SEATTLE—Today, WordRake Holdings, LLC, a software company focused on clear and concise editing for professionals, announced its collaboration with LTC4 (Legal Technology Core Competencies Certification Coalition) and others within the legal profession. The collaboration is called the Effectiveness Project.
The Effectiveness Project was conceived by Ivy B. Grey, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at WordRake. Grey is a frequent speaker and author on the duty of technology competence, and she is a legal technologist creating legal writing improvement tools. This project ties into Grey’s ongoing work on the ethical duty of technology competence, introduced by the ABA in 2012, which clarified that technology competence is an important part of a lawyer’s overall duty to provide competent representation.
“I was inspired to launch this project because I care deeply about the duty of technology competence and improving legal practice through simple, everyday technology like Microsoft Word,” said Grey, Effectiveness Project Team Co-Lead. “By creating specific guidelines and focusing on a part of legal practice that everyone does, we can provide support for the technology competence mandate to have an impact.”
After 18 months of work, the Effectiveness Project team announced that it has completed the first version of Document Competency: What Every Legal Professional Should Know for Effective & Efficient Drafting in Word. The best practices guide is the team’s first step in creating concrete, phased guidance on document competency. It is part of a broader initiative to create a framework that will help legal professionals at large and small firms; in corporations, classrooms, and courtrooms; and elsewhere in the legal profession understand best practices for efficiently creating an effective legal document.
“The goal of this project is to shift the conversation from mere efficiency to effectiveness, so that we may challenge how we think about document creation in our industry,” said Tony Gerdes, Effectiveness Project Team Co-Lead, and Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A. “LTC4 already has application-agnostic learning plans to encourage efficiency, so the focus on effectiveness provides the ideal complement to LTC4’s offerings. I look forward to seeing how our work will make a difference.”
About the Best Practices Guide
The best practices guide establishes a common starting point for improving the document creation process. The guide provides a framework for effective, efficient document drafting that an array of stakeholders can use in their existing document creation workflows. Through this project, the team aims to move document drafting out of the untouchable realm of bespoke work to the world of knowable, predictable, repeatable work that can be evaluated and improved.
The guide is based on a modular structure of document drafting divided into eight stages: confidentiality and document re-use; planning, structure, and organization; research, support, analysis, and argument; creating content and delivering information; collaborating with reviewers and authors; reviewing, editing, and proofreading; finalization; and on-screen review. The approach gives legal professionals specific, yet flexible guidance.
The content is available three ways: an interactive website, a downloadable PDF, and eight individual modules for building stand-alone training and education units. It is free and open for review at https://ltc4.org/effectiveness-project/.
After establishing best practices for document drafting, the team hopes their next project will set standards for the appropriate time-to-value ratio for document-creation work, and empower clients to ask for more in the delivery of legal services. In this next project, the team aims to teach legal professionals to question how they do their work and actively seek more efficient methods to maximize their time on valuable (and billable) tasks, thus igniting a desire to continuously improve.
About the Effectiveness Project Team
The Effectiveness Project team is an international working group of legal professionals who, with support from LTC4, collaborate to establish best practices and baseline skills for creating effective legal documents.
The team is led by Ivy B. Grey, Vice President of Strategy & Business Development at WordRake and Tony Gerdes, Director of Knowledge and Innovation at Offit Kurman, P.A., and Contributing Member of LTC4.
The Effectiveness Project team also includes Rachel Baiden, Global Technology Training Manager at Squire Patton Boggs; Adrian Bailey, Chief Architect at DocStyle, LLC; Chris Cangero, Chief Executive Officer at DocStyle, LLC; Dave DiCicco, Senior Director of Product Management at LexisNexis; Florentina Field, Litigation Attorney and Co-Founder of Prelimine; Jacob Field, Co-Founder of Prelimine; Sherry Kappel, Evangelist at Litera; Colin Levy, LegalTech Evangelist and Blogger; and Dyane L. O’Leary, Associate Professor of Legal Writing and Director of the Legal Innovation & Technology Concentration at Suffolk University Law School. Additional contributors include Alma Asay, Founder of Allegory; James Gillis, Estates and Trusts Attorney at Offit Kurman, P.A.; and Douglas Lusk, Founder of National Society for Legal Technology.
Learn more at https://ltc4.org/effectiveness-project/.
Learn more about technology competence at https://www.wordrake.com/tech_competence.