Markup by DraftWise: How Customer Voice Drove Innovation

Will Seaton, DraftWise Chief Customer Officer
July 1, 2024

DraftWise Chief Customer Officer, Will Seaton, shares how understanding customer needs served as the north star for creating an AI technology tool that drove rapid adoption.

Building to solve everyday contracting pain points

In June this year, our team announced the launch of Markup by DraftWise, an AI offering giving every lawyer the power of an entire legal department. This offering is a natural extension of our Core knowledge platform, and we partnered with our customers to craft the next evolution of capabilities that addresses highly specialized pain points associated with drafting, reviewing, and negotiating complex contracts.

Current contracting solutions are costing legal teams time and money that could be spent on higher value work. When the DraftWise team embarked on building Markup, we looked to our customers to understand the necessary functionality to build a highly useful, truly relevant solution. 

As the Chief Customer Officer at DraftWise, I’ve worked directly with our users to understand the pain points of contracting today:

  1. Attorneys are spending too much time processing agreements 
  2. Legal teams are losing value on non-billable administrative work or spending on outside council
  3. Attorneys, whether teams in house or at a firm, want to be able to do more for contract drafting, review, and negotiation – independently

Ultimately, these problems distill to the need to better connect transactional attorneys with their own data and deal history. Our goal with Markup was to build a solution that connects attorneys with existing data – whether market language, a reference document, or deal history – to solve daily pain points and enhance the contracting process; providing relevant language where attorneys need it, when they need it. 

After many conversations with customers to understand how they work today, we've applied our learnings to create a product that delivers on what attorneys need most: a tool that provides uniquely relevant results, that are accurate, and improves attorney's day-to-day work.

Markup by DraftWise: turning feedback into functionality

Our Customer's voice was the north star in defining and building the capabilities that Markup includes. We built Markup as a solution, with and for our customers, to address the gap between available knowledge and existing contracting processes – a gap resulting in the waste of time, energy, and money. Here’s the result: 

Apply redline history to automatically markup new contracts

Markup learns from past redline patterns and applies auto-generated suggestions to highlight differences in legal concepts, missing protections, and restrictive terms. This level of familiarity results in an easy-to-use technology that naturally incorporates into a lawyer's work.

Automatically generate issue lists defined by your deal history

Automated issue list generation ensures consistency across contract draft cycles by enabling customers to quickly and accurately create highly curated playbooks based on best past work and/or each client’s preferred language. 

Rapidly revise with intelligent legal AI assistant

Markup’s contract assistant instantly connects our customers with relevant information, recommendations, and generates and applies redlines to reflect client preference across the totality of a contract. 

Spot and resolve critical issues and sticking points

Markup enables users to quickly spot and address problems or sticking points in contracts based on past deal work. The technology auto-generates revisions that can be instantly approved.

Since day one, our team has been focused on providing solutions to problems that lawyers experience in daily work, not just generalized technology solutions. Markup may be new to the market, but early feedback confirms that building with customer needs as a blueprint, and delivering the technology that intuitively integrates into existing flows of work, produces results:

"In addition to spotting issues that may need to be addressed in a contract, [Markup] simplifies the process of making proposed revisions by making it easy to preview, edit, and implement redlined changes with just a few clicks. The end product aligns with the format I usually work in, eliminating the need for additional steps after the DraftWise review is complete.” - Attorney from Leading Global Firm

Working with the best in legal to create an effective, scalable solution

In our first few years building DraftWise, we’ve worked closely with some of the most respected firms in the industry (Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, Gunderson Dettmer, Katten Muchin Rosenman, Womble Bond Dickinson, and Mishcon de Reya, among others) to solve the most complex contracting challenges with the most acute security needs:

"DraftWise has been a valuable innovation partner since we began our journey to transform the M&A process several years ago. The lastest GenAI tool set makes for an even more powerful platform. Fully integrated into our deal workflow by Orrick Labs, it enables our deal teams to spot issues faster and seamlessly implement redlines based on deal history. We look forward to continuing to innovate together as we identify new use cases and client solutions." - Vedika Mehera, Director of Orrick Labs.

When it came to building Markup by DraftWise – we applied years of customer feedback and product adoption to develop a new solution that meets the needs of and can be trusted by, not just Big Law attorneys, but by any transactional attorney that touches a contract: from in-house teams at Fortune 100 companies to the Vault 10and AMLaw 100.  

"[Markup] helped me produce a better work product - it was like having 2 or 3 associates on my team that could double check my work and give me ideas for things I may have worked. This is really important to me as a solo lawyer, because I'm competing with big firms, with lots of people reviewing each contract. I need a tool like this to stay relevant" - Solo Practitioner 

As we scale and onboard new customers from across new industries, I am confident that, because of the emphasis and care we place on maintaining a deep, trusted understanding of the end user, the product will continue to provide unparalleled value to lawyers.

My best moments at DraftWise happen when lawyers realize our product solves real problems and will actually make their days easier – we're building tools that work.

See how a customer-driven solution can impact your team. 

Reach out to DraftWise today: connect with our team to learn more. 

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