Leg@l IT 2008 — Bringing Lawyers and Clients Together

At 9:40 am, the Conference moved forward with three simultaneous tracks:

  • Utilisation des technologies dans un contexte de droit transfrontalier (Me Patrick Gingras et Me Philippe Lortie)
  • Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Technologies that Bring Lawyers and Clients Together (M. Jordan Robert Furlong, M. Jason Mervyn and Me Dan Pinnington)
  • Litigation Management and Support (Mme Luisa Dodaro, M. Joshua C. Gilliland and Me Patrice Morin)

Not being able to follow all tracks (!), I chose to stay in the same room and listen to “Bridging the Gap: Collaborative Technologies that Bring Lawyers and Clients Together”. Me Dan Pinnington opened this session by presenting the audience with a variety of tools now can improve communication and collaboration with clients, including:

Next, Mr Jason Mervyn discussed the business value of his law firm extranets (“Collaborative Technologies: The Experience at Gowlings”) and noted the following driving factors for using extranets:

  • Support commodity work
  • Handle requests from tech savvy clients
  • Provide for self-serve clients
  • Develop client loyalty
  • Develop cross-selling opportunities
  • Leverage IT investments

Finally, Mr Furlong gave an example of what would represent a highly valuable lawyer-client model: the automated online legal information and training programs, customized and exclusive to each client, being in effect a custom CLE package with content adapted to each client and updated/refined with each lawyer-client interaction. Although the business case for putting in place such a system might be difficult for law firms to accept at first, Mr Furlong strongly believes that firms that offer such a service will be well rewarded for their investment.

[Note: the health industry is ahead of the legal industry as they already offer, or plan to offer, patient-centric and custom-tailored CLE and post-op online information – see for example HeartCare and Medem]


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  2. Thanks from this small team at CrossLoop for the mention, Patrick!