Tips & Tricks: The Office: Lexis Partners with Microsoft

0000000540_20060919015544_paper The partnership I'm referring to was recently revealed at LegalTech in New York, but the benefits won't be available until later this year.

Nevertheless, this is exciting news for anyone with licenses to both LexisNexis and Microsoft Office 2007.  Lexis will be integrated into the Office 2007 suite of products (which includes Outlook and SharePoint) and will be available for Office 2010, when it's released.  This means no more back & forth between the Web and Office when performing legal research.

The new product is aptly named, "Lexis for Microsoft Office".  One interesting item of note; many firms use WordPerfect because of its outstanding legal tools and have been understandably reluctant to migrate to MS Office.  It'll be interesting to see how this new partnership influences the future direction of law firms.

Let me give you my position.  I'm someone who, as a Consultant, is always attempting to travel the shortest distance between two points (which, as we know, is a straight line).  With that in mind, when I've gone into companies, if they have an established suite of products, unless there's a glaring need to change, I try to keep them within the same parameters.

This has absolutely nothing to do with which products I find superior; it's purely in an attempt to limit the number of vendors, and it has a practical purpose (you IT'ers out there know exactly what I mean).  To illustrate (and I'm not pointing fingers here…), how many of you have contacted vendor support for two products, say, Lotus Notes living on a Novell server and had support from both companies deflect from addressing your issue by saying "it's their problem"?

If you have Microsoft Office living on a Microsoft Server, that problem is eliminated because all they can do is point fingers at themselves.

In that context, if a firm is already heavily-invested in LexisNexis and Microsoft products, but still holding on to WordPerfect, perhaps someone in IT thinks this is the time to make a change.

Ever since I joined the executive committee of the State Bar of California's Law Practice Management & Technology Section, my thought processes have modified somewhat to thinking more about 'law practice management' along with the 'technology' aspects.