New Initiative Seeks to Establish Best Practices for Document Competency
The recently released best practices guide Document Competency: What Every Legal Professional Should Know for Effective & Efficient Drafting in Word has been developed to shift the conversation from mere efficiency to effectiveness. Available as a free download from the LTC4 website the guide is the work of an international working group of legal professionals—with support from LTC4--collaborating to establish best practices and baseline skills for creating effective legal documents.
The Effectiveness Project
“I was inspired to launch this project because I care deeply about the duty of technology competence and improving legal practice through simple, everyday technology like Microsoft Word,” said Ivy B. Grey, Effectiveness Project Team Co-Lead and Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at WordRake Holdings LLC. “By creating specific guidelines and focusing on a part of legal practice that everyone does, we can provide support for the technology competence mandate to have an impact.”
“We hoped to create a guide that would prompt people to think critically about every aspect of the document- creation process and improve it,” said Sherry Kappel, Effectiveness Project Team Member, and Evangelist at Litera. “Expectations for document creation are evolving. Legal service providers who efficiently use Microsoft Word and embrace its power will consistently and predictably create better documents. I believe this project will help.” LTC4 already has application-agnostic learning plans to encourage efficiency, so the focus on effectiveness provides the ideal complement to LTC4’s offerings.
Ivy B. Grey / Source: www.jdtobe.byu.edu
About the Guide
The best practices guide establishes a common starting point for improving the document-creation process and provides a framework for effective, efficient document drafting that an array of stakeholders can use in their existing document-creation workflows. Through this project, the team aims to move document drafting out of the untouchable realm of bespoke work to the world of knowable, predictable, repeatable work that lawyers can evaluate and improve.
The guide is based on modular structure for document drafting divided into eight stages: confidentiality and document re-use; planning, structure, and organization; research, support, analysis, and argument; creating content and delivering information; collaborating with reviewers and authors; reviewing, editing, and proofreading; finalization; and on-screen review. The approach gives legal professionals specific, yet flexible guidance.
The content is offered in three ways: an interactive website; a downloadable PDF; and eight individual modules that can be used to build stand-alone units for training and education. It is free and open for review, available at:
The guide has been developed by a team of experts from the legal industry, The team was led by Ivy B. Grey, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at WordRake and Tony Gerdes, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A., and Contributing Member of LTC4. Other team members came from Squire Patton Boggs; DocStyle, LLC, LexisNexis; Prelimine, Litera; Wordrake and Suffolk University Law School. Additional contributors included Allegory and the National Society for Legal Technology.