Assemble Documents Faster

Are you:

  • An attorney who needs to develop more efficient processes to offer more flat or other alternative fee arrangements?
  • A lawyer who wants to streamline document creation and editing to turn work around faster?
  • A paralegal, legal assistant or other law office staff member who’s being crushed under a heavy workload in the face of layoffs or hiring freezes?

If you work in a law office, chances are you do a lot of your daily work in Microsoft Word. After all, documents are central to virtually every law practice. Pleadings, agreements, letters … they’re the tangible “work product” of all that thinking and analyzing and strategizing you do every day.

Yet, even as technology advances, we still create and edit documents the same way we did in the 1990s:

  • Find a sample document from a prior matter with comparable facts and photocopy/print it
  • Take a red pen/pencil and mark it up with revised information
  • Make the necessary word processing changes, including updating dates and other variable information
  • Repeat steps 2 and 3 over and over until you reach perfection!

For a long time, we could all say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But The New Legal Normal changed all that.

How “The New Legal Normal” changed our outlook … forever

Back when virtually every law practice was billing clients by the hour, efficiency wasn’t on our radar. 

But The New Legal Normal (courtesy of the recent Great Recession) has forced all of us to rethink everything. A recent study shows that over 80% of law firms are now billing at least some work on a fixed or other alternative fee basis. And those changes are only going to spread to more and more law practices as clients demand cost-saving measures.

The time for change is … yesterday

If we can no longer bill for however much time it takes to do our work, then we have to:

  • Figure out methods for creating and editing documents faster
  • Become more aware of the processes we use in daily work
  • Find ways to shave time off routine processes so we can put out more work product in less time (and sometimes with fewer people)
  • Eliminate the bottlenecks in how we do things
  • Use the tools we have more intelligently

There’s no silver bullet

The temptation here is to think that there’s some tool somewhere that can make it all better in one fell swoop. The bad news is, that’s a fantasy.

But actually that’s good news, because making incremental improvements in the tools we already have (e.g., Microsoft Word) is something you can do without spending money on new software or loads of time implementing it. It’s not only the least interruptive method for improvement, it’s the most cost-effective, too.

“Okay, this works for you. Will it work for me?”

I’ve taught several of these techniques to my readers here at Legal Office Guru, and their response has echoed my experience:

I work for an equipment leasing company and support our legal/documentation department. Thanks to you, my Word skills have significantly improved and saved me a LOT of time and frustration. I now use Auto Text for Company name, address, and managers’ names and will be on the lookout for more!


I am so glad that I took the time to watch this video. I will use Quick Parts for: Certificates of Service, Subpoenas, Deferred Prosecution Agreements, Notary inserts, Rule 803 notifications, standard cover letters, and on and on. I am so grateful to learn this valuable tool. Thank you.


Thank you!!! Fifteen minutes to learn a new skill that will save me hours. I cannot tell you how much I appreciate you doing all the work and picking out the jewels of wisdom. I am always digging through looking through old docs notary jurat, not anymore! Looking forward to the rest of the series.


Thank you for the great video. Immediately useful for discovery objections; discovery definitions; discovery instructions; standard interrogatories and document requests. Also for inserting standard language in commonly utilized fee agreements.


These techniques are immediately useful because they’re all based on native Word features. No full-fledged document assembly systems or even plugins to install! So even if you’re not in a software decision-making role at your firm, you can start becoming more productive as soon as you learn the first Assemble Documents Faster technique. No purchase or permission required!

Here’s what we’ll cover in the course

Assemble Documents Faster consists of 30 lessons organized into 5 modules. Here’s a guide to what we’ll cover together (video times are mm:ss):

The art of document [dis]assembly

You don’t have to build an entire library of documents and clauses to benefit from some document assembly techniques. Here, we talk about various scenarios that lend themselves to these techniques to get you thinking about where you’ll deploy them for maximum benefit.

Total video length (mm:ss): 19:41

Quick Parts

You’ve learned some Quick Parts techniques in the Assemble Documents Faster Workshop, but there’s even more to this handy feature. How about creating one with self-updating dates or other fields? We’ll also cover the different Building Block galleries like headers, footers and watermarks, plus how to edit existing Quick Parts.

Total video length (mm:ss): 44:37

AutoText & AutoCorrect

AutoText and AutoCorrect are very similar features, but there are instances in which one is really a better choice than the other. For instance, one of these features is ideal for inserting symbols like ¶ or § and even formatted text like id. Can you guess which one it is?

Total video length (mm:ss): 26:57

Paragraph Numbering 

Automatic paragraph numbering is one of those features that can make life so much easier, once you master it. Mastering it, however, is no mean feat. I devote no fewer than 8 lessons just to this feature to ensure I cover as many different numbering scenarios as possible, plus how to diagnose and fix paragraph numbering problems.

Total video length (hh:mm:ss): 1:09:24


If you create long, complex documents that have complicated numbering schemes and text like “see Section 3.14”, you’ll want to pay special attention here. Once you learn to use automatic numbering, pairing it with cross-referencing can make editing a breeze, because it’ll eliminate the need for manual updating.

Total video length (mm:ss): 05:37


There’s more than one way to use Cross-References. Embedding bookmarks at strategic points in your text allows you to later point back to that exact location (by page number, paragraph number, heading or other relative location). It’s another way to save yourself editing time later!

Total video length (mm:ss): 02:13

Creating repeatable elements

Have you ever wanted to enter a client or party’s name once and have it repeated (with appropriate formatting) in all the right spots throughout your document? Word has several techniques to do just that, and at least one of them will work perfectly for your documents!

Total video length (mm:ss): In Progress(current lessons are text/screenshot)


Have a particular document type that you produce frequently? Combining any or all of these other techniques with Word templates can create a powerful word processing asset that can save you tons of time in the future.

Total video length (mm:ss): 33:27

Total video instruction time: 3 hours 19 minutes*

*Total video time rounded to the nearest minute

Here’s a behind-the-scenes tour of the course:

Frequently Asked Questions

During the checkout process, you’ll be asked for your email and you’ll choose your own user id and password. (If you’re already enrolled in one of my other courses, you should log in at this point so all your courses will be associated with the same user ID.) Those credentials will be what you’ll need to log into the course (see below).

Your purchase receipt (which you’ll receive via email automatically as soon as you enroll) will have a link to the first lesson and detailed instructions on how to log in. That same link will also appear on the purchase confirmation page online after your payment is processed.

You’ll also automatically receive a series of emails that will guide you through the course and give you detailed login instructions at the bottom of each email.

Go to https://legalofficeguru/login and use the login form:

There’s also a Course Login button in the top menu on every page of my site:

You have lifetime access to the course! As long as this site is up and running, you can come back and go through the lessons at your leisure.

If you decide within 60 days of purchase that the course isn’t right for you, email me at [email protected], and I’ll process your refund within 24 hours. No questions asked! Depending on your bank or card, it may take 2-3 days for the refund to show up in your account.

Online services like Lynda and Udemy are great for picking up new skills. But the courses I feature here at Legal Office Guru not only teach you these same skills but apply them directly to the law office/legal department context. You’ll see how to use these skills in documents like the ones you work with everyday.

Click here to see a 2-minute video tour of the lesson interface.

Unfortunately, no. This course only covers the Windows versions from 2007 through 2019 and Microsoft 365.

Email me your question at [email protected] – I’ll get back to you as quickly as I can!

Yes, I want to assemble documents faster

Learn these advanced document creation techniques to reduce the busywork in your day

Assemble Documents Faster

Create reusable document building blocks and templates to speed document creation


Quick Parts: Saving reusable text

Quick Parts vs. AutoText: When to use one versus the other

Building reusable headers, footers & watermarks

Auto-updating dates in Quick Parts

Autonumbering discovery, affirmative defenses and other headings

Using Bookmarks & Cross-References to automatically update documents

Embedding ASK and FILL-IN fields into templates to speed document creation

How to build your own time-saving templates

Downloadable exercise files for the paragraph numbering lessons