The Template as a Play Analogy
It may be helpful to think about your template as a play or movie. The characters in the play are the role cards you will need to add to create to set up the template.
First, identify those "characters". Next, think about the role they are playing in the document and focus on that specific role in the context of that document.
For example, when setting up an engagement agreement template the roles included would be the client(s) and the attorney. For a complaint or a petition, the roles may be plaintiff, defendant 1 and defendant 2. In these two examples, the client and the plaintiff may very well be the same person. But when setting up the templates it is preferable to label the cards using the more specific role. You'll be easily able to assign the same contacts to these different roles when generating your documents.
Numbering of Cards that Could Potentially be Multiples
In the below lists of common family law and estate planning card labels, you may notice that many of the cards include a number after them. For example, Child 1, Attorney 1 or Trustee 2. If there is ever a possibility that there could multiples of a specific role, you should include a number after the card name. This will allow you to build your templates that can accommodate these multiples whenever they arise.
In the family law card labels, Plaintiff and Defendant are not numbered because most family law firms practice exclusively family law. In the divorce/dissolution context there are never multiple plaintiffs or defendants involved. If the organization is also involved in other types of multi-party litigation it would be appropriate to label these cards Plaintiff 1 and Defendant 1.
Common Family Law Role Cards
Common Estate Planning Law Role Cards
You can think about the other cards as a way to group fields that don't relate to the role cards.
Let's go back to our template as a play analogy. If the role cards are the characters, the other cards are everything else. The set changes, the dialogue, the lighting, the score, etc.
Remember that the role cards are the persons or entities in a document. The other cards can be used to group anything else that is not inherently connected to the roles.
Stated differently, the other cards are the catch all to organize and group any dates, case numbers, amounts, clauses or miscellaneous fields that make up the template.
Common Family Law Other Card Examples
Below, are some examples of other card labels that could be included in a family law matter:
· Marriage Information
· Matter Information
· Hearing Information
· Service Information
Common Estate Planning Other Card Examples
Below, are some examples of other card labels that could be included in an estate planning matter:
· Trust Information
· Will Information
· Estate Information
One of the advantages of Lawyaw is that it is completely customizable. The family law and estate planning card label examples above represent the way we would approach labeling these cards, but they are by no means the only way to do it.
Consistency in the labeling of cards (and fields) is important because the same labels can be used for different templates across an organization. It is important to take that extra time before you start setting up template to make sure you have identified the most appropriate labels for your fields and cards. Then, stick with those labels going forward.
When you are setting up a template for someone else, sometimes it helps to make sure you are on the same page as to the card and field labels. Everybody approaches the practice of law differently and has their own preferences and terminology. For example, my card and field labels for a California litigation template might not be exactly the same as someone in another jurisdiction would use. For these reasons, it helps to start any templates with a good plan about the labels that make sense both in the context of that specific template and within the context of the organization more broadly.