Peer to Peer Magazine

Winter 2018

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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Page 22 of 67

24 I 'll come right out and say it. Our firm uses ProLaw. ProLaw is a great application that packs a lot of value into a very reasonable price point. It does Case Management, Contact Management, Docket Management including legalex rules sets, Document Management, Document Generation, Conflicts, Billing, Auditing and a bunch of other smaller things. It is also geared for small to medium firms, and arguably we have outgrown it. Our biggest complaints are the interface, and some of the architecture decisions that have been made along its long life through the DOS years, Delphi GUI, and now a rewrite to .NET. It's easy to fault it, but it's been very good to us over the years all in all. Getting to those interface and architecture decisions, we at Fish have always been big on making full use of our investments, be that in support of reporting, case management, mobility, or a combination. One of the more esoteric functions of ProLaw that our firm had been using was in support of our conflicts clearance process. Enter your case info into the application and change the status to "Pending" and it would appear in a voting interface for all legal staff to raise business or ethical conflict issues. These would be reviewed, resolved, and the matter would open, or it wouldn't. While valuable, a few problems with this process caused the firm to look for solutions. 1) In a larger firm with more volume of new matters and new clients, this could lead to a lot of otherwise billable time being spent to clear new work coming in. 2) The other issue is that there was no true barrier to working on an uncleared matter which may later need to be closed and time written off. The solution to the first problem was also the second project I ever worked on at Fish. I took their interface as it sat, and made a duplicate web version, but with a few enhancements on the back end. By today's standards, it is pretty rough, but was not bad when it launched in late 2005. Speaking on the technical side, it still read from the ProLaw pending matters and voting tables, but being on the web, it no longer required a user to launch the whole ProLaw interface to use. This made it much more light weight and improved speed quite a bit, especially for users on VPN. To make the web app even faster, we chose not to use traditional page load processing and used a manual version of what would come to be known as Ajax. The real benefit though was that it allowed users to vote on many fewer matters as configured by the Risk Department and voters themselves. There were certain matters you would always see, Recruiting, New Client, Matters with Adverse Parties, but if it didn't meet those criteria, you Blood from a Stone - How to Get Value from Legacy Applications C A S E S T U D I E S B Y B R O W N I E A . D AV I S ProLaw Series – 1 ProLaw is a great application that packs a lot of value into a very reasonable price point.

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