After several months of beta testing, LeapLaw, a subscription “knowledge base” targeted at corporate associates, in-house counsel and small law firms, introduced its final version Nov. 21. Spearheaded by CEO Denise Annunciata, a former corporate paralegal in Massachusetts, LeapLaw positions itself as a sort of virtual paralegal, providing access to tools and information that will help a lawyer “leap” to completion of a task.
It does this primarily through a database which it says contains more than 2,000 corporate terms and definitions, more than 800 legal forms, another 800 sample corporate votes, a collection of “best practices” guides, and links to outside sources of information. Although focused exclusively on corporate law, LeapLaw promises to add other topics in the future, including real estate, intellectual property, bankruptcy, litigation, employment and contracts.
LeapLaw offers three subscription plans. The basic plan charges by the transaction, at a cost of $35 per inquiry and $15 per form. The silver plan is a site license priced according to the estimated number of users. The platinum plan is a site license that allows for customization using the customer’s own forms, notes and best-practice guides.
Logging on takes a subscriber to a search page. The left column provides links to LeapLaw’s “Connections” and “Laws” pages. The former provide connections to government entities throughout the U.S. in charge of Blue Sky, corporate, trademark, UCC and IRS matters. Users click on a drop-down menu to find a particular state, which takes them out of LeapLaw and onto the pertinent page of the appropriate state agency. The “Laws” section has state corporate, commercial and LLC laws, also linking to offsite sources for the text of these laws.
At the center of the start page is a search form. Enter a search term and you are taken to a results page that lists LeapLaw’s matching topical pages. Search “employment,” for example, and the resulting list shows pages for severance agreements, deferred compensation, covenants not to compete, non-disclosure agreements, and the like. Choose one, and you then go to a topic page that features four standard sections: relevant forms for downloading, related vote language, “LeapLinks” to offsite articles on the topic, and a best practice summary providing an overview of the law.
Many of LeapLaw’s resources actually exist elsewhere on the Internet and are available to anyone free of charge. But LeapLaw does a good job of organizing these into a consistent and useful interface. The content that is unique to LeapLaw is its sample forms and votes and its best practice summaries. All in all, LeapLaw has done a nice job of organizing what it offers. The question for potential subscribers will be, Is it worth the price?