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Now that my new book "Cloud Computing for Lawyers" is published, I've decided to occasionally highlight legal cloud computing platforms on this blog. These posts will introduce relative newcomers to the legal cloud computing world or showcase significant new features added to the more "seasoned" platforms (many of which I discuss in my book).
Today's featured platform: ContractTailor, a relatively new addition to the legal cloud computing market.
ContractTailor provides document creation software based in the cloud, somewhat similar to the new feature rolled out by Rocket Matter, a legal practice management platform, a few weeks ago and discussed in this prior post. One major difference is that ContractTailor is a standalone product. So you don't have to buy into a full fledged law practice management suite if that's not what you're in the market for. And, obviously, it's a different product, so the interface and features differ.
A few weeks ago, one of the co-founders of ContractTailor, Chilwin Cheng, walked me through a demo of the platform. I found that it offers a simple, understandable interface, although, as is the case with any new software, if will likely take some time to familiarize yourself with its features.
Because ContractTailor is cloud-based, it runs on any type of computer operating system and you simply need an Internet connection in order to access it. Using ContractTailor, lawyers can create many different types of documents, including contracts, statutes and bylaws, and resolutions.
One very useful feature of this platform is that it permits secure sharing and collaboration with clients or other authorized users, which is a especially important, since collaboration oftentimes occurs when drafting documents. And, the system that many laweyrs still use is less than perfect and involves the oftentimes confusing process of sending various drafts of confidential documents back and forth via email (which is an inherently unsecure method of communication even though it has been given the ethical green light by various bar associations).
ContractTailor also offers a unique search funtion that allows users to locate specific clauses and then insert them into the document that you are in the process of creating. As of now, document tagging is not available, which is unfortunate since it would be a very useful tool in terms of labeling and later locating previously created documents and/or clauses used in prior documents. Hopefully tagging will be added in the future, since it's a flexible way to classify and organize information in a way that makes sense to the user.
All in all, it's in interesting product and worth looking into if you're in the market for a standalone SaaS-based document creation system.
ContractTailor offers a 30-day free trial and if you decide to sign up, the cost is $39 per user per month. You can learn more about ContractTailor here.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and GigaOM Pro Analyst. She is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at [email protected]