Two recent articles by legal technology leaders refresh our memory on the importance of Extranets in client service. 

In Selling Your Law Firm’s Tech (Law Technology News, 6/4/07), Foley & Lardner CIO Douglas Caddell explains the value of technology in client service generally, pointing out that Extranets are valuable but only one example of client-facing technology. He provides guidelines for BigLaw CIOs to market technology internally and externally. For example, he suggests advertising a firm’s tech and indeed I have noticed Foley’s full-page ads in magazines targeting in-house counsel that do just that.

Once you market your Extranet plans, you need to be able to build it! In Extranets 2.0: Using Extranets to Build Client Relationships (Law Technology Today, May 2007) Catalyst Repository founder John Tredennick (also editor of Law Technology Today and the former tech partner / CIO at Holland & Hart) shares his thinking about both high-level Extranet design and tech options for implementing them.

For anyone considering a law firm extranet, both are excellent reading.

Update: 6/12/07 The same issue of Law Technology News, in Upgrading Our Extranet, explains Heller Ehrman’s decision to build its extranet using Microsoft SharePoint.