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Pend time with corporate counsel, and you know they like their digital toys as much as anyone else. Chances are that during any overly long meeting, they’re covertly tapping e-mails into their BlackBerrys. And as soon as there’s a break, they take out their new GSM cell phones to retrieve messages. But we wanted to go beyond anecdotal evidence to see exactly what kind of technology in-house lawyers use — and how those tools have changed department culture and practices. The results of Corporate Counsel’s first technology survey were surprising — and perhaps, a bit unnerving. The data was compiled by research editor Rosemarie Clancy. The scoop: Just like the rest of corporate America, the lead-up to 2000 brought a rush of spending on computers, servers, software, and communication devices. But while big law firms were learning about knowledge management systems and establishing intranets and extranets, you, just like Sherry in accounting, were issued Microsoft Office and Outlook. Hey, it works; with a few Word templates, a lawyer can draft a legal memo or even a motion, and with Outlook, it’s easy to send that memo out to department colleagues worldwide. But let’s be blunt: Many in-house counsel are way behind when it comes to the important stuff. With the Sarbanes-Oxley corporate governance legislation the law of the land, in-house lawyers will have to supply the government with a lot more information about how their companies do business. Compiling it the old-fashioned way is slow and could lead to missed deadlines, if not legal penalties. So read on. We’ll tell you what you’re doing wrong, who’s on the leading edge and probably doing everything right, and, in our master chart, who among your Fortune 500 colleagues are getting with the program. Or not.

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