Posted on March 6, 2014 by Laura Calloway
If you’re like me, you can only absorb and assimilate so much change at one time. I think that’s one reason lawyers often stick with old – or even completely outdated – software. Even more than we dislike the “unnecessary” expense of the upgrade we hate the disruption having to learn something new causes in our already over-full days. But if your firm is still using an older version of Microsoft Office (and by older I mean 2007 or its predecessors) it really is time you thought about upgrading. While the number of Office permutations available has made deciding how to proceed a little daunting, the flexibility those options offer – especially to solos and small firms – makes it worth your while to sort out the options.
Catherine Sanders Reach of the Chicago Bar Association has written an excellent article entitled Office 365: Big-Firm Function, Small Firm Budget that sorts out what’s available and what it costs, and will help you decide what combination of downloaded software and cloud-based services is right for you. The article also covers Hosted Exchange options that will allow small firms to reap the benefits while avoiding the expense of hosting their own Exchange Server, and it even points out potential problems, such as the need to keep your Office and Adobe Acrobat versions in line in order to avoid interoperability issues.
If you’re considering an upgrade, Catherine’s article as well as this How to Geek comparison of Office 365 and Office 2013 will help you see your way forward.
Filed under: Technology | Leave a comment »
Posted on January 9, 2014 by Laura Calloway
The January/February issue of Law Practice just rolled off the e-presses and, as the topic is Management, it’s chock full of good ideas that you can put to work to take your practice to new levels in 2014.
The magazine includes six feature articles that are right on point for the issues that attorneys are facing as changes in the economy and technology continue to squeeze the profit margins of law firms, small and large. Of particular interest are The Changing Role of Legal Support Staff and Flying Solo: How Technology Has Leveled the Playing Field. You’ll also find my Simple Steps column on Budgeting: It’s Not as Hard As It Looks, a Product Watch review of ITimeKeep, the Coolest Timkeeping Tool Yet, and a really interesting piece on What NSA Surveillance Means to Law Firms.
Law Practice is a benefit of membership in the ABA Law Practice Division, but it’s most recent issue is available to non-members as well. Check it out while you can.
Filed under: Announcements, Management, Most Interesting Thing..., Technology, Tips & Tricks | Comments Off
Posted on December 4, 2013 by Laura Calloway
If you’re looking for a great Christmas gift for that lawyer in your life or, even more importantly, looking for things you can drop hints about to help your significant other more fully experience the joy of giving – to you! – then you need to check out Reid Trautz‘s ninth annual Reid My Blog Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers.
As he does every year, Reid has come up with interesting, innovative or just crazy gifts that will delight any lawyer. Be sure to check it out before you finish your shopping this year. You’ll also find interesting practice management, ethics and technology information for lawyers there, as well.
Filed under: Blogs, Technology | Tagged: gifts, innovative gift ideas, lawyer gifts, legal gifts, shopping list | 1 Comment »
Posted on October 1, 2013 by Laura Calloway
We had a sellout crowd last week for our Tech Tuesday Paperless Office and E-filing training program. Steve Best of Affinity Consulting and Jody Stewart and Jason Hodges from the Administrative Office of Courts put on a great program especially designed to help lawyers better adapt their offices to the realities of paperless files and e-filing.
Several people called to find out if they could attend remotely. Unfortunately, we couldn’t offer that program as a webinar, but Affinity Consulting partner Paul Unger is presenting a similar, one hour Paperless Office Program virtually on October 2nd at 11:00 am CDT (noon Eastern), and registration is free.
The program will cover document management options, batch scanning, OCR systems, scanning directly to a document management program, client/counsel collaboration, paperless workflow, desktop scanners, imaging, editing and signing documents and more. Best of all, one attendee will win a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner.
Filed under: Announcements, CLE Opportunities, Technology, Tips & Tricks | Tagged: Adobe Acrobat, client collaboration, document management, free CLE, Fujitsu ScanSnap, law office technology, legal technology, OCR, paperless practice, scanning | Comments Off
Posted on September 30, 2013 by Laura Calloway
A few days ago I posted about the ethical propriety of using free Gmail for confidential legal communications. Another somewhat unsettled issue is the ethical propriety of a lawyer using a public WiFi network at her favorite Starbucks to facilitate confidential legal work, especially given the ability of the technologically skilled to intercept and read unencrypted communications sent over public WiFi networks.
That issue just became somewhat more settled with a recent ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. For a better understanding of the ruling and why it’s important to lawyers who utilize public WiFi while working away from the office, take a look at this great post by Jeff Richardson at iPhone JD.
Hat tip to Jim Calloway at Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips for bringing it to my attention.
Filed under: Ethics & Professionalism, Technology | Tagged: email management, Federal Wiretap Act, law office technology, legal ethics, legal technology, professional responsibility, professionalism, public WiFi, risk management | Comments Off
Posted on September 18, 2013 by Laura Calloway
Unfortunately, e-filing is now mandatory and there’s no going back. If you are struggling to develop the skills and procedures needed to implement e-filing in your office, or if you want to improve your existing technology skills, we can help.
Next Tuesday morning, September 24th, at 8:00 am the Alabama State Bar will present a program devoting 2 hours to Adobe Acrobat and how to set up a paperless office and 2 hours to Alabama’s mandatory Alafile e-filing system.
The program costs $75 and has been approved for 4 MCLE credit hours. It’s sponsored by the Alabama State Bar’s Practice Management Assistance Program and the Alabama Administrative Office of Courts and will be presented in the Board Room at the bar’s office at 415 Dexter Avenue in Montgomery. Seats are limited so preregistration is required. Support staff are welcome but must register.
Check out the detailed schedule for additional information about everything the program will cover or register now. For questions, call PMAP at (334) 517-2242.
Filed under: Announcements, CLE Opportunities, Management, Technology | Tagged: AlaFile, ASB Member Benefits, CLE, efficiency, efiling, law office technology, legal e-filing, legal staff, legal technology, paperless practice, strategic planning | Comments Off