First Steps

AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
First Steps
Choosing collaboration tools is surprisingly easy. In fact, you
probably are already using many of them every day. Con-
sciously choosing collaboration tools that will work best for
you in your law practice is a different story.
The simple fact is that most of us collaborate by using tools
chosen for us by others or those we simply use by default or
by habit. Today, most drafts of legal documents are exchanged
as unlocked Microsoft Word files. These files are attached to
unencrypted emails sent out over the open Internet to email
systems with questionable security. Spam filters might delete
the email before it is delivered to its intended recipient. If you
were designing an effective document collaboration system
from scratch, email is not likely the system you would choose.
Before you can begin to select collaboration tools or
move to new ones, you’ll need to rethink some of the ways
you currently work with others. This chapter will provide you
with practical, easy-to-accomplish steps that can help you get
started with collaboration tools.
Let’s start with a few basic principles:
1. For better or worse, you already have a system (or
systems) for collaboration. You may not fully under-
stand them, and you might not have chosen them for
yourself, but they do exist and you do use them.
2. Your technology decisions must be made in the
context of and in consideration for the systems you
already have in place. For example, you may decide to
buy some scanners and implement a paperless office,
but until you fully understand the flow and lifecycle
of paper in your office, your odds of implementing the

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