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43 Law Prac. 50 (2017)
Enhancing Your Practice Efficiency with E-Signatures

handle is hein.journals/lwpra43 and id is 132 raw text is: 

Whether  we  realize it or not, our ociety is driven by electronic sig-
natures (e-signatures). Everything from signing for grocery store pur-
chases to signing engagement letteis can be handled with e-signatures.
You might  be surprised to learn that the first e-signature was transmit-
ted as early as the 1860s through a antelegraph (an early form of a fax
Machine More than a century ater, the   federal Electronic Signatures
in Global and National Conuerce   Act  and the states' adoption of the
Unifo~rm Electronic Transactions Act have paved the way  for e-signa-
ture adoption across many  industries since 1999. Despite the ubiquity
of e-signatures, then, why do we rarely see them being used by the sig-
nature-dependent  legal industry?
  It's no secret that the legal industry resists change, especially when it
comes  to technology. However, the normalcy  of e-signatures, coupled
with the positive business impact, should quickly persuade law firms to
replace their outdated print, sign and scan models with the streamlined
e- signature alternative.
  In my  experience as a patent attorney, I have discovered the benefits
of e-signatures. For seven years I worked at a large patent firm and was
immersed  in a business that was dependent on the successful comple-
tion of signed documents. I observed the amount of time and resources
that went into the signing process, from preparing and aggregating doc-
uments  to be sent to clients for signature to the time spent waiting for
them  to be returned with all of the correct signatures. Realizing that a
law firm bears the responsibility for the timely, proper execution of all
forms and documents,  I could not help but recognize the risk that a law
firm assumes with the slow and burdensome traditional signing process.
  Later, when starting my own  firm on a limited budget, I used these
observations to devise a new way  to distinguish my practice. Instead
of renting an expensive office space or hiring support staff, I invested
my  resources in an in-house development  team  that would automate
the administrative process. Of all the client-facing administrative tasks
we automated,  I found that integrating e-signature technology not only
maximized  our firm's operational efficiency but also provided a premier
client experience.
  Simple automation  technology has enabled my firm to grow exponen-
tially, but the benefits of e-signatures are not just limited to small start-
up law firms. They apply to BigLaw  and boutique firms alike. Below I
outline some of the benefits of e-signatures, as well as the considerations
in selecting an e-signature provider, that can provide today's lawyers with
the necessary tools to make their pending e-signature decisions.

50 Law Practice March/April 2017  www.Iawpractice.org

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