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What the CaseRails Failure Says About Lawyers; Equipping a 30-Person Law Firm; Reviews of Midwest Legal Technology Consultancies

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 21, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, What The CaseRails Failure Says About Lawyers And Legal Technology

Donald Coker, Tips On Modernizing The Software In A 30-Person Law Firm

Benita Dansby, Review: Keno Kozie (Midwest Legal Technology Consultancy)

Thomas F. McDow, Review: Barron Henley Of Affinity (Midwest Legal Technology Consultant)

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

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. 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 TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

The Process Automation Revolution; Legal Technology ROI; Reviews of Process Street, TextFixer; Scanner Tip

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, July 14, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, Review Of Process Street And The Process Automation Revolution In Law Firms

Victor Franckiewicz, Where's The ROI In Legal Technology?

Jerry Gonzalez, Review: TextFixer (Remove Hard Returns From Scanned Documents)

Philip Franckel, Tip: Buy A Scanner With Embedded OCR

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

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. 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 TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Technology Industry/Legal Profession | TL Serendipity

Review of Word Add-In PerfectIt Plus 64 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, June 27, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 65 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Robert Ambrogi of LawSites on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Review of Word Add-In PerfectIt With American Legal Style

Ten Technology Mistakes That Keep Solos From Looking Professional

Increase Profitability With Document Assembly

HP Aims at the Mac With Super-Slim Laptop

The 82 Coolest New Features Apple Just Revealed

Understanding the Cloud

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. 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. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Using Online Forms in Your Law Practice Plus 54 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 55 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.

Review: Citrix ShareFile

154 Google Tips From Google Itself

Best Smartphones for Lawyers

Lawyer David Sparks Reviews Interact

Why I'm Warming Up to iPad Pro, Surface Pro

Congratulations to Greg McLawsen of NWSidebar on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Using Online Forms in Your Law Practice

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: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

LawBase Offers Comprehensive Case and Matter Management With Best-Of-Breed Integrations

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a case and matter management system that can automate your practice and integrate with the products you already use (see article below), speech recognition software for legal teams, an add-in for Word that enhances Track Changes and fixes common formatting problems, and an online meeting service. Don't miss the next issue.

Lawyers tend to specialize as this gives you deep insight into a given area of law and thus a competitive advantage. Your case and matter management software should go just as deep so that it can track every aspect of your work, and keep your team informed and on the right track.

LawBase 12.5 … in One Sentence

Launching this week, LawBase 12.5 is a popular case and matter management system known for its depth and integrations, the newest of which involves automated court rules.

The Killer Feature

LawBase CEO Phil Homburger describes LawBase as "adaptable and configurable." The distinction lies in LawBase's architecture — a sandboxed database that holds all your firm's data and each user's settings.

Instead of adding just a few custom fields here and there, LawBase enables you to design automated workflows that interact with other products and online services when necessary. Think of it as a hub for all the work performed by your firm.

LawBase includes a number of templates for practice areas such as general practice, insurance defense, mortgage refinancing, mass tort, personal injury, government agencies, corporate legal departments, etc. You can work with the company to build a custom implementation if needed.

"We have provided case and matter management software to the legal industry for more than three decades," Homburger tells us. "In this time, we have found that the flexibility offered in LawBase adds tremendous value to our clients. This flexibility extends to the integration with a myriad of other products which has proven the benefit of our best-of-breed approach."

Other Notable Features

Contacts, calendars, matters, and whatever other data types you track each reside in a Cabinet. Each Cabinet contains nested Smartfolders that contain all the data. The "smart" in Smartfolders refers to tools such as searching and filtering, user access controls, notifications, and statuses. Cross-referencing enables you to access the contents of one Smartfolder from another.

Workflows and integrations also reside in Smartfolders. The newest integration is with Calendar Rules. Just about any other software product can integrate with LawBase according to Homburger. Popular integrations include Microsoft Outlook, iTimeKeep, Carpe Diem, HotDocs, iManage, NetDocuments, Tabs3, Juris, Timeslips, and Worldox.

As an example, a LawBase workflow could generate a Word document using a HotDocs questionnaire, store the final version in Worldox, email it through Outlook to a client, efile it with an agency, and post a time entry to Tabs3 — all without leaving LawBase.

What Else Should You Know?

The Report Generator within LawBase enables you to create every imaginable report without the need for a separate product. You can host LawBase in your firm or through virtual desktop providers such as LegalWorkspace, mindSHIFT, and Uptime Legal Systems. Learn more about LawBase 12.5.

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: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

TL NewsWire Top 10 and 25 Products of 2015 Awards

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Below you'll find the TL NewsWire Top 10 and Top 25 Products of 2015 Awards — chosen by TL NewsWire subscribers.

When TL NewsWire subscribers read about a product of interest this year and clicked for more details, they passively casted a vote. Passive voting is the most meaningful type of voting for awards. The winners below genuinely attracted the most interest.

As you read about the winning products, you'll notice many that help lawyers create, annotate, and manage documents. Other hot product areas include email, law firm finances, litigation, and PDF. Finally, most of the products offer one or more key integrations, which enables law firms to combine previously siloed products into a cohesive system.

TL NewsWire is free — sign up now so you can choose next year's winners.

Congratulations to all the winners! Without further ado …

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 10 PRODUCTS OF 2015 AWARD

Congratulations to the 10 hottest products of 2015 ranked in order by most clicks!

1. Matter Center for Office 365

Microsoft first previewed Matter Center at the ILTA Conference in August 2014. When Matter Center launched in September 2015 and we reported on it, TL NewsWire subscribers went bananas, vaulting it to a first place finish. Matter Center underscores the enduring popularity of both Microsoft Office and document management in the legal industry.

2. American Legal Style for PerfectIt 3

Fittingly in the year that gave us Ex Machina, American Legal Style for PerfectIt 3 proofreads your Word documents for incorrect citations and other style problems. It's like having Bryan Garner in your computer. Indeed, Garner's "The Red Book" is among the references American Legal Style for PerfectIt 3 can check your documents against.

3. Synergy Tools 1.0

Perhaps no legal software entrepreneur understands the pain of small law firms like Legal Matters Software founder John Ryan. Pretty much a gift to small firms given its $59.95 price, Synergy Tools 1.0 addresses nine pain points encountered daily by legal professionals who live in Windows Explorer.

4. Spark

It takes courage to build an iPhone email app given Apple's not-too-shabby Mail app. However, Readdle's Spark addresses Mail's biggest shortcoming — attachment handling. Spark enables you to attach documents from Dropbox, Box, Google Drive, iCloud Drive, and other cloud services the way your brain works — while writing your message.

5. LiquidText

LiquidText challenges you to use an iPad to annotate documents with interactions that don't exist on a PC but which hail from the world of pen and paper. Unlike Microsoft Word, Acrobat, etc., LiquidText gives your comments just as much of the spotlight as the document on which you're commenting. Apple named LiquidText the Most Innovative iPad App of 2015.

6. Capture.it Time Capture

Passive time capture apps like Capture.it capture the imagination of lawyers because let's face it — tracking your time stinks. Capture.it takes automatic time-tracking to new heights by periodically prompting you to assign captured time to matters, eliminating the need to open Capture.it for a dedicated billing session at the last minute each month.

7. Smokeball

Smokeball burst on the scene this year with a document-centric approach to practice management. Integrations with Word and Outlook and a document assembly engine keep all communications with clients and work product centrally organized. Smokeball also handles the yeoman's chores of practice management such as contacts and calendars.

8. LegalWorks

Uptime Legal merits a tip of our hat as the only company in 2015 that won two TL NewsWire Top Products awards. First up, LegalWorks is a cloud document management system. At many firms, Outlook is the hub through which documents usually arrive and leave. LegalWorks' Outlook integration enables you to save and retrieve documents from within Outlook.

9. iPad Pro

The long rumored iPad Pro arrived along with a first-party keyboard case and digital pencil. Like virtually all Apple products, the iPad Pro resulted in fierce online debates and vitriole among geeks. Meanwhile, lawyers and others who have long craved an iPad with a display the size of a sheet of paper are buying them like hotcakes.

10. LegalNature Pro

Launched in 2011 to offer complex legal documents to people whom LegalZoom doesn't serve, LegalNature found that it had many lawyers among its customers. Enter LegalNature Pro, which enables lawyers to automate their own documents while continuing to use LegalNature's forms.

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 25 PRODUCTS OF 2015 AWARD

Congratulations to the next 15 hottest products of 2015 ranked in order by most clicks!

11. Dragon Professional Individual 14

After fits and starts over the past few years, Nuance has integrated its iconic Dragon Professional desktop software with your iPhone via Dragon Anywhere. Start dictating in your office and continue in your car. Dragon Professional also offers a new help system driven by — what else? — voice commands.

12. Pathagoras On Cloud

Research and development is a way of life at ISPV, which ships a new version of its Microsoft Word add-in Pathagoras every year. In 2015, the company launched Pathagoras On Cloud, which brings the Pathagoras' document assembly tools to a web word processor. This enables you to create documents on any device as there's no need for Microsoft Word.

13. TrustBooks

Trust accounting can seem like more trouble than it's worth — until a client fails to pay a large bill. Unlike other products, TrustBooks focuses exclusively on trust accounts. It offers three-way reconciliation, warns you about low balances, and generates statements for your clients.

14. Lexis for Microsoft Office 5.2

The only product to win two consecutive years, Lexis for Microsoft Office added proofreading tools in 2015. You can find undefined terms and inconsistent phrases. Also new, integration with Lexis Advance brings your research into Microsoft Word for instant access while you're writing.

15. Summation 6

Many litigators don't always have matters in the discovery phase. Summation 6 enables you to use the software as needed rather than commit to a traditional license. It also offers one-stop-shopping as it handles case analysis and transcript management in addition to document review and production.

16. EstateExec

No one likes to plan for their death. EstateExec makes estate planning an easier sell for lawyers as it enables your clients to manage and designate all their assets using their web browser. If you don't like serving as an executor or trustee, EstateExec may help persuade someone else to take on that role.

17. FactBox

Small law firms in particular have embraced web apps for billing, practice management, and more. It stands to reason that these law firms will continue this migration. FactBox brings case analysis to your web browser with all data stored in U.S.-based datacenters.

18. Xero

Hoping to capture QuickBooks users who want a cloud accounting system, Xero rolled out QuickBooks migration this year. The process takes about three hours after which you and others can manage your firm's accounting from anywhere.

19. Worldox GX4

This release of the popular document management system focuses on saving you time through automation. For example, Follow Me Favorites shortens the process of creating a document profile to just naming the document — the same amount of effort as Windows Explorer.

20. SWING Porter for Outlook

Many lawyers view Outlook as a silo as it keeps a matter's email apart from all the other documents. SWING Porter for Outlook exports email in PDF format using your firm's naming convention. You can manually export email or use a timed schedule to automate the process.

21. Uptime Practice

The second winner from Uptime Legal, Uptime Practice enables law firms to move to the cloud without giving up their robust desktop apps such as Amicus Attorney, Needles, PCLaw, PracticeMaster, ProLaw, Tabs3, Time Matters, and WorldDox.

22. Inbox by Gmail

Google reinvented email with Gmail so who better to reinvent it again? Inbox by Gmail surfaces information from email messages so you don't need to open them. A built-in task manager and integrations with Google Keep and Google Now seek to provide missing links for email productivity.

23. Adobe Acrobat DC

After years of not getting the Internet, Adobe leapt ahead with Acrobat DC. The PDF documents you open on your desktop become available on your smartphone and tablet (and vice versa) instantly without the need to move the documents anywhere. The recent integration with Dropbox added more icing to this tempting cake.

24. Soda PDF 7

Soda PDF poses a greater threat to Nitro Pro than to Acrobat as both products compete for price-sensitive law firms that find Acrobat too expensive (especially with Adobe now pushing subscriptions). On this front, Soda PDF costs less than Nitro Pro while providing the features lawyers need such as Bates stamping, PDF-to-Word conversion, integration with scanners, built-in OCR, and more.

25. Amicus Premium 2015

You can set your clock by the annual releases of popular practice management system Amicus Premium. This year brought the Amicus Client Portal for secure communications and file sharing with clients. Unlike standalone portals, the Amicus Client Portal prompts you to bill the time you spend communicating with your clients.

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 | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Document Management | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TechnoLawyer | TL NewsWire | Utilities

The Single Best Use of Siri; Cloud Concerns; Defending ActiveWords; Review of Ergotron Workfit S

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, December 11, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, The Single Best Use of Siri

Michael Schwartz, Cloud Concerns: Speed and Data Loss

Edward Zohn, Beware the Cloud Oligopolies

Steven Schwaber, ActiveWords v. A Whole Slew of Keystrokes

Brian Moore, Review: Ergotron Workfit S

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

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. 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 TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Backup/Media/Storage | Coming Attractions | Furniture/Office Supplies | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | TL Serendipity | Utilities

Off-Label Uses of ContractExpress, Docusign, and Time Matters Plus Faster Fee Collection

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, December 4, 2015

Coming today to SmallLaw: Law firms use ContractExpress to automate document creation, Time Matters to manage law firm data, and DocuSign to facilitate the signing of paper-based documents. But did you know you can use ContractExpress to negotiate agreements after sending them to opposing counsel for review? Or that you can use Time Matters to prefill questionnaires that clients then complete and confirm via DocuSign? In this issue of SmallLaw, lawyer and legal technology consultant Seth Rowland explores "off-label" uses of these popular productivity tools. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for three tips on improving fee collection.

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: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Three Monitors Is the Way to Go; ActiveWords v. Windows Jump Lists; What Kind of Solo Are You?

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, November 20, 2015

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Thomas Stirewalt, How I Use Three Monitors (And Why I Really Want No Monitors)

Dave Culbertson, ActiveWords v. Windows Jump Lists

Stephen Silverberg, My Three Monitors Setup (Elder Law Practice)

Neil Squillante, What Kind of Solo Are You and Why?

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

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. 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 TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Law Office Management | Monitors | TL Serendipity

LegalNature Pro: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud document assembly app with a large library of forms across many practice areas (see article below), a cloud app for scheduling meetings, an iOS web browser, and a Mac PDF program. Don't miss the next issue.

CUSTOMIZABLE DOCUMENT ASSEMBLY IN YOUR WEB BROWSER

Many lawyers use model forms as the basis for the documents they draft. This old method may have shifted to CDs and website downloads, but it's too time-consuming in today's buyer's market for legal services. Instead, lawyers need a more automated way to complete legal documents accurately so they can increase efficiency and get paid faster.

LegalNature Pro … in One Sentence

Launched last month, LegalNature Pro is a web-based document assembly platform that guides lawyers through the process of gathering client information and creating documents.

The Killer Feature

LegalNature started as a consumer service in 2011, but it quickly attracted a sizable number of lawyers as customers. "Our lawyer customers found our platform easy to use and our documents highly accurate," Founder and CEO Corey Bray tells us. "Their requests for increased access and customization capabilities led us to develop LegalNature Pro."

LegalNature Pro has a document assembly "engine" at its core. It's not just a forms library. The software walks you through the steps involved in creating the form you choose. As you answer these questions, you preview the document you're creating in real-time on the same screen. The interview process contains contextual help should you need it.

You can save time if you use Clio thanks to its integration with LegalNature Pro. Any data in a client's record in Clio becomes available to use in LegalNature Pro. All data remains encrypted in both apps.

Other Notable Features

LegalNature Pro offers jurisdiction-specific documents for all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the areas of business, employment, estate planning, family, and real estate. The company regularly adds new documents. Some of the above categories include subcategories given the number of documents available.

The human resources collection is particularly deep with documents such as Consulting Services Agreement, Employee Confidentiality Agreement, Employee Handbook, Employee Non-Disclosure Agreement, Employment Contract, and Employment Offer Letter among others.

The Business library includes Bill of Sale, General Partnership Agreement, LLC Operating Agreement, Promissory Note, Purchase Agreement, Sale of Goods Agreement, and Invoice.

In addition to the major categories, LegalNature Pro also includes affidavits and documents for personal affairs such as Advanced Healthcare Directive, Cease and Desist, and Medical Power of Attorney.

What Else Should You Know?

When you finish a document, you can export it to Word or PDF format. LegalNature Pro is multiuser so your colleagues can collaborate on documents. Pricing starts at $58.95 per user per month for an unlimited number of documents. Learn more about LegalNature Pro.

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: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas
 
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