The Legal Technology Awards list is out. The number of categories, providers and products may seem bewildering, but their web sites give a good idea of what they do. Follow some links and see what maps to the problems which your firm or company faces.
The Legal Technology Awards come in two waves, the juried awards (broadly for individuals, law firm departments, inspired uses of technology and so on) and the vendor categories which are voted for by those who use them. There are about 33 categories and up to three awards in each of the vendor categories. I will not list them all because Monica Bay has already done that here for the juried awards and here for the vendor awards.
It will not mean much to a UK audience that Craig Ball is Consultant of the Year, but that will not surprise a US audience. He turns up everywhere – consulting, acting as Special Master, speaking at conferences and writing strongly-worded pieces which entertain whilst conveying good knowledge. If there was an award for Polymath Stakhanovite of the Year (“Wikipedia is there when you need it” as they say if Aleksey Stakhanov passed you by at school), Craig would probably get that as well. A man who puts Nuix on his Christmas list must indeed warrant the title Geek.
Many of the vendors are known on both sides of the Atlantic or soon will be. It is a fair bet that we will see Index Engines, whose Unified Discovery Platform took Gold for New Product of the Year and Silver in the Litigation Support Software and Records Management categories – not a bad triple for a company we had barely heard of this time last year. I met CEO Tim Williams in London recently and will take up his invitation to see the product at LegalTech (I suspect that booking might be advisable in the light of these awards).
I am not sure why LexisNexis’ CaseMap 8 on its own appears under the heading Case Management Software for Large Firms whilst “CaseMap 8 with DocPreviewer” appears on the list for Mid-Sized Firms. CaseMap is a good product with or without DocPreviewer (and one I use daily) but not an obvious neighbour in category terms for FTI’s Document Mapper for Ringtail Legal which took Silver in the Large Firm category – the advantage of public votes is that the “wisdom of crowds” and serendipity produces such juxtapositions. Document Mapper is part of what FTI got when it bought the iconic Attenex. Its tagline “Quick Insight into What Matters” is a good plain English description of what it does, and the workflow integration with FTI’s Ringtail Legal was already in hand before the acquisition of Attenex.
If Craig Ball is allowed to put Nuix on his Christmas list then perhaps I can have Document Mapper. A bit OTT for a one-man band perhaps, but I am trying to clear up several years of roughly-sorted data and a quick go with Document Mapper would fix it in a trice. The “patterns” which (I imagine) give it its name are not always the obvious ones when you approach an unfamiliar document collection, and it throws light in dark corners very quickly.
Autonomy turns up under multiple headings, as one would expect – EDD Services Analysis, EDD Services Identification, EDD Services Preservation, Knowledge Management System, and with Gold in Records Management Software for iManage RecordsManager.
The only provider to beat this number of entries is CT Summation which turns up in six categories. Wave Software’s Trident EDD processing software turns up twice, as does the growing consultant firm Altep – I mention these two companies partly because I know them but also because they are smaller companies than many of the other winners but with growing reach, as the votes imply.
If there was a supplementary prize for both winning in a category and getting the word out about it quickly, Recommind would win, thanks to Craig Carpenter’s adroit use of Twitter to tell us about the Knowledge Management Gold for MindServer Search in the Knowledge Management System category.
To those of you who stare at these lists and despair at the number and diversity of them, the LTN category headings (and in particular the division in some categories between large and small firms) are a useful way of deciding where to begin. Follow some of the links given above and down the side of this page (that is why I put them there) and get a feel for what the products do. Dig out the dull lists of functions – the high-flown marketing stuff palls after a while, but the recitals of what these applications actually do can give you something which you can relate to your own practice. Pick two or three of them, whether LTN category winners or sponsors of this site (or both), and make contact with them.