Simplify Signing with Docusign eSignature and NetDocuments

The contract process often involves many stakeholders across different departments working in different systems. The lack of interconnectivity between these systems is a common challenge that can lead to wasted time, increased errors and security risk. This is keenly felt in the legal industry, where interoperability between systems is still fairly uncommon and where repetitive, multi-touch, administrative tasks have long been a burden to law firms and their clients. In order to streamline the contract process, it is essential to integrate the systems where contract handoffs happen.

Going back and forth between disconnected systems can be clunky and cumbersome, leading to poor productivity for attorneys, paralegals and legal assistants, lack of visibility, lost operating costs, and disparate data sources. To make matters worse, clients rarely agree to pay for time spent on these manual tasks. 

Consider this common scenario: legal staff downloads a document (like a settlement agreement or engagement letter) from NetDocuments, saves it to a local drive, and uploads it into Docusign eSignature. The attorney sends the agreement, no longer in NetDocuments, to the client or counter-party for signature. While the firm gets the benefit of automated approval workflows and tracking updates in eSignature, legal staff still need to manually enter any updates or changes into the NetDocuments workspace. Once a signature is received, they download the signed document from Docusign, save it again to a local drive, then re-uploaded it to NetDocuments. At a minimum, six manual steps need to occur during this process. 

Legal processes and challenges before NetDocuments integration

Sign and store legal documents seamlessly

To improve the process, Docusign and NetDocuments have built an integrated experience for sending, receiving, signing and tracking electronic signatures. Now, NetDocuments customers no longer have to leave their workspace to send an agreement out for signature. It’s as simple as a click to send the document with Docusign eSignature and request signatures. Within NetDocuments, users retain the benefits of eSignature, including templates, workflows, notification settings, and an audit trail with complete visibility into the approval process. The manual process of downloading, saving and uploading files (then back again after documents are signed) is officially a task of the past. 

Here are the top five benefits of the Docusign and NetDocuments integration: 

  1. Send, receive, and track Docusign envelopes without ever leaving NetDocuments.
  2. Gain full transparency into document status.
  3. Maintain security and governance (confidential documents stay secure and encrypted).
  4. Streamline compliance by automatically storing the final signed document back in the correct way in NetDocuments.
  5. Eliminate the manual steps to locate, scan and upload to appropriate record of keeping.

Case study: Kutak Rock LLP

At a recent ILTA product briefing, the Docusign and NetDocuments teams came together with a joint customer to highlight the benefits of the new integration.

Beta customer David Orchard, director of client services and administrative manager at Kutak Rock LLP, was one of the first to experience the direct integration. David and his team were looking to save attorneys’ and their staff’s time by eliminating the need to manually locate final copies of documents once signed and upload them into the correct NetDocuments record for storing. 

Before the NetDocuments and Docusign integration, despite the benefits gained from implementing Docusign eSignature, the process still suffered from inefficiency. The need to download, save, email, track and upload documents was high-touch and left much room for errors, such as losing information, or forgetting to delete local copies off of a hard drive. Further, the approval process lacked transparency to the entire team, as the status of approvals was being tracked by different people in different systems. 

Today, the Docusign and NetDocuments integration is being tested and rolled out throughout practice areas at Kutak Rock. The integration saves valuable time, streamlines governance and eliminates former obstacles. For example, now that the signing process is integrated directly in NetDocuments, other team members can check on document status even if the person who sent the document for signature is out on PTO. The team has seen a reduction in the amount of traffic flowing in and out of the document management system and a decrease in email traffic and self-service requests from legal administrators, paralegals and attorneys. 

It’s all about saving time in law. The more time you can save from mundane tasks, the more time you have to work on more important things and billable tasks. This integration truly is a game-changer.
David Orchard
Director, Client Services and Administrative Manager
Kutak Rock LLP

Integration and beyond

Incorporating Docusign eSignature directly into NetDocuments is just one way law firms can reap the benefit of digitizing their signing workflows. Near-future versions of the integration will incorporate Docusign’s native ability to send multiple documents in one envelope directly from your document management system (DMS), save changes to documents as new versions and automatically upload the Docusign certificate of completion alongside the executed agreement in your workspace. All of these features are available directly through Docusign today, and will be integrated directly with NetDocuments in version 2.0 of the integration.

Law firms can extract even more value directly from Docusign by leveraging additional add ons such as remote online notarization, SMS delivery, and identification and authentication products. 

  • Docusign Notary enables you to electronically and securely authenticate signers through an audio-visual session and access a detailed audit trail. It’s all built in the trusted eSignature platform, so you can now send, sign, and notarize, all within Docusign. 
  • SMS delivery for eSignature enables you to send Docusign envelopes through SMS text messages, which means you can reach signers wherever they are and permit them to sign from their mobile devices, further shortening the turnaround time for approvals. 
  • Docusign Identify additionally assists law firms by identifying and authenticating signers, reducing risk, and facilitating compliance with industry and global regulations. 

This is just the beginning of how Docusign and NetDocuments are creating seamless experiences for law firms. 

The integration is available today, and it’s easy to get started. From your NetDocuments admin console, check the box to enable Docusign access for your users. Reach out to your account representative if you have any questions or email for assistance. To get in touch with Docusign about the integration, you can email

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