Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Topical Portals

We are beginning to see more potential users for legal extranets beyond the area of litigation support and case management. Some of these include internal content management portals, sites to facilitate the management of internal projects, and extranets constructed to help manage discovery requests.

The most common usage is to assist in the management of information relating to a particular area of law. This could include the tracking of salient recent cases, a document or brief bank, the posting of checklists on how to manage a case, listing expert witnesses, listing relevant statutes and regulations and other areas.

This creative thinking helps to make legal extranets not just a strong management tool for litigations, but also a tool which is helpful and instrumental in providing a new and different set of services to a law firm's clients and potential clients.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Extranets As Internal Management Tools

Most commonly, extranets are thought of as tools law firms can use to share information such as case data, documents and calendars with clients.

While that is true, extranets can also be effectively deployed to address a variety of internal tracking needs within a law firm.

As an example, an extranet with workflow functionality and built-in email alerts can serve as a high quality change management system within a Firm. Similarly, collaboration tools and software like these can assist administrative departments like Marketing and Finance in the management of projects which span multiple offices within a law firm.

Extranets are also useful when deployed to share documents within a law firm but across a number of disparate offices when the suite of existing technologies within a law firm does not fully support the sharing/collaboration of and on documents within a law firm.