How to Take the Drudgery Out of Drafting Legal Pleadings

Any litigator knows that one of the most tedious parts of the job is getting court pleadings right. Each court has its own variation of the rules—some want numbers along the sides, others don't. One court will require 14 pt font whereas the one in the next county over is fine with 12 pt. Remembering which court has which rules is impossible. But all courts will refuse to file incorrect legal pleadings, which can seriously jeopardize a client's case. Therefore the rules for each pleading need to be painstakingly checked and rechecked—at least until now...

Enter Woodpecker, the legal pleading solution you've been waiting for. Simply draft one pleading in Word just the way you want it and let Woodpecker handle the rest. Woodpecker's intuitive design makes drafting reusable legal documents a snap. Let's walk through how to use Woodpecker to automate your existing legal pleadings:

Download our free legal pleading template to use alongside Woodpecker.

1. Download Woodpecker

If you haven't already, get Woodpecker by downloading it securely from the Microsoft Office store. Woodpecker will be added to your Microsoft Word ribbon under the "Home" tab.

Woodpecker Legal Document Automation


2. Getting started

Click on the new Woodpecker button underneath the "Home" tab. A side window will open up where you'll be prompted to sign up for a free account and walked through some of the basics of Woodpecker. 

Woodpecker Legal Document Automation


3. Create and insert custom fields

Create any custom fields you like by clicking the "Manage fields" tab and then the "Create" button. For instance, if you want to add a case number, first create a field, name it "case number," and select the "Number" field type. Then simply click the "plus" icon next to the field name to insert it into your document where you cursor is. You can insert a field as many times as you want!

Woodpecker Create Field
Woodpecker Field Name
Woodpecker Insert Field


4. Populate

Continue adding fields such as the judge's name, date of filing (default to today), type of legal pleading, etc. When you're done, fill the fields in with the relevant information for this pleading. Click "Save" and Woodpecker will automatically populate the document with all of the information you've entered into your fields. 

Woodpecker Legal Pleading
Woodpecker Populate Pleading


5. You're done!

You now have a perfect, standardized, and reusable legal pleading. For the next filing in the case, just type in the new case, judge, and pleading information, and Woodpecker will handle the rest. No more forgetting to change the date on the signature block and certificate of service—Woodpecker lets you specify default values for date fields so the information is automatically filled in for you. 

If you have any questions about how Woodpecker can automate more of your legal documents, feel free to get in touch. We're here to help!

Don't start from scratch, download our free Woodpecker legal pleading template!

Still don't have Woodpecker? Click the button below and give it a try.