Digital White Papers

Social Media WP

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SECURE SOCIAL NETWORKING FOR BETTER ATTORNEY WORKFLOW SOCIAL NETWORKING AS A PRODUCTIVITY TOOL Best-of-breed social network tools should allow users to organize themselves in public and private groups. Each group will have an area for discussion and a virtual library for storing documents. Public groups would permit anyone in the closed community to join while private groups can only be joined with the group owner's permission. Private groups are tantamount to closed-door meetings. On the other hand, public groups are more freewheeling to the extent allowed by the group moderator and might be used for bond-building purposes or for general interest discussions around topics such as intellectual property law development, crossborder litigation and securities law. These groups will increase the quality of the work product of the lawyers as they will be pressured to demonstrate to their colleagues the breadth and depth of knowledge and expertise in their chosen fields of law. Healthy competition among the lawyers will benefit the law firm as a whole. Closed private groups can be used for confidential discussions, information-gathering and document collection by client and professional teams, and for purposes such as possible mergers and acquisitions transactions or litigation materials protected by a court protective order. Once inside these closed private groups, invited clients and professionals can discuss and share documents freely and confidentially. All comments are recorded and ownership of documents is indicated so everyone is on the same page. Once preliminary discussions are completed, a private group can open a project room where budget and milestones can be negotiated or set up as goals. The client and professional team workflow is then constructed around these agreed-upon or specified milestones. Projectrelated discussions and documents can then be shared by the project members. There can no longer be any excuse of lost email messages or misfiled documents on a PC or that someone was left out of the loop. In this project room, every project team member sees the same discussions, documents and milestones. There will not be any spam email messages from different projects cluttering the project discussions because noninvited members (or spam mailers) cannot access the message or document areas. Once the social network platform is adopted and used by the law firm staff and clients, data in the form of discussions and documents would be available for mining by the law firm. The documents and discussions are big data the firm can leverage, analyze and repurpose. NOT QUITE FREE (BUT GETTING CLOSER) The law firm would not incur significant implementation costs if the platform is deployed in the cloud. For example, the costs of storage at AWS is less than 10 cents per GB per month, and the unit cost goes down further for higher data storage. Thus, for example, for 40 TB of use per month, the cost at 10 cents per GB per month ($0.10/GB/month x 40TB x 1,024GB/TB) equals $4,096 per month or $49,152 per year. This is well above the requirements for, say, a mix of 200 small cases of 25 GB each and 25 large cases of 200 GB each for a total of 10 TB. According to the January 2013 article "Cloud vs. Appliance: Comparing the Total Cost for E-Discovery," an in-house system accommodating this amount of data can cost more than $300,000 upfront. With services similar to the Amazon cloud, there would be monthly expenses for renting server and database instances. Depending on desired redundancies, a configuration comprising four Linux-based large reserved instances (medium utilization; c3.large) costs $2,364 upfront for a three-year term, and at $0.049 per hour per instance (i.e., about $141 per month to continuously run four servers). For an extra-large multiavailability zone (AZ) reserved relational database service (RDS) instance (medium utilization), the

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