David Bushby is the Managing Director at InCounsel, a boutique legal automation consultancy helping legal teams do law better. David and his team of 'legal engineers' combine over 20 years legal experience with programming, process and design expertise to produce document automation solutions that integrate with your practice management and enterprise systems such as MS 365. InCounsel works with law firms large and small/solo, through to in-house legal teams, with expertise across multiple systems such as Documate, practice and contract management systems, no-code automation tools and APIs.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I’ve been a legal tech nerd since 2011, geeking out on the latest tech tools (like Documate!) in my Law Hackers newsletter since 2014 – I’ve featured over 1,000 tools and still counting. Over the years I’ve seen a lot of new vendors come and go, and gained a bit of a ‘Spidey-Sense’ to help lawyers pick the right ones and set them up for success through our consultancy work at InCounsel. In short, now that I’ve split my 20-year career between legal practice and tech, I figure the best way that I can help lawyers is to solve problems that involve both.
What is your document automation experience?
We’ve been automating documents using a variety of systems since 2019 – everything from Wills to NDAs, to Release Agreements and even complex signature blocks for capital raises. Our work is global from the US to Asia, and down into Australia where our remote team is based. What sets us apart is our ability to use integrations and APIs to take user inputs from any system, use that data to automate a document, then automatically send that document to another system, such as a matter management system, CLM, Sharepoint etc.
Can you describe your process for how you build a document automation workflow?
We start with understanding exactly how the information to create a document is collected, how it is then drafted into the form and by whom, and the conditions that determine which clauses are used. We love watching the actual drafters talk us through this process while preparing a live document. This gives us and the customer their ‘current state’, and provides an opportunity to spot any problems in the process (or the form itself) that can be fixed before applying automation. Then we build v1.0 of the automated process, mapping the data inputs and the logic with the conditional clauses in the form. Finally, we test, test, and test again until every kink in every iteration of the form is ironed out.
What do you think are the most important qualities for a document automation specialist to have when working with a client to automate their templates and forms?
Understanding the user’s experience – putting ourselves in their shoes and designing a solution that not only makes them more productive, but is a joy to use.
What is your proudest moment (professional or otherwise)?
Taking the plunge into the world of startups after being pushed out of my legal role during the 2008 financial crisis – I’ve never looked at ‘work’ the same since!
What do you do for fun?
I love nothing more than ripping out the baby seats, stuffing the car with my bike and surfboard, then heading to my favorite mountains or beach for a morning of sun, fresh air and salt water.
Contact us at at [email protected] to be connected with David to discuss the many options to make your organization more efficient. You can always schedule a call with InCounsel here to discuss more.
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