Since my prior post [Legal OnRamp – A Social Network and Collaborative Platform for Lawyers], Legal OnRamp has rolled out a substantial revision to the site. Legal OnRamp is still in Beta, but the features are growing.
Legal OnRamp now allows lawyers to form ad hoc groups, both public and private. Within the group you can share documents, have bulletin boards, post events and some other collaborative features. For example, the administrators set up a group for legal knowledge management leaders. After I pointing out a better name for the group, they ceded administration of the group over to me.
They have put several collaborative systems into Legal OnRamp. They have several wikis and contribution areas for lawyers to add content. The top content items are items such as appropriate use of email policy, privacy and data protection policy, and a document retention policy.
Legal OnRamp also pulls in static information such as updates from law firms. Allen & Overy has over 600 articles published to the platform.
In Legal OnRamp you can search across the platform. So if you are looking for information on a topic, you may find an article, an FAQ or an attorney expert.
The core audience for Legal OnRamp is in-house counsel. The thought is that law firms will want to join and contribute information so that they can get themselves in front of potential clients.
The goal of Legal OnRamp is to combine a repository of information and a communication platform for lawyers. That seems like a great mix of features
One short-coming I found in Legal OnRamp was the inability to quickly identify people you know who are already in the system. Facebook, LinkedIn and other social network sites allow you to import your address book. Then they analyze which of your contacts are already in the network (and ask you to invite those that are not.) Legal OnRamp is working on adding this feature. Without it you feel very alone. Lawlink presented this same problem. After joining I had no way to find anyone I knew. (Matching up contacts also gives you a few steps to stay in the system and encounter its features.)