Technology works for lawyers when it is easy to use and right for the task. Technology works for clients when it is both of these and therefore less expensive in the long run.
One person who understands this is fellow law.com network member Ron Friedmann. Ron helpfully notes a new online legal product from British firm Eversheds.
A demo of this product, which allows preparation of HR-related documents for new employees, can be viewed here (requires Flash 7).
I can’t tell from the firm site or from an article by Richard Susskind what the pricing model for this service is. The firm seems to limit some of such services to existing clients.
One can imagine old-line firm partners reacting to a presentation of potential online legal products, maybe going something like this:
You want to allow clients to what? Prepare documents themselves? Not charge for internal conferences or review? No overnight courier fees? And you want to make partner this year?
I can see enlightened law firms offering more of these online options for clients. They could be priced on a per-use basis (good), offered on flat-fee basis (better), or even free for clients on a retainer scheme for more complex work (perhaps best).
If one of the law firms I use sent me a link to an online solution that could deliver quality work quicker at a lower cost, I would fall out of my chair.
Why? Because it would mean this firm is thinking about solving my problems and not just about raising revenues. With a bit more focus on the former, the latter may be more likely.