A 60-page lease with four attachments, a 230-page asset purchase agreement, or a long, intricate document governing a multi-party joint venture: each such complicated legal document, and others, is hard to understand, see as a whole, and explain.
Software that uses visual representations to display the connections between ideas, generally known as mind-mapping software, helps in-house counsel and clients make sense out of density. A recent post caught my eye.
Programs, such as one from Mindjet, let you show how provisions, representations, and other parts of agreements interconnect. The more important parts of the agreement show up prominently, while lesser ideas have less prominence. Mind-mapping software helps also when you are brainstorming, sketching out ideas for a memorandum or article, explaining the McKinsey 7S model, or planning projects.
(Meta-post on exotic software for law departments: see my posts in 2005 of March 24 on document assembly, March 27 on artificial intelligence engines, April 18 on voting software, May 15 on Monte Carlo simulation, May 24 on concept searching, July 21 on text analysis, Aug. 26 on voice recognition, Oct. 20 on knowledge taxonomies, and Oct. 24 on decision trees.)