I’ll admit, the first thing I thought when I learned that my fellow Above the Law columnist, Bob Ambrogi, was launching a new legal technology directory was, “Do we really need another software directory?” Let’s face it, the internet is overrun with software directories, and most of them aren’t very helpful.
If you’ve recently been in the market for legal software, you know exactly what I mean. It’s hard to miss them since these sites dominate search results. No matter what type of software you’re looking for, there they are, front and center. And when you visit the site, you quickly realize that these are general software directories, and whoever runs them has little to no knowledge of the legal industry or legal technology products.
This glaring deficiency is readily apparent when you click through to view a specific software category only to find that the listing includes a wide, seemingly neverending assortment of legal software tools, some of which fall under that category, and most of which decidedly don’t. If you’re anything like me, once you realized that the site you landed on was utterly useless, you likely ran a few more searches, only to discover similarly unhelpful software review sites. At that point, you probably gave up and went to bed with a headache.
Sound familiar? If so, then you already know precisely why we do need another software review site — one that’s created and managed by a legal technology industry insider. Someone with in-depth knowledge of software products and the companies that produce them. Someone like … Bob Ambrogi!
So forget what I said before. Legal professionals actually need another software directory, but only if it’s focused on the legal industry and provides knowledgeable insight and accurate information about legal software products. Fortunately, that’s exactly what Bob’s LawNext Directory of Legal Technology Products and Buyer Resources does.
The directory provides information in a clear-cut format that is easily navigable. On the homepage, you’re presented with the most popular legal software categories and can also view a list of all of the different software categories available.
Another option available is to research broad categories of legal technology using the “Tech Centers” tab at the top of the home page and then hone in on the specific legal software tools that your organization needs within that category. There are 14 “Tech Center” categories ranging from law practice management and contracting to transaction management and document technology.
Once you click through to a specific software category, you’re provided with a list of software products that you can then sort using whatever method you prefer. Sorting options include “random,” “listing description,” “newest first,” “oldest first,” “title,” “review rating,” and “most reviews.”
You also have the option to sort the listings depending on your needs. For example, you can exclude listings that don’t include the listing features you’d like to see, including screenshots, videos, a discount code, or a demo. You can also sift through the listings by choosing only software that works best with a specific type of legal organization, such as small or medium law firms, government offices, corporate legal departments, or the judiciary.
A software listing includes information about the company, including when it was founded, the name of its president or CEO, links to its social media profiles, and a description of the software. Product features are categorized and listed, and the listing also provides access to product reviews, press coverage about the company, and pricing information. Product resources are also available, including videos, whitepapers and ebooks, and screenshots of the product.
Software listings in the directory also provide information about the categories of software that apply to the product, along with a link to view alternative software tools that fall under the same category as the one you’re viewing.
It’s free for vendors to list their products in the directory, and you can learn more about that here. There are also sponsorship opportunities available to vendors that allow access to premium features.
The bottom line: the LawNext legal technology directory provides legal professionals with a wealth of information and resources about the legal software products on the market.
Of course, it’s not the only legal technology directory out there. There are also a few others I’m aware of, including Legal It Pro’s Legal Technology Directory, Above the Law’s Legal Tech Directory, and the Legaltech Hub.
Some of these directories are more robust than others in terms of their features and coverage, but all provide helpful information far better than what you’ll find on the more general software review sites. So if you’re in the market for new legal software, you’ve got a handful of reliable legal technology directory sites to choose from that will guide and help inform your decision-making process.
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business and Community Relations at MyCase, web-based law practice management software. She’s been blogging since 2005, has written a weekly column for the Daily Record since 2007, is the author of Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York. She’s easily distracted by the potential of bright and shiny tech gadgets, along with good food and wine. You can follow her on Twitter at @nikiblack and she can be reached at email@example.com.