for auto-populating content with form variables
  • Client intake form: Collects client data and uses it to generate custom documents automatically 
  • Marketplace: Sell or access paid and free white-labeled document templates and workflows

Pricing

Gavel offers a free trial with a three-tier pricing plan:

  • Lite: $83 per month
  • Standard: $210 per month
  • Pro: $290 per month
  • Enterprise: $417

Pros:

✅ Simple, easy to use with an intuitive interface

Cons:

❌ Lacks native word editor increases friction from moving between tools

❌ Lacks integration with CRM

5. NetDocuments

NetDocuments has been helping law firms and corporate legal practitioners manage their documents for over 20 years. Like most tools on the list, it’s Microsoft-based; but, in addition to Word, the add-in also works with Excel and PowerPoint. 

NetDocuments stands out for its over 150 native integrations and integrates with various legal tools beyond Clio. Some of these are Aderant for practice management and billing, Casetext for legal research, and Litera for document drafting.

Like all tools on the list, NetDocuments offers a variety of security features like data encryption, authentication, and permissions, but it goes beyond by granting link-sharing control with its secure document delivery option. This feature allows senders to set passwords and expiration dates for document links while recipients view or download the document if permitted.

Features

  • Full-text and OCR search: Allows you to search across all document texts and images
  • Document version management: Help you avoid storing many versions of one document and most likely losing them
  • Email management: Store emails in your workspace like any other PDF or Word document

Pricing 

Lacks standard pricing. 

Pros:

✅ Integrates with lots of legal tools and Microsoft suite

Cons:

❌ Not compatible with Mac

❌ Lacks native word editor 

❌ Doesn’t onboard new clients or assist with migration and training, instead refers to third-party consultants, incurring separate costs

❌ Non-transparent pricing

❌ Complain about search functionality issues floods review sites

6. Clio Draft

Clio Draft, formerly Lawyaw before it was acquired by Clio, integrates seamlessly with Clio Sign and Clio Manage. If you already have a Clio account, you can access Clio Draft directly from the Matters sub-tab in Clio Manage, allowing you to import matters into Clio Draft to populate specific templates. Clio Draft also uses a Microsoft Word add-in for template creation. However, creating conditions and logic is technical and requires a high learning curve.

It offers fillable court forms that streamline template creation however, they accrue high costs.

Features 

  • Legal template services: You can hire Clio legal experts to create your legal document templates.
  • E-signature: Built-in, native, mobile-friendly signing.
  • Conditional logic: Add/remove clauses, update pronouns, and maintain subject-verb agreement.
  • Premade templates: Gain free access to up-to-date libraries of court forms across 50 US states.

Pricing 

Clio Draft is charged based on seat and fillable court forms. It’s paid plans billed yearly per seat and state library includes:

  • PDF Court Forms Automation: $58/month
  • MS Word Document Automation: $92/month
  • PDF Court Form & MS Word Automation: $125/month

Pros

✅ Integrates seamlessly with Clio case management 

Cons

❌ Significant cost for extra seats and court form

❌ Unintuitive interface and difficult to use for non-techies 

❌ Poor customer support

7. Woodpecker

Woodpecker is a simple, easy-to-use tool that helps solo lawyers and small law firms automate legal documents. It uses a Microsoft Word add-in, but unlike most tools that use it only for template creation, Woodpecker uses it to handle most functionalities, including document creation, template storage, and subscription management. However, some tasks, like questionnaire creation, require using its app, which creates a fragmented experience and makes the app look bare.

It features a no-code conditional statement like Gavel.io however, it’s only a basic if/else statement.

For users of the legal case management software MyCase, Woodpecker integrates to pull client and case data directly. For other integrations, connect through Zapier.

Features

  • Four ways of populating Word templates: online questionnaires, manual form filling, comparing an existing document, or bulk generation from a data source.
  • Auto template: Automatically extracts variable suggestions from your template.
  • Conditions: Easy to create if/then conditional statements .

Pricing 

It offers a free trial for all and a special discount for solo practitioners. It offers three plans billed monthly:

  • Starter: $39 per month 
  • Pro: $99 per month 
  • Teams: $299 per month

Pros

✅ Simple and easy to use

✅ Questionnaire custom branding 

Cons

❌ Lacks native word editor

❌ Fragmented user experience

❌ Integrates with no other tool besides “my case”

8. Formstack Document

Formstack Document, formerly Webmerge, is a document automation tool for generating proposals, invoices, reports, and more. It offers drag-and-drop document builder for easy document creation, native e-signature tool, bulk document generation, and if-else conditional statements. It integrates natively with Clio and various business tools, making it suitable for business lawyers and other practice areas.

Despite being HIPAA compliant, SSL certified, data encryption, it offers document security options that allow recipients download documents with a password rather than via an email link.

Despite its rich features, users have reported that most of them are nonfunctional and buggy. Additionally, it’s more expensive compared to tools like DocuSign and Docupilot offering comparable capabilities.

Features

  • E-signature: Native signature tool for easy signing.
  • Dynamic Fields: Create dynamic fields for personalized documents.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with team members on document draft creation.

Pricing 

You can either pay for a standalone Formstack document or as part of suite plan. It’s three pricing tires include:

  • Document: $92
  • Suite: $191
  • Enterprise: talk to sales

Pros

✅ Highly customizable with condition and logic

Cons

❌ High-end pricing

❌ Unresponsive customer support

❌ Despite being a Formstack product, users complain it lacks seamless integration with other products.

9. Knackly

Knackly is another simple document automation tool suitable for various law practice areas. 

It collects clients data through two intake forms: external intake and intake builder. The external intake allows clients to fill out necessary information and upload supporting documents from any device. While the intake builder is a dynamic, automatically adjusting questions based on client's responses to gather detailed information within the system. 

Knackly integrates natively with three case management systems including Clio, Filevine and Curo365.

Key Features

  • Intake builder: Automatically generates forms from templates that guide users through the necessary questions needed to generate custom documents.
  • Dynamic fields: Create dynamic variables such as names, roles, or lists and autofill them through integration with data sources.
  • Collaboration: Allow you delegate drafts to your team members.
  • Search: Retrieve documents based on client information.

Pricing 

  • Basic: $100
  • Plus: $200
  • Professional: $1000 

Pros

✅ Offers Zapier integration 

✅ Intuitive and easy to use 

Cons

❌ Lacks native word editor

❌ High end pricing makes it unsuitable for small legal practices 

❌ Lacks advance conditions and tables

10. Rally

Rally positions itself as a document automation platform for business legal departments. What sets Rally apart are Client Portal, which provides clients access to interact with documents, and document management capabilities, allowing document categorization into matters, templates, contacts, and files for easy retrieval. 

However, Rally has some drawbacks. It lacks a native word editor or an add-on for word editor, so document creation involves either importing documents or copying and pasting content. It also does not support conditional statements for adapting documents to different scenarios. Also, Rally offers no native integrations other than with Zapier.

Features 

  • Questionnaire: Guides users through a series of questions to generate custom documents. 
  • Document repository: Easy to categorize related documents into matters, store associated contacts referenced in documents, and retrieve documents by category or global search.
  • File storage and sharing: Securely store and share files with clients and other attorneys within the portal
  • Form templates: Provides arrays of form templates for different contracts and agreements, including employment agreements, NDAs, and shareholder agreements

Pricing 

Rally offers a free trial and three pricing plans which include:

  • Lite: $99
  • Essential: $399
  • Premium: $999

Pros

✅ Integration with tools like Zapier and HubSpot

✅ Simple UI and ease of use

Cons

❌ Expensive compared to similar tools like Woodpecker and Docupilot

❌ Lacks condition and logic  

❌ Lacks bulk document generation capability 

How to Choose the Right Legal Document Automation Software

Remember Your “why”

Do you still recall your primary reason for seeking to automate your documents? For example, if your “why” is to minimize error and save time, Docupilot should be your top pick, as it prioritizes ease of document creation via various formats.

Consider Current and Future Costs

It's not enough to afford the product now. You should be able to sustain costs as your needs grow without straining your firm’s budget. Therefore, seek scalable solutions with transparent and flexible pricing plans or customizable packages for now and in the future.

Consider Ease of Use

Using a tool that requires your legal team to learn code will only hamper product adoption. Hence, prioritize low to no code tools with an intuitive interface and user-friendly features to speed up the learning curve.

Ensure solid customer support

No document automation tool is built so well that they don’t require any hand-holding at all. Therefore, don’t just consider the seeming ease of use or good features; choose a provider that offers reliable customer support, including access to training resources, documentation, and responsive customer service representatives.

Consider Security and Compliance

In April 2023, the international law firm Proskauer Rose had 184,000 sensitive files stored on an unsecured Microsoft Azure server by a third-party vendor, accessed by cyber attackers. This shows the risks associated with patronizing vendors without standard security measures. To avoid becoming a victim, prioritize document automation software that meets industry standards for security and compliance, offering features such as encryption, access controls, and audit trail.

Streamline Your Legal Documents With Docupilot

Now you have 10 tools that can save you time and money and improve document accuracy but not all are equal.

If you need a shortcut to the best of them all, choose Docupilot—it offers affordability, easy template creation, advanced conditions, and responsive customer support. 

Sign up for Docupilot’s free trial, no credit card required.

FAQs

What software do lawyers use?

Lawyers use various software including document automation software to save time and money on manual document creation and management. 

What is the best legal document site?

Docupilot.app offers affordable, easy template creation, integrates with your favorite apps, and auto-generates personalized documents while you sleep.

What is legal document management software?

Legal document management software streamlines document creation, storage, and retrieval for lawyers.

Did you know?

According to a Thompson Reuters, respondents who use document automation for lease agreements (22%) report that they have time to Leverage workflows to develop new business models with clients and Win new clients with better business development.