I heard about kiiac the other day – Kingsley Martin is making interesting progress with linguistic analysis of legal documents.
The software will analyze a group of documents and report which clauses are used most commonly. Thus, to assemble a solid purchase agreement, an associate can build on the defacto standard clauses used at the firm.
Having this selection of standard clauses frees up time to devote attention to the unique aspects of that particular agreement. The firm benefits, because the overall quality of work should increase – fewer errors and omissions, and better attention to the challenging areas.
If analysis of sample documents does not reveal any common clauses, you’ve identified an area where the firm has likely re-invented the wheel each time writing that type of document. In that scenario, the firm has been at much greater risk when an associate has to draft: lacking any solid reference points, it is easier to go astray. This highlights a candidate precedent which would have much greater value to the firm.