The use of legal forms freeware software tools for legal makes lawyers’ lives easier by allowing them to create repeatable and fillable documents.
This class of software tools specialized in document automation focuses on a specific objective: to create reusable templates to make document drafting as easy as possible.
There are lots of software tools that help lawyers create templates and forms.
But only a few are the best. We’ve compiled this list to help you create your own. Some of these tools are stand-alone form builders, while others are integrated functions in multi-purpose legal software tools.
Best software tools for legal forms
Lawyaw is a document assembly tool created with lawyers in mind.
This means that, in addition to creating repeatable document templates, it automates the process of filling out new ones. It also allows forms to be sent from the platform to courts or clients for signature.
This tool includes a library of forms for federal courts, all 50 states and some local jurisdictions. It’s a good starting point before creating your own templates. You can then populate those forms with your client or case information within Lawyaw itself or using aMicrosoft Word add-in.
Lawyaw also integrates with Clio, so it makes sense for those using that tool to try this one, software tools for legal.
Most customers rate this software tool positively. Some note that they like the integrations with the tools they use and the fact that it includes a template library. Others say it can be clunky when it comes to extracting their data.
Basic Lawyaw accounts start at $70/month per user, which gives you access to court forms. Customizable templates and the MS Word add-in are unlocked with the $110/month plan.
Gavel is another popular document assembly tool in the legal field software tools for legal.
This tool allows you to create customized workflows to generate almost any document you need in your law firm.
But what stands out the most about Gavel is that it allows you to create customer-oriented forms. You can set up guided interview workflows and send them to clients or embed them on your website. The data they fill in will go directly into a new document ready for you to review in Gavel.
This is great news if you want to automate things like customer acquisition.
Other advantages include a Microsoft Word add-in, integrations with Zapier and Clio, and newsroom functionality. It also has an open API if you are interested in creating your own integration.
The biggest drawback that people who use Gavel mention is that the process of automating each form your company creates takes time.
The other drawback is that it does not include preloaded court forms.
The basic Gavel plan costs $83/month, but only gives you 10 workflows and a limited set of features. The next level costs $165/month and gives you access to more workflows plus an integration with Zapier. Gavel offers a free 7-day trial to test the software tool.
Knackly offers advanced options similar to Gavel, such as an open API, guided interviews and forms based on conditional logic software tools for legal.
But users say the functionality comes at a price: it’s not easy to set it up and get to work.
Most lawyers using Knackly for legal documents will need to turn to the company’s Jumpstart program to get personalized help from experts.
This software tool is best for lawyers who create several complex documents and are willing to spend time (or hire others) to set things up from scratch.
The basic Knackly plan starts at $100 per month for up to 4 users.
Clio is the closest thing to an all-in-one solution you’ll find on this list, as it includes many features for law firms.
One of these functions is the creation of documents software tools for legal.
Clio allows you to transform Word documents into templates and create your own library of court forms.
The comprehensive feature set of Clio is good for lawyers who need the full package and not just a tool for creating legal forms. But it is also a double-edged sword when it comes to form creation and management.
Some users say they wish the developers would focus more on making the current product more efficient. For example, some complain about problems with multiple versions of documents, constantly having to upload or download documents, and the inability to duplicate documents from one issue to another.
Pricing for Clio starts at $39/user per month, but templates and automation are really effective starting at $69/month.
What are you looking for in a legal forms freeware software TOOL?
Deciding on the right form building tool for your law firm is sometimes easier said than done. There are many good tools on the market, but the right one depends on your specific needs in software tools for legal.
These are the basic characteristics that you should take into account:
- Template creation and management
- Conditional logic and variables
- Support for electronic signatures
- Ability to generate forms in Word or PDF format
And there are some advanced or additional features that are nice to have:
- Customer-oriented forms (for guided interviews or customer portals)
- A Microsoft Word add-in
- A pre-packaged library of templates or court forms
- Integration with other legal software
- An open API
Read reviews and talk to your colleagues before deciding on a tool. Another attorney will be the best person to tell you if a particular form-building tool is right for you. And look for demos or free trials so you can get a closer look at a software tools for legal before you commit.
Creating templates should not be difficult.
Any tool with a bad user experience or that makes it difficult for you to get started should not be on your list. Software developers who know that their tools have a learning curve should offer you training and onboarding. The good news is that most of the tools on this list are easy to use.
An additional feature to consider is implementation assistance.
Creating one template is not a big deal. But creating hundreds of templates is another story. Some of the tools on this list offer help from implementation specialists who will create the forms for you while you focus on other areas of your practice.
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Maximize efficiency and accuracy with legal forms
Time is money in the legal industry. You can’t afford mistakes either. Simplify the document creation process by using legal forms freeware software that meets all your needs.
But improving your software tools for legal forms creation process is just one way to streamline your business to improve efficiency, productivity and profitability.
Other legal technology tools, such as case management software, client intake software and even new AI tools for lawyers, will help streamline other areas of your law firm. Every tool you add to your technology stack is another step on the road to modernizing your law firm and making it more competitive.