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What Google Docs Means for the Law

Wired GC has two posts on Google Docs that merit review. (Full disclosure: My husband works for Google, though not on this product, and even my sixth-grade daughter uses Google docs to edit a newspaper that she runs with some friends outside of school). If you're not familiar with Google Docs and how it works, this post from Wired GC offers a neat and simple explanatory video.

But why should you care about Google Docs or other open source, collaborative applications, for that matter? Wired GC responds here. He writes that Google Docs may make some users question why they've been paying so much for complicated collaborative software that Google has made available for free. And by making this application available at no charge, people become more comfortable with "software-as-a-service." Finally, Wired GC concludes:

Getting back to the law, note what is happening here. When you make working together easier, you don’t just do things better. You also do fewer things faster and therefore much cheaper. Much of the business model of the legal industry is based upon doing too many things slower.

Have you or your firm started exploring these kinds of collaboration tools? And is Wired GC right -- is the availability of fairly robust open source applications making lawyers rethink more costly models?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on September 25, 2007 at 05:04 PM | Permalink | Comments (5)

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