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ILTA White Paper Discusses Cloud Computing for Corporate Law Departments

October 27, 2011

The International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) recently released its September white paper for Corporate Law Departments.  The white paper’s theme of “Focusing on Efficiency” allows for several interesting articles about emerging trends and technology that will help general counsel expedite workflows and reduce legal spend.  One article in particular, Law Departments and Cloud Lawyering … What’s the Forecast? by Mike Russell of Liberty Mutual Insurance Company and Ralph Schroeder of Hyperion Research provides a timely discussion about moves by legal vendor toward cloud based systems or software as a service (SaaS).  As many third-party legal vendors pursue cloud based solutions, corporate legal departments must re-evaluate their information sharing methodologies.  Specifically, the authors write:

On the corporate side, this new cloud-base world will drive general counsel to rely on IT and collections of tools that are absolute requirements to their work.  Of significant importance will be internal systems, including new forms of knowledge and expertise management that use selective scopes to make the most of both internal and the universe (a.k.a. the “cloud”) of available legal service resources.  This will be a combination of preferred outside counsel firms, legal process outsourcing vendors (including those that are discovery-focused, such as document review) and crowd sourced avenues such as discussions forums and wikis…

Lawyers, whether working in a corporate legal department or in any sort of law firm as outside counsel, must be innovative in their approaches in order to meet the challenges of today’s business world.  They are constantly forced to find creative new ways to do the same work in less time, which incidentally makes them smarter and more aligned with how the rest of the corporate world works.

As these systems develop, and as attorneys become increasingly technologically savvy, more and more corporate law departments will move towards information management via third-party servers.  However, many general counsel remain concerned about storing their data on external servers.  To address these concerns, the authors note:

The truth of the current situation is that many of the hosted services (SaaS) that law departments are using aren’t full-blown cloud solutions, where data can be scattered on different servers in different, often unknown, locations.  Instead, they are a more controlled – and controllable – variation.  Data may still be hosted off-site and applications and equipment maintained by a vendor, but there aren’t any unknowns – attorneys involved with the matter or system often specify in the engagement contract exactly where the data may be housed, accessed and backed-up.

Many solutions are available that allows attorneys to take advantage of the legal industry’s trend toward adopting cloud based technologies.  For example, Courtroom Insight is just one of the cloud solutions currently available to help attorney better manage and share firmwide knowledge.  For more information about Courtroom Insight’s solution for corporate law departments click here or to read the complete ILTA white paper visit the link below.

Law Departments and Cloud Lawyering … What’s the Forecast?

 

Source: Russell, Mike and Schroeder, Ralph. “Law Departments and Cloud Lawyering … What’s the Forecast?” Corporate Law Departments ILTA White Paper September 2011: 6-11. http://www.mygazines.com/issue/43390/.

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