Document automation (sometimes known as document assembly) is the process used to speed up the creation of documents through the use of flexible and dynamic templates. These templates contain all the clauses and text necessary to compile a particular document, which will be invoked during the drafting process according to the rules and logic of the template.
These templates are then used as the basis of the interactive questionnaire, which the drafter completes by answering a series of questions relevant to the particular document and to their individual circumstances.
This process can significantly reduce the time required to create documents, thereby lowering costs, as well as improving the accuracy and consistency of the finished draft. Furthermore, the simplicity of the process means that documents can be drafted by individuals with no specialist training or knowledge.
Epoq has been at the forefront of the document automation revolution since 1997, when we launched Rapidocs®, our proprietary document automation system, which has become one of the most sophisticated and intuitive solutions available. Rapidocs® is unique in that it was developed with the novice in mind - consumers with no legal training or understanding are using it on a daily basis to make Wills, fill out divorce forms or draft employment agreements and numerous other complex documents.
Rapidocs® includes context-sensitive help and advice, so users can be guided through the more complex parts of a document in the most appropriate manner, whilst always having detailed document notes to fall back on should they require them.
Website platforms & workflow
Epoq's web platforms provide the functionality to enable fully transactional web services to be hosted, offering a wide range of consumer and commercial legal products. A complete shopping basket process enables payment to be taken for each product (or product group), according to the service the customer requires. This service might include legal review, in which case the platform also facilitates back-office functions for the legal reviewer to check and, if necessary, amend a customer's draft document(s). Sites can be branded using corporate logo(s), icons and colour palette.
Legal compliance is professionally handled throughout the customer journey - so, for example, if a customer is dealing with a legally regulated entity such as law firm, they'll be required to accept the Terms of Engagement, and this will be included as a standard part of the site, preventing the transaction from being completed until the necessary terms have been read and accepted.
All of Epoq's web platforms are based on a Software as a Service (SaaS) model, with the customer's documents and data being saved securely in the Epoq "cloud". The workflow is sophisticated enough to enable customers to interact with legal reviewers and pass their document back and forth until the draft is complete and approved by the reviewer, ready to be downloaded and printed by the customer.
Content Management System
The Epoq Legal Engine (ELE) is our own database and Content Management System (CMS) specifically designed for the setup and management of websites that offer document-drafting capability through Rapidocs®. It's the technology that underpins the delivery of document automation solutions in all of Epoq enterprise-level solutions, and has been deployed in a variety of sectors: banks, insurers, law firms and consumer-facing financial brands.
The ELE system is both detailed and flexible, and includes facilities for the creation of tiered pricing and service levels, automated legal review mechanism, full ecommerce and online payment, legal compliance with regulated procedures (such as the provision of engagement terms), groups schemes, co-brands, discount vouchers and subscription services. Sites built using ELE can be extensively customised to match the legal service provider's own brand, and every user of an ELE site has access to their own dedicated and branded 'page' where they can track the progress of their matter.
Legal service providers can manage their clients' matters securely through a dedicated customer contact application: the Epoq Legal Contact Centre System (ELCCS), which gives them all the tools they need to track and progress client matters and to communicate securely with them via the web.
The ELE API is a modern REST-based interface with a simple, common sense instruction set (e.g 'Get', 'Put', 'Create', 'Update'). It connects via https - essentially, it's accessed through a private web connection - features multiple security features and allows complete programmatic access to all aspects of an ELE system, including control of users, documents and templates. It can be used to automatically populate a document with data from another source, allowing for the 'pre-completion' of a document. It can also be used to add custom features or functionality to a standard ELE site, such as running Epoq services via an entirely separate interface, data mining documents for data to help tailor the customer experience, or creating reports.