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Collaboration software can come in many forms, but at its heart, it is all about aligning people to provide firms with an ability to better serve and communicate with their clients. For the law firm, implementation drivers can range from internal needs to client demands, and the various tools available provide a range of features and functionality.
Collaboration – (noun) - [ kuh-lab-uh-reyshuhn ] - Collaboration is the act of working together, especially on a goal or shared project, often used in a positive context to refer to two or more parties successfully working together on professional or artistic projects. It often implies not just cooperation but the sharing and development of each other’s ideas. In recent years, the legal ecosystem has seen a rise in the use of collaboration tools. Those tools enable coordinated workflows by providing a unified platform for discussion, file sharing task assignments, and real-time project collaboration.
Collaboration software can come in many forms, but at its heart, it is all about aligning people to provide firms with an ability to better serve and communicate with their clients. For the law firm, implementation drivers can range from internal needs to client demands, and the various tools available provide a range of features and functionality. Whether a platform is required by the client or provided as an in-house solution, each stores information differently and may require a unique Information Governance (IG) approach.
Collaboration is more than file sharing;it’s more than just chat and real time communications and co-authoring. It can be any one of these, or any combination of these, and more. It is important to note that not all applications that incorporate these features are identified as collaboration platforms.
Depending on a firm’s specific configuration of features, a collaboration platform could be used for only one or two capabilities, such as to share files. Not all features are available in all solutions, so firms need to consider the purpose of the collaboration they are looking to implement.
The content in this paper is a combined effort of our team of authors. It includes a set of considerations extracted from the experience and interests of the group as a whole, broken out into individual “articles” that address areas of interest in the use of collaboration tools from a law firm IG professional’s perspective, no matter which collaboration platform is selected. The sections vary in topic and length, but each is intended to stand alone as well as in unison, to guide the reader to their conclusions. We feel this format allows the reader to focus on topics that are most relevant to their situation. In some cases, themes may overlap and ideas repeat. When there is an opportunity to reference other sections that provide greater detail, those have been identified and links provided if you are reading this electronically.
We have tried to be consistent with our nomenclature, but please bear in mind that the various platforms can refer to the same features using different names, while some platforms use the same term for different features. When we refer to a team, we are not necessarily referring to MS Teams, but the concept of a shared collaboration space.
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