Posts Tagged 'dm'

Docs4Lawyers New Version 1.3.

We’re pleased to announce the release of a new version of Docs4Lawyers (v1.3). This new version incorporates the following improvements and new features:

  • Creation, edition, deletion and search for Clients and Matters.
  • Access to stored documents using the CIFS, HTTP, Webdav and Sharepoint protocols.
  • Client-Matter foldering integrated in Share Sites.
  • Online document previews.
  • Integrated collaborative environment similar to Microsoft Share Point.
  • Sample users and sites including example knowledge taxonomy.

The new version can be downloaded from our portal at http://www.docs4lawyers.com, where you can also find updated documentation.

It can also be downloaded from SourceForge (VMware format) – http://docs4lawyers.svn.sourceforge.net/viewvc/docs4lawyers

Getting Started Guide v1.3 also available in Slideshare – http://www.slideshare.net/docs4lawyers/docs4lawyers-getting-started-guide-v13

Please direct any questions, suggestions to the email address info@docs4lawyers.com.

Here below some screenshots of the new version:

Benefits of Implementing a Document Management System in Law Firms

Maybe you are at the beginning of a document management project, designing the business case or projecting a likely return on investment.  If so, then this article can help you understand the many benefits of implementing such a solution.

So, what are the main reasons why law firms implement a document management system?  Cutting costs and increasing efficiencies are two key factors especially when justifying capital expenditure.  Increased control and security, improved team working and knowledge management are the other main drivers.

The benefits of successful implementations of document management are seen by lawyers, legal support staff, customers, IT staff and the law firm as a whole.  Here we have grouped these benefits into five themes:


Increased Productivity / Efficiencies (doing more law)

  • Less wasted time spending time browsing and searching for information in multiple locations (email, file systems, local drive).
  • No more wasted time retyping documents or working out which version of a document is the latest one.
  • Easier and quicker to share information with other users and groups, in different departments, across physical locations.
  • Work with documents anywhere and anytime.


Cutting Costs (saving money)

  • By centralizing document management services, it is possible to retire old file systems and simplify backups reducing server maintenance and administration costs.
  • By scanning in and promoting use of electronic case files results in multiple cost savings including savings on printers and paper, less administration, and freeing up valuable floor space previously occupied by filing cabinets.


Compliance / Control (minimizing risk)

  • Comply with legislative and regulatory requirements and help with specific processes: for example, new matter intake, conflicts of interest, e-discovery, chinese walls and matter billing.
  • Better document security: single secure central repository, rather than shared drives, local drives and email.
  • Provide detailed auditing of all document activities.


Quality of Product / Service (competitive advantage)

  • Better sharing of documents to external parties (customers, opposing counsel, third parties) through extranet portals or deal rooms.
  • Improved knowledge management leading to better informed lawyers.


Law Firms Reputation (marketing)

  • Is a matter of prestige that the firm is investing in the very best technology to manage their customers’ documents.
  • In order to attract the best lawyers, need to consider that many younger lawyers will have only worked with document management systems during their careers and will be used to the benefits that they bring.

Welcome to Docs4Lawyers!

This project was started at the end of 2008 with the intention of taking a well established concept – document management for law firms – and creating a new pioneering solution to offer to all law firms (large, medium and small) as an alternative to the proprietary products currently offered in the market.

Many law firms will be very happy with their current products, but given the turmoil in the ECM sector over the past few years, many, we believe, will be looking for a new type of solution that is not tied into the software providers and the tight group of integrators offering such solutions.  Also, we believe that there are a great number of small and medium sized firms who wish to deploy this funcionality to their users but have been unable to do so due to the high cost and complexity involved.

We have seen at first hand the challenges faced when implementing the traditional solutions in law firms.  We have also seen in recent times the huge interest being shown in open source technology products and the tendency in the market to move towards a new model of acquiring and implementing IT solutions.  So, by combining high quality open source software with a mature and well understood requirement, we set about building a new document management system for law firms based on the principles of ease of use, ease of deployment, lower cost of implementation and total cost of ownership and above all freedom from the proprietary model of software development and licensing.

Docs4Lawyers is a solution framework built on top of the world-class document management platform from Alfresco Software.  For readers who are not familiar with Alfresco, the company was created in 2005 by the founders of Documentum, Interwoven and other companies like OpenText, Vignette and FileNet.  This domain knowledge combined with expertise from the world of open source and with the backing of an experienced management team and venture capital has provided the foundation for a very successful new player in the ECM market.  The first version of Alfresco was released in 2006 and today has achieved well over 1 million downloads and the company has approaching 1,000 subscribing customers across most market segments, and is one of the most succesful open source companies ever.

We have spent 6 months developing Docs4Lawyers and it is the first open source document management solution specifically designed for law firms.  This initial version is made available for any interested parties to download, test and use as they wish, under the commonly-used GPL licence.

Central to our philosophy is open community collaboration, and as such, we have created the Docs4Lawyers site within the OneWayClear Community Portal to enable people to get hold of useful information, share ideas, provide feedback (good or bad) and also to contribute back to the project.

Over the coming weeks and months we will be posting software updates to the site, and adding informative articles and training materials which we hope you will find useful.

For more information and to register to download the software and documention, please visit www.docs4lawyers.com.

Stay tuned!

Best Regards,
The Docs4Lawyers Team