Emerging legaltech advances are revolutionizing the practice of law

Legal practices are quickly discovering how technology can preserve time, help them boost revenue, and reduce errors

Emerging legaltech advances are revolutionizing the practice of law

This article was provided by Appara.

Legal professionals at full-service firms across Canada know the struggle: proofing documents, managing their work across multiple applications, juggling various versions of paper-based records – it’s enough to make anyone want to run for the hills.

The Origin of Appara

“I saw firsthand in my own legal practice how slow and inefficient paper-based processes were,” says Dan Palmer, a tax lawyer and co-founder of Appara. “Even when there were technological solutions, we found them to be outdated, inflexible, and siloed – none of our solutions could talk to each other.”

Palmer says that he frequently found himself duplicating work, and the lack of advanced technology in his practice meant that he often had to find and correct errors manually – all of which meant he was spending more time on busywork than on the actual legal work he loved to do.

Palmer knew there had to be a better way. So he partnered up with CPA & lawyer Doug Mordy and computer scientist Brad Kram to create Appara.

Appara is an all-in-one entity management, workflow automation, and document automation solution for legal professionals. Serving the corporate, real estate, and estates practice areas, Appara has helped lawyers like Palmer and Mordy cut costs, save time, and reduce errors.

“We originally started building the application for our own corporate practices,” Palmer says. “But we realized that this software could be useful to a variety of law firms, across a variety of practice areas. We created Appara to revolutionize the way legal professionals do their work.”

Palmer and Mordy started by targeting multi-practice-area law firms that needed an integrated document automation and entity management solution that worked across multiple practice areas. To meet the unique needs of these firms, they built a unified entity management system to serve as a single source of truth.

Next, they created a document automation system that made it possible for users to instantly generate entire document packages at once, regardless of the practice area. Palmer and Mordy were particularly frustrated by existing technology’s rigid precedents, so they created features that enabled users to customize documents and precedents according to their practice’s unique needs.

“We desperately needed a workflow automation solution as well,” Mordy says. “Something that could make entire transactions happen with the push of a button. So when we built Appara, we included workflow automation tools that tackle entire transactions, from drafting to closing.”

Where is Appara now?

The application has since evolved to include a variety of tools for lawyers and paralegals. Appara users can leverage a central cloud-based database of information that eliminates duplicate files and automatically tracks changes, ensuring records are always up to date.

This was a logical expansion as Mordy and Palmer found the pain points across practice areas were fundamentally the same. Each area required the ability to gather information (whether new or existing), make rule-based decisions, generate documents, gather signatures, and update records.

“While we started with a corporate solution, we realized that legal professionals across multiple practice areas could leverage this technology to save time,” Mordy notes. “So we’ve since expanded our offerings to real estate and estates.”

Further, Mordy and Palmer also found that there was no solution out there that truly helped them meet their client’s expectations. In this modern world, clients expect law firms to have easy access to all their information - no matter what practice area. But in reality, the majority of law firms are often siloed, both in terms of how they serve their clients and how they store client information. There wasn’t anything that gave them a single, holistic view of their clients.   

“As practicing lawyers, we desperately needed something that could enable us to conduct multiple different kinds of transactions all within the same platform and using the same data,” Mordy explains. “So we implemented a single-source-of-truth methodology whereby our records system integrates with all of our solutions across all practice areas. That means you can update a will, conduct a real estate transaction, and incorporate a company all within the same platform and all while leveraging the same client information.”

What’s next for Appara?

Appara is now in the process of finishing its Estate Administration solution, designed to accelerate estate probate and accounting matters with the same engine that powers its Corporate, Real Estate, and Estate Planning solutions. The company is also looking at adding more practice area solutions, while simultaneously expanding its offerings of software tools like a data extraction AI that can import data from any document. Appara plans to serve as one platform for everything a law firm does, serving multi-practice-area firms with a single system for all of their matters.

“We’re excited to be at the forefront of innovation in the legal industry,” says Palmer. “The world of law is rapidly changing, and it’s inspiring to see all the different ways that legaltech is evolving to keep up.”

For more information about Appara or to book a demonstration and unlock a free trial, visit https://appara.ai.

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