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Legalinc Modernizes Entity Formation and Compliance Through Practice Automation

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud software platform that automates entity formation and compliance tasks, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of do-it-yourself ediscovery collection software at a price point far below the industry average, cloud practice management software for law firms that crave the billing and automation features of legacy software, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Entity formation and ongoing management can seem like Dante's Inferno with each secretary of state a figurative Circle of Hell thanks to archaic websites, inconsistent compliance notifications, and manual, paper-based processes. How about some modernization and uniformity?

Legalinc … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Legalinc automates tasks related to business formation, entity management, and registered agent services, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand.

The Killer Feature

You can use Legalinc's services directly from its website. Alternatively, you can incorporate LINC, a private-label (white-label) version of Legalinc, into your own website. LINC is free, including complete integration assistance.

With LINC powering your website, you can offer do-it-yourself business formation services. Prospects can choose from several packages. For example, you could charge extra for registered agent services, an online entity management dashboard, etc. Also, these new businesses may need additional legal services that your firm can provide — trademark filings, lease negotiations, private placements, etc.

"Legalinc is an incredible partner for us, says Kevin Vela, co-founder of Vela Wood P.C. in Texas. "We leverage their LINC technology platform to better and more efficiently service our clients. I can't imagine using anyone else for state filing matters."

Other Notable Features

Legalinc CEO and Founder Erik Treutlein describes Legalinc as a "practice automation software company." "By leveraging the power of software to navigate thorny requirements across all U.S. jurisdictions, Legalinc outshines the clunky, antiquated processes offered today," says Treutlein. "We are committed to automating mission-critical legal services through secure, scalable software."

When forming a new entity, Legalinc displays all state fees, including options for expedited processing. Legalinc can create C and S corporations, LLCs, nonprofits, DBAs, and more in all 50 states. Legalinc can serve as the entity's registered agent.

Legalinc's Compliance Calendar lists deadlines for the entities you manage, enabling you to identify and address compliance challenges. Legalinc can send you and your clients email alerts (on your behalf) for upcoming filing deadlines, status changes, and so forth. If you need a document such as Good Standing that's not available online, Legalinc can retrieve it quickly from the state and upload it to your account.

The Entity Dashboard lists the formation and all subsequent orders as well as the accompanying documents — incorporation, annual reports, state advices, and tax filings. Not all states have gone digital so Legalinc scans and uploads mail received from such states. Similarly, you can upload documents created outside of Legalinc's purview such as board minutes. Accordingly, every compliance document associated with the entity resides in Legalinc. If you're using LINC, you can provide access to this dashboard under your own brand to your clients.

What Else Should You Know?

Legalinc can transfer all the entities your firm currently manages to its platform for free. Legalinc charges an annual fee per entity plus any applicable state filing fees. Treutlein tells me that Legalinc charges significantly less than industry giants like CT Corporation. This gives you more latitude when pricing the services powered by Legalinc that you offer clients. Learn more about Legalinc.

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: TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Alt Legal Automates the Management of Trademarks and Other IP Assets

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers software for managing your clients' trademarks, copyrights, and patents from inception to renewals (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software for personal injury lawyers, a legal research service for medical malpractice lawyers, a service that can help you add a new practice area, a Word add-in for automating exhibit references, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Even small intellectual property law firms manage thousands of trademarks and other IP assets on behalf of their clients. This means thousands of deadlines for replying to office actions, filing renewals, etc. Miss a deadline and you lose a client. Time to move beyond your creaky Excel spreadsheets for managing these portfolios.

Alt Legal … in One Sentence

Alt Legal is cloud software for managing intellectual property portfolios, including trademarks, copyrights, and patents.

The Killer Feature

Alt Legal crawls USPTO and TTAB dockets (and soon international trademark databases) to provide automated monitoring of changes and deadline calculations. "What you view in Alt Legal always mirrors the original source," says former big law lawyer and CEO Nehal Madhani. "Your deadlines are always up-to-date." Alt Legal notifies you of upcoming deadlines via email with live links to each filing.

Unlike competing services, Alt Legal's crawler doesn't only look for new docket entries and status date changes but all changes to each record. As a result, Alt Legal can instantly notify you of changes that don't trigger an official notification such as the appointment of a new attorney.

"Alt Legal's automated trademark docketing allows me to organize and monitor filings and keep track of dates and deadlines," says Bill Samuels, an IP attorney and the owner of W.R. Samuels Law. "The platform automatically identifies and updates my docket without manual data entry. To replace Alt Legal, I would need multiple employees to manage my clients' trademark portfolios."

Other Notable Features

You begin using Alt Legal by retrieving all the IP filings under your firm's management. Because TESS is the most modern USPTO database, you can retrieve trademarks by entering the associated email addresses or registration numbers. Alt Legal offers complimentary data migration for large IP portfolios.

The Docketing dashboard lists all IP filings under your management sorted by deadline. You can search by applicant, client, type of filing, etc., and add notes to IP filings for later reference. Alt Legal links directly to USPTO records so that you can download documents, respond to office actions, and reference applicable regulations with a click. Alt Legal automatically adds deadlines to your Clio and Outlook calendars thanks to integrations with those products.

Alt Legal enables you to generate reports using parameters ranging from Literal Element to Statutory Deadlines to Mark Type and many others. You can view reports in a spreadsheet-like table in Alt Legal or export in Excel format. If you wish, clients can gain read-only access to their portfolio.

Speaking of clients, Alt Legal's Intake tool facilities collaboration on new trademark filings. Clients receive a customizable email message with a link to a secure web intake form. The form adapts as clients answer questions such as whether they're filing individually or for a company. Alt Legal's team keeps these forms up-to-date, enabling you to populate TEAS forms without retyping. New filings are automatically captured by Alt Legal and added to the Docketing dashboard.

What Else Should You Know?

Alt Legal enables you to restrict access among your staff to filings assigned to them. Administrators can access all filings. Pricing for Alt Legal starts at $75 per month. Your cost depends on the number of filings in your account. In addition to data migration, an Alt Legal subscription includes unlimited training, live chat, and telephone support. Learn more about Alt Legal.

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: TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

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 …


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.


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

Lexis Practice Advisor Helps Get You Started on Work Outside of Your Comfort Zone

By Neil J. Squillante | Monday, October 31, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a service designed to help you expand your practice by providing model forms, practice notes, checklists, etc. (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of software for managing and referencing exhibits, knowledge management software for mining your firm's work product, three practice management apps, a visual tool for identifying relevant case law faster, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

It's amusing when a relative expresses bemusement that you're not an expert in every area of the law. But when clients ask for help, you either figure out how to deliver or leave money on the table.

Lexis Practice Advisor … in One Sentence

Lexis Practice Advisor offers model forms, practice notes, checklists, articles and other materials for lawyers, and integrates with Lexis Advance and Lexis for Microsoft Office.

The Killer Feature

Mindful of the fact that winning the trust of lawyers like you requires high-quality and updated materials, LexisNexis put together a network of more than 500 practicing lawyers from more than 230 law firms. Each lawyer has years of experience with the legal issues that pertain to the documents they contribute. In addition to reviewing the credentials of these authors, you can email LexisNexis' internal author team with questions about their documents.

Other Notable Features

Lexis Practice Advisor groups its materials by practice areas, including bankruptcy, finance, intellectual property, real estate, etc. This coverage includes business and commercial transactions for four states — California, Florida, New York, and Texas — with more in the pipeline.

Browsing these topics reveals subtopics presented in a step format designed to match your tasks. For example, drilling down to Private Mergers presents you with "Structuring and Planning Private Mergers" and "Preliminary Agreements in Private M&A Deals." If you prefer, you can start with a global search and then filter your results by practice area.

Lexis Practice Advisor groups materials by Forms, Articles, Secondary Materials, Cases, and Statutes & Regulations. The primary and secondary legal research come from Lexis Advance while the rest derives from the authors noted above. Some forms are interactive, enabling you to draft documents in Lexis Practice Advisor. Icons alert you to alternate clauses you can review and add with a click. You can also add your own clauses.

If you use Lexis for Microsoft Office, you can access Lexis Practice Advisor from within Microsoft Word, including all forms. "The integration with Lexis for Microsoft Office gives legal practitioners instantaneous access to the full breadth of Lexis Practice Advisor's on-point content and tools inside the Microsoft applications they use every day," said Sean Fitzpatrick, Managing Director of North American Research Solutions at LexisNexis. "This is a crucial step in our overarching strategy to help customers produce higher quality work in less time."

Lexis Practice Advisor offers M&A lawyers a tool called Lexis Market Tracker based on EDGAR and related data. Using Consideration Type, Target Industry, Deal Amount, and other parameters, you can research "What's Market" on more than 450 deal points for credit agreements. Lexis Market Tracker isolates specific provisions such as Collars and Ticking Fees so you can quickly find what you need for the documents you're drafting.

What Else Should You Know?

You can share materials with colleagues by placing them in Shared Folders. These work across Lexis Advance so they can also contain legal research. You can also export blank and completed forms in Word or PDF format. Learn more about Lexis Practice Advisor.

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 | Legal Research | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Contract Tools Makes Drafting and Proofreading Agreements More Efficient

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Microsoft Word add-in with tools for analyzing, drafting, and proofreading contracts (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of cloud practice management software five years in the making, a legal ebook reader app, case analysis software, an add-on for document management systems, a project management app for law firms, a virtual desktop service, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Contracts consist of structured data — sections, subsections, defined terms, etc. This means that software can save you time when drafting and also reduce errors through improved proofreading. Microsoft Word doesn't offer any specialized tools for contracts so you'll need an add-in.

Contract Tools … in One Sentence

Launched this month, Paper Software's Contract Tools is a Microsoft Word add-in with tools for drafting, analyzing, and proofreading agreements.

The Killer Feature

Traditional contract software has fallen into one of two camps — drafting or proofreading. This can result in having to purchase two or more products. By contrast, Contract Tools offers both drafting and proofreading tools, thus providing one-stop shopping.

"It's also fast and flexible," Paper Software co-founder Benjamin Whetsell told me when he visited our office recently. "To analyze contracts, Contract Tools uses a number of patent-pending technologies to analyze, say, 200 pages of dense legalese in a few seconds." Whetsell demonstrated Contract Tools' speed using a number of such agreements. It looked instantaneous.

Other Notable Features

Contract Tools resides in a panel adjacent to your document. A menu at the top enables you to navigate through the various tools. For example, the Provisions tool lists all the sections and subsections in the agreement. Click on any provision to jump there in the document. Similarly, the Defined Terms tool lists all defined terms, and the number of times each appears in the agreement. You can jump to a defined term's initial definition or to anywhere else in the document it resides.

Contract Tools doesn't just analyze your agreements. It also makes them interactive. Double-click a defined term for its definition, double-click a cross reference to view it, etc. The Back button brings you back to where you started. When you scroll through a document, Contract Tools displays the names of sections in large type as you reach them.

Virtually every contract contains sections that refer to other sections. The Related Items tool gives you omniscience beyond the human brain. For example, let's say you're reviewing Section 7. Contract Tools displays all the other sections that Section 7 references, all the sections that reference Section 7, and all the defined terms in Section 7. And of course you can jump to any of these with a click.

It's common practice to add placeholders, bracketed text, highlighted text, and comments to agreements while drafting to avoid losing your train of thought. The To-Dos tool in Contract Tools automatically finds these unfinished items so you won't forget to circle back. Also, Contract Tools' Autocomplete suggests defined terms as you type, reducing the number of placeholders you'll need in the first place.

For proofreading, the Drafting Errors tool lists problems such as undefined and duplicate defined terms, inconsistent formatting, unmatched punctuation, and list order errors. This list updates when you save your work. You can also ignore and hide problems that Contract Tools flags.

Microsoft Word's simplistic search tools don't cut it with lengthy agreements. Contract Tools enables you to search by number, date, time of day, unit of time, and money in addition to word searches. Thus, you can quickly find the termination date, the purchase price, interest rate, etc.

What Else Should You Know?

Contract Tools works with Word 2007 or later on Windows 7 or later. It costs $10 per month per user or $100 per year per user ($8.33 per month). Learn more about Contract Tools.

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: Business Productivity/Word Processing | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

Onit's Contract Management Suite Aims to Make Contract Review and Administration More Efficient

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers contract lifecycle management software (see article below), a word processor designed for complex documents, cloud ediscovery document review software, and a business card scanner for your smartphone. Don't miss the next issue.

Working in a legal department can feel like being in a bumper car as you're bombarded daily with requests to review new contracts and stay on top of leases, software licenses, and other agreements with important date-related terms. Manual systems comprised of email and spreadsheets can seem like chewing gum and bailing wire, inadequate to the task.

Onit's Contract Management Suite … in One Sentence

Onit's Contract Management Suite (Onit) is contract lifecycle management software for corporate legal departments.

The Killer Feature

Onit features a Contract Review & Approval portal through which managers and salespeople can submit contracts to the legal department. You can configure the intake form for each type of contract routinely submitted. Based on preset rules, Onit routes each submitted agreement to a designated lawyer for review. Designated lawyers receive an email notification, and also see the contract on their dashboard.

Each contract has a "Phased Workflow" feature to ensure compliance with your company's policies and to ensure a timely review. These workflows accommodate parallel or serial processes and conditional logic. For example, contracts involving more than $1M can require an extra approval from your general counsel. Lifecycle metrics can be added to track the number of days it takes to approve and finalize the contract.

Tools within the Phased Workflow environment enable you to communicate with the business team and attach markups and supporting materials. Onit also provides a unique email address for each contract so that any email you need to send automatically gets filed in that contract's workflow.

Other Notable Features

Onit's Contract Administration solution facilitates the management of contracts with auto-renewals and other important date-related terms. For example, Onit can alert you whenever a contract's notice date approaches in case you want to take action. Each contract has its own timeline with key milestones to assist your review of its salient provisions.

As noted above, each lawyer in your department has a personalized dashboard with charts and tables showing contracts pending approval, contracts per phase, contracts by type and value, etc. From your dashboard, you can apply filters to find a specific contract as well as run and save reports or export them in Excel format.

In addition to reviewing and administering contracts, you can also use Onit to offer pre-approved contracts such as NDAs that managers in your company can use without any delay.

What Else Should You Know?

Onit integrates with Adobe Sign (formerly EchoSign) and DocuSign for digital signatures. Onit logs these digital signatures within each contract's Phased Workflow for audit trail purposes. Onit runs in all web browsers. Learn more about Onit's Contract Management Suite.

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: TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards Plus 60 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Monday, July 11, 2016

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 61 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 Seamus Bellamy of PCWorld on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The Best Folding Bluetooth Keyboards

Tips for Choosing Practice Management Software

Amicus Cloud Adds a Client Portal

Review: iAnnotate 4

The Future of Company Devices May Be as a Service

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 | Computer Accessories | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | Transactional Practice Areas

Practice Point Organizes Legal Resources the Way You Work

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a curated collection of resources for transactional and in-house counsel (see article below), an app for notarizing documents, a cloud practice management system, and an ediscovery processing and review service for legal departments. Don't miss the next issue.

Your job as a transactional lawyer or in-house counsel is to complete projects and tasks as accurately and efficiently as possible. It makes sense then that your legal research service should organize the resources you need in a way that aligns with your todo list.

Practice Point … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Thomson Reuters' Practice Point organizes resources for transactional lawyers and in-house counsel by practice areas, projects, and tasks.

The Killer Feature

Practice Point offers a collection of Thomson Reuters' legal resources curated and organized by a team of experts in collaboration with practicing lawyers.

For example, let's say your client wants you to negotiate a joint venture. When you browse Practice Point by task, you can choose Joint Venture. From there you can choose subtasks such as Get Oriented, Structure & Considerations, Draft & Negotiate Joint Venture Agreements, etc. At every turn you'll find the resources you need for that particular task.

These resources include primary law, Reuters News, Practical Law (checklists, practice notes, standard documents, What's Market), Westlaw Forms, Business Law Center, Company Investigator, State and Country Q&A, and more. Practice Point also offers relevant Rulebooks such as the Securities Act. You can search for rules by their common names rather than their citations (e.g., Rule 144A).

Other Notable Features

Practice Point offers a number of productivity tools to save you time. You can "Favorite" projects, tasks, practice areas, and specific resources for one-click access in the future. You can also make any page your Start Page. The interactive breadcrumb tracks your path through Practice Point. One click takes you back to any page. Alerts keep you apprised via email about updated resources and related news.

The My Folders feature enables you save documents and selected text as you review various resources for the task at hand. These are the same folders that Westlaw uses so the folders you create and items you save become accessible from both services. The same goes for your History.

"Practice Point is designed to be the touch point for your practice or legal department, directing you to the precise resources needed," Thomson Reuters Vice President, Global Workflow Solutions Emily Colbert tells us. "The result is legal guidance, research, and know-how, plus time-saving tools — all conveniently integrated into one solution."

What Else Should You Know?

You log into Practice Point using your OnePass password. This ensures access to all the resources to which your organization subscribes. Practice Point works in all major web browsers on Macs and Windows PCs. Learn more about Practice Point.

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: Legal Research | TL NewsWire | Transactional Practice Areas

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.


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

Better Results From Dragon; Reviews of Symphony Suite, Family Law Software; How Can You Convert a Scan Into Word Format?

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, October 8, 2015

Today's issue of TL Answers contains these articles:

Donald Lowrey, Tips for Better Results From Dragon NaturallySpeaking

Henry Murphy, Review: Symphony Suite With Worldox

Nancy Chausow Shafer, Review: Family Law Software

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: Coming Attractions | Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | Document Management | TL Answers | Transactional Practice Areas
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