Neil Richards from teh Knowledge Thoughts blog has writtent two very interesting post on the use of Sharepoint with Law Firms. In the first post called If Sharepoint is the solution, what is the problem? Part I/II Neil looks at some of the "generic problems" that Law Firms that could be resolved through the use of a relevant tool.
Neil gives the example of a firm "Acme Partners LLP" not hiring law graduates at the right time, which means they don't have the opportunity to hire the top student from that year. Neil also lists the following as examples of problems that could be managed by using an application like Sharepoint.
- Sharing documents
- Researching legal questions
- Tracking credentials / major deals
- Managing relationship information about each client
In Neil's second post on this subject called If Sharepoint is the solution, what is the problem? Part II/II Neil outlines why he believes Sharepoint is a good choice for any law firm looking to solve some of these problems. As Neil explains the problem for IT departments is that they need to deploy something that is "simple to deploy, simple to use" and "can be used on the firm's hardware"
Sharepoint "out-of-the-box" certainly ticks all of these boxes, but it does have its drawbacks as Neil goes on to explain. "...it doesn’t do...wikis, relational data or deliver to your exact requirements" very well. Another problem "...is people’s expectations. If your requirements can mostly be met through the use of a generic tool, is it unacceptable to ask the business for a bit of compromise? Hardly. If the business case warrants it, Sharepoint is extremely customisable, you merely have to have the willingness and the developers to do so"
These are two really interesting blog post, which I'd encourage anyone who is thinking about using Sharepoint to read.