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Frequently Asked Questions

Who is involved in the SALI Alliance?

The SALI Alliance is an independent non-profit organization open to all stakeholders in the legal community. Members include law firms, companies, legal service providers, legal industry associations and academic institutions. The founding sponsors of The SALI Alliance are the Legal Marketing Association (LMA) and the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA).

Why should my organization join the SALI Alliance?

As a member:

  • You have direct access to standards drafts in process and can have a prominent voice in defining standards for the legal service market
  • You can network with the an active community of legal innovators

What comprises the Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMSS)?

The LMSS is comprised of three parts:

  1. Code Sets — There are more than a dozen standardized code sets that define the “common language” for describing different aspects of legal matters.
  2. A Structure — The LMSS structure is a database format that defines how the codes, descriptions and values relate to each other.
  3. APIs — The programming interfaces provide a way to easily support and implement the standard.

The code sets the structure are currently available in Draft LMSS Revision 2.

How can I use the Legal Matter Specification Standard (LMSS) today?

The standard is designed to support current systems as well as future advanced systems. You can use parts of the LMSS, the LMSS as is, or you can extend it to meet your organization’s needs.

Need to profile current system data to gain useful insights?  
If you are implementing workflows, business intelligence systems or machine learning systems, you need to tag or profile your information with metadata. The LMSS codes sets can men used as that metadata. The code sets cover more than a dozen aspects of legal matters.

Need to develop or update a matter taxonomy? 
Whether you are revamping your matter intake process or preparing data for an advanced workflow, you need a solid taxonomy to profile your information. Most law firms and corporate legal departments have coding systems that have grown over the years and are difficult to use because they usually conflate some combination of practice, process, industry and product. You can use the LMSS which has been normalized to separate these different aspects of matters. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. And because LMSS has an extension mechanism, you can extend the codes to meet your organization’s need if they are not as specific as you need

Need to develop an experience database?
To understand the work you firm or legal department has done in the past to better understand pricing and project resource parameters, you need to develop an experience database to review you past work. If you don't have a good model for that database, start with the LMSS structure to develop or modify your system.

My organization has specific specialties and needs. Can I still use the LMSS?

The LMSS has a flexible extension mechanism the to meet the unique needs of any organization while providing a common industry framework for interoperability. The unique inherent qualities of the SALI standard will enable your organization to not only utilize your own innovations but allow you to migrate to a modern standard at your own pace.

Aren’t there other organizations creating standards like LEDES, ABA, CLOC? How is SALI Alliance different?

Party-neutral standards
SALI Alliance is an independent organization where all stakeholders can have an equivalent seat at the table. The SALI Alliance is not controlled by any specific interest and our process was created to ensure all stakeholders have a voice to shape the most useful and relevant standards that will foster transparency and innovation.

Open, free standards
Standards created by SALI Alliance provide a framework for collaboration into the standards that protect participants, and are licensed to users under a Creative Commons license.

An agile, industry-driven standards process 
The SALI standards are developed using an agile methodology. Draft revisions of each standards are released to the industry for use and feedback. Based on the feedback each standard is adapted into the next draft. A standard only becomes final after a vote of the standing committee.

How can I be sure that the industry will adopt the SALI LMSS?

While there can be no guarantees, the diverse cross-section of member participants, the neutral standard, and its readiness to be deployed in practice will serve as a springboard for more rapid adoption. Also, unlike paper-based standards which leave the heavy lifting to organizations and service providers to implement a specification, SALI LMSS is digital and is embodied in a self-documenting API for data exchange and interoperability. Software providers are specifically part of the process to incorporate in the legal digital sphere

How can I get involved?

There are many ways to get involved:

  • Get more information by visiting https://sali.org and sign up for the SALI newsletter
  • Start using the LMSS which is available from https://sali.legal
  • Provide feedback on the LMSS standard to info@sali.org or through our forum discussions
  • Become a member of the SALI Alliance
  • Ask you software providers to support the SALI LMSS

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