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Top 10 Ways to Use an iPad in Law Practice; Reviews of PhraseExpress, Dragon 12.5, Avvo, LegalWebPro

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, April 24, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Wesley Y. S. Chang, The Top 10 Ways I Use My IPad In Law Practice

John Drisdale, Review: PhraseExpress

Christian Onsager, Review: Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 Plus Headset Advice

Ben Ballard, Review: Avvo And LegalWebPro For Law Firm Website Creation

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Computer Accessories | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Legal Research | TL Answers | Utilities

Review of Freshbooks Plus Top Four Reasons Solos Shut Down Their Law Firms

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Alabama criminal and family lawyer Clark Stewart doesn't like financial software. So naturally we asked him to review cloud billing software powerhouse FreshBooks — with an open mind. Clark obliged, putting FreshBooks through its paces in his law practice over the course of several months. In this issue of SmallLaw, you'll learn how well FreshBooks handles time tracking, time entry, and invoicing. Clark also tested the FreshBooks smartphone app. He compares its feature set to that in the core website. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for the top four reasons solos shut down their law firms.

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 | Online/Cloud | SmallLaw

Create an Elevator Pitch for Your Firm Plus 83 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 84 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.

Disclosing Confidential Client Information

Increase Your Online Banking Safety

Create a Disability-Friendly Website

Online Reputation Management

Congratulations to Randolph Gaw of California Lawyer on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: How to Create an "Elevator Pitch" for Your Small Law Firm

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 | Online/Cloud | SmallLaw

Equipping a Midsize Law Firm; Synchronizing Email; Multiple Monitors; Date Created; Three New Questions

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, March 20, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Mark Chernoff, Equipping a Midsize Law Firm

Aaron Craft, Tip: How to Synchronize Your Email Across All Your Devices

Andrew Willinger, How to Bring Your Email Into the 21st Century

D. Paul Dalton, How Multiple Monitors Work

John Peters, Try Date Created Work for Your DIY Document Management System

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 | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Monitors | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Answers

LexisNexis Firm Manager: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, March 13, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud billing and practice management system with a search engine (see article below), a service that enhances the security of Dropbox and other popular cloud storage services, a cloud application for scheduling depositions, and an Android dictation app. Don't miss the next issue.

PRACTICE MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE THAT HAS YOUR BACK

Practice management software has evolved over the years to encompass more and more of your law firm's key functions — billing, calendars, contacts, documents, intake, tasks, trust accounts, etc. Aspirational 20 years ago, the label "practice management" has become a reality. This wealth of data has resulted in two problems — learning how your practice management software works, and quickly finding the information you need.

LexisNexis Firm Manager … in One Sentence

Launched last month, LexisNexis Firm Manager is a cloud practice management application with a global search engine, and built with input from solo and small-firm attorneys.

The Killer Feature

When lawyer and LexisNexis Firm Manager product manager Christopher T. Anderson and his team set out to rebuild the product from the ground up about a year ago, they understood the importance of finding information quickly.

As a result, LexisNexis Firm Manager features Global Search, which searches everything as its name suggests — even within documents. According to Christopher, this "makes finding literally anything within the program fast and simple." Like popular search engines, it begins searching as you type, narrowing the results by relevancy. For added convenience, Global Search works contextually. For example, when in the Matters tab, Global Search lists Matters first since that's what you likely want.

Firm Manager uses this same search technology for finding conflicts of interest. You can send the results of a conflict search to a colleague for their input. When you or a colleague clears a prospective client, LexisNexis Firm Manager saves and time stamps your search and the results. This gives you a defensible record if needed.

Other Notable Features

In addition to managing contacts, calendars, and matters, LexisNexis Firm Manager also handles billing, trust accounting, documents, and tasks.

Regarding billing, a contemporaneous timer records time in any increment on any device from which you access LexisNexis Firm Manager. Additionally, you can create a time entry from within a matter or the Time & Expenses tab. LexisNexis Firm Manager also provides expense tracking. To help your firm bills clients as quickly as possible, you can choose from professionally-designed templates your invoices.

Trust accounting enables you to accept retainers while abiding by ethics rules. For example, it prevents co-mingling of funds. LexisNexis Firm Manager even alerts you if you take an action that may violate a rule. You can view balances and generate statements for clients.

Document management works via drag and drop. You can move multiple documents into a matter simultaneously. The application will automatically scan documents for malware and clean them if necessary (useful for documents received from clients and others outside your firm).

"LexisNexis Firm Manager has all the functionality a law firm needs but it's also easy to use," Christopher told us. This intuitiveness is the result of input from hundreds of independent attorneys who ensured that it works the way they work — without forcing them to adapt."

What Else Should You Know?

As a cloud application, LexisNexis Firm Manager works in all modern web browsers, including on tablets and smartphones. It costs $44.99 per month for the first user and $29.99 per month for each additional user. Learn more about LexisNexis Firm Manager.

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 | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Version 17: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, March 7, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a billing and practice management system with a new document management component (see article below), an iPhone contacts automation app, backup software for popular cloud storage services, and speech recognition software. Don't miss the next issue.

MANAGING YOUR PRACTICE INCLUDES MANAGING YOUR DOCUMENTS

It may seem to you like your law firm is organized until you take a step back to realize it's an illusion. This is especially true of so-called document management systems, most of which rely on a combination of Windows Explorer and rules for how to name documents and where to store them that everyone in your firm follows — except when they don't.

Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Version 17 … in One Sentence

Launched last month, Tabs3 and PracticeMaster Version 17 is integrated practice management and billing software with a new document management component.

The Killer Feature

A slew of products claim to have document management but really don't. Classic document management software eliminates human error and saves time through automation.

For example, every document stored in PracticeMaster has a corresponding Document Management Record containing the client, matter, document type, and other fields of your choosing. These profiles enable you to find every brief, contract, deposition, etc. associated with a specific matter. PracticeMaster also provides full-text searching.

You can automatically save documents from Microsoft Office (including email and their attachments). PracticeMaster automatically names and saves these documents using the policies you specify during setup. You can also bulk import documents during the setup process. The Verify Documents utility identifies documents that have moved or been renamed, possibly incorrectly.

When someone edits a document, you can require them to check it out, which prevents others from editing it. You can also have the software nudge people to check in a document after a specified period of time. Upon check in, PracticeMaster can create a new version. Document comparison technology enables you to generate a redline. Every document has a "History" so that you can see who accessed it and when.

Because PracticeMaster's document management system resides in the same software as the Tabs3 billing system, you can create a time entry from a Document Management Record.

"Law firms that use version 17 of Tabs3 and PracticeMaster will appreciate how easily they can organize their documents and other information, bill for their work, and present it in a manner their clients can understand," Software Technology President Dan Berlin told us.

Other Notable Features

Continuing with the theme of automation, PracticeMaster's new QuickViews enable you to more easily find information in all areas of the software by creating filters. For example, when viewing contacts, calendar events, documents, etc. a QuickView might list only those items associated with a specific practice area. At the bottom of every list of records you'll find Smart Tabs for filtering your list even further. You can save QuickViews and Smart Tabs, customize their colors, and share them with others in your firm.

Long known for handling virtually any billing scenario, Tabs3 has enhanced its Split Billing for situations in which two or more clients pay for a matter. Now you can split hours and have the amounts calculated based on predefined rates, use percentages with up to four decimal places to round fees with more precision, display either the pre-split or post-split value on statements along with a summary of what was split, and much more.

What Else Should You Know?

Notwithstanding its new document management functionality, PracticeMaster also features tight integration with Worldox GX3. In all, PracticeMaster and Tabs3 contains more than 100 new features and improvements to existing features. Learn more about Tabs3 Software Version 17.

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 | Document Management | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Essential Software for Law Firms on a Tight, Moderate, or Large Budget Plus Picking Partners

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Many lawyers dream of the starting their own law firm. When they take the plunge, they tend to have one of three types of budgets for software — tight, moderate, or large. In this issue of SmallLaw, legal technology consultant Jack Schaller discusses the six essential categories of software for law firms, and then makes recommendations for each of these three budgets. His advice isn't just for startup law firms, but also for established firms that have outgrown their software. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for tips on how to pick partners when starting or growing a law firm.

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 | Backup/Media/Storage | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

How to Create Numbered Headings in Word Using Styles Plus 83 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 84 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 BlawgWorld Pick of the Week.

The Best WiFi Security Camera

Apps That Help Lawyers Manage Time

10 iPhone Tips for Lawyers

The Smartphone App Wars Are Over

Congratulations to Deborah Savadra of Legal Office Guru on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: How to Create Numbered Headings in Word Using Styles

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession (e.g., monitors, smartphones, scanners, the iPad, and more). But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Privacy/Security

Reviews of Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2; CrossEyes, Time Logger; Windows 8 Hybrids; Acrobat Professional OCR Tip

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, February 27, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Thom Miranda, Review: Lenovo ThinkPad Tablet 2; In Defense of Windows 8 Hybrids

Richard Belthoff, Review: CrossEyes

Ay Uaxe, How to OCR a Portion of a Page With Adobe Acrobat Professional

Jacob Suslovich, Review: Time Logger

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 | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL Answers

Reviews of Ting, Acronis True Image; Redlining Software; Converting From Time Matters to PCLaw

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, February 20, 2014

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Bryce Schmidt, Review: Ting MVNO; Page Plus Cellular

Bryan Rannigan, Review: Acronis True Image (Plus Other Backup Solutions)

Calhoun Thomas, How I Send Redlines to Clients

Caren Schwartz, Converting From Time Matters to PCLaw and Other Tips

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 | Backup/Media/Storage | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL Answers
 
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