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Build an optimal workflow for legal teams 9 min read
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With workloads expected to increase by 25% for legal departments in the next couple of years, the importance of workflow for legal teams can’t be underestimated.  Automating workflows for legal teams can save your organization time and money while helping team members deliver better service and increase employee and customer satisfaction.

Before you can optimize your workflow and that of legal staff members, it’s crucial you have a solid understanding of what a workflow is. Today we’ll explain what a workflow is, how to streamline these processes, and introduce the Work OS as an invaluable tool for these efforts.

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What is a workflow?

A workflow is a sequence of tasks that gets you from the beginning to the end of a larger task. You can use workflows to create a practical structure for any function or use of data.

Workflows can be documented or communicated in various ways, including checklists, flowcharts, and other diagram types. Use workflows to handle any type of business process, whether that be approving purchase requisitions or onboarding a new C-Suite employee.

What are some workflow best practices for legal teams?

When you consider your existing workflows, automating routine tasks will get you off to a good start. Other best practices for automating legal workflows include the following.

    • Go paperless (as much as possible): Certainly, you’ll want physical signed copies of certain documents. But think about the amount of paper generated by a legal department — and the amount of time it takes to file all those documents. By going paperless, you save trees, and you make it possible for your legal professionals to access the documents they need from anywhere with an internet connection.
    • Create a knowledge base: The more easily your legal team can access documents, the quicker they can accomplish their tasks — and the less likely it is that things will fall through the cracks.
    • Minimize redundancies: Task lists, fillable forms for the documents you use the most, and templates for repeated tasks are powerful ways to avoid wasting time by starting each task from scratch.
    • Streamline communication: Using a secure online environment to communicate and collaborate saves your legal team precious time that could otherwise be wasted in endless emails and games of phone tag.
  • Automate to save time: Legal workflow automation software allows you to automate your legal team’s intake, frequent tasks, appointment workflows, and task assignments to save valuable time. Document automation simplifies creating, managing, and sharing essential information. Automated workflows can generate needed records, send email updates and remind your team to follow up appropriately. can help you improve your legal workflows in all of these areas and more, especially automation. Before we dive into, let’s get a bit more into the benefits of automation in the legal workflow.

What are the benefits of automated workflow for legal teams?

Whether you’re seeking to improve legal operations at a major law firm or the legal department of a midsize organization, legal workflow automation can make you more efficient and productive in several ways.

 Automated workflows provide wide-ranging benefits to your legal team, from easier billing and invoicing to improved communications.

Improved communication with your legal team

With automated workflow, your corporate legal department is better able to guide your company and share its expertise as needed. Being able to call up the information that different departments require speeds up communication and helps your legal team hone in on issues that have to be solved.

Saved time for your legal team

Whenever your legal team is handling scheduling, task assignment, calendaring, and document management, they’re not focusing on the legal issues that your organization is facing. Legal management software has revolutionized the efficiency of law firms and legal departments at every level of business. With workflow automation tools, your legal professionals can spend their time, expertise, and energy on higher-value tasks.

Built-in safeguards that help mitigate risk

When your legal team follows best practices regarding the automated generation of contracts, NDAs, and other documents, you can rest assured that they’re following company policies. Automated processes make sure that all provisions are included in relevant documents. You could even use a Due Diligence Template, like this one from to take your team step by step through vital procedures and compliance.

Streamlined document management

Proper document management is vital in the legal field. Because it’s so prone to human error, automating your legal document management boosts your efficiency (no more chasing for misfiled documents) and speeds up your ability to get back to productive work.

Easier billing and invoicing

If your legal team has to handle billing and invoicing, workflow automation can speed up the process easily. Tracking billable hours becomes a breeze, as does setting up recurring invoices. Your accounting department will thank you — and so will your legal department — when they get paid in a timely manner.

You can see all of this in action on

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How helps legal teams organize work

Building an optimal workflow for legal teams is simpler and more efficient when you have the right tools and software. helps you organize case tasks through its legal case management templates, which lets you track assignees, deadlines, matters, and status, as well as providing a time log.

Many legal departments also take advantage of the extreme customization possibilities of the Work OS and supporting templates. The customization allows legal teams to create the workflows they need, complete with benchmarks to ensure all necessary subtasks are being accomplished appropriately.

Among the customized templates you can create are:

  • Discovery templates: Usable for both items sent to the opposing party and those received from them during the discovery process.
  • Engagement templates:These include conflict checks and assist in the drafting of initial documents to keep your legal team on track during the earlier stages of your cases.
  • Specific trial prep templates: These templates can be used for different kinds of cases or clients, so there’s one for every situation.

All templates are scalable up to the enterprise legal management level, with full customization possible. You can take advantage of customizable drag-and-drop boards and columns as well as monday workdocs to make these shareable and replicable templates.

Beyond the specifics of legal work, helps you automate all sorts of project management as well as process automation. Numerous integrations with powerful products you may already love are also available. For example, the Work OS integrates with Outlook, Dropbox, Zoom, Google Drive, OneDrive, Microsoft Teams, Excel, Slack, Zoom, and many more. Using templates related to legal workflows can make optimizing these processes even simpler.

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Related templates to optimize legal workflows

There are several templates that can help your legal department optimize their workflows.

Legal Case Management Template

Tracking ongoing legal cases is simple with’s beautifully designed Legal Case Management Template. It’s built to make it easy to see who’s working on each file, associated tasks, due dates, and the priority. There is even a Time Tracking Column  for real-time tracking that you can analyze later to help estimate the time needed for completion of future tasks.

This template also allows you to collect and organize all the documents needed for each case, including files, notes, and activity logs. You can view any data in a number of ways – including kanban boards, and Gantt charts – to bring up the specific information you need each time for easy access.

Due Diligence Template

Make sure you’ve checked off all the boxes with our practical Due Diligence Template. The template lets you indicate who’s in charge and consulting on a project, so you know who to contact with questions. Track due dates, timelines, and status at every stage of the process, so you know clearly if your workflow is stuck, completed, waiting for a response or follow-up, or somewhere in between.

Customizable Client Intake Form Template’s customizable Client Intake Form Template puts you in the driver’s seat during onboarding discussions, since you know all the questions you need to ask – and the ones you already have answers for. The template lets you gather the information you need to know whether a client is a good fit and to help you understand the scope of each project.

Having all the relevant data just a click away helps you stay focused on the client, and the ability to customize the form completely helps you connect with clients in a unique fashion.

FAQs about workflows for legal teams

What is workflow automation?

If a workflow is a sequence of steps leading from beginning to end of a task, workflow automation is using software to accomplish those steps. Workflow automation performs specific business tasks as programmed, often on its own or with humans stepping in to direct certain parts of the task.

What is the difference between process and workflow?

Workflow is a set of repeatable steps, actions, or procedures that together complete a task. Process includes all the elements needed, including workflows, to achieve a significant goal. Workflows, therefore, pay more attention to granular detail, while processes focus on organizational goals.

What are the factors to consider when improving legal workflow?

When improving legal workflow, the most important considerations are intuitiveness, ease of use, and finding customizable applications. You should look for ways to streamline processes ranging from onboarding and client intake to communications and beyond.

How do you monitor workflow for your legal team?

The best way to monitor workflow for your legal team is by using a comprehensive software solution. Through the software, you can use items like Gantt charts and Kanban boards to track and assess your team’s workflow and overall productivity.

Boost your productivity with automated workflows for your legal teams

Automating workflow for your legal team opens the door to giving your legal professionals more time to focus on more productive work.

When you put helpful, customizable templates in your team’s hands, they’re better positioned to stand alongside your other departments to generate income and move your company forward.

Pairing customizable templates with the Work OS can significantly boost productivity, which in turn leads to more satisfied clients and ultimately a better bottom line.

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