Categories: Legal Technology

Small Firm, Big Technology


Written by a Paralegal

This article was originally published in the Philadelphia Association of Paralegal's newsletter magazine,The Forum, in Issue #2, 2010.  Further duplication without permission is prohibited. All rights reserved.

By including this article in TASA's Knowledge Center, TASA is not endorsing the products mentioned below.  The article's content is provided in an educational context and appears as part of a forum for legal professionals.  

When you think of a small firm, what words come to mind? Compactfrugal and budget could be some examples. When you compare large and medium firms to small firms, one would assume the smaller firm is constantly trying to catch up to the larger firm. This statement may have been true ten years ago, but not today. When you step outside the box, you will find that smaller firms are steps ahead of the larger ones. With the state of the economy causing large firms to close doors and lay off massive numbers of legal professionals, small firms have been able to maintain their staff and client list. Not only have they managed to stay afloat while large firms sink, they have managed to become leaders on the technology front.

Every quarter, companies unveil new legal technology programs to ensure that businesses and law firms continue the competitive nature of who has the "best toy." When you are able to sift through the rubble of what's new in technology, the name "Courtlink" emerges. Courtlink is a program created by Lexis Nexis. When I first heard of Courtlink, I thought to myself, "I have a Pacer log in, why use something else?" I was surprised when I logged onto Courtlink and realized that this program was the Pacer of 2020. It took Pacer and magnified it by twenty. Courtlink provides the legal professional with access to a large number of federal and state legal cases. Not only do you have access to the calendar proceedings of a lawsuit but also the complete documents that are filed during the course of that suit. This is where Pacer stops and Courtlink really begins. Courtlink provides a RSS feed that informs you when an action has been filed against your client. This program will provide you with alerts for your client and cases. You can also request alerts for newsworthy litigation. Get updates on ongoing cases quickly and research litigation trends. Imagine how surprised your clients will be when you let them know of a suit before they get service.

Courtlink also opens the door for researching your firm profile. This feature allows your firm to improve investment decisions knowing the full risk picture. It allows potential clients to review your firm's attorneys, practice areas and recent cases. Lexis notes that when obtaining Corporate Counsel, you can hire and manage outside counsel more effectively and manage your internal caseload more easily. When it comes to general searches, Courtlink allows you to obtain information on judges and attorneys statewide.

CourtLink is the leader of online docket access, research and case tracking. With the introduction of CourtLink, Lexis Nexis provides searchable access to more than 200 million federal, state and local court records, making it easy to organize and keep track of your case. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, "Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail." There is no longer the stigma that only large firms have access to more technology. With new, affordable programs offered by Lexis Nexis, you no longer need the distinction of being a larger, medium, or smaller firm. The new classification will be, who is the "smarter firm." 

This article discusses issues of general interest and does not give any specific legal, medical, or business advice pertaining to any specific circumstances.  Before acting upon any of its information, you should obtain appropriate advice from a lawyer or other qualified professional. 

This article may not be duplicated, altered, distributed, saved, incorporated into another document or website, or otherwise modified without the permission of the Philadelphia Association of Paralegal’s 

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