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How to Review Documents Based on Pre-Set Requirements (Checklists)- Beta
How to Review Documents Based on Pre-Set Requirements (Checklists)- Beta

How to use Checklists to review and analyze document based on rules and requirements for the document type.

Written by Sarah Beatty
Updated yesterday

Please note that Checklists are still in Beta, please reach out to if you have any questions or feedback on this feature.

What are Checklists?

Checklists are designed to quickly scan documents for legally relevant, targeted feedback.

We've launched with over 2000 contract types, with prebuilt rules for easy setup, and any changes to these rules can be made in less than 10 seconds. Plus, your customizations are saved, so the next time you or anyone in your company uses the checklist, the updated rule is in place, ensuring consistent application across your organization.

Why Use Checklists:

For Firm Lawyers: Quick Insight and Risk Assessment

Navigating unfamiliar contracts? Checklists provide an immediate understanding of the typical structure and risks of contracts, even ones you haven't dealt with before.

Through automated Checklists, Spellbook can quickly highlight the key areas of risk in a contract type, and help you ensure the typical risks have been covered. This reduces the time and effort needed to review unfamiliar documents, making your work more efficient.

For In-House Lawyers: Consistency and Customization

Checklists' deep customization and standardization to ensure consistency across all your contracts. With minimal setup and maintenance, Checklists can automatically generate and apply a set of pass/fail rules tailored to your specific needs. This ensures that each contract adheres to your company's standards.

Not only will this streamline the review process, but it also reduces the risk of oversight and ensures compliance with your organization's legal requirements.

Checklist Overview Video:

How to Use Checklists:

1. Click "Insights"

2. Spellbook will analyze your document and based on the type of document it determines it to be, it will make a suggestion for the type of Checklist (pulled from our vast database of comprehensive checklists) you should use to analyze the document.

Select the checklist you want to use.

3. If you do not like the options provided, you can click "Auto-Generate Checklist" to generate another one.

4. Select the new version generated.

5. Edit the rules for the checklist based on your requirements.

6. You can review and edit the requirements of the checklist by clicking the down arrow next to a term and editing the requirements listed under the term.

7. For a rule that doesn't apply for you, remove it from the Checklist's analysis by clicking the "Ignore Rule" button.

8. To edit the rule in the Checklist, click on the Edit Rule pencil icon and type in a rule or requirement that you feel better suits the document.

9. You can then review and edit the rule and click Save once you've finished making your changes.

You can turn on "Quick Edit" mode to do this at scale by clicking the Pencil icon at the top of the Checklist Page.

And click the Optional or Delete buttons for each rule quickly.

10. When happy with the rules for the document, click "Run This Checklist".

11. It will then scan through the document and evaluate the document based on the requirements of the checklist.

12. Once the document analysis has been completed, you will see next to each term a score of how many of the checklist requirements the document has achieved.

13. Wherever there is a red symbol, you might want to investigate and see why the document does not meet the checklist requirement.

14. Click on the Arrow button to see where in the document this section is and investigate why it's not aligned with the checklist requirement.

15. You can then use Spellbook's suggested fix to correct the section and align it with the checklist requirement. Click on Suggested Fix to see what is proposed.

16. If you're happy with the suggested fix, click "Insert".

17. Once you make changes, you can Re-Run your checklist by scrolling up and clicking the "Re-Run Checklist" button. It will then re-analyze your document based on the changes made to the requirements and document.

It will then give you a new score based on how much the document meets the Checklist requirements with the % of Coverage score.

18. You can quickly scan what has been missed in the document by clicking on the Missed icon and it will filter to only show the checklist items that are not met by the current document.

19. Similarly, you can click on the "Covered" icon to filter what has been covered in the document based on the Checklist requirements.

20. You can see all Checklist requirements and how the document meets them by clicking the "All Checks" icon to see them all.

Checklist FAQs

How does it decide which checklists to show me?

We process the first ~1000 words of the document, sending it to an LLM to determine a Contract Type and Description. We then search our database for the most similar Policy Group Name + Description and return a set of 5 based on their matching score.

What if my contract type isn’t found by the search?

The bottom option will always be a “Generate Custom Checklist” button. When you generate a custom contract, it uses the Name + Description it found in the previous step, and generates something dynamically just for you. The new dynamically generated contract type is saved and linked to your license, so future searches from your company can see that new contract type.

I ran a checklist, but I got a very low score. My contract is fine though - what is going on?

The default checklists are designed to be very comprehensive - far more comprehensive than the typical contract really needs to be. The first time you run a policy checklist against a contract, it’s likely the extremely comprehensive ruleset leads to a lot of ‘failing’ rules.

We recommend using the ‘Quick Edit’ mode to delete/make optional any rules you don’t find useful so that the contract is tuned to your style. To do this, wait for the policy group to finish the checks. Then mouse over the category header and click “Turn on Quick Edit”.

With Quick Edit enabled, you’ll be able to quickly go through the list and either click the ? icon to make a rule “Optional”, or click the delete icon to permanently remove that rule from the Checklist.

Why do the “Covered” and “Missed” numbers not add up to the “All Checks” count?

Policies can be either “required” or “optional”. The All checks count includes the optional rules, while the covered/missed only include the required rules.

What is the difference between Required and Optional Rules? How can I tell which are which?

Required rules show up as either Red or Blue when analyzed. They are things we think should be taken pretty seriously, and when we do things like calculate the coverage percentage or say 5/8 in a section, we only consider required rules.

Optional rules are useful ideas that may or may not apply in a specific situation. In an employment contract, for example, it may make sense to have clauses around bonuses or stock options, but it’s definitely not a requirement. Optional items can help a lawyer spot opportunities to improve the contract, but aren’t counted in things like the percentage coverage or misses.

When in edit mode, you can change rules from Required to Optional, or Optional to Required. If a Lawyer sees many things they think should be optional instead, they can easily enter “Quick Edit” mode by clicking the quick edit button on the specific checklist heading, and an option to toggle back and forth will be displayed on each checklist item

When I do the initial checklist search, I see multiple checklists with the same name - what is going on?

Every checklist has both a name and description attached to it. Some checklists have the same name across many versions - consider an Employment Contract checklist for someone working at a tech startup, compared to someone working as an investment advisor. There are many sector/industry-specific things to both contracts, yet the titles are the same.

When we do the group search, we search both the title and the description and put the highest matches first, so that most of the time, the top-ranked “Employment Contract” when more than one appears would be the most relevant. You can see the description of the contract to confirm this when you are on the checklist page, by clicking the info icon next to the checklist name.

How is my data stored/processed?

The initial prebuilt checklists are visible to everyone. Spellbook will collect data on the ‘standard ruleset’ from all firms, and this may be used to calculate things like rule “hit rates”. eg: What % of employment contracts analyzed by Spellbook pass a specific rule in the contract.

Any rule customized by a user will have that customization saved at the firm level. If there are 2 lawyers in an office, and one modifies a rule for “Accuracy of Financial Information” in the “Real Estate Financing Agreement” contract type, then the other lawyer will see the updated rule in the future. These updated rules are never shared with any third parties, and data about hit rates from these updated rules are localized to only your firm.

Have additional questions? Contact our Support team at

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