Beta Site Continues to Claim it is First Network for Lawyers

Back in October, I reported the beta launch of wireLawyer.com, which described itself as “the first dedicated digital network created by lawyers for lawyers” and as having “the first crowd-sourced peer-2-peer exchange for documents.” Neither claim was true and, at that point, there was not much to the site.

Now, wireLawyer has once again announced its launch in beta, putting out a press release proclaiming, “wireLawyer Launches First Online Professional Network for the Legal Community.” You have to wonder how a PR person can write a headline like that without at least Googling the claim. Have they really not heard of Legal OnRamp, Martindale Connected, or even the ABA’s ill-fated LegallyMinded? This is all the more surprising given that the site lists LexisNexis and Martindale.com as a “partner,” whatever that means.

One also has to wonder why they would announce a site that is so far from being ready for prime time. The press release describes the site this way:

Drawing on the expertise of the Harvard Law community and Silicon Valley, wireLawyer provides an essential business-to-business platform, allowing lawyers to insource and outsource paid work, access thousands of peer-reviewed documents, and research curated questions, which bring big firm best practices to the entire legal community.

But if you go to the site, most of these promised features are inoperable. Click on “Groups,” “Q&A” or “Transact,” and all you get is a notice proclaiming, “Coming Soon.” So far, wireLawyer is just another site for searching for canned legal forms. Although the press release promises documents that are peer reviewed, the ones I’ve seen all seem to be pulled straight out of EDGAR or somewhere similar.

The press release also lists an elite roster of advisors and backers for the site, including Harvard Law School professors Charles Nesson and Charles Ogletree; Tim Stanley, CEO of Justia.com and co-founder of Findlaw; Martin Roscheisen, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and co-founder of Findlaw and eGroups; Leon Charney, a New York attorney turned wealthy real-estate investor; and Paul Pangaro, Stanford University and New School professor and CTO of several notable startups.

Given the site’s hype and the pedigree, I’ll be interested to see how wireLawyer develops. I just hope that the next time it announces its launch with a big splash, there is something to see there.