Eight months ago, we launched the LawNext Legal Technology Directory, aiming to develop it into the most trusted source available for information and resources on legal technology products. Now, we are taking the next step forward with the launch of version 2.0 of the directory that brings new features and functionality.
As I wrote at the time of the launch, our goal is to develop this into a comprehensive directory of products, reviews, learning resources, and more, where buyers can find trusted information to guide their purchases, and where vendors can help their products be discovered and distinguished.
Here is some of what’s new.
Resource Library of Practical Articles
Something I hear repeatedly from legal professionals, as I wrote here last month, is that it is difficult to find articles that provide practical guidance on choosing, deploying and using legal tech. To address that gap, we are building a freely accessible resource center of practical articles on legal tech – articles written to help lawyers choose and use tech products, written by experts in technology as well as by those who’ve used the tech in the trenches of legal practice.
The beginnings of that resource center are now live. Now, when you go to one of our tech centers, you’ll see a selection of related resources. These are articles that relate to the types of technology covered in that tech center.
For example, in the Document Technology Tech Center, you will now find articles such as:
- HotDocs, The Next Generation: Author and Advance, by Marc Lauritsen and Bart Earle, president and vice president of Capstone Systems.
- Document Assembly: What It Is and How to Evaluate Competing Programs, by Barron Henley, partner, Affinity Consulting Group.
Relevant articles will also appear on category pages. For example, on the category page for Law Practice Management Suites, click the Buyer Resources tab to find articles such as The Ins and Outs of Choosing Legal Software for Your Solo or Small Firm, by Nicole Black, legal technology evangelist at MyCase.
Each author also gets a profile page with biographical information and a list of all articles they have contributed. For example, here is Barron Henley’s.
We are actively seeking new authors to contribute to this library, whether to contribute a single piece, several pieces, or an entire series of pieces. All we ask is that you be either:
- Someone with expertise in legal tech, such as a consultant, advisor, developer, educator, vendor, or otherwise, or
- A user of legal tech with hands-on experience with the tech you write about.
We’ve even made it easy for you to sign up as a writer using our LawNext Author Application.
Feeds of Relevant Legal Tech News
We are aggregating legal tech news from multiple sources and displaying relevant stories on appropriate pages:
- On a tech center page, we show all recent news stories related to that tech center. For example, on the Discovery Tech Center, see the column labeled Latest News for recent stories related to the topic of discovery.
- On a category page, we show all recent news stories related to that category of technology. Click the Press tab to see those stories. For example, here is the news feed on the category page for Law Practice Management Suites.
- On product pages, we show two types of news feeds pertinent to that specific product or the company that makes it. For standard product listings (which are free to vendors), we show the news feed from my LawSites blog. For example, here is the news feed for Blackboiler. For enhanced (paid) product listings, we show the aggregated news feed from all sources. For example, see the news feed on this page for Clio Manage.
I am looking to expand the range of blogs that we aggregate in our feed. If you write a blog that you would like to include, please email me and let me know (ambrogi-at-gmail).
Redesigned Listing Pages
We have redesigned the product listing pages with a less-cluttered layout. Among the changes, for companies with premium listings, they can add their own blog feed and it gets a new sidebar widget. If the company has a How It Works demo video, that also displays in a dedicated sidebar widget.
Reviews Get A Makeover
From the start, we have considered it essential to include user reviews. With this release, we have made several changes to how reviews get submitted and displayed:
- Reviewers can now share private feedback with vendors (premium listings only).
- Reviews now feature open review, pros, cons, and feature ratings.
- A user can now leave reviews directly from a product listing.
Want to review a product you’ve used? You can start here.
New Ranking Algorithm within Categories
We have changed the algorithm for the order in which products are displayed within a category to take into account a greater variety of factors. We believe this will drive more relevant results.
Among the factors that the algorithm considers: primary listing category, secondary listing category, ratings and reviews, and listing completion percentage. Each category can have one sponsor that will appear first in the listing.
Huge Thanks to Our Team
I am extremely fortunate to have as my cofounder Ben Ambrogi, who has worked extremely hard at both evolving the vision for this directory and then making it happen.
We are also extremely fortunate to have been able to partner with the folks at Justia to make this all happen. Tim Stanley, cofounder and CEO, and Vasu Kappettu, COO and CTO, have been generous and patient with their time and advice, as have many others on their team, most notably Andre Caceros, account manager.
Finally, a huge shout-out to Artur Kubalski, the engineer who transformed the directory over the past few months from a WordPress site to this more stable and functional version you see today.
More on How You Can Contribute
The LawNext Legal Technology Directory is intended to be a resource for the entire legal community. Here is how you can be part of it:
- If you are a legal professional, write a review of a product you use or contribute a longer article about your experiences with legal tech for our resource directory.
- If you are a legal tech consultant or expert, contribute an article for our resource center.
- If you are a legal tech blogger or publisher of a legal tech news site, add your stories to our news aggregation feed. (Email me, ambrogi-at-gmail.)
- If you are a legal tech vendor, add your product to our directory. Basic listings are 100% free.
Last but not least, so many people have taken the time to speak with Ben and me and share their ideas, advice, feedback and critiques. We are indebted to you.