What Functionality and Content should I add to my Intranet: Part 5: Content
This is Part 5 of a series I’ve been writing on functionality and content of a law firm intranet. Before I start discussing content, I should note that this list is for an intranet that follows the structure of the firm. It is by no means an exhaustive list but should give you an idea of the type of content on an intranet. The next couple posts will also cover content. Let’s start with the home page.
- Firm-wide Calendar for the week
- Public events and happenings for all offices of the firm regardless of location (annual meetings, fundraisers, holidays, etc.)
- Firm-wide News
- News and updates on the firm for all offices (mergers, new offices, reorganizations, etc.)
- Firm-wide New Employees
- Updates of all new legal and administrative staff joining the firm in all offices, including name, title, job description, email, start date, office, etc.
- Staff Directory
- See list below under Firm-wide page for details
- Time zones
- Shows current time in all offices across all time zones
- Link to weather
- Shows current weather conditions in all offices, pulled from outside source
- Access to applications and software used by the firm if the intranet is the starting point for accessing those resources
Could include things like: firm background and history for employees to read, basic information on policies or procedures that are followed at the firm, locations, management committee and group head lists, etc.
- Committees & leadership lists
- Lists of committee members organized by committee. Could also include links to any committee pages on the intranet
- List of leaders who are responsible for managing some aspect of the firm where a committee may not be necessary. An example of this might be the risk management partner. This list may also include links to intranet pages the partners want maintained to communicate information on the topic they are responsible for.
- Firm policy manual
- Shows all documented and approved policies for appropriate use of firm resources by employees, i.e. computer usage, internet access, vacation time, etc.
- Firm events calendar (ability to filter by group/office/etc & timeframe)
- See above under Home page for description
- Staff directory
- Phone number
- Practice group, area, team, working group, admin department (depends on what is tracked in Human Resources or Active Directory)
- Firm ID number
- Picture, if made available
- Start date
- Home contact info, if made available
- Languages, if available
- Bar admissions, if available
- Links to marketing profiles (for those who have them)
- Special programs
- Pro Bono
- Community Service
This information is specific to each office location, if any, and could include office addresses and directions, hotel and local venue listings, location-specific events and happenings, in/out status of local employees, other location-specific data, such as:
- Location descriptions
- Address, building picture, maps
- Floor maps
- Layout of offices on each floor with office numbers/names
- Office calendars
- Events and happenings specific to each office location
- New employee lists by office
- See above under Home page for details
- Staff Directory by office
- See above under Firm-wide page for details
- Travel information for each office
- What to know when visiting another office, who to call, reservation information, office space availability, etc.
Practice Group Pages
The practice group page is both outward and inward facing. In other words, there is information about the group that would be useful to those not part of it as well as information and resources that only the group needs to see. Providing access to both could be done using links or based on roles. Those who are not part of the group would only see the marketing materials while those who are members of the group would see the inward facing group page as well as having access to the marketing page.
This is a list of the items that would be on the practice group pages. There may be more content depending on the group.
- Marketing materials that help individuals in other practice groups understand the services offered by the group and the individuals to contact or refer a client to
- Group news
- Secure access to practice group information and resources to be used by practice group members in all offices only
- Member list with links to Staff Directory (or link to Staff Directory with results limited to practice group)
- Group-specific calendar
- Forms – those developed by the firm or available through a 3rd party vendor
- Precedents or sample documents
- Mentoring program (could be under Firm or Office instead or in addition to depending on the firm)
- Most often used research resources specific to group
- Marketing lists/information
- Current matter list
Practice Area/Client Team/Industry Team/Working Group Pages
Information and resources on these pages will probably be similar to practice group pages but will focus on more specific practice, client, industry, etc. content. Note: Providing role-based access to these pages depends on the firm tracking membership of groups, areas, and teams on a more granular level.
I worked with one firm that wanted to provide access to these types of pages but were using active directory for authentication. In their case, the IT staff did not track more than membership to one group and did not want to be responsible for keeping track of this information that would, most likely, change at a whim. At the same time, no one else was responsible for tracking who belonged to what group/team. They had no option for providing the role-based access they wanted.
This post provided lists of content that may be available on a basic organization centric intranet. We’ve covered firm-wide, office-wide and practice group content. Part 6 will cover content for client/matter pages followed by Part 7 which will cover administrative department content.
I’m enjoying working on these posts and would love to get some feedback. Any comments?