Extending SharePoint for Legal Document ManagementClearPeople (news, site) and Microsoft (news, site) recently published a case study that highlights how the SharePoint platform can be leveraged for vertical document management solutions. In this case, we see how SharePoint has been extended to provide legal document management capabilities, clearly demonstrating that SharePoint can be much more than a simple file share.

Going Legal With SharePoint

ClearPeople is an expert hand when it comes to tweaking SharePoint systems for the legal community. The company began as a legal services specialist. However, it also offers tools with a wider appeal, such as the recently launched PeoplePoint and CorpCast.

A recently published case study from Microsoft highlights ClearPeople's work with Kinstellar, an Eastern Europe-based spin-off of global law firm Linklaters. Tasked with the aim of making it easier to manage legal documents, the information within and maintaining a consistent version history, ClearPeople used SharePoint as a base from which to add its own software and features.

Study the Law

The study outlines how ClearPeople deployed a document management system successfully using both SharePoint and WISDOM DMF, from MacroView. The project was turned around in just six weeks and enabled Kinstellar to browse its legal files in SharePoint libraries.

This makes it easier to search for relevant client or subject information across the library using standard Office applications and drag and drop information into Outlook.

ClearPeople - Making legal docs accessible


WISDOM is a document management framework that builds upon the existing features of SharePoint. Using a Microsoft SQL Server, the .NET framework and MOSS, it adds unique codes to documents for legal identity purposes. Even imported PDF files are tagged to match the rest of the client/project style used by all legal firms. It also improves on SharePoint's security features, allowing contributors to set document security levels, something not possible in basic SharePoint.

SharePoint's search abilities and results are upgraded

WISDOM Enterprise Search -- a license which comes with WISDOM DMF -- makes it easy to create and maintain custom user interfaces to MOSS Search. Customized search user interfaces are maintained by editing an XML configuration file -- custom .NET development is not required.

This deployment shows how the introduction of the right software can allow users to get on with their business and achieve more, while reducing the amount of time spent wasted on fruitless searching.

It also demonstrates that SharePoint can be extended and used to create point solutions that help organizations in their day to day work activities.

SharePoint is a useful tool as is, but with the right tweaks can be turned into a valuable powerhouse for users.