AuthorDennis Kennedy - Tom Mighell
SharePoint is a portal-based collaboration platform from Mic-
rosoft. It might be the most well-known and widely available
collaboration tool for legal professionals, primarily because it
is integrated so closely into the Microsoft Office suite of tools.
It can be obtained on a stand-alone basis, as a service hosted
by a third-party vendor, or as part of an Office 365 subscrip-
tion. SharePoint has drawn a lot of attention from large law
firms, and it has been available since 2001. We’ve often noticed
large audiences at presentations on SharePoint at legal tech-
nology conferences we’ve attended. That said, many Share-
Point users have a love-hate relationship with SharePoint; in
our opinion, the “hate” is most often the result of poorly exe-
cuted SharePoint rollout initiatives, which do not do a good job
of explaining the benefits and simplicity of using SharePoint.
We believe it’s still the best place to start your investigation
of a multi-purpose collaboration platform, especially if you are
running Microsoft Exchange or using Outlook.
SharePoint uses the familiar Microsoft interface and look
and feel. It works within a browser, making it easy for anyone
with an Internet connection to access. It can be used internally
or externally. SharePoint also integrates well with Microsoft
Office products, including OneNote, and it can be configured
to pull data from other law office programs, databases, web-
sites, and other sources. Even right out of the box, it provides
a wealth of collaboration tools as well as easy ways to person-
alize and customize them.
A basic SharePoint site is composed of modules called web
parts, which are components that implement a specified func-
tion, such as a task list, discussion board, calendar, or shared
document area. SharePoint sites are quite customizable, which

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