3 Ways to Avoid Losing Clients to Typos

Mar 24, 2017 8:00:00 AM

3 Ways to Avoid Losing Clients to TyposIt’s unlikely that writing legal documents is the most exciting part of your job. That doesn’t mean it’s not critical. In fact, attorneys have been reprimanded for poor writing ability. Consider the case of Patrick Hawkins, whose poor writing skills warranted public reprimand and an order from the court to complete 10 hours of legal writing education. Mr. Hawkins isn’t alone. Legal history is littered with examples of attorneys who have been sanctioned for their poor legal writing skills.

Even if you are a strong writer, no one is immune to typos. But the slightest mistake can cost you clients and your reputation. Additionally, if you don’t keep up to date on legislative changes, you could create tax consequences for your clients and even put yourself at risk of legal action. Here are a few ways to reduce typos and errors in your legal documents

1.Take five

With everything on your plate, it’s easy to type out a document and file it away as “done.” But this strategy leaves you vulnerable to errors. Instead, take a five or 10-minute break before you start to review. Even better, take a walk, clear your head, and then come back to the document.

This is especially important when you use templates for your documents. It’s easy to miss an important field or confuse names, pronouns, addresses and dates when you simply copy and paste names and dates into a template. Pay close attention to any field that may have carried over from a previous case or client.

2. Call for backup

A fresh pair of eyes can make all the difference during the proofreading process. If you employ administrative staff or share your practice with other attorneys, ask them to take a look at your documents. A de facto editor might see things you easily missed in your first review.

Asking someone else to review your document can also help reveal problems that your computer’s spell check missed. The most simple typos are sometimes words you’ve spelled correctly but used incorrectly (i.e. trail vs. trial, statue vs. statute).

3. Use document drafting software

Efficient document drafting software can streamline your practice’s drafting process and help eliminate errors. Automated software that populates language preferences (i.e. my, our, the) and custom terms (i.e. grantor, marital, family), throughout a document will ensure your documents are correct and consistent. You should also look for dynamic software that allows you customize documents to different scenarios, unlike static templates and the “copy-and-paste” process.

Document drafting software also provides access to a comprehensive list of interactive documents, including wills, trusts and client letters that will be consistent across your practice.  With legal and legislative changes built in, you don’t have to worry whether or not your documents are up-to-date.

What’s more, the software will enable your support staff efficiently and accurately craft complex documents that they might not otherwise be able to manage. The best estate planning software options will free up more time to work directly with clients and share your expertise.

Download our sample document list to see the types of interactive documents available to Wealth Docx users, or contact us to request more information or to demo our software. We’d be happy to demonstrate all Wealth Docx® can do for your practice.

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