As anyone who has stepped foot in a gym lately can attest, a new year brings the promise and possibility of new beginnings. This can be a leaner physique,  a new hobby, or just spending more time with those we love. We all love the idea of New Year’s resolutions, even if they don’t always stick around for that long (go back and visit that same gym in April to see what I mean).

For people in business, the new year is also a great time to take stock of how the last year went, what things the company might want to change, and what successes it may want to continue. Law firms are no exception to this rule. Indeed, now that law firms have wrapped up their fiscal years and tallied everyone’s billable hours, it’s a festival of bonus announcements and end of year reports on the legal blogs.

Many firms are struggling to come to terms with the fact that the boom years of the mid-2000’s are simply not coming back. We keep looking for years when everyone is billing 2400 hours, and you close one deal only to have two more waiting in the wings. But in reality, all points indicate that 2012 was pretty good, but not awesome. So assuming 2013 is reasonably similar, how can firms ensure that they keep up with ever-increasing competition and pressure on their profits?

It’s no secret that we advocate document automation as a way for firms to appear more tech savvy to their clients and more money savvy to their CFOs. And we hear a lot of people agree with us that, “hey, this is a good idea.” But the next question is often “so what should I do with this new and exciting technology?” Fear not;we have some answers for you.

We present to you our list of 5 new documents you should automate in 2013. Think of it as a simple list of resolutions to make your drafting smarter, more efficient, and interesting for your clients all at the same time. And you’ll really get bonus points if you make some Leaflets with these documents. But one step at a time for now.

1. Commercial Real Estate Lease – These can be long and complex, but they don’t always need to be. Once the basics about the property are covered, standard provisions on liability, insurance and services provided can be swapped in and out from a clause library.

2. License Agreement – Who owns the code? What kind of indemnification should be used? Questions like this can be set out in a simple questionnaire, and provisions tailored to meet the needs of the license being granted.

3. Terms of Use and Privacy Policy – Here you get a two for one. Start with two basic forms, add in additional provisions from a clause library, and you’re off.

4. Employment Agreement – Answer questions like does the employee get severance, what will their benefits look like, and more with a questionnaire designed to address the needs of each of the company’s hires.

5. Stock and Option Grant Agreements – Stock and Option Grants are simple as pie and shouldn’t be negotiated. Make sure the information is correct and simply fill in the relevant information for the grantee with templates for ISOs, NQSOs and Restricted Stock Grants.

See, wasn’t that easy? Now give us a call and we can help you get these documents started.

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