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Lawyer Ratings, Rankings, and Reviews Plus 83 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 84 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.

The Elements of Conflict Waivers

The Hard Things About Hard Things

SEO v. PPC

Rules for Pitching Stories to Journalists

Congratulations to Micah Buchdahl of Law Practice on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Tips for Managing Ratings, Rankings, and Reviews of You.

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

Five Steps for Optimizing iTunes Match and iTunes Radio Plus Review of Ooma Office

By Neil J. Squillante | Saturday, March 8, 2014

Originally published on November 26, 2013 in our free SmallLaw newsletter. Instead of reading SmallLaw here after the fact, sign up now to receive future issues in realtime.

Thanks to iTunes Radio, you can flood your office with a custom radio station. An iTunes Match subscription will eliminate the commercials and make your music collection available from the cloud. However, if you have a lot of music ripped from CDs or from online sources other than iTunes, follow the steps in this issue of SmallLaw first to maximize matches and minimize uploads. It's the perfect weekend project. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week (newsletter only) for a for a review of business-class VoIP telephone system Ooma Office.

FIVE STEPS FOR OPTIMIZING ITUNES MATCH AND ITUNES RADIO

iOS 7, while still buggy despite several updates, has a mind boggling number of new features, including iTunes Radio — a hidden productivity tool as it can make tedious tasks that don't require much thought more tolerable. It also works in iTunes 11 if you don't have an iOS device.

Like Pandora, iTunes Radio enables you to create your own radio stations based on an artist, song, genre, etc. Unlike Pandora, iTunes Radio has access to more music and features new album previews (search for "First Play") thanks to Apple's iTunes Store.

Initially, I liked the commercials in iTunes Radio because of their relevance — mostly promotions for new albums. As publisher of TechnoLawyer, I feel especially strongly about advertising relevance. Apparently, Apple doesn't because those music-related commercials quickly vanished and were replaced by the usual mass market suspects such as cars and fast food.

So I decided to invest in iTunes Match, which costs $24.99 per year. In addition to eliminating commercials from iTunes Radio, iTunes Match makes your iTunes library available for streaming from up to 10 PCs, Macs, and iOS devices.

If you bought your entire music collection from iTunes, you can flip the iTunes Match switch without any worries.

However, if you have music ripped from CDs or obtained from stores and sources other than iTunes (such as Napster circa 1999), it pays to clean up your library first for two reasons.

First, when a match exists between your library and the iTunes Store you need not upload that song. The more songs that match, the faster you'll get up and running.

Second, many classic albums have been remastered. If you have the lousy sounding version from the early days of CDs, you can delete it after iTunes Match matches your library. Then you can download the better sounding remaster at no charge. This can save you boatloads of money, especially since you can keep the remasters even if you unsubscribe from iTunes Match.

In this issue of SmallLaw, I'll explain how to prepare your iTunes library for iTunes Match. It may seem like a lot of work, but on average it takes less than one minute per album. Before you begin, make sure iTunes' Sidebar is showing (you can find this setting under the View menu).

1. Collect Your Non-iTunes Store Songs

In iTunes, create a smart playlist that will collect your music ripped from CDs or purchased elsewhere. Filter by "Kind" (file type). To keep it simple, process one file type at a time. If you're comfortable with Boolean logic, you can collect every file type. For example:

"Kind Contains MP3" OR "Kind Contains WAV" OR "Kind Contains Apple Lossless"

This article explains how to create complex Boolean expressions like the above.

If you're not sure which file types you have in your library, click Music in the Sidebar, click Songs, click the View menu, select Show View Options, and check the Kind box. A Kind menu will then appear. Click on Kind to sort by file type and write down all file types other than Purchased AAC Audio File and Protected AAC Audio File.

2. Create Your Task Playlist

Once you have your smart playlist set up, select all songs, right click, and choose Get Info. In the Comments field, enter something like "Cleanup."

Then right click on the playlist itself and add a new condition — "Comment Contains Cleanup"

Organize the playlist by album. Finally, under the View submenu on the right side, select Grid. This visual organization by album works best even if your albums are partial and not complete.

3. Verify Matches

Click on the first album. You'll see the songs below. To the right of the album name, you'll see an arrow inside a circle. Click that and select "Show in iTunes Store." If the exact same album shows up in the iTunes Store, you've got a match! Proceed to the next step.

If there's no match, search iTunes to find the album. If it's in iTunes, it probably has a slightly different album title. Go back to your playlist, select all the songs, right click, and choose Get Info. Change the title of the album to match the name in the iTunes Store. If Album Artist is blank, it can't hurt to fill that in too.

Now repeat the beginning of this step to see if you can go directly to the album in the iTunes Store. If so, proceed to the next step.

If you still don't get a match, the album is probably a compilation. You'll need to look more carefully at the version in the iTunes Store. For example, I had to change the artist for "Concert for Bangladesh" to George Harrison for every song even though some of the songs were sung by others. After making this change, I got a match.

If you get a match but the album title in the store says "(Remastered)" and yours doesn't, add this to your album title to be safe in case Apple someday tightens its matching algorithm. Also, you may want to jot down these albums so that you can later replace them with the newer remastered version as explained above.

4. Ensure That Album Artwork Will Work

Now you need to make sure you have album artwork for all the songs on the album. If you obviously have none, right click the first song, and select "Get Album Artwork."

Even if it looks like you've got album artwork you probably don't for all songs because of a longstanding flaw in iTunes. It's better to be safe than sorry.

Right click on the first track, select Get Info, click on the Artwork tab, and copy the album artwork to your clipboard. Now select all the songs in the album, Get Info, and paste the artwork into the Artwork box on the right side. iTunes will embed the actual album image into each song file instead of relying on its smart association technology, which has never worked reliably for songs not purchased from iTunes.

5. Cull Your Task Playlist

Once again select all the songs in the album. Delete "Cleanup" from the Comments field. The album will then disappear from the smart playlist. Proceed to the next album and repeat the above process.

Happy Listening

When you finish processing all the albums in the smart playlist, you can subscribe to iTunes Match and experience it as Apple intended with minimal uploading thanks to all the matches.

One last warning — iTunes Radio may dent your wallet. After not buying any music in months, I've bought several new songs (discovery) as well as several old songs that I haven't heard in years (rediscovery).

Neil J. Squillante is the publisher of TechnoLawyer.

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, this newsletter provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Entertainment/Hobbies/Recreation | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | SmallLaw

Essential Software for Law Firms on a Tight, Moderate, or Large Budget Plus Picking Partners

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Many lawyers dream of the starting their own law firm. When they take the plunge, they tend to have one of three types of budgets for software — tight, moderate, or large. In this issue of SmallLaw, legal technology consultant Jack Schaller discusses the six essential categories of software for law firms, and then makes recommendations for each of these three budgets. His advice isn't just for startup law firms, but also for established firms that have outgrown their software. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for tips on how to pick partners when starting or growing a law firm.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Backup/Media/Storage | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Document Management | Online/Cloud | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

How Success Can Become Your Undoing Plus 75 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 76 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.

Don't Panic, Plan for Retirement

Are You Getting Good Cases for You?

Three Examples of Effective Content Marketing

Three Mistakes to Avoid When Networking

Lawyers Have the Worst Email Newsletters

Congratulations to Paula Black of Slaw on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: How Success Can Ultimately Kill Your Law Firm

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

Review of CaseManager Plus Law Firm Home Pages

By Kathryn Hughes | Friday, February 28, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Startup companies typically adopt new platforms faster than established players. Enter GoodCase Apps' CaseManager, a practice management app for the iPad and iPhone that costs just $20. When the company launched optional companion versions for Windows ($30) and Android ($20), we asked New Jersey lawyer Edward Zohn to review CaseManager for this issue of SmallLaw. Can you run your solo practice or small law firm on CaseManager? Ed has the answer. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for new research about law firm website home pages.

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 | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars | SmallLaw

Red Flag Client Bingo Plus 61 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 62 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Talent Battle Pits Small Against Big

What Clients Don't Care About

Fourteen LinkedIn Tips for 2014

Three Ways to Generate Ideas for Articles

Congratulations to Carolyn Elefant of My Shingle on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Red Flag Client Bingo!

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

Improve Your Word-Flow: Three Microsoft Word Features Worth Mastering Plus Email Signature Tips

By Kathryn Hughes | Thursday, February 20, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: The aspect of law practice that generates the most revenue for most law firms is also its least glamorous — document drafting. In this issue of SmallLaw, law firm technology consultant Ben Schorr explains how three Microsoft Word technologies — AutoCorrect, Building Blocks, and Templates — can make document creation more efficient. As always, Ben provides step-by-step instructions. Also, don't miss the SmallLaw Pick of the Week for tips on creating an email signature that will help rather than hurt you.

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small firm, big dreams. Written by practicing lawyers who manage successful small firms and legal technology and practice management experts who have achieved rock star status, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in small law firms, as well as comprehensive legal product reviews with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles (and podcasts and videos) about solo practices and small law firms. The SmallLaw newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | SmallLaw

A Law Firm Founder Admits Defeat and Wins Plus 51 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 52 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

A Former Boxer Becomes a Legal Heavyweight

Money Won't Keep the "Poachers" Away

Analyzing My Daily Blogging Experiment

Avoid This Terrible Public Speaking Advice

Congratulations to Lee Rosen of Divorce Discourse on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: How I Solved My Greatest Weakness as a Law Firm Founder

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 | Presentations/Projectors | SmallLaw

What's Hot and Not in Law Practice Plus 61 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 62 articles from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week.

Poaching Now Fair Part of the Game

Unconventional Wisdom on Time Management

Yahoo's New Local Listings

14 Tips to Grow Your Business in 2014

Congratulations to Robert Denney of WisconsinLawyer on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: What's Hot and Not in Law Practice in 2014

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

Six Effective Law Firm Websites Plus 66 More Must-Reads

By Kathryn Hughes | Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 67 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 10 Mistakes Small Firm Owners Make

A Hollow Victory in Court

How to Blog Without Burning Out

Successful Icebreaking Strategies at Events

Congratulations to Robert Algeri of The Great Jakes Blog on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Why These Six Law Firm Websites Are So Effective

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
 
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