Add-Ins to Supercharge Your Use of MS Word for Lawyers
12 August, 2021
When lawyers spend more time efficiently using Microsoft Word, and less time fighting it, everyone benefits. Lawyers can spend more time drafting arguments rather than drafting documents.
As powerful as MS Word is, it might not be able to do the work you want it to do. Fortunately, many companies and developers have created low cost, no coding, no hassle programs that improve how lawyers use MS Word. These tiny-tech solutions can save you and your team both time and money.
The following guide covers various functions and the add-in tools available to perform them.
Add-Ins for Forms, Automation and Copying
- ClipX – Super-powered cut and paste
- PhraseExpress – Automatically expands abbreviations
- Text Expander – Automatically expand abbreviations
- Woodpecker – Simplified document assembly for lawyers
- InfoWare – Document assembly for lawyers
- LawYaw – Document automation tool that facilitates filling out and signing MS Word forms in the cloud
Add-Ins for Drafting, Proofreading, and Editing
- PerfectIt with American Legal Style – Speeds up and improves effectiveness of proofreading legal documents
- WordRake – Speeds up and improves effectiveness of editing legal documents, and enforces plain language writing directives
- Brief Catch – Improves effectiveness of editing legal documents, enforces plain language writing directives, and avoids passive voice; includes commentary
- Clearbrief – Speeds up citating facts in the record, provides line-references for affidavits and interrogatories, and performs substantive cite-checking for common arguments, legal standards, and precedents
- Compose – Helps lawyers create a first draft of a legal brief faster by offering click-to-add arguments, legal standards, and precedents
- Define – Optimizes contract drafting and reviewing process by allowing users to quickly access all defined terms and references without clicking away from the provision they were working on
Add-Ins for Managing Internal Consistency
- PerfectIt with American Legal Style – Ensures consistent spelling, punctuation, and style within document. Enforce hard-to-remember legal writing style guidance from trusted sources such as Black’s Law Dictionary, The Redbook by Bryan Garner, and Bluebook.
- Content Companion – Enables re-use of existing clauses and ensures consistent provisions and definitions across documents.
- Contract Companion – Finds and checks for consistent use of defined terms, missing internal references.
- Contract Tools – Checks missing internal references and defined terms.
- Counsel HQ – Ensure consistent provisions and definitions across documents. Quickly find specific clauses from existing contracts without manually sifting through files.
Tools for Citations
- PerfectIt – Corrects the most common and hard-to-spot errors in Bluebook formatting such as extra spaces, missing periods, incorrect abbreviations, and transposed letters in court and reporter names.
- Best Authority (Litera) – Automatically builds table of authorities (finds, marks, and categorizes citations, and builds table of authorities).
- LitKit – Helps lawyers create linked references to citations to cases, statutes, exhibits and the record, and facilitates using proper short-cite format even when references are re-ordered
- LegalBoard – Easily insert a section symbol, a comment, or a footnote, and toggle back to the text. Insert common terms, turn track changes on and off, and more.
Discover New Legal Technology via Review Blawgs and News
- LawSites by Bob Ambrogi
- Artificial Lawyer by Richard Tromans
- LegalITInsider (The Orange Rag) by Caroline Hill
- LegalTech Startup Focus by Charlie Uniman
Discover New Technology via Free Directories
- Legaltech Hub – a free, comprehensive directory of commercial legal tech
- Theorem LTS – an online store focused on and organized by workflow
As you have discovered from this guide, a whole world of possibilities is available in the document creation space. Use this information as a springboard to find what is out there. The result will be better documents created in less time and for less money.
Ready for more Word tips, tutorials, and videos specifically for lawyers? You can get the full Lawyer’s Guide for free below.