Here's the first of our reports on new product & service launches from LegalTech New York…

LegalRelay is a new online forum and community for legal IT users to anonymously rate and review legal technology vendors. The company describes LegalRelay as “like Amazon reviews for legal technology.” It claims to be the first and only resource for legal technology users to anonymously post opinions and experiences about the products and services they buy and use. Did the product live up to the sales pitch? Was the installation more costly or complex than you expected? Is the interface so confusing that your users can't figure out how to use the product? Has adoption exceeded your projections? Did you see the financial and operational benefits you expected?

According to president & founder John Gilman “The marketplace for legal software, technology and services is challenging for consumers to navigate. When law firms or legal departments are buying, it’s not easy to identify the best products for consideration or to differentiate between the capabilities of each one. That’s where LegalRelay comes in.” The company blurb goes on to say…

LegalRelay Resources for Law Firms and Legal Departments
• Read peer reviews of products and services to help decide which vendors to consider or buy from

• Anonymously post reviews of legal technology products and services
• Participate in an active discussion within the legal community
 
LegalRelay Resources for Legal Technology Vendors
• Opportunity to engage with prospective and current customers in an open forum
• Dramatically increase volume of customer testimonials, without need for marketing department approvals, showing how their products actually perform in the field
• Dramatically increase qualified leads and opportunities flowing into sales pipeline
 
For more information visit www.LegalRelay.com

Comment: Let users post anonymous reviews! How do you police against bogus reviews from competitors? How do you police against tame reviews that have been drafted by vendor PR departments? (Same problem with Amazon reviews where authors can review their own novels etc.) How do you deal with crank/loonie/aggrieved users? How do you avoid libel lawyers having a field day? As we know from the UK – where the English Law Society's old Software Solutions Guide, the old LOTIES Awards and the ILCA's Software Users Awards have all come in for criticism and suspicion – it is very difficult to prevent vendors from grooming their users to deliver positive reviews. Similarly, all vendors have some awkward users with unreasonable grudges and axes to grind whenever they get the opportunity.