David Sparks makes the most of technology in his legal practice making him more competitive. Lawyers have changed along with technology over time but we still use Microsoft Word with all its peculiarities most of the time. I tend to work on very long outsourcing agreements, typically a hundred or so pages of terms and conditions plus maybe 30 schedules, on average 20 pages each. In such a case we end up separating the agreement into 31 Word documents. This makes practical sense as different people can input into different schedules more easily that way. However it makes for a laborious process of conforming all 31 documents. For example, if a defined term gets altered from, say, Core Services to just Services, a global search and replace can be used to find and alter the defined term but this has to be done 31 times for each separate document. I'm sure there must be technology out that that could link all 31 documents so the change could be performed once, but if there is, lawyers don't use it. This is just one, very prosaic, instance of where we need to be thinking of ways to improve the efficiency of agreement drafting but don't seem to be. If anyone is using technology that makes long agreement production more efficient I'd love to hear about it!
As David Sparks explained to me, he accomplishes this admirable goal, in part, through his use of technology. “In addition to being a lawyer, I’m also a nerd and am always looking for ways to cut interference from the system,” he explains. “I use technology to make my practice run faster and more smoothly. Nothing that I do is impossible for another lawyer to do and everything I do can be accomplished using either technology or manpower. Technology doesn’t give me something no one else has — but because of it my practice is much more lean, and, among other things, gives me an edge in terms of pricing.”