The Legal industry has reached a crossroads. Changes in the economy, client demands and technology are driving some of this change and the ability for firms to adapt to these changes may determine their survival. Clients are demanding lower costs, efficiency, increased security along with greater accountability.
In my own experience, I have seen some of these changes occurring gradually among our customers. Having worked in law firms for 25 years, I can remember the days when very few lawyers actually had computers.
A new survey of nearly 1,300 Chief Legal Officers (CLOs) in 48 countries, conducted by the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), found that data breaches and the protection of corporate data is the fastest-growing area of concern among CLOs. Thirty-six percent of CLOs rated this issue as “extremely important” in the year ahead, compared with just 19 percent as recently as 2014.
The business benefits of Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are well proven across a range of industry sectors and these also apply to legal. Combining multiple silo'ed systems (for example, practice management, HR, time recording and so on) into one business platform with a single source of data delivers total firm management across client and matter management, billing, time recording, finance & accounting, business intelligence and talent management.
Despite the clear benefits of this approach, only a few of the largest law firms have taken the plunge to invest in this transformational technology.
The application of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is triggered in response to a lawsuit, investigation or government action for prior workplace behaviour. This nine-step set of standards that guide the collection and organisation of electronically stored information is a reactive approach to risk management; it doesn't necessarily advance an organisation's ability to identify and reduce real financial, operational and reputational issues before they impact its bottom line.
For the better part of 25 years, I have worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes and in particular law firms on their technology and IT challenges. A majority of that time has been devoted to the world of DMS, in particular iManage WorkSite and most recently cloud based NetDocuments. My exposure spans DMS systems design, design of infrastructure, implementation, migration, integration and technical training. To read the first part of this article, click here.
It's now time to develop the initial design of what the new system should look and function like, which you then can take back to the steering group for feedback and input in a workshop-style forum.
A good lawyer helps you see around the bend. In my experience over the years as a client, I have found that each time my attorney points out something in a contract or business decision that I had not anticipated, I ignore the next bill when it comes in and I pay it gladly. When I feel that my attorney is simply a contract factory, I look at each bill closely and start to wonder if there is a better way.
I recently had this experience with my company's attorney and, as has become my custom, I did not pay any attention to the forthcoming invoice. I did, however, stop to think about how my company, as a legal technology provider, could facilitate more such interactions for our customers and their clients.
For the better part of 25 years, I have worked with businesses of all shapes and sizes and in particular law firms on their technology and IT challenges. A majority of that time has been devoted to the world of DMS, in particular iManage WorkSite and most recently cloud based NetDocuments. My exposure spans DMS systems design, design of infrastructure, implementation, migration, integration and technical training.
I figured this worth mentioning since this article purports to discuss DMS migration best practices and what to be mindful of when taking the leap, either as part of a DMS upgrade exercise or a complete system switch-out. We have been actively involved in many of the latter so will largely focus on that approach.
When buying Adobe licenses, one is presented with multiple options that fall under the category of either subscription-based licenses or perpetual software licenses. Kraft Kennedy's Erica Chiu explains how to make the right choice.
Value Incentive Plan (VIP), or the subscription-based license, is offered for clients who would like a year-to-year purchase. The VIP provides clients with resource flexibility as well as the availability of the latest available product.
Smartphones and tablets are everywhere, and the discussion about the need to embrace mobile is similarly ubiquitous. However, in our experience, law firms are still in the early stages of embracing mobile devices as an essential work device. There are many reasons to stay away from mobile devices – the security risks inherent in a device that is easily lost or stolen; the conflation of personal and corporate data on a single device; and, perhaps most damningly, the feeling that the mobile device is out of IT’s control. However, it would be a mistake to miss the forest through the trees.
On September 1, 2017, the Dutch court system began requiring law firms to submit documents in PDF/A format in two districts: Gelderland and Midden Nederland. PDF/A is different from a standard PDF format in that it requires the PDF to be fully self-sufficient which includes embedding all fonts, disabling the inclusion of attachments created by other software applications, and removing any programming scripts in Java Script. This is important so that the PDF can be opened again in 50 years by any computer in use at that time and the document will be fully readable.
Legal professionals work with varying types of documents ranging from case records, writs, pleadings, patents, contracts and mandate files. Most of these originate as paper and scanned to digital, but a growing number are being born digital. In response, legal IT professionals have incorporated PDF software to quickly transform documents to become court-ready. However, obstacles still exist that are draining efficiency and productivity, such as non-searchable scans, PDFs with sensitive and often hidden client information, and inability to edit some PDFs. A tool that can equally support both digitally-born PDFs and scanned paper documents is needed.
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