5 Legal Workflow Examples You Can Implement for Maximum Efficiency

 In Practice Pointers

5 Legal Workflow Examples You Can Implement for Maximum Efficiency

The rise in demand for legal work post-pandemic, the emergence of workflow automation tools, and the ever-present competitive environment in the legal industry–these factors call for better-than-ever efficiency levels in 2024 if you want your law firm to stay ahead.

In this article, we’ll go over the basics of legal workflow automation, how it can benefit your law firm, and the 5 best examples of workflow automation you can implement today.

man and woman signing documents

What is a Legal Workflow?

A legal workflow consists of a series of tasks and processes designed to accomplish a particular legal objective or outcome. It serves as the foundational blueprint that directs your team in managing cases, from the initial client intake to the final billing process.

What is Legal Workflow Automation?

Legal workflow automation is the application of technology to simplify and automate typically tedious tasks within legal processes. Legal automation technology allows law firms and legal departments to design, execute, and manage legal workflows with minimal manual intervention.

More specifically, incorporating software tools and applications lets legal professionals automate various tasks such as:

  • Document drafting automation
  • Client intake processes
  • Case management
  • Billing and invoicing
  • Contract review
  • Compliance checks

man typing on a laptop and document holograms

What Are The Benefits of Legal Workflow Automation?

Automating legal workflows can make life easier for everyone on your legal team in many ways. In turn, a more productive legal department contributes to a better bottom line. Here’s a closer look at how legal workflow automation benefits the legal industry:

Streamlining Operations

Automating the grunt work – the repetitive tasks that bog down daily operations – not only speeds things up but also lets your team focus on more valuable, more complex aspects of legal work.

Reduced Risk of Errors

Automation reduces the likelihood of human error in document creation, data entry, and other processes.

Improved Client Satisfaction

Automation can lead to faster response times and more consistent communication with clients. It means you’re always a step ahead, from seamless onboarding to timely updates, leading to higher satisfaction and retention rates.

Enhanced Collaboration

Legal workflow automation tools often come with features that improve communication and collaboration among team members. Shared access to documents, automated task assignments, and progress tracking help keep everyone aligned and informed.

Cost Savings

Automating legal workflows can result in significant cost savings over time. It takes the manual labor out of many non-billable tasks, allowing you to redirect your team’s efforts to areas that need human insight. In the long run, this strategic allocation of resources pays off.


When your workload increases, automated systems can handle the extra demand without needing to proportionally increase your staff. This makes scaling up smoother and more manageable, letting you expand your business without the growing pains.

Data Security and Compliance

Many legal workflow automation tools incorporate advanced security features to protect sensitive information. Plus, by automating processes, you’re also ensuring that your operations are in line with regulations and internal policies, thanks to standardization and detailed activity logs.

Strategic Insight and Decision Making

Automation tools often include analytics and reporting capabilities, providing law firms with valuable insights into their operations. This information is particularly useful when it comes to making strategic decisions, spotting areas for further improvement, and identifying new opportunities for automation.

5 Legal Workflow Examples You Can Replicate

You can apply automation to various administrative tasks to improve your overall efficiency and productivity. Below are five actionable legal workflow examples that you can easily emulate to harness the power of automation in your legal practice:

1. Client Intake/Onboarding

Legal teams can apply automation to the client intake and onboarding process to ensure a smooth and professional first impression. You can:

  • Use online forms and document management systems to collect client information
  • Automatically run conflict checks
  • Generate onboarding paperwork

Here’s an example of an automated client intake process:

Step 1: Initial Contact

Clients start by filling out a detailed contact form on your law firm’s website. This form collects preliminary information, such as the client’s name, contact details, and a brief description of their legal issue.

Upon submission, the client immediately receives an automated email acknowledging receipt of their inquiry and outlining the next steps.

Step 2: Conflict Check

The information from the contact form is automatically fed into your firm’s conflict check system. If no conflicts are identified, the process moves to the next step. If a conflict is found, an automated response informs the client that the firm cannot represent them due to a conflict of interest.

Step 3: Intake Questionnaire

Clients who pass the conflict check receive an email with a link to a more comprehensive intake questionnaire. This questionnaire is designed to gather detailed information relevant to their case.

The questionnaire includes the ability to securely upload relevant documents.

Step 4: Consultation Scheduling

After submitting the questionnaire, clients are directed to an online scheduling tool integrated with the firm’s calendar. They can choose a convenient time for a consultation, either in-person or virtual.

Once a consultation is scheduled, both the client and the attorney receive an automated confirmation email with the appointment details and a calendar invite.

Step 5: Onboarding Documents and Agreement

Based on the information provided in the intake questionnaire, the system automatically generates onboarding documents and a customized agreement.

Clients can review and e-sign the agreement and pay the initial retainer fee online through a secure payment gateway.

Step 6: Welcome Package

Upon completion of the onboarding process, clients receive a welcome email. This email includes an introduction to their legal team, what they can expect moving forward, and how to communicate with the firm.

The email also provides login details for a client portal where they can track the progress of their case, communicate with their attorney, and access documents.

Step 7: Internal Notification

Once a new client is successfully onboarded, relevant legal teams are automatically notified through the firm’s internal communication system. This ensures that everyone involved is up-to-date and ready to start working on the case.

2. Client Communications

Automating client communications is an excellent approach to upgrading client engagement and satisfaction, ensuring consistent and timely interactions throughout the legal process. Here’s an illustrative process for automating client communications within your law firm:

Step 1: Automated Onboarding Messages

After a client is successfully onboarded, they receive an automated welcome message. This message outlines what they can expect in terms of communication and introduces them to their legal team.

Step 2: Case Updates

Set up a system to send automated updates on case progress at predetermined intervals or after specific milestones are achieved.

Step 3: Appointment and Deadline Reminders

Implement an automated reminder system that notifies clients of upcoming appointments, important dates, and deadlines via email or SMS. 

Step 4: Automated Check-ins

For long-duration cases or for clients with whom you wish to maintain a relationship, set up automated emails or messages that check in on them periodically. These communications can offer assistance, provide relevant legal updates, or share useful content.

Step 5: FAQ and Resource Sharing

Automate the distribution of FAQs, guides, and resources relevant to the client’s case or legal needs. This proactive approach can address common questions and concerns, reducing the need for direct inquiries.

Step 6: Billing and Payment Reminders

Automate billing reminders and payment confirmations to streamline the financial interactions with clients. This way, you can ensure transparency and reduce the administrative burden of managing payments.

3. Legal Document Automation

Legal document automation revolves around generative artificial intelligence (AI). This subtype of legal AI is designed to automatically draft various legal documents, such as contracts and discovery documents, to cut down manual processes involved in document generation.

These are the documents that legal professionals usually automate:

Discovery Response and Request Documents

Busy law firms can use generative AI to draft discovery response and request documents (e.g., requests for production, requests for admission, interrogatories) that would otherwise take hours to make.

Contracts and Agreements

Legal workflow software quickly generates standard contracts, service agreements, lease agreements, non-disclosure agreements (NDAs), employment contracts, and partnership agreements with customized details for each party involved.

Legal Letters and Correspondence

Templates for letters of advice, demand letters, cease and desist letters, and other formal legal communications allow for quick customization for various scenarios.

Court Forms and Pleadings

Certain types of software can automate the inclusion of relevant case and party information in standard forms and pleadings for court filings, including complaints, motions, affidavits, and judgments.

Estate Planning Documents

Legal teams can customize wills, trusts, powers of attorney, and healthcare directives to fit the specific needs and circumstances of the client.

Real Estate Documents

Some legal practice management software can efficiently produce purchase agreements, deeds, closing documents, and landlord-tenant agreements, such as leases and eviction notices.

4. Law Firm Billing

Implementing automation in law firm billing practices can transform the management of financial transactions, improving the efficiency, accuracy, and transparency of billing operations.

Here’s a breakdown of how law firms can automate their billing process:

Step 1: Time Tracking Integration

Implement software that legal teams can use to track their time spent on different cases automatically. This helps ensure accurate billing and minimizes the chance of unbilled work.

Step 2: Generating Invoices

Based on the time tracked and the specific billing arrangements with clients, the system automatically generates detailed invoices for billable hours. These invoices can include descriptions of the services rendered, the time spent, and the applicable rates.

Step 3: Customization and Review

Allow for customization of invoice templates to meet the firm’s branding and client’s preferences. Before sending, your legal team can review and adjust invoices if necessary, ensuring accuracy and client satisfaction.

Step 4: Electronic Delivery

Use the billing system to email invoices directly to clients, reducing paper waste and speeding up the delivery process. Electronic delivery also makes it easier for clients to review and pay their invoices.

Step 5: Online Payment Options

Integrate online payment solutions that allow clients to pay their invoices via credit card, ACH transfer, or other online payment systems. This convenience can significantly shorten the payment cycle and improve cash flow.

Step 6: Payment Tracking and Reminders

The billing system should automatically track payments received and reconcile them with the corresponding invoices. For overdue invoices, the system can send out automated payment reminders to clients, encouraging timely payments.

Step 7: Financial Reporting

Utilize the billing software to automatically generate financial reports, providing insights into the firm’s financial health, productivity, and outstanding receivables. These reports are essential for effective financial management and planning.

man looking at documents

5. Task Management

Workflow automation plays a big role in task management, involving the use of various types of software to streamline the planning, delegation, tracking, and completion of tasks and projects. 

This technology helps law firms improve time management and accountability and ensure that critical deadlines are met without overwhelming manual oversight.

Here are several examples of automated processes for task management:

Case Intake and Assignment

A new case is entered into the firm’s case management system through an online form submission by a potential client.

The system automatically performs a conflict check and, if cleared, assigns the case to an attorney based on expertise and current workload. The assigned attorney receives an email notification about the new case.

Initial Review and Client Communication

The assigned attorney marks the case as “reviewed” in the system.

The system automatically generates an introductory email to the client, providing the attorney’s contact information and scheduling a kick-off meeting using a link to the attorney’s calendar.

Document Request and Collection

After the kick-off meeting, the attorney identifies the documents needed from the client.

The system sends an automated email to the client with a secure link to upload the required documents. A follow-up reminder is scheduled if the client does not respond within a specified timeframe.

Task Delegation and Monitoring

Documents are received from the client.

The system creates tasks for document review and analysis, assigning them to appropriate team members. Each team member receives a notification of their assigned tasks with deadlines. The system tracks progress and sends reminders as deadlines approach.

Billing and Time Tracking

Tasks related to the case are marked as completed.

The system logs billable hours associated with completed tasks and generates a draft invoice for the attorney’s review. Once approved, the system sends the invoice to the client with payment instructions.

Legal Workflow Automation Software Overview

These examples of legal workflow automation make the benefits of automation clear. Each automated workflow eases the burden on legal teams, creating more room for more important legal matters and other strategic tasks. The cumulative result? More satisfied clients and increased law firm profitability.

Don’t know what legal workflow automation software to start with? Consider automating the most tedious part of litigation first, the discovery phase.

Briefpoint AI is a law firm automation tool that offers invaluable litigation support by automating discovery requests and response documents. With Briefpoint, you can save valuable time on these routine tasks and ensure consistency in all your documents, including but not limited to:

Take Advantage of Legal Automation with Briefpoint

Discovery responses cost firms $23,240, per year, per attorney. $23,240 estimate assumes an associate attorney salary of $150,000 (including benefits – or $83 an hour), 20 cases per year/per associate, 4 discovery sets per case, 30 questions per set, 3.5 hours spent responding to each set, and 1800 hours of billable hours per year.

Under these assumptions, you save $20,477 using Briefpoint, per year, per attorney.

Test Briefpoint yourself by scheduling a demo here.

FAQs About Legal Workflow Automation

Won’t automation make our jobs obsolete?

Quite the opposite! Automation takes care of the mundane tasks, allowing legal professionals to focus on higher-level, strategic work.

Is legal workflow automation expensive?

It’s an investment. While there’s an upfront cost, the long-term savings in time and resources can be substantial.

How technical do we need to be to implement automation?

Not very. Many legal workflow automation tools are designed with user-friendliness in mind. Plus, most providers offer training and support.


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