Stalking the aisles of vendors at LegalTech NY I was surprised to see a Google booth. I learned that 50 of the AmLaw 100 law firms use Google’s Postini software to pre-filter emails – to remove spam.
But this is a blog about law departments, you know, so I pressed the Googlers in the booth about how their software might help them. They pointed out that the software could immensely help a law department cope with the email deluge when a company must collect, review and produce email messages. They also agreed that the software could use its “Content Policy Management” to pluck out documents sent by law firms.
Since efforts by law departments to collect electronic versions of law firm work product falter when in-house counsel have to do anything, a systemic solution that culls out attachments when there are clues in the email message might jump start this knowledge management activity. The documents thus collected could be relatively easily reviewed and placed in a repository online, to be searched, of course by a well-known program (See my post of March 5, 2005 on Google Desktop.).
Another possible use of the software would be to link emails to matter management system codes, so that the MMS could populate itself with related emails. Those who send emails would have to reference the proper matter code number, but the software could do much of the rest.