Explore the Benefits of eSignature for Your Practice

by Myrna Johns / July 03, 2024

Explore the Benefits of eSignature for Your Practice

Getting documents signed can be a significant bottleneck for attorneys. Traditional methods of signing, such as printing, mailing, and faxing documents, are not only time-consuming but also prone to errors and security risks. Just as challenging are the delays that can arise in document execution; these can create significant stress for attorneys and clients alike. However, with the introduction of eSignature technology, law firms have found a more efficient and secure way to get documents signed.

In recent years, consumers have grown more aware of and accustomed to the option for electronic signatures. As a result, many legal clients now expect to review legal agreements and add secure eSignatures.

Rather than being seen as an advanced feature, eSignature and secure file sharing are now an industry norm. If you aren’t making plans to accommodate these demands, you risk falling behind competing firms with your client acquisition and retention.

Six perks of eSignature for law firms

Law firms that offer their clients the option to sign documents digitally enjoy the following benefits:

1.   Fewer signing errors

There’s nothing worse than having to reprint a lengthy legal document because the client signed on the wrong line, or realizing at the last minute that someone missed a signature deep within a legal agreement. These types of errors are not just frustrating—they can also seriously disrupt your legal workflow when they occur across several client matters.

Your software should guide your clients to clearly-marked areas designated for their signatures to minimize or eliminate signing mistakes. Firms that go paperless can reduce their processing errors by an average of 90%.

2.   Greater security

Despite what you may have believed in the past, eSignature technology actually offers more layers of security than sending legal agreements via email or the postal service. Specialized encryption tools, knowledge-based authentication (KBA), secure file sharing, and secure links protect clients’ data security and uphold the legal industry’s strict ethics and compliance regulations.

Using eSignatures doesn’t just protect clients’ data security online. Working with digital document management and obtaining client signatures electronically means that legal documents are also protected in the event of a fire, flood, theft, or other physical threat.

3.   Smoother workflows for attorneys

Don’t waste billable hours checking calendars with your clients via phone or email tag to book in-person appointments. Obtaining pen-and-ink signatures isn’t necessary with the right eSignature software, and it saves you hours.

With the right legal technology on your side, your attorneys can send a secure client signature request via email in just a few minutes and then move on to their next billable task.

4.   Client convenience

Simplified legal workflows benefit clients, too. Few clients look forward to sitting in traffic to sign legal agreements. Even if they don’t have to head to your office to sign, pen-and-ink signatures can be a hassle when you consider the time it takes to print, sign, and scan or even fax signed documents.

Secure eSignature software significantly reduces the time clients spend reviewing and signing documents. Adopting eSignature technology is one way to show your clients how much you value their time, convenience, and security.

5.   Lower costs and waste

A single sheet of paper doesn’t cost much on its own, but office supply costs add up quickly when you consider just how many pages of legal agreements attorneys need to print (and sometimes reprint) in a day.

The average office worker in America can go through thousands of sheets of paper per year. At 5 to 15 cents per page, the potential savings of switching to digital document management and eSignatures are significant, not to mention the paper waste that can be saved from the landfill.

6.   Faster turnaround

Implementing secure eSignature tools at your law firm can drastically decrease the wait time for signed documents. Aside from minimizing the hours attorneys spend requesting and collecting client signatures by phone and in person, taking the digital approach diminishes turnaround time by 80%.

The validity of eSignatures

Despite these clear benefits, some attorneys remain concerned about the validity of eSignatures and whether they hold up in court as well as paper legal documents.

The enactment of the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce (ESIGN) Act in 2000 made digitally signed documents legally binding. This made requesting eSignatures a viable prospect for law firms almost a quarter of a century ago.

Per the ESIGN Act, digital signatures are just as legally binding as pen-and-ink signatures, as long as the signing individual:

  • Accepts a clause to conduct business electronically
  • Is provided the option to sign with ink and paper instead
  • Demonstrates a clear intent to sign
  • Receives a copy of the completed document (along with all other signers)

In addition, the attorney must maintain a clear audit trail and/or record documenting how and when they obtained the client’s signature, something that they can do easily with the right eSignature solution.

Streamline your legal workflows with Tabs3

Tabs3 offers software solutions tailored for law firms, featuring advanced eSignature capabilities through LexSign. This functionality enables attorneys to send secure eSignature links directly from their email, allowing clients to sign documents conveniently by either drawing their signature or typing it, even on mobile devices.

Tabs3 supports your firm’s paperless operations with PracticeMaster, offering customizable templates for legal documents that auto-populate with client data. Document management tools simplify the organization and retrieval of files from familiar and widely-used formats like Word and Excel. The system includes a search feature for quick document access and maintains a detailed document history for compliance with the ESIGN Act.

If your firm is looking to update operations and embrace digital efficiency, request a walkthrough demo with one of our product experts today.