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Great Minds Thinking Alike – Online Legal Software Vendors Unite

Competition in the legal cloud computing space can be a great thing. The more options lawyers have, the more companies like ours need to continually improve our software, support and other content and services in order to earn (and keep) your business. In many ways, the more we compete the better it is for you.

On the other hand, when new technology rapidly emerges that dramatically improves both practice and client service, it can also make a lot of sense for the folks behind that technology to offer guidance in a unified voice. We built this stuff, we work with it every day, and we’re constantly attending and conducting events thinking about how it can facilitate the lives and practices of lawyers while also improving service to clients. (I suspect some of these dudes know might even know all this stuff better than they know some of their relatives: shout-out to all the Dev Teams.)    So, it can also make a lot of sense sometimes to substitute some of the competition for some good old-fashioned teamwork.

That, in a nutshell, is the Legal Cloud Computing Association.

Put it this way: yes, we each compete for passengers on our own ultra-comfy, uber-smooth, ridiculously cool cruise ship, but the entire fleet is all headed together at full speed to a sunny, tropical beach – and we all want to get there as quickly and safely as possible.  (N.B.:  The analogy holds.   More cloud computing = more freedom, more time, faster billing, better client communication, more beach.)    Cloud computing helps lawyers spend more time lawyering, less on all the stuff they didn’t talk too much about in law school – timesheets anyone?!

The LCCA currently consists of us (Rocket Matter),  Clio (Themis Solutions), DirectLaw and Total Attorneys.  You can read our first press release here, which also includes a link to our first association communication: a response to the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 Working Group’s call for comments on Client Confidentiality and the Use of Technology.    The response lays out the LCCA’s thoughts and recommendations concerning issues like security and confidentiality, and also offers suggestions on lawyer obligations vis-a-vis “outsourcing” and vendor terms of service – all from a very practical, “real-life” perspective garnered from working with literally thousands of lawyers and countless hours of working with the technology itself.

Cloud computing is already changing how lawyers practice. It has the potential to be to this decade what e-mail has been to the last two. The LCCA is looking forward to the opportunity to offer knowledgeable, practical insight to both lawyers and the policy makers in the profession as reasonable, workable ways to facilitate the adoption of this great new technology emerges.    We’re psyched.

Thoughts and comments are welcomed and strongly encouraged.