join now
newsletters
topics
topics
advertise with us ABA Journal Blawg 100 Award 2009 ABA Journal Blawg 100 Award 2008
Subscribe (RSS Feed)TechnoLawyer Feed

My Legaltech Discoveries; Straight Talk About Legal Software Upgrades; Dragon Help; Cloud and Legal Technology Skeptics Speak Up

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, February 10, 2017

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, My Legaltech Discoveries: Lexis for Microsoft Office, PhraseWizard, Centerbase, Litify, Symphony OCR

Jeff Stouse, Straight Talk About Legal Software Upgrades and Annual Maintenance Plans

Roy Greenberg, Best Places to Get Help With Dragon

Michael Schwartz, Why I'm a Cloud Skeptic

Danny McDonald, Why I'm a Legal Technology Cynic

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Legal Research | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

LEAP Adds Secure Client Collaboration to Its Practice Management Platform With LawConnect

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, February 9, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with a new Dropbox-like technology for securely sharing documents and communicating with clients (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of software for managing trademarks and other IP assets, practice management software for personal injury lawyers, a court docket service for receiving alerts about cases of interest, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

The ABA's duty of technology competence seems poised to become the latest regulation adopted by all 50 states. While the rule doesn't provide specifics, many law firms have interpreted it as requiring a more secure approach to client communication and document sharing.

LEAP … in One Sentence

LEAP is practice management software that recently added secure client collaboration tools.

The Killer Feature

LEAP's new LawConnect "storage and collaboration platform" enables you to securely communicate and share documents with clients. Most competing offerings (often called "client portals") require setup before you can use them. LawConnect functions in a Dropbox-like ad hoc manner. This approach means you can share a document in seconds even if you've never previously used LawConnect.

Select one or more documents within a matter, click the LawConnect button, and choose the people with whom you wish to share the document. Recipients receive an email message with a secure link to create a LawConnect account after which they can access the document. Within LEAP, icons let you know which documents are shared and whether clients have viewed them. You can revoke access anytime with or without notifying the client.

LawConnect also facilitates secure client communication. Email notifications let you know a new message exists. LEAP's in-app notification system likewise keeps you apprised of new messages.

Other Notable Features

LEAP offers integrated timers and a timesheet for capturing time contemporaneously or after the fact. A number of technologies automate time capture. For example, Auto Text enables you to store frequently used descriptions, and enter them with a few mnemonic keystrokes. Also, LEAP lists unbilled activities that don't yet have time entries. The LEAP mobile app records billable time on the go.

In addition to capturing more time, LEAP may also get you paid faster now that it integrates with RapidPay (powered by LawPay) for online credit card processing. You can add a RapidPay link to invoices you send.

LEAP also integrates with Microsoft Office for document assembly. LEAP includes many forms (a.k.a. templates) plus you can import and create your own. These forms, which work in both the Online and Windows version of Word, can pull data from any field in LEAP, and incorporate "if/then" statements and other sophisticated logic. You can link applicable forms to a Task so that those assigned the task have everything they need. When you create a document or email message, LEAP prompts you to bill for it.

In addition to capturing documents created through automated forms, LEAP can also import entire folders during initial setup. Similarly, your existing scanning workflow can be redirected to save documents in LEAP (the Android and iPhone app contains a document scanner for mobile scanning). LEAP captures email via the Outlook add-in.

What Else Should You Know?

LEAP works on all platforms. You can use your choice of native apps for Windows, iPad, iPhone, and Android. It also runs in your web browser. LEAP includes a Google- and mobile-optimized website for your law firm to help you attract new clients. Learn more about LEAP.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Micro-Symposium on LegalTech 2017 Plus Why Solos Should Not Remain Solos

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Coming today to SmallLaw: Legaltech 2017 (a.k.a. Legalweek) is now in the history books — thanks this issue of SmallLaw. We asked 11 exhibitors and other legal technology experts who attended — Robert Ambrogi, Michael Barrons, Mary Ellen Bellusci, Jesus Maria Boccio, Brett Burney, Shawn Gaines, Nehal Madhani, Ian O'Flaherty, Jeff Pfeifer, Benjamin Snipes, and Deborah Tesser — to share their product discoveries, tips, trends, and other observations from the perspective of small law firms. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn why solos need employees and how to hire them.

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | CLE/News/References | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Law Office Management | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Six Questions to Ask About Practice Management Systems Plus 61 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, January 30, 2017

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 62 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 Above the Law on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: Six Questions to Ask About Practice Management Systems

Microsoft's Email Service Options

SmartAdvocate Seeks to Take Document Automation to a New Level

Review: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1

MPU 361: Hidden iOS Features (Podcast)

LegalTech Exhibitors Are Clueless When It Comes to Marketing

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: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars

SmartAdvocate Seeks to Take Document Automation to a New Level in Practice Management Software

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers practice management software with advanced document assembly capabilities (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards and the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud practice management app with a robust data import tool, another practice management app with a do-it-yourself QuickBooks integration, an Outlook add-in that prevents email mishaps, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Much of law practice involves recurring, routine tasks. The less time these tasks require, the more time you can devote to the thorny legal issues you're hired to solve. This is especially important for those of you in personal injury practice because of the upfront financing you provide.

SmartAdvocate Cloud … in One Sentence

SmartAdvocate is browser-based practice management software for personal injury law firms that is now available in a hosted version called SmartAdvocate Cloud.

The Killer Feature

"Every time we show SmartAdvocate's Document Template Generator to lawyers, they are amazed at how much work it saves," Chief Operating Officer Arnie Baum told me.

The lynchpin for this document automation is SmartAdvocate's Microsoft Word add-in. This connects Word to your case data in SmartAdvocate. You can automatically populate Word documents with any of this data (including your own custom fields) using Merge Codes.

Out of the box, SmartAdvocate contains nearly 2,000 Merge Codes and hundreds of templates you can modify. You can also create your own templates. None of this involves programming. Instead, you select the Merge Codes you want to use and place them into the template. These templates can include envelopes. "A document that normally takes 3-4 minutes to create can be generated, emailed, and stored in 30 seconds," says Baum.

"There is simply no information you can't enter into the database and there is a merge code for everything so you can generate complicated documents and PDF forms," says SmartAdvocate user Philip L. Franckel, Partner at Franckel & Plevy. "It is highly customizable and easy."

Other Notable Features

SmartAdvocate users spend most of their time in the Case Summary. This elaborate environment contains every conceivable piece of information about a case — critical deadlines, incident details, injuries, medical providers, insurers, timeline, disbursements, notes, etc. The Case Browse feature enables you to search and filter this data, and make bulk changes across multiple cases such as assigning a new lawyer.

How often do you take notes that you later cannot find? SmartAdvocate doesn't only store your notes in the Case Summary, it also enables you to categorize notes by type and search for them with filters. Notes can contain links to related items in SmartAdvocate such as contacts or documents for quick reference.

SmartAdvocate offers two calendars — Case and Office. The former contains case-related events, while the latter contains these events plus non-case events like your vacations. The Office calendar also displays the schedules of everyone in the office. Thanks to the Outlook add-in, you can add these calendars to Outlook and your smartphone. The add-in also enables you to save client-related email in SmartAdvocate.

SmartAdvocate offers more than 20 customizable dashboards. The home dashboard — called MySmartAdvocate — lists your upcoming appointments, deadlines, tasks, and more. Other dashboards enable you to focus on specific areas of your firm such as advertising results and finances.

What Else Should You Know?

Other features of SmartAdvocate include a Case Intake Wizard for case creation from any location,, reports to which you can subscribe by email, and the ability to send text messages to clients from within the system without revealing your phone number. "Initially available only in a server-based version, SmartAdvocate Cloud provides all this functionality in a hosted platform," said Baum. Learn more about SmartAdvocate Cloud.

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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, December 22, 2016

It's time for the TL NewsWire Top 25 Products of 2016 Awards. TL NewsWire subscribers chose the winners of these awards. When subscribers clicked for more details about a product we reported on, they passively cast a vote. Passive voting is the most meaningful type of voting for awards. The winners below genuinely attracted the most interest from TL NewsWire subscribers.

This year a word processor earned the top spot! Major themes among the winners — practice management (8 products), litigation (5 products), legal research (3 products), time capture and billing (3 products), and add-ins for Microsoft Office (3 products). Also among the winners — a smartpen and accompanying app and notebook, a project management app, a virtual desktop service, and a marketing automation app.

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 2016 AWARD

Congratulations to the 10 hottest products of 2016!

1. WordPerfect Office X8

This first place finish may surprise some, but not longtime fans who have vowed never to use that other word processor. These fans told Corel they wanted advanced PDF tools, and Corel delivered in WordPerfect Office X8. You can now convert PDF image scans into WPD files, and use Reveal Codes to search and destroy formatting problems. Additionally, you can create your own PDF forms, including digital signatures.

2. Zola Suite

Five years ago, Fred Cohen and his team of designers and engineers set out to build cloud practice management software without compromise. In 2016, this hard work paid off with the launch heard round the legal web. Zola Suite's web, Android, and iOS apps have feature parity. With advanced technologies such as Gmail and Office 365 email integration, telephone call tracking, and a OneNote replacement, maybe you can have it all.

3. Smart Writing Set

Want to get a lawyer's attention? Develop a replacement for the yellow legal pad, which lawyers love to hate. Moleskine's Smart Writing Set consists of a pen with a tiny camera that digitizes your notes. This being Moleskine, the special paper notebooks that work with the pen look as sharp as you in your best suit. The free Android and iOS app stores your notes and can make them editable with its built-in OCR.

4. Contract Tools

Paper Software knows contracts. One co-founder served time in big law, the other is a programmer with machine learning expertise. The result of this dynamic duo is Contract Tools, which adds a suite of tools to Microsoft Word for use with complex contracts. Click a defined term for its definition, find all references to a specific section, locate and finalize all placeholders, and correct inconsistencies, incorrect formatting, and other errors difficult for human proofreaders to spot.

5. Exterro Project Management for Law Firms

Until you can replace your staff with robots, Exterro Project Management for Law Firms might be the next best thing. This project management and process automation software enables you to automate your workflows. When someone completes a task, the person responsible for the next task in the workflow receives a notification. Extensive reporting gives you a God-like view of all your firm's activity, which you can monitor from your beach bungalow.

6. LEAP 365

LEAP 365 easily wins the most impressive product launch of the year as it took place in a (sweet!) suite at Yankee Stadium. This largess underscored the company's significant achievement — cloud practice management software with apps for Windows, web, iPad, iPhone, and Android. During the press conference, four product specialists used LEAP on a different platform while seamlessly collaborating on document assembly and other law firm tasks. Clearly, LEAP had a much better year than the Yankees.

7. ExhibitManager 5

Given how many features Microsoft Word has, it's amazing how many it lacks. ExhibitManager fills one such gap by automatically generating a table of exhibits in a Microsoft Word document based on simple references that you insert while drafting. The software keeps this table updated when you edit your brief. ExhibitManager also manages exhibits using a spreadsheet-like interface, and can create PDF exhibit binders or ebriefs with one click.

8. LexRex

It's hard to believe but the cloud practice management pioneers are nearing their tenth birthday. This means they were originally designed for a desktop web browser. By contrast, LexRex launched this year built for a mobile world with a design that minimizes the number of different screens. The app's Case Categories offer workflow automation, while the Case Summary lists all activity for each matter in a tickler-like manner.

9. LawBase

Many software products require your firm to adapt because of their rigidity. By contrast, LawBase adapts to your law firm. This practice management software ships with templates for practice areas ranging from insurance defense to mortgage refinancing to mass tort. If one of these doesn't apply, the company can work to create a custom template that'll fit your law firm like a glove.

10. Concordance Desktop

Designed for the do-it-yourself law firm, Concordance Desktop added processing to its suite of tools this year. Now for cases involving custodians with mainstream data sources such as Outlook, Windows Explorer, and file cabinets, you can import PST files, scans, and more without a consultant or a dedicated processor like LAW PreDiscovery. You can then use Concordance Desktop's popular document review tools to find relevant documents, apply Bates numbers, and produce them in native, PDF, or TIFF formats.

WINNERS OF THE TL NEWSWIRE TOP 25 PRODUCTS OF 2016 AWARD

Congratulations to the next 15 hottest products of 2016!

11. Firm Manager 2.0

Sometimes software developers focus on user-facing features, while other times they focus on under-the-hood improvements. Firm Manager took both paths this year. Crowd pleasers such as the new templates automate client intake and other routine tasks. Meanwhile, role-based permissions, integration with the online and desktop versions of QuickBooks, and extensive data import tools help law firms switch to Firm Manager in the first place.

12. BlueStylus Time and Billing

It seems like virtually all cloud billing apps cost the same, almost as if they colluded on price. This is of course apocryphal, but if a cartel did exist BlueStylus wouldn't join. At just $7 per user per month, BlueStylus broke the price barrier this year while offering breakthrough features such as automated filing of email messages from clients. Not too long ago, only large firms could afford such technology. Now it costs less than Netflix.

13. ReplyToSome

A few years ago, Peter Norman was holed up in his office at the Singapore outpost of a large law firm where he spent many billable hours negotiating multiparty deals via email with disparate teams of opposing counsel. One misaddressed message could imperil his career. Once stateside again, he spearheaded the creation of ReplyToSome, which adds a suite of tools to Outlook that prevents such mishaps. Even if you don't need to manage large distribution lists, ReplyToSome offers other helpful tools such as SendCheck, which warns you about replying as a BCC and when you forget an attachment.

14. TimesManager Legal

James DeRosa knows a market opportunity when he sees one. With an increasing number of law firms using ClaimsManager despite it being designed for insurance companies, he and his team developed TimesManager Legal to better serve the legal industry. If you can think of a billing arrangement with your clients or partners, TimesManager can handle it — split, blended, fixed, ABA, LEDES, UTBMS, etc. TimesManager can also manage complex approval workflows, and integrates with Tabs3, QuickBooks, Legal Tracker, and TyMetrix among others.

15. CaseFleet

A mashup of client relationship management and litigation management that runs in your web browser, CaseFleet automatically builds a timeline of your cases as you enter facts, issues, witnesses, and legal research. Filters enable you to spot critical connections and build your narrative. Meanwhile, CaseFleet's Legal Calendar color codes all the critical deadlines on your cases and syncs with GCal and Outlook, while the Leads Pipeline helps you capture and convert prospects into new clients.

16. Ulysses 2.5

Designed for writing long, structured documents on your Mac or iPad, Ulysses collects all your notes, research, etc. in one place. You write in chunks (such as different sections of a brief or chapters of your great American novel). When you complete a project, you can combine these disparate elements into a single document in Word, PDF, or ePub format. iCloud sync automatically makes your work available on all your devices, including the iPhone.

17. Digital WarRoom Private Cloud 8.8

Ediscovery software seems immune to the all-you-can-eat pricing revolution underway in other software markets. Digital WarRoom Private Cloud wants to change the game with its all-inclusive price of $1,995 per month. Designed for large projects, Digital WarRoom Private Cloud spans the EDRM gamut, offering tools for processing, review, and production. Advanced technologies include data visualization tools to make email easier to analyze and predictive coding.

18. Nutshell

Peter Drucker advised law firms to understand clients so well that their service sells itself. However, you still need software for the nuts and bolts of online marketing. Enter Nutshell, which captures leads from your website and routes them to your intake team, tracks telephone consultations, and enables you to send personalized email messages to hot prospects. Extensive reporting helps you analyze your marketing campaigns.

19. Amicus Attorney Premium 2016

Now part of the Abacus Next family of products as a result of the merger of the year, Amicus Attorney added enterprise-grade document management features, including check in/out and versioning to prevent lost work or duplicative effort. Also new, client-related email appears alongside documents thanks to integration with Exchange and Office 365. Amicus Attorney's client portal facilitates secure document sharing and communications with clients. You can even have clients complete forms through the portal.

19. Thomson Reuters ProView

The future of the law library finally arrived in 2016 thanks to ProView. Both an ebookstore and ebook reader, ProView is the Amazon Kindle of legal references. You can purchase and read ProView ebooks in a web browser or in the dedicated apps for Windows, Mac, iPad, and Android tablets. New editions of an ebook can import your bookmarks and highlights from the previous edition even if the location has changed. Sharing tools enable you to send a relevant section to colleagues or export it to PDF to send to a client.

20. Firm Central

Firm Central recently earned a TechnoScore of A from our SmallLaw newsletter in part because of its exclusive first-party integrations with other Thomson Reuters Legal's services such as Westlaw, Deadline Assistant, Doc & Form Builder, Case Notebook, CaseLogistix, and Practical Law. Among third-party products, Firm Central integrates with Outlook and QuickBooks. The addition of Time & Billing to Firm Central earlier this year, including trust accounting and three-way reconciliation and reporting, checks an important box on the requirements list of many small law firms.

20. Tabs3 Version 18

There's no better way to get paid than from a trust account. This year Tabs3 kicked trust accounts up a notch by automating payments. Once you create a rule in compliance with your jurisdiction, Tabs3 can apply payments to new bills or accounts receivable or both. Support for electronic funds transfer and credit card processing via ProPay further grease the wheels of commerce. The new three-way reconciliation reports provide your clients with transparency into these automated payments.

21. Boxtop

Our ace product reviewer Ed Zohn runs the products he evaluates in Boxtop to ensure fairness. "Sure beats the old Citrix I used a decade ago," he quipped in a recent email message. Boxtop provides everyone in your firm with a virtual Windows desktop. The wizards at Tabush Group help get all your legal and other software installed in this virtual environment, and can even provide you with thin client hardware that supports two monitors. Boxtop, which also runs on Macs and Windows PCs, supports Microsoft Office, PCLaw, Tabs3, Time Matters, Worldox, and other popular apps.

21. MedMal Navigator

Mention the name Frank Netter to doctors, and they'll wax poetic about his iconic medical illustrations. Now that more than 10,000 of these images reside in LexisNexis MedMal Navigator, you can use them in depositions, settlement conferences, and at trial without any copyright hassles. MedMal Navigator also offers tools for assessing the value of claims, finding expert witnesses, researching illnesses and injuries and applicable standards of care, and of course finding relevant case law in Lexis Advance.

21. MyCase

Proving that technology can save time and money, MyCase's new QuickBooks Online integration enables you to set everything up in a few minutes on your own for free versus the previous implementation that cost $99 and required a one-hour consultation. This integration somehow manages to create QuickBooks invoices that mirror those you create in MyCase right down to every time entry and description — a technological tour de force.

21. Practice Point

Thomson Reuters Legal offers a cornucopia of information services — Westlaw of course but also Reuters News, Practical Law, Westlaw Forms, Business Law Center, and Company Investigator to name just a few. Practice Point serves as your gateway to these services. Need to negotiate a joint venture? Just navigate to that section and you'll find all the resources you need from initial conversation to final agreement. If only Practice Point existed for everything in life.

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 | Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Legal Research | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Review of Firm Central Plus SEO Primer for Law Firms

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Coming today to SmallLaw: You know a paradigm shift has occurred when Thomson Reuters Legal enters a market. In this issue of SmallLaw, New Jersey lawyer Ed Zohn reviews Firm Central — Thomson Reuters Legal's cloud practice management software. Ed evaluates Firm Central's setup, user experience, key features such as hybrid local/cloud document management, unique integrations with Westlaw, QuickBooks, and other popular products, price, and overall value. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for a primer on search engine optimization for 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: Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Rocket Matter CEO Speaks; Review of Office Lens; Four Windows Security Tips for Lawyers

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, December 9, 2016

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Larry Port, Rocket Matter CEO On Achievement Badges And Dashboard View Options

Craig Humphrey, Review: Office Lens (iPhone Scanner)

Tom Trottier, Four Windows Security Tips For Lawyers

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: Coming Attractions | Copiers/Scanners/Printers | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | Privacy/Security | TL Serendipity

Firm Manager's New Data Import Tools Ease Your Transition to the Cloud

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud practice management software with extensive data import tools (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a practice management app with a do-it-yourself QuickBooks integration, a tool for leveraging court dockets, an Outlook add-in that prevents email mishaps, a research service for medical malpractice practitioners, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Many law firms that want to take their practice to the cloud feel trapped because of data migration hurdles. While it's relatively easy to export data from your existing software, most cloud apps have limited import tools.

LexisNexis Firm Manager … in One Sentence

LexisNexis Firm Manager is cloud practice management software that as of this week offers significantly expanded data import capabilities.

The Killer Feature

The words "data import" bring to mind a days-long process fraught with false starts and do-overs. By contrast, Firm Manager's new do-it-yourself data import tools can get you up and running in under an hour judging from the demo senior product manager Scott Light gave me.

The false starts of data migration stem from errors in source files. You then have to hunt down all these errors before you can import anything. Firm Manager takes a different approach. It imports all the clean data and notifies you of any errors. You can then save a CSV file that contains only the errors, which eliminates having to find them. Once you make corrections, you can import this remaining data.

Firm Manager distinguishes itself regarding the categories of data it can import — contacts, matters, billing codes, opening trust balances, time entries, expense entries, invoices, matter notes, contact notes, and tasks. Scott imported a data file for nearly each of these categories during the demo. This breadth gives you the opportunity to import data from multiple sources. If you can export to CSV format, Firm Manager can import it.

Calendars and documents have special data migration tools. For the former, Firm Manager integrates with Google Calendar and Office 365. For document management, Firm Manager can bulk import entire folders and nested folders with one click, and assign all the documents therein to a matter. You can also send email to a matter using a special email address.

"As firms upgrade their practice management systems, they want to bring their current and historical data with them," Director of Product Management Wes Gillette told me. "Firm Manager's new, improved data import process makes it easy for firms to get up and running quicker and easier than ever before."

Other Notable Features

Firm Manager has added a number of other features. The redesigned Home dashboard displays your calendar, tasks, recent activity, and unbilled time (Money Finder). Switching to the new Lawyer View provides insights into your billable targets, over-budget matters, and overdue tasks. Filters give your more granularity into this data.

Also new are customizable templates. Intake Templates ensure consistent handling of every new matter. Fields can consist of dates, currency, menus, and checkboxes in addition to text. Checklist Templates contain all the tasks associated with a matter type, including the person who should handle each task and its estimated billable time or budget. When you assign budgets to tasks, Firm Manager visually identifies tasks that took too long. You can alternatively assign a budget to an entire matter instead of its constituent tasks.

What Else Should You Know?

Two Firm Manager plans exist — Starter costs $29 per user per month while Essentials costs $44 per user per month. Both plans include the new data import tools. Essentials also includes the customizable templates, role-based permissions, QuickBooks integration, and reporting. Learn more about 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: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Review of Rocket Matter Plus How to Procure Positive Online Ratings

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, December 2, 2016

Coming today to SmallLaw: A practice management bubble exists per our recent reporting. This makes product reviews more important than ever. In this issue of SmallLaw, New Jersey Ed Zohn lawyer reviews Rocket Matter. Today's review walks you through setup, integrations, and marquee features such as the Outlook integration, iPad app, and matter templates for automating tasks. As always, Ed assesses the user experience, price, and overall value. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week to learn how to procure positive online ratings from your clients.

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 | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw
 
home my technolawyer search archives place classified blog login