Any lawyer who must collaborate with others--that's all lawyers, by the way--should take a look at The Lawyer's Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
Recently published by the ABA Law Practice Management Section, this book is a cutting-edge survey of the technological tools and resources available to lawyers who want to increase their productivity by working together.
Collaboration runs the gamut from small projects like jointly editing a document to large ones like years-long document reviews. Collaboration can take place within single firms or across many firms.
No matter what the size or scope of your project, this book will get you started. Sections include the following:
- Collaboration on Cases, Transactions, and Projects
- Commonly Used Collaboration Platforms
- Developing a Collaboration Strategy
Since my own practice includes many joint ventures with differing plaintiffs' firm, each involving a single distinct groups of cases such as asbestos or Vioxx, I've been looking forward to reading this book since I first heard Kennedy and Mighell were writing it. (The three of us have collaborated ourselves from time to time.) Book finally in hand, I'm sure I'll find new and more effective ways to communicate with the lawyers on my team.
I'm especially having fun working my way through Appendix 3, which lists "tools by category," with web links to resources for conference calls, email, extranets, instant messaging, metadata removal tools, online meeting tools, online office tools, open-source software, PDF creation and management, project management, redlining tools, screen-sharing meeting tools, SharePoint tools, high-end platforms, wikis, file sharing, mind mapping, and social networking.
That's quite a list--which gives you an indication of the breadth and scope of Kennedy and Mighell's work. Recommended.