More on Legal Sofware as a Service (SaaS)

Steve Matthews has mentioned his client CLIO and their blogging about SaaS here on Slaw previously. I expect he doesn’t want to inundate us with client talk, but some of their recent blogging begs to be mentioned. They have just completed a 10-part blog series “10 Things Every Lawyer Should Know About Legal Saas” as follows:

Part 1: What is Software-as-a-Service? A discussion of what exactly Software-as-a-Service is, and how it compares to the more traditional desktop computing model.

Part 2: Why (Or Why Not) Choose a SaaS Solution? Why SaaS offers compelling advantages over traditional desktop software solutions, and some of the compromises that have to be considered.

Part 3: Why Web-Based Practice Management? Why Software-as-a-Service is a perfect fit for practice management, particularly for solos and small firms.

Part 4: Security. An outline key concepts and terminology for web-based security, including SSL, server security, client security, and password security.

Part 5: Privacy. What you should be looking for in a web site’s privacy policies.

Part 6: Data Availability. An outline of the answers you want to be hearing when you ask your SaaS provider “What are you doing to ensure that my data remains available, even in the event of a natural- or human-induced disaster?

Part 7: Total Cost of Ownership. An explanation of how to compare costs of SaaS to traditional desktop software via a Total Cost of Ownership calculation.

Part 8: Terms of Service. What to look for in the legal agreement describing the services your SaaS provider will provide you.

Part 9: Data Migration. How you can migrate your data from existing desktop software application to the web.

Part 10: Offline Access. Why offline access is important, and an outline of some of the technologies that make offline access to SaaS applications possible.

The posts are based on presentations they have recently given. Other than working with another SaaS provider, Freshbooks, I was not very knowledgable on this subject so have found their discussion quite helpful.

For even more on SaaS, also have a look at Luigi Benetton’s article “Cloud Cover: Software as a Service enables virtual law practice management” in the June issue of the Canadian Bar Association’s National magazine.


  1. All about the approach. It’s much easier to write about a client that isn’t constantly pitching their product and writes something helpful. And for the record, all the legal SaaS vendors seem to be pretty good at this… VLOTech, NetDocuments, Rocket Matter, DirectLaw, etc. Very community driven.

    It also makes sense in terms of business & growing the market. Create a better the understanding of the offering, and the more business for everyone.

  2. That’s great. We’re all more likely to read someone’s blog or Twitter stream if they talk about useful things rather than pitching the business all the time.

  3. Good discussion and post – and I agree, from my experience as a vendor, it is definitely better from a business perspective to educate rather than pitch.

    Because we’re in tech all day long, it’s easy for us to take the basics for granted – like why somebody actually needs a product like the one we build all day in the 1st place! :)