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TL NewsWire Top 10 and Top 25 Products of 2014 Awards

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

You and your fellow TL NewsWire subscribers have done it again. You've chosen the winners of the TL NewsWire Top 10 and Top 25 Products of 2014 Awards.

Here's how you did it. We reported on nearly 200 new products in TL NewsWire this year. When you clicked to visit a product's website and learn more you also voted for that product. These clicks are more meaningful than if we subjectively chose the winners. Besides, who better to judge what's hot and what's not than lawyers and law firm administrators like you?

You'll notice several themes as you read through the winning products — document automation, document management, integrations (especially with Microsoft Office), and litigation management.

Without further ado …

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 10 PRODUCTS OF 2014 AWARD

1. pdfDocs 4.1

The PDF format paved the way for the paperless law office, electronic filing, and the iPad as briefcase. So it's fitting that DocsCorp's pdfDocs 4.1 finds itself in first place. Designed specifically for law firms, pdfDocs 4.1 handles all the basics while also providing advanced tools such as Organizer Project and Binder Project for assembling closing books, deal books, and ebriefs.

2. MetaJure

It's not every year that new software for document management hits the scene, which explains the high level of interest in MetaJure. Unlike traditional document management systems, MetaJure eschews manually-created document profiles in favor of automatic indexing and Google-like search technology.

3. Primafact

In theory, clients pay you to focus on the facts and legal issues, not to organize their case file. Designed for litigation, Primafact keeps all case-related documents and email in a virtual binder. Integration with scanners and built-in optical character recognition (OCR) enables you to add everything that arrives on paper and make it searchable.

4. Lexis for Microsoft Office 4.2

Microsoft Word remains a fixture for legal writing, but Outlook has made inroads as clients often prefer an email message to a formal memo. Lexis for Microsoft Office works within both, enabling you to download all cited cases and other materials. It also checks your quotations and citations.

5. Digital WarRoom Express

Most lawsuits don't have a big budget. At a cost of just $99 per year, Digital WarRoom Express enables you to cull, review, and produce up to 50 GB of email and other electronic data across your cases (it handles up to 500 document formats). The Defensibility Log watches your back while you work.

6. Drafting Assistant - Transactional 2.0

Lawyers have long relied on the Deal Proof technology within Drafting Assistant - Transactional for proofreading their Word and WordPerfect documents. The new version integrates with Practical Law's Standard Documents and Clause Library to help you jump-start your drafting.

7. Timestream

Ntrepid's Timestream builds a timeline for your case as you add events and associated details (documents, issues, location, people, etc.). When it's time to discuss settlement or go to trial, you can use Timestream to give your presentation.

8. Transporter Genesis

The cloud is here to stay, but the jury has yet to return a verdict on private versus public cloud. Last year, Connected Data ranked first in the TL NewsWire Top Products Awards with Transporter, its initial private cloud product. Transporter Genesis is like Transporter on steroids, providing Dropbox-like functionality for up to 150 people.

9. MyCase Websites

Every law firm needs a mobile-friendly website so it's no surprise that MyCase Websites is in the top 10. Now just $500, marquee features include a content management system, and responsive design so that your website automatically adjusts to all screen sizes.

10. NetDocuments ndOffice

"Integration" has truly come of age this year. NetDocuments ndOffice essentially places the NetDocuments cloud document management system within Microsoft Office. This means you can open documents from and save documents to NetDocuments without leaving Microsoft Word, Excel, or PowerPoint.

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 25 PRODUCTS OF 2014 AWARD

Congratulations to the next 15 hottest products of 2014 ranked in order by most clicks!

11. Synergy Matters

Synergy Matters combines practice management with document management and automatic time capture. Accordingly, it automatically tracks the time you spend working on your PC. Its cost recovery technology tracks copies, faxes, prints, and scans so you can cover your costs or at least bill for the time you spend at these devices.

12. Actionstep 14.7

Actionstep helped pioneer automated workflows within practice management software. The new Activity Log complements these workflows via a Facebook-style feed that keeps everyone apprised of what's happening across your firm. The new Scratch Pad captures your strokes of brilliance.

13. PhraseExpander Professional 4.0

Why let programming stand between you and document assembly? Nagarsoft's PhraseExpander Professional stores text such as clauses in groups. Using Quick Find, you then insert the material you need to build a document. PhraseExpander Professional integrates with Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

14. Pathagoras 2014

Like the contestants on Iron Chef, lawyers can create any number of documents from the same core ingredients. Pathagoras keeps your text snippets organized in Collections. Environments further increase your speed by hiding irrelevant Collections. Pathagoras works inside Microsoft Word. It doesn't require any programming.

15. imageFORMULA DR-M160II

Most desktop scanners top out at 30 pages per minute. Canon's imageFORMULA DR-M160II doubles that speed without doubling the footprint (it measures 9.09 x 11.02 x 9.76 inches). The Kofax VRS Elite software included with the scanner removes hole punches, crops and straightens documents, notifies you about hardware problems, and even handles blueprints and other documents with a colored background.

16. TrialPad 4.0

Thanks to TrialPad 4.0 (and TranscriptPad 2.0), Lit Software cemented its reputation as the leading pure play developer of legal iPad apps. The new version of TrialPad has a search box on every screen for quickly pulling up any exhibit. The search results contain thumbnail document previews.

17. Surface Pro 3

The Surface Pro 3 has a higher resolution screen than the MacBook Air, which Microsoft has targeted in its advertising campaign. You can add a detachable keyboard and powered stylus. A touch-friendly version of Office remains MIA, but it runs any existing software compatible with Windows 8.

18. Legal Publish

Blogs have gone from curiosity to mainstream to underpowered relic. Legal Publish offers a suite of tools such as role-based privileges, customizable workflows, and a media library for creating more sophisticated online publications. Legal Publish also contains tools for creating proposals, and integrates with email services, social media platforms, customer relationship management apps, and Google Analytics.

19. Worldox for Mac Version 1.15

Too many lawyers use Macs nowadays for providers of document management systems to ignore. Worldox for Mac is a client for the popular Worldox GX3 document management system. Worldox for Mac integrates with Apple Mail and Microsoft Outlook so that you can save client-related email and attachments to Worldox GX3.

20. WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition

The legal industry remains a stronghold for WordPerfect. Corel responded this year by including Perfect Authority with the Legal Edition for the creation of tables of authorities. Perfect Authority supports Bluebook, California Style Manual, Florida Rule 9.800, and Louisiana Public Domain formats.

21. PeopleMap on WestlawNext

Lawyers often forget their role as gumshoe. PeopleMap on WestlawNext enables you to unearth gems from blogs, chat rooms, and social networks, as well as photos and business data. Unlike other public records services, PeopleMap shows you non-obvious connections that may lead you to hidden assets. Google Maps integration literally puts these assets on the map.

22. Equil Smartpen 2

Atlantis. El Dorado. Smartpens. When a legend has such appeal, it's hard to give up on it. Ludia's Equil Smartpen 2 works on paper, stores what you write without the need for any other device, transfers your notes to your Windows PC, Mac, iPad, or Android device, and converts your handwriting to editable text.

23. Varidesk Pro Plus

You'd like to stand up for telephone calls, but you can't bear to part with your mahogany desk. Varidesk Pro Plus transforms any desk into a standup desk by adding up to 17.625 vertical inches. The two levels house your monitor and/or a laptop, and your mouse and keyboard respectively.

24. CosmoLex

CosmoLex takes a finance-centric approach to practice management. Its conflicts checking and trust accounting tools enable you to efficiently intake new clients. A cloud application that stores data only in domestic datacenters, CosmoLex also offers billing, calendars, cost recovery, task management, and time tracking.

25. Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Legal

The latest version of Dragon NaturallySpeaking tears down some of the remaining barriers to speech recognition. You no longer need to train the software or buy a pricy microphone. In a reversal of roles, Dragon NaturallySpeaking can read what you write back to you.

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 | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Desktop PCs/Servers | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | Graphic Design/Photography/Video | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Presentations/Projectors | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

How to Create Word Documents With a Fillable Form Plus 53 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, December 8, 2014

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 54 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: LexisNexis Firm Manager

Two Lawyers Discuss Their iPhone Home Screens

2014's Best Android Apps for Lawyers

The Transformation of Middle Office Services

Congratulations to How-To Geek on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: How to Create Word Documents With a Fillable Form

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: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Desktop PCs/Servers | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars

The Best iOS 8 Email Apps Plus 51 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 52 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 Case for Practice Management Software

A Lawyer Reviews Microsoft Word for iPhone

The Best iOS 8 Features Large and Small

Brett Burney on ABA TECHSHOW 2015 (Podcast)

Congratulations to Derek Walter of Macworld on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Eight Alternative Email Apps for iOS

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: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Time Matters 14: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, November 6, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a legal practice management application with a new take on calendars (see article below), the world's smallest printer, a free office suite for Android and iOS, and a universal Bluetooth keyboard with a built-in stand. Don't miss the next issue.

A PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ICON SETS ITSELF UP FOR THE FUTURE

Your calendar embodies your law practice even if you don't use the dominant hourly billing business model. The blanks on your calendar have nearly as much import as the events, but many lawyers don't take advantage of this fact because they don't use shared calendars that connect to their matters.

Time Matters 14 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, LexisNexis Time Matters 14 is practice management software with a new take on calendars and a new underlying architecture.

The Killer Feature

Time Matters offers several new calendar views and functions. When scheduling a meeting, you can view the schedules of the participants side by side to find an available time. You can then hold this conflict-free time while you obtain approval from each participant.

The new Work Week view displays only those days of the week on which you and your colleagues actually work. Time Matters now displays events and tasks in colors of your choosing on Daily, Work Week, Weekly, and Monthly calendar views. Special dates such as vacations are displayed as all-day events with the date grayed out.

Rescheduling an event no longer requires multiple clicks thanks to drag and drop functionality. Also, you can use the Shift or Control keys to tag or select multiple records.

Other Notable Features

Time Matters continues to offer law firms the ability to create highly automated and customized workflows for client intake, document creation, sending bills, and more. The document management system within Time Matters now includes native support for the PDF, HTML, and XML file formats.

The technology underpinning Time Matters has received a significant upgrade, boosting speed and stability and paving the way for advanced features. One benefit you'll notice immediately is a smoother upgrade process with less downtime.

The new version of Time Matters features improved integration with Juris Suite legal accounting and billing software for midsize law firms (also from LexisNexis). For example, you need not manually update clients and matters in Time Matters when updated in Juris — and vice versa. Billable time and expenses entered into Time Matters appear in Juris Suite in Draft status, enabling the application of compliance rules before posting.

"This new Time Matters version includes a mix of updates and additions for everyone from the attorneys and support staff who use it every day to organize their workdays and get more done, to the IT professionals who play such a big part in keeping firms productive," LexisNexis Software Division Senior Director of Product Management James Paterson told us. "The new Time Matters calendar provides a more intuitive fit for the way legal professionals work every day. The new underlying technology platform has a proven track record of stability and speed, which IT professionals will appreciate."

What Else Should You Know?

Time Matters costs $985 for the first user and $640 for each additional user. This includes the first year of the Annual Maintenance Plan (AMP) subscription. The AMP provides software updates, Time Matters Mobility for smartphone and tablet access, up to 5 GB of storage for the Time Matters Client Portal (secured by WatchDox), live technical support from 8:00 am to 8:00 pm ET on weekdays, and on-demand training courses. Learn more about Time Matters 14.

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 | Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

How Tuesley Hall Konopa Earned Its Three-Word Slogan Plus a Solo's Story

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, October 30, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: South Bend, Indiana law firm Tuesley Hall Konopa is the proverbial big fish in a small pond. With 12 lawyers and 15 staff, it's fairly large for a small city. For this issue of SmallLaw, lawyer and journalist Marin Feldman interviewed managing partner Eric Seigel. You'll learn about the firm's marketing plan, its billing, document assembly, document management, and practice management software, and how it minimizes costs for clients without sacrificing quality. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for the story of a solo who took down his shingle.

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 | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Document Management | Law Office Management | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

MyCase Websites: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, October 23, 2014

Originally published in our free TL NewsWire newsletter. Instead of reading TL NewsWire here, sign up now to receive future issues via email.

THE LAW FIRM WEBSITE YOU THOUGHT YOU COULDN'T AFFORD

During the heyday of the yellow pages, a small law firm could create an advertisement that looked just as good as everyone else's. However, designing a website that works on all devices, and which has a blog, client portal, payment processing, and other modern amenities that clients expect can cost tens of thousands of dollars.

MyCase Websites … in One Sentence

MyCase Websites provides law firms with a modern website that integrates with the MyCase cloud practice management application.

The Killer Feature

MyCase pioneered the client portal. The company's founders felt that secure communications should reside at the heart of a practice management system. With MyCase Websites, your client portal becomes part of your website. And your website resides at the domain name of your choosing, further reinforcing your brand and making it seem like you built everything yourself.

Clients can go from reading your latest blog article to communicating with you, downloading case documents, paying a bill, reviewing upcoming calendar events and tasks, and accessing other case information you make available.

"MyCase Websites was a direct request from our customers," Founder and VP, Product Management Matt Spiegel told us. "It provides a professional online storefront, and enables law firms and their clients to easily and securely access the MyCase practice management software directly through the law firm's website."

Other Notable Features

You start by working with MyCase to select from a collection of professional designs with custom color options and layouts. These templates are "responsive," which means your website automatically adjusts to the size of the screen of each visitor to provide an optimal user experience. Google ranks responsive websites higher.

Speaking of Google, MyCase Websites ensures that you always use best practices for search engine optimization without having to learn what this means. For example, your web pages will contain keywords related to your practice, especially in the all important page titles and URL slugs.

The MyCase Websites content management system enables you to create new web pages and publish a blog without having to know HTML. Social media integration means you can automatically post links to your new blog posts to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more.

MyCase sets up a Google Analytics account for your website so that you can review traffic statistics and measure the performance of your marketing activities.

What Else Should You Know?

MyCase Websites costs $500 for the initial setup. Thereafter, the ongoing service costs $50 per month. The practice management software costs $39 per month per lawyer and $29 per month per non-lawyer staff. Learn more about MyCase Websites.

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: Collaboration/Knowledge Management | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

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

Four Cloud Practice Management Systems Compared Plus 61 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 62 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.

What Is a Paperless Law Office?

Review: Clio's Android App

The Best iOS Scanner App (Video)

The Story of the Greatest Keyboard Ever Made

Congratulations to Jeff Taylor of The Droid Lawyer on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Four Cloud Practice Management Systems Compared

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: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Computer Accessories | Document Management | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars

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

Outlook Basics Everyone Should Know Plus Discounting Your Fees

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, October 6, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Most legal professionals use Outlook, but many of them don't use it to its full potential, including basic features. Law firm technology consultant Ben Schorr has criss-crossed the country helping law firms with Outlook and other software. In this issue of SmallLaw, he covers email, calendar, and contacts features everyone in your firm should know but probably doesn't. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for the pros and cons of discounting your fees.

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: Coming Attractions | Email/Messaging/Telephony | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw
 
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