Lerners

Law Firm Automation Software Case Study

“Our staff and lawyers tell me over and over again how great the tools are and how efficient it is. After all, 99% of what you need is on the Word LX™ ribbon.”

-Deborah Hayes, IT Training Coordinator, Lerners

Lerners Boosts Efficiency and Accuracy With Word LX™ Enterprise

Founded in 1929, Lerners LLP has been practicing law for 89 years and has earned the reputation of being experienced, fair, and having tenacious counsel. Lerners has become one of Ontario’s largest litigation firms with more than 120 lawyers, as well as more than 250 dedicated support staff. Lerners is a full-service firm and is consistently ranked among the top litigation boutiques in Canada because of its diligence, expertise, and professionalism.

Transitioning to Microsoft® Word with Word LX™ Enterprise

To understand the impact Word LX™ has had at Lerners, we sat down with their IT Training Coordinator, Deborah Hayes. Deborah provides support for the firm’s software applications, trains new employees and helps implement new processes.

When Lerners was making the transition from WordPerfect to Microsoft® Word, they were looking for a flexible automation solution for templates, styles, and numbering to replace the custom system they had developed in Word Perfect. Lerners researched products and liked what they saw with Infoware.

Prior to joining Lerners, Deborah was a Microsoft® Word trainer for many years. Because of this she has a unique view on how Word LX™ simplifies document creation and how it can improve a law firm’s use of Word overall. Because Word LX™ is built into Word, “some people probably didn’t realize that they were getting two separate products,” Hayes said. “But I like to point it out because it’s over and above Word. Lerners had a custom-built system in WordPerfect, but it certainly wasn’t a full suite of tools like Infoware.”

This suite of tools in Word LX™ is designed specifically for law firms to make document creation and formatting faster and easier. For a fast-growing firm like Lerners, Word LX™ made the migration far easier, and has helped them enhance efficiency and improve the quality of their documents.

It really has everything start to finish. It’s a vital set of tools to produce
quality documents in an efficient manner.

 

– Deborah Hayes – Lerners

Formatting First

At Lerners, proper formatting is the foundation of a good legal document. This is why they have been such strong advocates for Word LX™ and its ribbon, which contains all of the legal formatting tools that the solution offers.

“There’s a whole other ribbon created just for legal teams, for generating legal documents,” Hayes explained. “They really thought of everything.”

Without Word LX™, legal professionals need to dig through Microsoft® Word’s nine different tabs to find the tools they need to format documents, all while trying to remain consistent from document to document. This includes tools like formatting a table of contents, applying styles, and inserting signing lines. “When I came [to Lerners] and saw the ribbon for the first time, I thought, this is awesome. This is a great set of tools.”

Branded Templates Lead to Consistency

Most law firms use document templates, but don’t have automation of any kind. This leads to inconsistency, since different people will set up their documents differently. With Word LX™, firms get to choose how the templates look so that they’re all branded accordingly. So, at Lerners, anyone who creates a document starts with the same base as everyone else.

There are no longer any inconsistent margins, fonts or spacing, because it has all been predetermined by the firm for the firm. One of the firm’s legal assistants described it perfectly: “If you’d ever only used Word, you’d be using File, New, and then maybe looking through Microsoft’s templates, and then saving them to the system. People don’t have to go there at all anymore because all of our firm-branded templates are centralized and easily accessible in one-click from within Word LX™.”

For Lerners, this equates to time savings and greater consistency in their documents.

Not only is this functional, but it provides stability to the firm. Lerners has a deep understanding of the legal document creation process and recognizes that a poorly formatted document is a time cost. The tools that Word LX™ provides to simplify formatting and editing tasks allows the firm to reduce the risk of poorly formatted documents, which equates to better service to clients and significant time savings.

Microsoft® numbering decides to have a mind of its own, but [Infoware’s] numbering is clean to work with. It’s reliable when you turn it off and turn it on.

 

– Deborah Hayes – Lerners

One-Click Functions = Time Saved

The basis of Word LX™ is efficiency; it brings forward many of the Microsoft® Word tools legal professionals need to create documents. This saves users time in two ways: searching and clicking. By placing everything on one tab that is added to Word’s ribbon, no one has to scour deep within Word’s drop-downs for that one tool they need (time saved searching) by having to go through menu after menu (time saved clicking).

“It really has everything from start to finish,” said Hayes. “Generating new documents, pulling in client address information, adjusting line spacing, pulling in numbering for paragraphs, etc. It’s a vital set of tools to produce quality documents in an efficient manner.” And this works for a one-page letter or a 25-page contract. “It gives us global control over the formatting and editing of our documents. You want roman numerals? One click and you’ve got roman numerals.”

Detailed Numbering and Styles

Legal professionals use different numbering and styling schemes for a range of documents on a routine basis. This can be very challenging when using Microsoft® Word alone.

“We’ve all been in that corner with Microsoft® numbering,” Hayes admits. “Microsoft® numbering decides to have a mind of its own, or it’s numbering things and you don’t know how to stop it.”

But the 1Point1 Numbering feature in Word LX™ ensures that these types of issues don’t occur. “[Infoware’s] numbering is clean to work with. It’ reliable when you turn it off and turn it on.”

Other issues typically arise when multiple people are working on the same document. Some may be applying different bullet or numbering schemes, while others may be manually formatting the document. Correcting these issues by reformatting the document can require hours of clean up before it can be sent to a client.

Word LX™ can detect when a manual numbering scheme has been applied, and with one click, it will change the “unknown” scheme to one of the firm-branded schemes. A poorly formatted document could be a problem for the person who is receiving it, but Word LX™ gives everyone in the firm the same inputs, so no one wastes time correcting needless errors. What Lerners loves about Word LX™ is that anyone who has to jump into a document can pick it up without trying to figure out someone else’s formatting.

The features in Word LX™ make document formatting simple and consistent and you end up with documents that are more stable and are far less likely to become corrupt.

There’s a whole other ribbon created just for legal teams, for generating legal documents. They really thought of everything.

 

– Deborah Hayes – Lerners

Word LX™ for the Future

As clients ask for more done in less time, law firms need to remain efficient without compromising quality. Lerners has done this by implementing Word LX™ into their everyday work flow. The software’s one-click functions and tools for automating and simplifying document creation have saved the firm time and resources.

At Lerners, learning Word LX™ is an essential skill for the firm. It helps ensure they are producing quality documents that are formatted consistently, and gives them peace of mind about what’s going out the door to clients.

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