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Hendrickson Law Firm Leans in With an Assist From Software Plus 10 Questions for a Web Designer

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, October 17, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Three women team up and find success. It sounds like a music act, but in this case it's a litigation boutique with offices in three cities that handles complex cases. In this issue of SmallLaw, lawyer and journalist Marin Feldman profiles Nancy Hendrickson, Julie Thrall Burrow, and Carolyn Guy, partners of Hendrickson Law Firm. You'll learn about the happy accident that gave birth to the firm as well as the software that enables the trio to offer its clients much lower rates than the large firms against which it competes. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for 10 questions to ask before hiring a law firm website designer.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Graphic Design/Photography/Video | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | SmallLaw

Review of LexisNexis Firm Manager Plus the Solo's Guide to Hiring an Assistant

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, October 16, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Solos and small law firms have a plethora of options for cloud practice management applications these days, including LexisNexis Firm Manager. In this issue of SmallLaw, New Jersey lawyer and former IBMer Edward Zohn reviews Firm Manager, which LexisNexis spent a year rebuilding from the ground up. Ed evaluates the core features, the user experience on an iPad and iPhone, integrations, pricing, and more. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for the solo's guide to hiring an assistant.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Technology for Growth and Hiring Your First Associate; Paragraph Numbering; Email Management; Dropbox iPad App

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Christopher Anderson, Legal Technology for Growth and Hiring Your First Associate

Chris Stovall, How to Use Format Painter to Tame Paragraph Numbering in Word

David Schrag, Using Worldox or NetDocuments for Email Management

Sara Austin, Review: Dropbox iPad App

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

TrialPad 4.0 Upgrade; Reviews of dtSearch, Google Apps for Work, Toggl, Trello, Everything, eFax

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, October 2, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Thomas F. McDow, My Take on the TrialPad 4.0 Upgrade (Plus a TranscriptPad Request)

Ken Laska, Review: dtSearch

Andrew Weltchek, Review: Google Apps for Work, Toggl, Trello for Practice Management

Mark Olberding, Review: Everything by Voidtools

Harold Burstyn, Review: eFax

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | Presentations/Projectors | TL Answers

CosmoLex: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an integrated billing, practice management, and trust accounting cloud application (see article below), an add-on for WestlawNext, an iOS app for creating diagrams, and a cloud time-tracking application. Don't miss the next issue.

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT FOR ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR BUSINESS

Last decade, integrated software was like an army that had advanced beyond its supply lines. It held a lot of promise, but the technology simply didn't exist yet to make it successful. From force of habit, many small law firms still use a smorgasbord of software products, but the times have changed.

CosmoLex … in One Sentence

Updated recently, CosmoLex is a cloud legal practice management application with integrated billing, calendaring, conflicts checking, task management, and trust accounting.

The Killer Feature

Integration of your law firm's finances and client work eliminates duplication and reduces errors. For example, CosmoLex handles the entire client intake process. You can use it to conduct a conflicts search, schedule the initial meeting on the team calendar, enter the initial retainer into a new trust account, assign the matter's initial set of tasks to you and your team, convert completed tasks into billable time entries, generate a bill, and apply the retainer to the bill.

"We knew that a simple but robust integration of calendaring, task tracking, billing, and trust accounting would solve the majority of operational efficiency problems at small law firms," CosmoLex CEO Dr. Rick Kabra told us. "The bonus of anytime/anywhere access to these capabilities in the cloud exponentially increases the productivity gains realized."

Other Notable Features

CosmoLex's 360-Degree Financial View is a one-page dashboard that displays a snapshot of important financial data across all matters, including fee advances in an operating or trust account, unbilled work, and unpaid bills.

You'll find support for any style of billing such as hourly, contingent, and flat fee. Time entry requires just three clicks or taps. The Shorthand tool expands abbreviations that you set up for faster entry. Built-in cost accounting enables you to charge for overhead. Billing features include invoice customization, batch billing into PDF or Word format, and the ability to email invoices and reminders for past due invoices.

CosmoLex handles any trust accounting scenario, including preventing common trust accounting mistakes such as ledger card over-draft, three-way bank reconciliation, an audit trail of all trust account activity for each client and matter, low retainer replenishment requests, check printing (standard and voucher-style), and statements for clients that comply with your governing ethics rules. Trust accounts are always audit ready and IOLTA compliant.

CosmoLex goes beyond traditional conflicts checking. For example, finding a matching name doesn't necessarily mean a conflict exists. For this reason, the Conflict Checking function shows you relationships (e.g., John Smith was a witness for opposing counsel in a case five years ago).

Law firms must safeguard client data from external threats, and limit access internally. CosmoLex uses only datacenters in the United States with the latest encryption and other security protocols. Your data gets backed up automatically every four hours. Role-Based User Security enables you to create groups of people to designate which functions of CosmoLex they can access.

What Else Should You Know?

CosmoLex features a responsive design that automatically adapts to smaller screen sizes, enabling you to use it in any web browser on any device. CosmoLex costs $50 per user per month ($43 if you pay annually). You can try it for free. Learn more about CosmoLex.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

13 Billing Tips to Keep Clients Happy Plus 50 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 51 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Retirement for Solos Is Complicated

Working "On" Instead of "In" Your Business

Email Marketing Metrics (Infographic)

Better Leverage Your Speaking Engagements

Congratulations to Lee Rosen of Divorce Discourse on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: 13 Billing Tips to Keep Clients Happy

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small law firm, big dreams. Written by successful small-firm founders, managing partners, administrators, and legal technology and practice management experts, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in solo practices and small law firms. Additionally, SmallLaw features comprehensive reviews of legal products with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles, podcasts, and videos about solo practices and small law firms. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

Chrometa for Android: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Android app that automatically tracks your telephone calls and text messages (see article below), a Bluetooth keyboard that works with any device, a portable USB charger that consumes virtually no space, and an iPhone app that digs up the dirt on your contacts. Don't miss the next issue.

AN ANDROID APP THAT CAPTURES CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES

The best tool for tracking billable time is the one that does so automatically. The second best tool is the one you have with you. Because software cannot (yet) read your mind, you need both tools. This means a smart app for your smartphone.

Chrometa for Android … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Chrometa for Android tracks your billable time, including telephone calls and text messages, and securely sends it to your Chrometa or Chrometa Teams account.

The Killer Feature

Chrometa is a popular web application that uses locally installed apps to automatically track the time you spend working on your Mac or Windows PC (Chrometa Teams is the multi-user version). Lawyers who use Chrometa told CEO and Co-Founder Brett Owens that they like the convenience of communicating with clients via text messages but find it difficult to bill for them.

Chrometa for Android addresses this problem by automatically capturing the time you spend on text messages as well as telephone calls. You finalize your captured time, and either generate bills or export the data to your firm's billing software using Chrometa. You control when to sync your smartphone with Chrometa. This enables you to prevent sending your personal communications over a weekend or while in vacation to Chrometa.

If you use Google Contacts, Chrometa can match each telephone number when you sync so that it can organize your time entries by client. Keyword-based rules in the web application categorize all your time entries in an even more granular manner, including assigning the corresponding matter (project) and grouping those that are not billable.

"By popular request, we added text message capture to the latest version of our Android app," says Owens. "Thanks to all the billable time Chrometa for Android can capture, lawyers can get paid for all the time they spend communicating with and producing work for clients."

Other Notable Features

In addition to automatically capturing telephone calls and text messages, Chrometa for Android also enables you to manually enter time for other activities. The time entry screen lists your billable time, a field for a description, and a list of clients and matters from which you can choose.

Manual time entry takes two forms. You can quickly enter billable time after the fact. Alternatively, you can start a stopwatch within Chrometa for Android when you start a billable task such as a meeting. When the billable event ends, you stop the timer and create a time entry based on the stopwatch. You can pause and resume the stopwatch as often as needed during a billable task.

What Else Should You Know?

Chrometa for Android is free for Chrometa and Chrometa Teams users. The app works on smartphones running Android 2.3 and later. Chrometa ranges in price from $12 to $19 to $29 per month depending primarily on how many devices you want to track. Chrometa Teams costs the same per user. Learn more about Chrometa for Android.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire

Rocket Matter iPad Edition: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers the new iPad app for a popular practice management system (see article below), a portable scanner that works with Android and iOS devices, a communications automation iPhone app, and device for improving and tracking your sleep. Don't miss the next issue.

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ON THE IPAD TAKES ORBIT

Law firms like the benefits of infrastructure but not its baggage. For example, back in the 1990s, law firms welcomed server-based practice management systems because of the collaboration they made possible. But they stuck the servers out of sight. Nowadays, cloud practice management systems have completely eliminated the need for local servers. However, web browsers have become a pain point given the resurgence of native software thanks largely to iOS.

Rocket Matter iPad Edition … in One Sentence

Announced today and launching soon, Rocket Matter iPad Edition is a free app for users of Rocket Matter, a cloud practice management system.

The Killer Feature

Rocket Matter iPad Edition features a customizable dashboard so that you can instantly see what's happening with your matters as well as across your entire law firm if you have the access rights. In addition to choosing what to display and the color palette, you can further customize the dashboard with a personal avatar and photos.

From the dashboard, you can access documents, add notes to a matter, create calendar events, delegate tasks, enter time, generate bills, review trust account balances, etc. Rocket Matter iPad Edition offers the same functionality of the web version of Rocket Matter.

"The Rocket Matter iPad Edition is not just a mere app," Rocket Matter CEO and Co-Founder Larry Port told us. "It's an entire tablet-based solution that ties into Rocket Matter's cloud data storage. We've carefully watched how lawyers, law firms, and bar associations have all eagerly embraced the practical advantages that tablets provide. We took these observations and combined them with direct suggestions from our lawyer partners to build unmatched legal practice management software."

Other Notable Features

Complementing the dashboards, Rocket Matter iPad Edition can generate a number of reports that provide a detailed snapshot of your firm's financials, including accounting, billing, and trust accounting. Customizable parameters and date ranges enable you to generate a report with the data you want. If you have an AirPrint or other compatible printer, you can print reports directly from your iPad.

Good design makes products easier to use. Legal cloud software companies have the most talented designers and user experience engineers in the industry. Rocket Matter has such an abundance of so-called "front-end" talent that it also designs websites for law firms. This team created a new user interface specifically for the iPad. Port describes the screens in Rocket Matter iPad Edition as "sleek, intuitive, and seamless."

Within a web browser, cloud applications function only when you have an Internet connection. This is a limitation of web browsers. By contrast, Rocket Matter iPad Edition works with or without an Internet connection. Any changes you make while offline synchronize when you reconnect to the Internet.

What Else Should You Know?

While Rocket Matter iPad Edition is free, it requires a Rocket Matter subscription. Prices range from $52 per month per user for the two-year plan to $65 per month per user without a long-term commitment. The company also offers annual and quarterly plans. You can try Rocket Matter for free for 30 days, including Rocket Matter iPad Edition. Learn more about Rocket Matter iPad Edition.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Law Firms and QuickBooks; Quit Whining About Word; Windows Updates Settings; OCR Tip; Bates Stamp History Lesson

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, September 5, 2014

Today's issue of Fat Friday contains these articles:

Caren Schwartz, When QuickBooks Makes Sense for Law Firms

Richard Perkins, Quit Your Whining About Microsoft Word: Here's an Alternative

Robert Rice, How to Adjust Windows Updates Settings

Philip Franckel, Don't Waste Time or Money on OCR Software

Ruth Curcuru, Why Lawyers Capitalize the Word "Bates"

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive Fat Friday
Our most serendipitous offering, Fat Friday consists of unsolicited contributions by TechnoLawyer members. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The Fat Friday newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Fat Friday | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Networking/Operating Systems

Document Naming; Reviews of QuickBooks Professional Services, Lanlogic, RingCentral; Bates Stamping; Acrobat Alternatives

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, September 4, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Jeffrey Chard, My Law Firm's Document Naming Rules

Jerry Gonzalez, Review: QuickBooks Pro Professional Services

Burton Bruggeman, Review: Lanlogic for Desktop as a Service

Ay Uaxe, Why and How You Should Bates Stamp Plus Acrobat Alternatives

Wallace Berry, Review: RingCentral

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Answers
Do you believe in the wisdom of crowds? In TL Answers, TechnoLawyer members answer legal technology and practice management questions submitted by their peers. This newsletter's popularity stems from the relevance of the questions and answers to virtually everyone in the legal profession. The TL Answers newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers
 
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