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IT functions supporting law departments and law firms share some of the same annoyances

Two points struck me from findings in ILTA’s 2009 Technology Survey, at 42 of law firms: one about the shared challenges of providing technology to lawyers – inside or outside – and the other about overhead support for IT that legal departments often enjoy free of charge.

The law firms that responded to the ILTA survey chose from a list of the “top 3 biggest technology issues or annoyances within your firm.”

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Burke covered LegalTech: the interviews

Burke covers LegalTechAll interviews now available in one location

While at LegalTech, our columnist Christy Burke interviewed Legal IT heavyweights and asked them about their impression of this year’s show and their newest products. Listen to the short one-on-one interviews now.

Apple iPad – a disappointment for legal

A lawyer sits in an airport lounge, pulls out the iPad and connects to the firms document management system (DMS) through the Autonomy iManage App in the AppStore. She flicks through the correspondence folder, checks her teams filed emails and reads up on the clients comments to the agreement draft. She then decides to dictate some amendments to her secretary using the built-in microphone. Launching the agreement from the DMS, she highlights the paragraph needing amendment and also launches the BigHand dictation app ……

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Big Data, Tiny Screens – Mobile Applications Debuting at LegalTech New York 2010

Great things often come in small packages, like the ignition key to a Ferrari, an engagement ring, a winning lottery ticket, or…an iPhone!  The business of practicing law is being transacted more and more on handheld devices, cell phones and pocket computers.  E-mails now deliver massive amounts of information onto Lilliputian-sized gadgets and this has become critically important to meeting client demands of 24/7 availability.

“I didn’t get the memo” has gone the way of “The dog ate my homework” as a valid excuse for not being informed.  There are so many ways to be connected back to the office, even if you’re on a beach somewhere.  While this phenomenon can be viewed as depressing for some, it can also be seen as a major plus and convenience.  Perhaps it means that a beach could be in your future after all this winter!

Fall Conference Wrap-Up – Part 4

Fred YeomansAs promised, here is the 4th part of my fall conference wrap-up. In this part I will take what I talked about in the previous 3 parts, and try to relate it to real world solutions.

Usability & Manageability
Obviously the changes to the UI in SharePoint 2010 are significant, and are the most noticeable change your users will see immediately. This should hopefully lead to better adoption by your users, and better productivity.

Top 5 Legal IT technologies of 2010

Happy New Year to you all!

Hope you had a good 2009 and I wish you all a great 2010. For me what better way to start the blog this year than conforming with a blogger tradition and compiling a list.

I thought I’d try a prediction of the technology areas that I will be big for Legal It in 2010, so here it is my top 5 list of legal IT technologies for 2010.


WorkSite Tips – adding a folder shortcut in your file to a folder in another file

A return of the WorkSite hints and tips series to end 2009!

Following a question today I found a neat way of adding a shortcut to another folder from within your matter file. This is pretty straight forward when you think about it within WorkSite, but it’s worth noting as it’s always handy to be able to link to a folder of documents from within your electronic file (e.g. to link to common client documents within a client folder from within each matter file relating to that client).


Microsoft SharePoint & Developers Conferences Wrap-Up - Part 3

Professional Developers Conference 2009

The Professional Developers Conference (PDC) is Microsoft’s big programmer event. Usually, this is where they announce major new products and technologies. For example, PDC 2003 was the first major public announcement of Windows Longhorn (which grew up to be Vista) and its underlying technologies. At last year’s PDC, Microsoft announced its cloud computing strategy, Windows Azure.
PDC09 was a little different. This year was more about fulfilling the vision. A number of new products are in late beta stages and approaching release:

Legal Technology 2010 – Batten Down the Hatches

Three Legal IT gurus look at what can be expected next year

2010 – it’s a nice round number and the start of a new decade as well.  Remember 10 years ago, the entire world was furiously updating code, fearing the end of the world when the millennium ended?  Like most public hysteria, that panic turned out to be fairly ridiculous and we did indeed live to see January 2nd, 2000. 

In the past 10 years, law offices have certainly made enormous strides in terms of process automation, workflow efficiency, and productivity enhancement by leveraging technology to the hilt.  Now that the New Year is fast approaching, it is time to examine what 2010 will look like for legal technology.  What major decisions and budget concerns will legal IT professionals face this coming year?  How will legal technology providers be affected, from behemoths to underdogs?  What will be the “hot items” on the MIS to-do lists of firms all around the world? 

Social Media Policies in Law Firms

"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" (Leonardo Da Vinci)

Has your law firm got a social media policy or a set of social media guidelines?

If not it is surely only a matter of time before they do. The rise of the risk management function in firms (not just law firms) means that as social media takes off, guidelines and policies will be put in place (take a look at this site for a raft of policies out there for various companies!).

I’ve been blogging (on this site) for a little under a year now and have already fallen foul a number of times, I have posted something I maybe shouldn’t have or ended up agreeing that it may be best I didn’t say what I had. So I think it’s in the interest of the blogger as well as the firm to have a few guidelines in place.


Microsoft SharePoint & Developers Conferences Wrap-Up - Part 2

Continuing on from my last column (part 1), here are some more notes on SPC09…

Business Intelligence

PerformancePoint has been absorbed into SharePoint Server. PerformancePoint Services are included in the SharePoint Server 2010 Enterprise license. There is also a significant update to the presentation graphics within PerformancePoint, including use of Silverlight, 3D graphics, and time-lapse charts.

Another big announcement was for PowerPivot (formerly project Gemini). The PowerPivot addin for Excel allows Excel to use the Analysis Services engine in memory, allowing Excel to work on very large datasets (millions of cells) very rapidly.

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