The lineage of legal apps grows by one.
Willkie Farr & Gallagher announced its launch last week of Willkie Compliance Concourse, an app that provides users with real-time news, analysis and practice guides in the wide and wild world of compliance.
Focusing specifically on the U.S. and the U.K., the app was essentially designed to give the people what they want: free information. On the continuing legal education front, the Willkie program already is accredited in Texas and New York.
Martin Weinstein, partner and chair of Willkie’s compliance, investigations and enforcement practice group, sees it as an improvement on the email alerts and webinars firms occasionally send to clients.
“We’re providing free content online, because our business has gone to a point where the price-point of big law firms like ours—information that we used to sell, now we give away for free. It’s just a practical reality of where the practice is going,” Weinstein said.
Willkie’s Compliance Concourse dips a toe in compliance issues ranging from data protection to anti-money laundering and insider trading. According to Weinstein, the source material contained therein is both basic and hard to obtain, which denizens would have a difficult time compiling even with the help of a search engine.
The basic idea is to meet the growing desire among clients for information available on demand—no email, phone call or intermediary required. Weinstein, however, is confident that giving away such information does not pose a risk to his firm. After all, information means little without human insight.
“Law firms, at least the law firms that are going to be successful, we have only one product: our judgment. And so the app provides all of the source information, but if you’re asking for judgment, you can’t really get judgment on an app,” Weinstein said.
What you can get on the app is also access to accredited continuing legal education, all related to compliance, of course. After all, clients aren’t the only people in the world used to instant gratification.
Weinstein said practitioners want to be able to fulfill their CLE requirements at their convenience. But that can be a challenge since most legal education parameters differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Users fill out their information inside the app and the firm will help them get credit for the work completed.
“We’re broadening this, and hopefully anybody who has to get a CLE in a particular state, we can help get them,” Weinstein said.