I sat in a webinar from John Wallbillich‘s Wired GC: Collaborate to Win. The webinar featured Paul Lippe talking about social nature of the law, lawyers and law firms. In large part, Paul pitched the benefits of Legal OnRamp for law departments.
Legal OnRamp has about 6,000 members. Paul does not feel that Legal OnRamp has reached the tipping point yet, but that it is fast approaching.
Paul thinks that lawyers will come from last to first in using collaborative media. He points out that the practice of law is inherently social and very collaborative. The common law is socially constructed. (Most of the primary law materials are in the public domain. After all, judges and regulators are paid with our tax dollars. It is the interpretation and application of that primary law that lawyers do.)
Paul highlighted how law departments using Legal OnRamp could reduce costs and have better collaboration within the department and with external counsel.
Paul went through these benefits of using Legal OnRamp:
- Peer-to-peer discussion. Most problems have been addressed before. It is better to leverage others’ prior knowledge.
- Firms share resources on Legal OnRamp. (It is a great accumulation of legal information on lots of topics from lots of law firms).
- FAQs. Individual lawyers prepare quick answers on specific topics.
- Share recommendations to find the best lawyers. Most lawyers are hired from informal recommendations.
- Help Desk. There are free answers from experts inside law firms.
- Marketplace. A place to ask for lawyers interested in the business. This allows it to be more competitively sourced.
- Create and Share Documents. You can use a wiki to publish a document, get comments and allow others to edit it.
- Free or Low Cost Tools. There are some subscriber based tools. Legal OnRamp is a platform for deploying legal information. Paul showed an application called Baseline NDA. You can import an NDA and compare it to a template for compliance.
- Private Ramp. The platform can be an out-sourced IT tool.
- Department and Department/Firm Collaboration. You can use the platform’s wiki tool to manage your internal information or a place to work with outside counsel.
It was interesting to hear Paul’s take on Legal OnRamp from the in-house perspective. Maybe I just paid less attention to the in-house side since I was in a law firm. I am hearing lots of new things through my new in-house lens.
If you are a lawyer getting laid off, Legal OnRamp is offering some benefits to you:
“At Legal OnRamp, we’re concerned about the recent layoffs of associates in large firms, but also optimistic that this will give those lawyers an opportunity to adapt to the world that’s emerging. As such, even though Legal OnRamp is primarily for inhouse lawyers, we are inviting associates who are being laid off to join. We are putting together a career center with a variety of resources, we have a number of www.legalonramp.com.”, and will support various networking and skills development activities. We have extended that offer directly to the firms and welcome individuals to contact us as well. Just indicate which firm you are being laid off from when you request an invitation at