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What's Hot and Not in Legal Practice Plus 50 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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

Lawyer of the Year Kathleen Zellner

An Ode to Law Firm Leadership

Is This the Next Major Lawyer Rating Site?

Your Firm's Facebook Page Will Soon Be Gagged

Congratulations to Bob Denney of Robert Denney Associates on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: What's Hot and Not in Legal Practice (PDF Version)

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

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 Calculate Your Law Firm's Marketing Budget Plus 35 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 36 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Top Five Reasons Why Prospects Don't Hire You

Fair Deal for All Clients

Are You Losing Prospects at Hello?

How to Use Marketing Personas

Congratulations to Stephen Fairley of The National Law Review on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: How to Calculate Your Law Firm's Marketing Budget

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

The Completely Virtual Lawyer Plus 48 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 49 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

General Counsel Speak Out

Banish These 15 Phrases

The Magic of Facebook Ads for Lawyers

Make Your Marketing More Persuasive

Congratulations to Andrew Cabasso of JurisPage Blog on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: The Completely Virtual Lawyer: Pipe Dream or Possible?

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

Save Up to $25,000 on Your Taxes Plus 57 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 58 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Are You a Real Lawyer or a Pretender?

Sell Your Practice; Don't Close It

Reach Your LinkedIn Goals

Disclaimers in Your Tweets

Congratulations to David Mandell of Law Practice Advisor on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Six Tips to Save Up to $25,000 on Your Taxes

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

The Lawyer's Guide to Airport Lounges Plus 81 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 82 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Are You a Good Lawyer?

Closing Your Law Firm

Ten Tips to Optimize Your Law Firm Blog URLs

Why Law Blog Ghostwriting Isn't Unethical

Congratulations to Lee Rosen of Divorce Discourse on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: The Lawyer's Guide to Airport Lounges

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

Top Five Dumbest Things New Solos Do Plus 71 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 72 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

20 Surefire Signs of Super Clients

When Malpractice Strikes Stop Digging

List Your Law Firm in Apple Maps

How to Become a Trusted Legal Media Source

Congratulations to Lee Rosen of Solo Practice University on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Top Five Dumbest Things New Solos Do

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

ClearView Social Launches Plus All the Inside Baseball From the Past Week

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Coming today to BigLaw: Our editorial team has assembled links to all the inside baseball announced by America's largest law firms during the past week in an easy-to-scan format. You'll also find must-read analysis, rankings, trends, etc. about large law firms.

This week's inside baseball sections link to:

70 press releases about lateral hires, mergers, internal promotions, and all other significant business news.

40 press releases about notable law firm and practice group accolades.

90 press releases about notable individual lawyer accolades.

Congratulations to Robert Ambrogi of LawSites on winning our BigLaw Pick of the Week award: ClearView Social Launches. Here's a sampling of of some other industry analysis from this issue:

Robert Half Legal 2015 Salary Guide

Bingham McCutchen's Troubles

Kaye Scholer Leaves Behind Its Library

Skadden Makes a Major Move

How to Receive BigLaw
BigLaw keeps you apprised of lateral hires, internal promotions, mergers, new offices, accolades, and other inside baseball at America's 300+ largest law firms by linking directly to their press releases. Thanks to a clever design, BigLaw takes just a few minutes to scan yet its comprehensiveness makes it the only source you need to stay on top of this self-reported news. Each issue of BigLaw also links to insightful articles, statistical reports, podcasts, and videos about large law firms published elsewhere as well as to our detailed product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. The BigLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: BigLaw | Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Technology Industry/Legal Profession

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

The Demise of Law Firm Websites Plus 72 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 73 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Alternative Billing Comes to Main Street

How to Use Lists More Productively

25 Law Firm Website Mistakes

10 More Law Firm Website Mistakes

Congratulations to Robert Algeri of Great Jakes on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: The Demise of Traditional Law Firm Websites

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

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw
 
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