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The SmallLaw 2012 Summer Reading List Part 1: Technology and Marketing Books With More Than an Article's Worth of Good Stuff — Plus a Truly Virtual Law Firm

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Originally published in our free SmallLaw newsletter. Instead of reading SmallLaw here after the fact, sign up now to receive future issues in realtime.

Many authors stretch an idea best suited for an article into a book. In putting together our first ever SmallLaw Summer Reading List, we searched for quality books with more than an article's worth of helpful ideas and tips. Also, we asked each author to explain why their book is worth your valuable time. Thus, you'll find our recommended books and links as well as each author's response to our question. To ensure that our SmallLaw Summer Reading List has something for everyone in the solo and small firm world, it spans two issues of SmallLaw. Part 1 today features books on legal technology and law firm marketing. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week (subscribers only) to read about an in-house lawyer accused of creating and hiring a fake law firm.


Have you ever read a book and thought that the author could have made his points in an article? Books don't cost much money in the grand scheme of things. But they sure cost time. Publishing an article isn't considered as prestigious as publishing a book. Thus, many authors stretch an idea best suited for an article into a book.

To combat this problem and compile our first ever summer reading list for you and other SmallLaw subscribers, we conducted research to find books with more than an article's worth of material. We also tried to find relatively concise books so that you could read more than one. And we asked each author to answer this question:

"The obstacle books face is not their cost but the investment of time they require. What will those who work in small law firms learn from your book that they cannot learn from an article or some other shorter resource?"

Thus, our SmallLaw 2012 Summer Reading List contains not only quality books, but each author's answer to our question.

If you read any of these books, please reply to this issue of SmallLaw to post a review, which we'll publish in Fat Friday.

Tom Mighell, iPad Apps in One Hour for Lawyers (2012)

The great thing about a "One Hour" book is that the investment of time to read it is not great. You can get up to speed on a topic over your lunch break.

While many articles out there discuss the best iPad apps, you're unlikely to find as much helpful information in one place about iPad apps specifically vetted for lawyers. The book presents a curated collection of apps lawyers are most likely to find useful in the areas of productivity, document creation and editing, and news and research — plus utilities for your iPad, and travel resources.

With more than 200,000 apps currently available for the iPad, it's hard for busy lawyers to cut through all the noise and focus on the apps that matter — but with iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, the work is already done for you.

iPad/iPhone Version ($17.99)

Print Version ($34.95; $19.95 for ABA LPM Members)

David Sparks, Paperless (2012)

Paperless offers a holistic approach to transitioning your law practice to a paperless workflow, explaning the nuances of capturing paper (and digital) records, and processing, naming, and storing the files. The book also explains the best strategies for backing up and accessing your digital documents using an iPad.

Paperless stretches the definition of the word "book." In addition to over 26,000 words, it features 32 screencasts and four movies. That is over an 90 minutes of video. The book not only tells you about the best paperless workflow but also shows you.

Having written two books for a major publisher in the past, Paperless really is something new entirely. You'll need an iPad to view the book in the preferred iBooks Author format. You can also purchase it as a PDF file with the videos in a separate folder.

iPad Version ($4.99)

PDF Version ($4.99)

Jan Berinstein, Formatting Legal Documents With Microsoft Word 2010: Tips and Tricks for Working With Pleadings, Contracts, Mailings, and Other Complex Documents (2d Edition 2012)

Obviously, any book contains much more information than a single article. But technical books aren't necessarily "linear," so individuals can learn a tremendous amount without having to read the entire book from cover to cover.

My Word 2010 book, for example, consists of dozens of tutorials that can stand on their own. Readers can jump directly to a specific lesson to master one feature of the program that they find challenging. The modular nature of the lessons is especially useful for members of a firm who are at different skill levels or who need to learn disparate aspects of Word. For example, a secretary might want to brush up on creating and generating a Table of Contents and a Table of Authorities, whereas an attorney may want to look up how to format indented quotes or how to ensure that the text aligns with pleading line numbers.

Another benefit of the book is that it includes a number of "sidebars" that provide helpful how-to and troubleshooting tips. Incidentally, all of the tutorials and tips in the book derive from my real-world experience as a legal word processor.

Print Version ($41.95)

Ben M. Schorr, the Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2010 (2012)

The reality is that there are a lot of resources out there for Microsoft Outlook, including my monthly column here in SmallLaw. Microsoft itself provides hundreds of thousands of pages of content, including videos, about Outlook. I maintain a site myself that has a lot of articles on Outlook. Google lists more than 22 million pages for Microsoft Outlook.

The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2010 saves you time and effort by collecting nearly all of the Outlook information an attorney needs in one place, and in a format written specifically for attorneys. You can spend hours searching for your answer and wondering which source to trust, or you can save a lot of time and effort by just flipping through one book written just for you.

iPad/iPhone Version ($32.99)

Print Version ($69.95; $41.95 for ABA LPM Members)

Gerry Oginski, Secrets of Lawyer Video Marketing in the Age of YouTube (2012)

The answer is simple. You'll learn tips, strategies, and tactics that will take your video marketing far and beyond the videos of 99% of other lawyers.

The book contains key strategies that you can apply not only to your video marketing, but also to every aspect of your online and offline marketing. In essence, you can multi-purpose these powerful techniques.

For example, learn how to convert a viewer into a caller. Find out why quality counts and why your viewer's thoughts are much more important than yours.

Being a great attorney means knowing not just what to do, but importantly, what not to do. This book helps you understand exactly what you should never do when creating online videos to market your law firm. Video is the key to connecting with prospective clients. Learn why and how to use those opportunities to your advantage.

Kindle Version ($12.56)

Print Version ($13.22)

Read Part 2

Read The SmallLaw 2012 Summer Reading List Part 2 now.

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Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Graphic Design/Photography/Video | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | SmallLaw
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