Mistakes Happen.  (Lawyers are Only Human After All).  Automation is your best defense.

Mistakes Happen. (Lawyers are Only Human After All). Automation is your best defense.

Published on : 18/06/2021 18 June Jun 06 2021

Have you ever noticed that some colleagues in your legal organization seem like Teflon, with mistakes rolling off their back as they move past an error straight to the next project? 
Or so it seems. 
The mistake could be big enough that it could jeopardize your practice. And more minor errors can add up and soil your reputation. 

Confidence comes from "been there, done that" experience that includes mistakes. 

And it is how you handle those mistakes that builds your confidence or negatively affects your reputation and practice. 

There will be supervisors or colleagues who will try to shame you for your errors and keep reminding you about them. Their attacks make you defensive and prevent you from learning from your mistake, which is not productive.

Everyone makes mistakes. The value of mistakes is they make you human, help you learn, grow, and keep you humble. "Mistakes are the portals of discovery," claimed James Joyce. And discovery leads to improvements that can transform the way you do things.
 

How to respond to errors so you can move on quickly:

1.    Own up to the mistake as a first step. No finger-pointing or blaming others. 

2.    Fix the mistake if possible. Some mistakes continue until your behavior changes,and others are one-time errors. It's even better If you can fix it before you apologize.

3.    Apologize, don't ignore it, and sweep it under the rug.

 Most important, put strategies in place to avoid repeating mistakes. 
 

Use automation to prevent errors. 

Automation for your legal practice - whether for in-house counsel or a law firm, means detecting and preventing human errors. Automation has evolved and can often solve common mistakes before they happen. 
 

Work from a centralized database

When you and your team are all working from the same data, if there is a change to your records, such as a new name or address, everyone is aware and using the latest information. If deadlines change or you schedule a critical appointment, every team member knows about it. 

 

Turn all your paper into data

Transform all documents, PDFs, or images by OCR scanning them into usable electronic information so you can search, find, and use them. 
Free yourself from entering data manually and avoid errors by trusting the system to fill in your documents with key data stored in the system. 

 

Rely on your business system to notify you automatically

Automated notifications can trigger an alert to inform you of any changes to an account for a "heads-up." A modern automated business system consistently obeys the rules set up, so you never have to be concerned about missing a thing (in contrast to humans who might get too busy or forget).

 

Use workflows to manage your processes

Your team knows precisely what to do as the system informs them of the next step in their processes. Add steps in the workflow to follow standards. For example, consistently naming your files simplifies searching and finding documents. Build it into the workflow and let automation take over to avoid those issues. 

Apply a workflow to your approval process to make it simple for all parties. Alert the approver when they need to take action and maintain timely responses.

 

Take control of your billing and expenses

Gain a consolidated view of your budget and allow automation to track, verify, and validate external invoices. Centralize incoming vendor invoices and track their status in real-time to process quickly. Automate thresholds and keep vendors compliant with agreements. 

 

Keep your data safe with advanced security

Automated triggers inform you of malicious attacks or unauthorized breaches so you can act quickly to contain them. Today's technology allows you to operate securely from anywhere you are with vigilant monitoring.

Automating processes helps control costs since there are fewer manual tasks to complete. Once there were many employees plugging gaps and fixing issues, there now needs to be fewer, highly trained employees who can configure automation to a high standard. 
Human error cannot be completely foolproof. We recognize that some level of human error is inevitable. However, implementing digital across the business environment is a productive step in mitigating the risks caused by human error.

It is important to note that human error is not necessarily the employee's fault, but rather the business itself, due to its procedures and the way it chooses to automate its processes. 

Regardless of your employees' ability level, the biggest reason for human error is a lack of consistency. When you assign your people a litany of monotonous tasks, consistency suffers. You can achieve uniformity with automation of your legal activities since, unlike the human brain, a machine does not get distracted and impeccably follows the rules. 

Fortunately, modern technology has advanced to handle many of the repeatable, tedious, and error-prone tasks humans need to accomplish in a legal organization. It is now a priority for in-house counsel and law firms to elevate their operations with automation.  


About the author: Legal Suite is the worldwide leader in digital transformation for lawyers. We have delivered our state-of-the-art software for lawyers, law firms, and in-house general counsel to 65,000 users for over two decades. 
www.legal-suite.com

 

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