Law firms adapt notoriously slowly to the advance of technology. Firm libraries remained years after Westlaw and Lexis usurped print. Fax machines continued to whir after the advent of the PDF. The pyramid scheme of career advancement rolls on.
So it’s refreshing when law firms take the bull by the horns and seize on new technology. A few Biglaw firms have created smartphone apps as a new avenue for putting their work product in front of clients.
Think “Texts From Last Night” with more tax analysis.
What Biglaw apps are out there?
Latham and Watkins is the most prolific Biglaw app developer, with an entire library of “The Book of Jargon” to explain those pesky legal terms clients might come across, and now an app that helps clients learn more about overseas anti-bribery laws.
I’m sure that earned the “explicit material” tag on iTunes.
Other firms in the app game include:
• Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has a global sourcing app that helps users calculate costs in outsourcing contracts.
• Baker & McKenzie has an app summarizing legal and tax issues for public companies granting employee stock options overseas.
• O’Melveny & Myers provides an introduction to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its app. It also reports on related enforcement actions and settlements.
Pillsbury’s app is particularly useful. Someone looking to cut costs by outsourcing their workforce to India is the exact audience for something that outsources legal work to a machine.
Kidding aside, a well-crafted app can not only provide legal advice, but functions as a firm résumé, previewing polished work product for prospective clients.
Meanwhile, there’s a pretty decent app simulating the first-year associate experience.
BigLaw Rolls Out Apps For Clients; Effort Sends Message ‘This Isn’t Your Grandfather’s Law Firm’ [ABA Journal]
Latham & Watkins Mobile Apps [Latham & Watkins]
PGS Toolbox [iTunes]
Global Equity Questions? There’s an App For That. [Baker & McKenzie]
OMM FCPA [iTunes]