Although life was never simple, shopping was. You bought something, used it, and bought a new one if the old one broke or a better product came along. The Internet changed shopping forever. Now many things are free – or – you pay and keep paying every month in apparent perpetuity. As discussed below, several of the products and services displayed at the ABA’s TECHSHOW 2012 have embraced this paradigm.
I took two additional “meta” lessons from TECHSHOW. First, legal software providers are increasingly collaborating amongst each other to integrate their products. Whatever tools you use, assess whether they support integration with other programs you already use and whether integration will increase your productivity. Second, the security features of cloud providers are gaining salience. For example, DocuSign (discussed below) is one vendor highlighting its security measures. You may wish to compare their security practices, touted here, to security practices offered by other cloud services. See LOMAP’s post on vetting cloud service providers.
Now, let’s move on to some of the vendors that caught my eye.
is passive time capture software. It tracks your computer activities and generates a report for the creation of invoices. LOMAP’s detailed reviews of Chrometa are here
New/Unique Features: Chrometa collaborated with online practice management software Rocket Matter
to integrate both products. Chrometa users can automatically direct time information into Rocket Matter, see Rocket Matter blog post here
: $19.00-$49.00/mo/user, dependent upon your level of service.
DocuSign facilitates collecting and tracking signatures.
New/Unique Features: Signers can execute documents via a range of devices and DocuSign’s dashboard tracks execution status. DocuSign offers strong security practices (see above). Also, DocuSign Ink
is a free
version that allows signing and storage of personal documents.
: From $14.99/mo/user, dependent upon your level of service.
The Form Tool enables comprehensive, efficient personalization of oft-created documents such as wills, fee agreements, leases, etc. The Form Tool (TFT) manages pronouns, plurals, changing roles within and between documents, gender and verb agreement and many similar changes.
New/Unique Features: TFT runs in Word. This provides two advantages. It uses standard Word commands and should be easier to learn than a stand-alone product. Second, if you are not using a document assembly software
, TFT is a way to capture the efficiencies of automated document assembly.
: TFT offers the following versions: Free
, Pro ($89) and Plus ($350, includes TFT’s makers customizing 5 forms for the user). You can compare features between versions here
Document Portability (Electronic Briefcase)
LegalFile for iPad is an alternative to a litigation briefcase stuffed with paper. More formally, it is a case support application that imports case files to your iPad.
– New/Unique Features: In addition to case organization, the program transfers documents to your iPad. That local copy allows access to materials from locations with poor connectivity. It also offers functions such as emailing from the application. As of this writing, the program only support pdfs, but the company promises to support more formats soon.
Document Review and Repository
Lexbe Online is a web-based case and document analysis platform and a litigation document repository.
– New/Unique Features: An appealing factor of document-centric Lexbe, a bit ironically, is the lack of a document, specifically – a long-term contract. Lexbe offers per month and per user contracts, allowing customers to buy only the service they need. Lexbe also supports review in all major browsers and access from any web-enabled computer.
: From $99.00/mo for 2 users and 1GB of data storage
People & Business Search
TLOxp is a business and people search engine that links multiple databases to locate targets even with scant information.
– New/Unique Features: The multiple search fields TLOxp offers (such as first name, age range, city, zip code) facilitates people searches based upon limited or vague information. If a client recalled meeting Meredith the die-hard Royals fan from Nashville, TLOxp cross-references multiple databases for people named Meredith, between the ages of 40-50 who have lived in Kansas City and Nashville. TLO representatives did not disclose all of the sources of TLOxp’s information and shared that some databases attorneys may be interested in were not available as sources. Thus, users should see TLOxp as part of a multi-faceted search.
: 25 cents per search and $2.00-5.00 per individual report.
If you are interested in legal technology, TECHSHOW in Chicago is
a superior program. In addition to the vendor exhibits, TECHSHOW o
ffers CLEs taught by attorneys, practice management advisors and legal staff. Speakers offer smart, unbiased hard-won insights. Plus, you will enjoy Chicago’s gruff, Midwestern friendliness, outstanding architecture, an unparalleled devotion to sausages
and wisdom from Ben Stein