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An out-of-left-field comment about the priorities general counsel should set for software

I can’t make sense out of an answer in Met. Corp. Counsel, Vol. 17, March 2009 at 35. The question asked was “What technologies would a new general counsel look to in setting up a legal department? What are the priorities?”

One of the respondents replied: “First are basic technologies that foster legal department communication with the business units it supports. These tools, often platforms or portals, are utilized by inside and outside attorneys, but directed to the business consumers of legal services as a vehicle for demonstrating value. This helps align legal strategies with business strategies and increases transparency between attorneys and business partners.”

At the top of the technology list for a new general counsel is not software that communicates with clients, unless that includes e-mail. My recommendation for the starter-set of software in a law department is a matter and expense tracking system.

The second sentence also puzzles. Communication with clients is not done through software, although intranets might offer some information and guidance. “Platforms and portals” confounds me. And it is rare for outside counsel to employ a law department’s software.

And to refer to software as “a vehicle for demonstrating value” is gibberish. What the phrase “increases transparency between attorneys and business partners” means I have no idea.

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