A Day in the Life of a Large Law Lawyer: Drafting Documents with Litera’s Drafting tools and M365 Copilot

In our previous blog, we covered how legal professionals can navigate client communication using M365 Copilot and Litera’s tools. But legal professionals have long days and a crucial part of it is document drafting—in fact, on average, this takes up 60% of lawyers’ time. Documents are the main work product of a law firm and ensuring that they’re of the highest quality is imperative to providing a positive client experience, improving profitability, and maintaining a good reputation in the market.

The recent developments in technology, especially as it pertains to Microsoft and M365 Copilot are starting to shift the ways professionals work. Together with Litera’s drafting tools, legal professionals can use M365 Copilot to streamline the process of how they interact with documents and go through the drafting process.

Read on to understand how legal professionals can use M365 Copilot and Litera’s Drafting tools to deliver impeccable documents, from document creation to publishing.

Creating Documents

During a legal professional’s day or week, they’ll inevitably need to create a new document. This process involves either duplicating and revising existing work, drawing upon prior similar projects and refining the details for the new document, or utilizing advanced document templating technology to access a template and initiate the development of a preliminary draft.

In this case, legal professionals, can rely on M365 Copilot for the following:

  • Creating fast summaries of the state of the law
  • Crafting outlines for documents to ensure a basis
  • Generating some simple, non-client and non-facts specific documents, like a general letter

While these features can be beneficial for aiding legal professionals in initiating their documents, it's important to note that Copilot, being a generalist, is unable to offer specialized legal support. This underscores the necessity for legal professionals to leverage a dedicated legal tool for document creation. For instance, while generating an outline can serve as a foundation for a preliminary draft, it may not fully address the unique styling and numbering requirements specific to the firm or organization.

To enhance the experience of document creation, legal professionals can use M365 Copilot in conjunction with Litera’s document creation platform, Litera Create. With Litera Create, legal professionals can:

  • Use enterprise-approved document templates with placeholders to initiate documents
  • Curate a content library to provide the best precedent language available to legal professionals
  • Retain document styling and numbering when inserting content from the library
  • Anonymization capabilities ensure sensitive client data is not revealed
  • Integrations with other firm systems via the Litera Create API

Proofreading & Styling Documents

Did you know? One in three legal professionals confess to overlooking proofreading tasks due to time constraints, yet the repercussions of error-laden documents can be reputation-damaging. Equally vital is the meticulous attention given to styling and formatting of legal documents. Correct styling and formatting not only contribute to the overall aesthetics but also enhance the document's effectiveness, conveying a sense of precision and reliability.

For simple proofreading and formatting, legal professionals can rely on M365 Copilot to:

  • Provide a list of cross-references in the document to ensure you’re not referring to a non-existing section
  • Ensure the document is organized with clear headings, subheadings, and sections
  • Create consistency with formatting, font, and spacing
  • Provide a list of definitions and defined-terms issues

However, there are a few areas where M365 Copilot falls short. Copilot can’t interact with the document, nor does it have any concept of the structure or properties of the document, meaning it’s unable to assist with cleaning up a document, assigning cross-references, and more. Also, it needs to be prompted for everything, making it unable to comprehensively search across a document for formatting and structural issues.

When used in conjunction with Litera Check, our proofreading, styling, and repair tool, firms can protect their reputation while delivering impeccable documents that meet firm and client requirements. With Litera Check, legal professionals can:

  • Analyze documents with one click to surface all document issues related to definitions and defined terms, cross-references, citations, and more
  • View and resolve document issues while drafting documents through the Active Drafting feature
  • Find and mark citations for an accurate Table of Contents
  • Apply proper formatting and styles and resolve issues with numbering and cross-references
  • Surface and resolve common Microsoft Word issues in documents in one click and automatically fix any issues that arise when converting Word to PDF documents

Comparing Documents

Just as proofreading safeguards against errors, the careful and methodical process of comparing and redlining ensures that modifications are accurately tracked and evaluated. This not only upholds the quality and coherence of legal documents but also plays a pivotal role in building trust among the parties involved. In a profession where precision is paramount, investing the necessary time and attention to the comparative analysis and redlining of documents is an indispensable practice for legal professionals.

While M365 Copilot can summarize the difference between two paragraphs of texts, it must be within a 2,000-character limit. Aside from the character limit, M365 Copilot is unable to produce redlines, which is where Litera Compare can help.

Litera Compare is trusted by 99% of the Am Law 100 and along with M365 Copilot can help deliver better client experiences, enhance collaboration, and mitigate the risk of missing crucial changes to your documents. With Litera Compare, legal professionals can:

  • Compare documents and view detailed redlines of changes, filter results and quickly accept or reject changes
  • View comparisons in three synchronized scrolling windows
  • Catch any formatting changes and view hidden document layout changes
  • Compare entire documents or snippets of Microsoft Word, Excel, PPT, and PDF files and see changes in text, tables, charts, images, etc.
  • Easily save and share comparisons via email with redlines as attachments
  • Compare documents on Desktop applications or Microsoft 365. Integrate with iManage, NetDocuments, SharePoint, OpenText eDocs DM, Google Suite, Worldox, Epona, etc.

Cleaning Documents

Failing to clean metadata can expose confidential information, compromise attorney-client privilege, and even lead to unintended sensitive data disclosure. Implementing effective metadata cleaning processes not only safeguards client confidentiality but also demonstrates a commitment to maintaining the highest standards of professionalism and ethical conduct in the legal arena. As legal documents are shared and circulated, ensuring metadata integrity becomes an integral part of safeguarding sensitive information and upholding the trust of clients and colleagues alike.

Legal professionals can use M365 Copilot to draft emails, and then use Litera Metadact to clean document metadata. With Litera Metadact, you can enhance data loss protection, secure sensitive data, and ensure secure collaboration. Metadact offers a tailored solution for cleaning metadata in legal documents that can be configured to the firm’s risk profile needs. Metadact enables your firm to:

  • Protect your firm from revealing sensitive data and catch email mistakes and suspicious activity from any device
  • Reorder, rename, and bind attachments without disturbing your workflow or leaving Microsoft Outlook
  • Have control with customizable settings and receive insights to protect data, while maintaining an efficient workflow

Ready to learn more about M365 Copilot and how it can work alongside Litera’s drafting product? Watch our full on-demand webinar, “Beyond the Desktop: A New Era in Legal Drafting Tools".

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