Amidst the large number of specialty packages (See my post of Feb. 9, 2008: law-department software applications with 59 references.), it is important for managers in legal departments not to lose sight of the basic software choices. It will make much more difference to their legal teams if everyone understands the contributions, capabilities, costs, and complexities of these eight. I have listed them in what I believe to be declining order of both importance and frequency.
Matter Management (See my post of Aug. 5, 2008: matter management systems with 35 references.).
Electronic billing (See my post of June 4, 2009: ebilling rules with 6 references; Dec. 14, 2008: e-billing with 45 references; Nov. 26, 2008: Legal Electronic Data Exchange Standard with 9 references; and May 20, 2009: electronic bills with 9 references and 1 metapost.)
Document Management (See my post of Dec. 6, 2007: document management with 15 references.).
Corporate Secretary (See my post of Sept. 2, 2009: software for corporate secretaries with 11 references.).
Compliance Training (See my post of Dec. 19, 2005: British Petroleum’s online compliance and ethics training; July 5, 2006: online legal and compliance training vendors; June 13, 2006: online compliance training; Oct. 25, 2006: Genentech’s system; and March 25, 2005: case studies that spread awareness of legal and compliance risks.).
Intellectual Property (IP) (See my post of May 1, 2005: examples of IP databases; April 1, 2005: IP databases and their merger with matter management systems; Nov. 30, 2005: Computer Patent Annuities and its services; Dec. 11, 2007: software to classify patent portfolios; Feb. 4, 2007: Honeywell’s patent and trademark databases; Oct. 10, 2006: Avery Dennison’s database; Jan. 30, 2006: customized software at RIB-X Pharmaceuticals; Dec. 11, 2007: Microsoft’s software to classify portfolios of patents; Feb. 15, 2009: patent management software and 7 vendors; Oct. 11, 2008: GE’s software for patent landscapes; and Aug. 20, 2009: Cisco’s online patent tool.).
The seven types of software described above come from a General Counsel Roundtable report in June 2005. Today, I would add an eighth category, electronic discovery software (See my post of July 26, 2008: e-discovery with 24 references.).