At the Business Leadership Summit 2017 run by the Lawyer we hosted a roundtable discussion looking at, amongst other things, whether Microsoft Word would still be the document programme in 2025.
No one saw an obvious alternative to Microsoft Word and anticipated it would still be used to write and edit documents. The attendees were very very conscious of how content is generated. One person noted how their time is wasted rewriting standard clauses. The integrity of the document and how it was distributed, stored and comments captured was a concern of the group. The role of AI to review, check and identify content was something that everyone was very aware of and their firms were involved in to varying degrees.
Microsoft Word was seen to be a static product and was not a management focus.
However that reveals a mismatch with the view of lawyers working day to day with Word. In the research ‘Are client relationships compromised by inadequate investment in Word?’ that Brochet commissioned from The Lawyer Research Service, 99% of fee earners agreed Word was critical for them but 40% believe their firm has not invested or developed tools in Word.
Plenty of frustrations were aired and they were also reflected in the research – particularly working with numbering, collaboration and applying house style.
At Brochet we have developed a tool for fee earners (and DPU), Brochet Paste, that will clean and repair legal numbered text in one click.