Collaboration has always lacked finesse trying to overcome the norm of using attachments at our firm. The interface of Google Apps allows more intuitive collaboration. Documents are meant to share and collect information between multiple people.
Providing information to collect or take action is the point of the creating a document. Collaboration among attorneys, their paralegals and secretarial staff is contained in our document management system but almost always, it ends up in collections of various versions, copies and dispersed virtual paper scattered about like a copy of copies like a mixed bag of nuts.
Our current approach is the norm for many firms. Due to complexity of the types of document i.e., pleadings, interrogatories, and briefs and the required security and metadata scrubbing for each document; it is the document creation, save in document management system, email out a copy of the document, then wait until edits are completed and then you get a copy back. Put those edits in document management system, make edits again, the put back into the document management system and then send another copy out to be edited.
All these steps can be done within Google Apps, rather than in multiple programs, and it is simple to share out to a client or team staff. The changes are automatically tracked, keeping your original protected, but allowing for instant edits and comments in real time, bringing the final document creation to complete in a time that is reasonable to a client at a billable hour.
Important to a law firm is to get the document secure, edited, and completed in a time with minimal effort, controlling billable time meeting the important court deadline or requirements set forth by our clients. Efficiency is a must, as is and seamless sharing with the client.
Google allows for intuitive controls to control the collaboration environment reducing clutter and controls for securing the documents in an easy way.
The addition to the new Google+ for Google Apps and our cloud based document management allows for tight collaboration among our internal staff and potential for use of outside client collaboration and conferencing abilities.
This site does not provide legal advice, and any opinions expressed on this site are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of my firm I am employed, Fowler Measle & Bell PLLC and is not associated with Google.