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Contract Redlining Software: A Trend or Necessity?

Contract Redlining Software: A Trend or Necessity?

Let’s face it: as annoying as it may be, contract redlining is an essential aspect of the contract process. Redlines in the contract are what help accurately reflect the client’s position and facilitate the negotiation process. 

But what is so scary about redlines?

It’s all about extra time. While thinking about contract redlining, one probably imagines sitting for hours with a red pen. Reading through the pages. Trying to remember what every highlighted part means. Strike-through means the sentence needs to be deleted, two underlines — a word needs to be capitalized, and so on! Every person would have one’s own redlining symbols that may be vague to understand for others. 

The question is — how not to miss any detail looking through the redlines left in the hard copy of a contract? How to understand all the redlines and make the needed changes? Luckily, contract redlining software is here to leave the scary tale of handwritten redlines in the past. 

What Is So Crucial About Contract Redlining Software, Anyway? 

If you could make contract redlining more efficient and accurate, spending much less time on routine contract review, would you?

 (Spoiler alert: you can!).

Contract redlining software is a smart solution that secures more flexible digital collaboration between parties and optimizes contract editing workflow. Here are three reasons why the use of redlining software is so essential for legal professionals:

  • Time optimization. In today’s legal market, time optimization is what matters the most. A client-centric approach in providing legal services requires a lawyer to complete contracts as soon as possible. Even minor efficiencies make negotiation timelines faster. Just imagine — no more hours spent looking through the redlines in the hard copies of a contract. With redlining software, you can quickly move through the digital comments. Time is money, anyway.
  • Accuracy. Manual redlining is what often leads to ambiguity. Comments can be easily lost or misinterpreted. However, redlining software can help you avoid the ongoing struggle with trying to understand what red pens could mean, increasing the accuracy of the comments.
  • Productivity. The rule is simple — the more actively legal teams work together in one space, the more productive final results are. If you spend less time on contract redlining, you can save more hours on other significant tasks that technology cannot optimize. Legaltech is what brings organization and efficiency to the law firm.  

So, let’s be honest — as one of the workflow optimization solutions, redlining software is indeed a necessity in case you want to bring organization and efficiency to the law firm. The modern legal market requires modern solutions. 

How To Choose the Right Tool for Contract Redlining

Choosing the right smart solution for contract redlining can be a tricky and challenging task. To adopt the right legaltech, you need to consider these four key points:

  1. Pricing. You need to understand how you are supposed to pay for the software. Payment may be withdrawn monthly or yearly, billed for each user or a document. Choose a plan that fits you the most, and remember that most software has a free trial period. 
  2. Access. Redlining software is here to simplify your life, not to create new problems. It’s necessary to check how you are going to access the tool. It might be an app or add-on for your browser or text editor. Make sure it’s understandable and easy to use. 
  3. Security. Contracts always need exceptional protection. Is it compliant with privacy laws, does it store your data, etc.? Check the privacy policy of software to understand how it collects, processes, stores, and protects data.
  4. Support. Check whether you can get in touch with the Support Team whenever an urgent question appears. Make sure you would have access to live chat or can make a call. 

Although the presented criteria can help you make the right choice, there is no universal option for every business. Define your unique success criteria for legaltech implementation and use the mentioned points to choose what suits your business the most. 

Now, let’s briefly discuss the most popular tools for contract redlining management: 

Track Changes in Microsoft Word

First, we start with MS Word since it is still the most widely used word processor among lawyers. Track Changes mode ensures every new comment and action while editing a contract is highlighted and automatically saved. For example, you send a contract to a client. Clients read through it by turning on the mode Track Changes, and when a document is ready, they send it back, and you can see the underlined parts of the text and related comments in balloons (fields on the right side of MS Word). Automatically tracking all the changes in documents ensures that collaborators can quickly identify parts of the contract that require revision.

In Word, you can make contract editing even more efficient by installing Loio, an MS Word plugin that helps define drafting errors, reviews document structure, and pinpoints formatting issues. Thanks to Team Accounts, it’s possible to ensure every team member has full access to all Loio tools and can use the plugin in MS Word. The combination of the Track Changes feature in MS Word and the Loio add-in can become an efficient alternative to handwritten redlines.

Real-time collaboration in Google Docs

It is the best perk about Google Docs. When contract parties or colleagues open a contract draft, you can view their name and unique identifying color. You can also open an activity dashboard and check the version history to explore every change in the doc over time. Reviewing a contract with the “Suggesting” mode makes it possible to ensure that any changes are shown in a different color and can be accepted or rejected. So, in terms of contract redlining management, Google Docs is a step in the right direction! 

Ironclad Editor Tool

Ironclad is a software solution aimed at improving lawyers’ workflow and helping complete negotiations faster. Ironclad Editor helps legal teams manage the contract redlining much more efficiently and in one place. It’s all about having an authentic DOCX-native experience with the opportunity to collaborate on a contract with others in a shared platform. 

Juro Redlining Software

Juro is a contract automation software created for easy contract collaboration. It proposes such features as sharing the contract with the other party, getting notifications when contract data has been changed with the possibility to accept or reject redlines. You can check the detailed illustration of how redlining software works in Juro. 

So, Let’s Recap

Redlining software provides numerous efficiencies that can indeed make your job not only faster but also more productive. The discussed tools are a turning point in the ongoing contract editing process and challenging collaboration. 

To dive even deeper and make the most of redlining, we suggest checking key contract redlining rules by Contract Nerds. Knowing the ins and outs of redlining can make the contract drafting routine much less stressful. 

So, are you ready to become a true redlining guru?

Article by Yevheniia Savchenko

Yevheniia Savchenko is a Product Content Manager at Lawrina. Yevheniia creates user interface copies for Lawrina products, writes release notes, and helps customers get the best user experience from all Lawrina products. Also, Yevheniia is in charge of creating helpful content on legal template pages (Lawrina Templates) and up-to-date information on US law (Lawrina Guides). In her spare time, Yevheniia takes up swimming, travels, and goes for a walk in her home city.

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