Legal professionals can now calculate and manage court deadlines from within Microsoft Teams, Microsoft’s workplace collaboration software, with the release this week by court deadline calculator LawToolBox of its Deadline App for Microsoft Teams.

This new app for Teams builds on the functionality of the company’s app LawToolBox365 Office for Legal, which is an Outlook add-in that integrates with Office 365 to enable legal professionals to manage court deadlines entirely from within Outlook. With the teams app, users can jump back and forth between Teams and Outlook to manage the same matters.

Jack Grow, president of LawToolBox, told me last week that Teams is becoming a popular collaboration tool at larger law firms. Adoption is likely to increase even more following Microsoft’s announcement last week that it now offers a free version of Teams for organizations of up to 300 people.

The Teams app is identical to the Outlook app in its functionality. Members of a team can work in either Outlook or Teams, based on their own preferred workflows. Among the tasks that users can perform within Teams:

  • Calculate litigation and administrative deadlines based on applicable rules.
  • Add, update and remove case-specific deadlines. Update team member Outlook calendars as deadlines and users change.
  • View, email and share deadlines for a matter, user, team or firm-wide.
  • Filter by recent matters, user matters, firm matters, or matter name.
  • View analytics showing average length of matters and motions.
  • Use Microsoft Power BI to analyze relationships with co-workers.
  • Search files in Microsoft SharePoint using key words and phrases.

The app includes the ability to display analytics on both matters and motions. For matters, you can retrieve statistics on the average length of a matter in the venue or ruleset for that matter.

You can see the statistics at three levels: across all of LawToolBox on an anonymized basis, across all matters in your firm, and for any matters that has been shared to you. Motion analytics give you the average length of a motion, from date of filing until the date of the order, in the venue or ruleset for that matter.

For either of these sets of analytics, you can see the statistics at three levels: across all of LawToolBox on an anonymized basis, across all matters in your firm, and for any matters that has been shared to you.

“This integration with Microsoft Teams is a powerful and crucial step in our mission to help good attorneys become great attorneys, and to deliver next-generation deadline management tools for law firms and corporate legal departments,” Grow said in a statement announcing the app.

Read more about it at the LawToolBox website. Information on subscription pricing for the Office 365 edition of LawToolBox can be found here.

The deadline calculator application LawToolBox is in the running for a 2017 Office App People’s Choice Award — notable because, of the nine apps in contention, it is the only one designed for legal professionals.

The People’s Choice Award is given to the Microsoft Office 365 add-in or app that receives the most votes. Deadline for voting is Sept. 22.

The award is part of the broader 2017 Office APP Awards, where Microsoft recognizes the best of add-ins and apps developed by its partners.

LawToolBox is in the running for its LawToolBox365 add-in for Office 365. A blog post announcing the awards describes it this way:

LawToolBox is an all-in-one court rules provider, custom deadline template provider, and deadline management system that offers solutions for law firms and legal departments to automatically calculate deadlines for matters or projects based on the rules of civil procedure for state and federal courts in all 50 states.

If you want to cast a vote for LawToolBox, you can do so here.

LawToolBox365
Calculate deadlines directly from information in emails.

LawToolBox, the online, rules-based deadline calculator that I reviewed in some depth in 2013, today is announcing that its LawToolBox365 — which brings rules-based calendaring and matter-based deadlines directly into Microsoft Outlook — is now available to the legal market as part of a bundle with Microsoft Office 365.

In partnership with Ingram Micro, the largest Microsoft Office 365 distributor in the U.S. and worldwide, LawToolBox365 is being offered as an add-on for legal, bundled into the Office 365 purchase process, as well as a la carte for firms that already have an Office 365 subscription.

The bundle is available to law firms and corporate legal departments through authorized resellers. Resellers can purchase it through the Ingram Cloud Marketplace. LawToolBox will be the first company that sells exclusively to the legal market to be listed in the Cloud Marketplace’s legal vertical.

Subscription packages are available for both law firms and legal departments, either as monthly or annual pre-paid subscriptions. The packages work with all versions of Office 365, except Office 365 Home editions. LawToolBox365 also works with Office 365 for iPad and Office 365 with Outlook on Mac (on premise and in the cloud).

An Outlook Add-In

Although LawToolBox has long integrated with Outlook through an Office 365 app, the integration was one way, requiring all calculations and changes to be made through the LawToolBox website, after which the app would add the dates to the Outlook calendar.

But recently, the company launched LawToolBox365, an add-in that creates a much more robust integration that resides entirely within Office 365. According to the company, 70 percent of law firms rely on Outlook to manage case deadlines. So enabling deadline calculations and calendaring directly within Outlook is significant.

As I reported here in April, LawToolBox365 enables users to calculate, view and share deadlines directly within Outlook. One cool feature is the ability to calculate and recalculate deadlines directly from emails, including from PACER emails. Deadlines you calculate using this add-in are also added to your case-management system if it has two-way sync to Outlook.

With the add-in, three new buttons are added to the Outlook ribbon bar that enable users to work with deadlines:

  • Calculate Deadlines. This button enables users to quickly calculate deadlines based on state and federal court rules for all 50 states. Select a state, a court rule set, and a trigger date and the deadlines are calculated and added to Outlook.
  • Share Deadlines. This button permits a user to share case deadlines internally to Outlook calendars and externally to Google, Outlook, iCal and Lotus Notes calendars.
  • View Deadlines. This button gives attorneys one-click access to deadline reports for their matters and gives law firms a centralized and matter-centric management system of deadlines, all within Outlook.

When drafting an email, the attorney is able to pull up a deadline chart for a matter and insert all or selected deadlines into the email. The add-in also enables users to insert boilerplate language about calendar events directly into an email message. This is useful to insert standard language in an email to a client about a deposition or to opposing counsel about a meet and confer, for example.

If a court’s deadline rules change for one of your matters, LawToolBox notifies you and can automatically recalculate all the deadlines.

Getting More Information

For resellers interested in learning more about the LawToolBox365 bundles, LawToolBox has added a resellers page to its website with information and links. To learn more about LawToolBox365 itself, visit this page.

Below is a video that provides more information on LawToolBox365 bundled with Office 365. A separate video for resellers is available on the resellers’ page mentioned above.