Pro Bono Net Selects XMLAW to Build New Law Firm Service on Microsoft SharePoint 2007 Platform

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With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the new Pro Bono Net Service will be designed and built to support law firms in managing their in-house pro bono work.

XMLAW announced today that Pro Bono Net has selected XMLAW and the Microsoft SharePoint 2007 platform to develop its new Law Firm Service. The Law Firm Service will enable law firms of all sizes to more effectively manage their in-house pro bono programs. Firms will be able to easily track the status of pro bono matters, generate critical reports on pro bono performance, manage valuable content, and match attorneys with pro bono opportunities via Pro Bono Net’s extensive nationwide network of nonprofit providers. Building on Microsoft’s SharePoint 2007 platform, XMLAW will provide consulting, custom development, and off-the-shelf products.

For more than four years, XMLAW, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has been providing SharePoint-based products and services to law firms implementing intranets and extranets. The company will leverage this experience with its understanding of SharePoint 2007 to build the Pro Bono Net Law Firm Service.

Pro Bono Net, a national leader in the use of web-based technology to support the nonprofit legal sector, first conceived the Law Firm Service in 2004 and was a finalist in the prestigious Yale Goldman Sachs Foundation nonprofit business plan competition in that year. Pro Bono Net later received a $1M special projects grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation in 2005 to support development of the Law Firm Service as an earned income venture.

“We reviewed all the major portal players and their partners and concluded that XMLAW’s deep legal industry knowledge combined with Microsoft SharePoint’s robust extranet capabilities will easily support our customer’s needs now and into the future,” said Adam E. Licht, Pro Bono Net’s Director of Product Management.

“The Law Firm Service will centralize all information related to a firm’s pro bono program and its tools will greatly simplify internal promotion of pro bono as well as reporting, staffing and oversight,” added Pro Bono Net Executive Director Mark O’Brien. “In addition to time and cost savings and increased efficiency, the Service will help firms increase volunteer participation and improve outcomes for pro bono clients.”

Top tier law firms are increasingly committed to pro bono work to fulfill their ethical obligations and as a means to give back to their communities. While advancing the public good, pro bono work can also help firms achieve core business objectives, including aiding marketing and brand-building efforts and helping firms stand out in a competitive market. Pro bono work also provides valuable training to younger associates and can be important for recruitment and retention.

“We are pleased that Pro Bono Net selected the SharePoint platform for its Law Firm Service,” said Norm Thomas, Partner Business Development Director at Microsoft. “By selecting XMLAW, Pro Bono Net will benefit from working with a Gold Certified Partner that has a deep understanding of the legal market and a very successful track record of building on the SharePoint platform to meet the needs of their customers.”

The Law Firm Service will be a hosted application offering a robust tool set, including:

o Greater reporting capacity and oversight on pro bono activities,

o Increased support for coordinators and associates through access to a comprehensive library of model briefs and pleadings, training materials, discussion groups and pro bono news and events, and

o Ability to search pro bono opportunities provided through Pro Bono Net’s extensive network of legal aid organizations according to the preferences and requirements of a law firm and its attorneys.

“SharePoint 2007 provides the most robust and full-featured platform for meeting the needs of Pro Bono Net and the law firms they serve,” said Rob Saccone, President and CEO of XMLAW. “Combined with our products and understanding of law firm operations, Pro Bono Net will have a world-class system to help them fulfill their mission.”

SharePoint 2007, currently in public BETA 2 release, is scheduled for full release in Q1 2007.

About XMLAW

XMLAW is the leading provider of SharePoint products to the legal industry that enable firms to rapidly deliver high-value, easy-to-use portals designed to streamline operations, grow practices, and differentiate their services. XMLAW provides application integration, enterprise search capability, and legal-specific portal context. Tightly integrated and working in unison with the SharePoint framework, XMLAW’s Enterprise Portal System is the only complete solution on the market enabling firms to deliver all their knowledge sources and application functionality in an easy-to-use, consistent interface to professionals, clients, and administrative and technical staff. For more information, please visit http://www.xmlaw.net.

About Pro Bono Net

Pro Bono Net is a national nonprofit organization based in New York City that works to increase access to justice for the millions of low income people who face legal problems every year without help from a lawyer. Attorneys from 98 of the Am Law 100 firms and numerous prominent legal aid and pro bono organizations around the country depend on Pro Bono Net’s web based resources to more effectively serve their clients, including victims of domestic violence, refugees, victims of discrimination and other vulnerable people. Pro Bono Net’s geographic coverage includes 70 percent of both the nation’s attorneys and those living below the poverty level. The organization is supported by a wide range of foundations, law firms, and corporate sponsors. For more information, please visit http://www.probono.net and http://www.LawHelp.org.

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Jeffrey Wolf
XMLAW
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