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Law departments commonly talk with their law firms about collaborative technologies

A recent survey found that “Approximately one-third (30%) of in-house counsel sought input from their law firms when evaluating collaborative technologies that they would use together, primarily online matter management and ebilling systems.” This finding comes from the 2007 ACCA/Serengeti Managing Outside Counsel Survey, selected results of which are presented in the ACC Docket, Vol. 26, April 2008 at 14.

I find it hard to imagine that law firms have much to offer a law department client that wants to choose a matter management system. What do firms know about that specialized in-house software (See my post of Feb. 9, 2008: 27 other kinds of esoteric software for legal departments.). In contradistinction, law firms may know much more about certain aspects of e-billing systems than does a client since law firms have to cope with so many of them (See my post of Nov. 28, 2007: law firm complaints about e-billing.).

The short squib does not mention them, but what about extranets and discovery software? Both are ubiquitous and both are very familiar to law firms. As to extranets (See my posts of Aug. 27, 2005: low-cost tool; Oct. 17, 2005: Virgin’s extranet; Oct. 21, 2005: used other than in major litigation; Oct. 31, 2005: JennerNet; Oct. 31, 2005: real-time access to everything at a firm; Jan. 3, 2006 and April 22, 2007: Tyco’s extranet; Jan. 30, 2006: ChevronTexaco’s; Feb. 12, 2006: compares extranets to portals; April 4, 2006 #2: extranets haven’t caught on; Oct. 18, 2006: unremarked extranets; Jan. 18, 2007 and Dec. 11, 2007: DuPont’s capabilities.). As to discovery software (See my post of March 26, 2008.). More information and the survey results are available from Rob Thomas, the report’s author.

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