Peer to Peer: ILTA's Quarterly Magazine

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82 P E E R T O P E E R : I L T A ' S Q U A R T E R L Y M A G A Z I N E | S P R I N G 2 0 2 0 Will Norton is founder and CEO of SimplyAgree, a leading provider of closing management technolo. Will previously practiced law as a corporate attorney for an Am Law 100 law firm, where he published numerous articles on electronic signatures and contracting. Will currently serves as Editor of the American Bar Association's Technolo in M&A Directory. transaction workflows. For example, if a practice group takes advantage of document automation, check to see if the document automation tool being used also has an eSignature integration. The advantage of automating documents is the time saved in creating the documents. If tagging eSignatures takes longer than creating the documents, attorneys are less likely to use eSignatures. However, if documents are automatically tagged with eSignatures as part of the document automation process, they will almost certainly take advantage. In addition, the closing of complex transactions, such as mergers and acquisitions or venture capital transactions are some of the most time-consuming processes transactional attorneys experience. Closing management tools can provide additional automation around the signing and closing of transactions but also allow attorneys to easily take advantage of eSignatures as part of their closing process. These tools also create the flexibility to combine eSignatures and handwritten signatures in the same transaction, so attorneys can take advantage of eSignatures even in cases where certain documents or signature pages require handwritten signatures or additional formalities. Conclusion Transactional closings may seem like a minor part of the services that legal organizations provide for their clients. However, eSignatures have the rare opportunity to provide a more efficient process, improved profitability and better experience for all stakeholders involved. Knowledge of the opportunities and strategies for adoption can reduce objections and make it easier for legal professionals to introduce eSignatures. While attorneys are creatures of habit, a small nudge could drastically change the adoption of eSignatures in transactions. And once eSignatures are established in transactional practices, their advantages will be undeniable. ILTA F E A T U R E S

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