Opening Statements

Silicon Valley lawyer creates another social network for lawyers

Posted May 1, 2014 4:30 AM CDT
By Jill Schachner Chanen

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Monica Zent, courtesy of the subject.

Move over Avvo, JD Oasis, Legal OnRamp and WireLawyer, there's a new kid in town: Foxwordy.

This spring, Palo Alto, Calif.-based lawyer and entrepreneur Monica Zent debuted Foxwordy, her entry into the array of legal social networks.

Zent acknowledges she's entered a crowded field—and one that has not exactly yielded a track record of success—but believes the features of her legal social network will differentiate it from the rest. "It's the first private social network," Zent says. "Privacy is key."

Users must apply to the network and meet certain membership criteria before being accepted. Zent says the vetting process ensures that members are part of the legal community and not advertisers or vendors.

The network combines offerings that are prevalent on other social networks, including discussion boards, private messaging, profiles, connections, document libraries and ratings. Members can use some of these features privately or anonymously. Foxwordy also allows members to store documents and other items to cloud-based services with a click of a button. It's all optimized for use on a tablet.

When they join, users must identify themselves as either a sole practitioner, a law firm lawyer or in-house counsel. User interactions are limited to those within their practice category.

The design of her new social network, Zent notes, draws upon her experiences as a Silicon Valley lawyer, entrepreneur and investor. "There are certain workflow functions built in that are a direct result of my experience, like the clause directory in the document library."

And what's with the name Foxwordy? It's a mashup of the words fox, because they are clever and cunning, she says, and words, which are a lawyer's art.

Subscriptions for Foxwordy begin at $9.99 per month and, depending on the features a user wants, top out at $39.99 per month.

This article originally appeared in the May 2014 issue of the ABA Journal with this headline: "Legally Networked: Silicon Valley lawyer creates a(nother) social network for lawyers."

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Photo of Foxwordy.com courtesy of Monica Zent

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