Collaboration Inside the Office

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
Collaboration Inside
the Office
One of the simplest and yet most effective ways to begin our
discussion on collaboration and collaboration tools is to visu-
alize two different types of collaboration—inside and outside
the office. Technologists often call these two “zones” of collab-
oration “inside the firewall” and “outside the firewall” in ref-
erence to the layer of protection around a company’s private
network. Lawyers who can imagine collaboration tools existing
both inside and outside the office will find it much easier to
understand and address key issues like security, confidential-
ity, ethics, and even feature choices.
In this chapter, we look at collaboration inside the office—
how people work together inside your firm, law department,
government agency, or other organization. In the next chapter,
we turn to external collaboration.
To get an idea of how collaboration works inside the fire-
wall, let’s take a closer look at an average day of an average
lawyer—perhaps someone like you—with an eye toward the
processes that lead you to work with others. Once we illustrate
these processes, we will discuss the best way to determine
the types of tools you will use to collaborate. We then will
suggest that you begin looking at your own work processes to
understand how you can put these tools to work for you as you
collaborate with others in your practice.
Let’s consider a partner in a medium-sized law firm as an
example. This law firm partner will work with other partners,
associates, paralegals, and an assistant on a daily basis. Often
the partner will share these resources with other lawyers. To

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