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Microsoft SharePoint as an option for legal departments

Law departments ought to consider Microsoft’s SharePoint for some of their automation needs, according to an article by a consulting firm in ACC Docket, Vol. 27, May 2009 at 18. The article describes it as having the potential to serve as a matter management system, a document management system, an integrator of information from other applications, a corporate governance suite, plus much else. More a platform or toolbox than a finished application, SharePoint has many fans.

The article suggests three configuration options. First, there is the do-it-yourself approach if you have few lawyers, modest ambitions, and IT support both capable and available. Second, you can build what you need with the assistance of consultants, some of whom already have SharePoint templates or partial solutions. Third, you can license a third-party product (none referenced) built on a SharePoint platform. As to licensing a package, the author adds a spin: “As with any product, you will be reliant on the vendor for support, maintenance, customization and upgrades.”

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2 responses to “Microsoft SharePoint as an option for legal departments”

  1. You are absolutely right. Sharepoint does offer significant value to Legal Departments specifically with features like
    – Document libraries
    – Document level discussions
    – Document version control
    – Workflow and Approval
    to name a few

  2. Adam Davidson says:

    The in-house team I work in has been using Sharepoint for document management, time recording and general collaboration for over 3 years, and it is a very flexible system. True, it’s not as fully featured as some proprietary DM/PM systems, but it cost less and is much easier for us to administer.
    We went for the first of the 3 options referenced above (i.e. the DIY approach) and this has served us well over time. As we get more and more familiar with it we can adapt it to meet even more of our needs.