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Equil Smartpen 2: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, November 21, 2014

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

YOUR DIGITAL PAPER MATE

Handwritten notes remain a fixture of legal practice. They have largely remained insulated from the software world much like grocery stores. But it's only a matter of time until software eats every task and every industry. In the case of handwritten notes, software needs a hardware accomplice.

Equil Smartpen 2 … in One Sentence

Announced in September and shipping this month, Ludia's Equil Smartpen 2 is a Bluetooth ballpoint pen that captures your handwritten notes and illustrations in its corresponding apps.

The Killer Feature

An arms race exists between powered ink pens like the Equil Smartpen 2 used on paper and powered styli used directly on a tablet's screen. Previously, both required the presence of your tablet. Powered styli cannot escape this requirement.

However, the Equil Smartpen 2 stores your writing in its onboard memory. You need not have the Equil apps up and running (though you can). Instead, you just need the Smartpen, the Receiver clip, and any paper.

Other Notable Features

Equil Smartpen 2 sidesteps the need for special paper thanks to the aforementioned Receiver. Measuring 3 x 0.5 x 0.9 inches, the Receiver clips to the top of any notebook so that it can record what you write. The pen measures 5.9 x 0.5 inches, and runs for up to eight hours. Both items fit into the included charging case. A full charge takes two hours.

The Smartpen transmits your notes to your choice of Equil Note or Equil Sketch (both free). Equil Note runs on Mac, Windows, Android, and iOS. The app's handwriting recognition technology can convert your notes into editable and searchable text. Equil Note connects to iCloud, Dropbox, and Evernote. You can export notes in a variety of standard formats for use elsewhere.

What Else Should You Know?

The Smartpen is pressure sensitive, and supports gestures for controlling functions in the apps. Adding to its portability, the Smartpen uses standard ballpoint cartridges that you can buy in an office supplies store. Equil Smartpen 2 costs $169.99. Learn more about Equil Smartpen 2.

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: Gadgets/Shredders/Office Gear | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire

TranscriptPad 2: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, November 21, 2014

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

TRANSCRIPT REVIEW FOR THE IPAD FAN

Preparing reports of relevant deposition testimony used to involve copying and pasting into a word processing document and wrestling with the formatting (this was barbaric enough so let's not even mention paper and highlighters). Dedicated desktop software brought some sanity to this process. However, transcript review is perhaps the most portable task in litigation. Laptops have never worked well on a lap, and have long since ceded the crown as the most portable type of computer.

TranscriptPad 2 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Lit Software's TranscriptPad 2 is a significant update to the popular iPad app for reviewing transcripts and creating reports.

The Killer Feature

The new version of TranscriptPad is optimized for iOS 8 and runs natively on both 32-bit and 64-bit chips. This means that it'll run fast on older iPads and even faster on 64-bit iPads — namely, the iPad Air, Air 2, mini 2, and mini 3.

Lit Software also redesigned the user experience and user interface. For example, a new tap and hold gesture enables you to more quickly open, rename, duplicate, and delete case folders. You can jump to any page in a transcript by dragging a slider or tapping the page/line indicator and typing a page number.

"Thanks to the power and portability of TranscriptPad 2, reading, highlighting, and creating reports occurs in a fraction of the time desktop software takes," Lit Software Founder and CEO Ian O'Flaherty told us. "No more cutting and pasting or right clicking. No more bouncing back and forth between PC, laptop, and iPad. TranscriptPad 2 combines the convenience of paper with the power of mobile software."

Other Notable Features

The company also overhauled the annotation tools. You'll find a new workflow for editing flags (split, join, and delete), and improved tools for assigning issue codes. You can also highlight and underline testimony. TranscriptPad now places blue dots next to the page/line number to indicate flags that contain notes. Designated page/line numbers appear in bold. The new cases screen features customizable case colors.

After you finish reviewing one or more transcripts, you'll find more export options for the reports you create. You can email reports in PDF, Excel, and TXT formats, or upload them to Box, Dropbox, Transporter, or a WebDAV-compatible file server. You can also print reports directly from your iPad. Importing transcripts supports all the same services, including the ability to use multiple services and navigate among them (useful as a backup or if a client wants to use their preferred cloud service).

What Else Should You Know?

Depositions need not look boring. TranscriptPad 2 has more typeface options, all which preserve the original pagination and layout. Also, 72 possible combinations of folder colors, and icons now exist. An integrated tutorial helps you get up and running (an interactive iBook is in the works). TranscriptPad 2 costs $89.99 (it's a free upgrade for existing users). Learn more about TranscriptPad 2.

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: Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

pdfDocs 4.1: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers PDF software designed for legal-specific tasks such as deal books and ebriefs (see article below), a PACER alternative that integrates with Dropbox, an iPad app for trial presentations, and an iOS and Mac app for tracking shipments sent via the USPS and more than 240 other carriers. Don't miss the next issue.

PURPOSE-BUILT PDF SOFTWARE FOR LAW PRACTICE

More than anyone else, the legal profession has made the Portable Document Format (PDF) its own. This explains why large software companies that serve the mainstream toss law firms a few bones in their PDF products. However, these products will never match those built from the ground up for the needs of law practice.

pdfDocs 4.1 … in One Sentence

Launched this week, DocsCorp's pdfDocs 4.1 is PDF software designed to help law firms manage their document workflows.

The Killer Feature

Legal teams often need to collect documents from various sources in one place, apply a uniform set of changes, and output a PDF document. pdfDocs has a new technology called Organizer Project that streamlines this process. An Organizer Project is a matter-centric workspace that resides on a local or network drive. You can create as many as you need, and create templates for your staff to ensure consistency.

You can add virtually any document type to an Organizer Project, including email messages and Microsoft Office documents. Thanks to pdfDocs' integrations, you can tap into a variety of sources such as Windows Explorer and your document management system. You can also copy documents from one Organizer Project to another.

Once you've added all the documents you need, you can reorder them, exclude one or more pages or documents, wrap the project within your firm's stationery, apply Bates numbers, headers and footers, and watermarks, etc. Lastly, pdfDocs creates a single document that you can save in PDF, PDF/A, JPEG, or TIFF format. From there you can email the final document to clients, save it to your document management system, etc. You and your colleagues can edit the saved Organizer Project any time.

Other Notable Features

pdfDocs offers other ways of interacting with PDF documents. For example, Single Document mode enables you to open and work with one PDF document. You can edit, annotate, comment, split, sign, redact, stamp, OCR, etc. pdfDocs also enables you to convert PDF documents into Word, Excel, or PowerPoint format, as well as automatically convert email attachments into PDF format upon sending.

Binder Project mode enables you to create closing books, deal books, and ebriefs with dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of documents (PDF and other formats). An executive at DocsCorp describes Binder Project mode as "Organizer Projects on steroids." A Binder Project can handle any existing folder hierarchy on a local or network drive or in a document management system. After adding the documents you want, you can rearrange them, brand the Binder Project with logos and stationery sets, use a Word document as a cover page, and apply watermarks, headers and footers, date/time stamps, and security settings.

The Make Binder command converts all the documents in the Binder into PDF format, generating a printable table of contents, cross-document bookmarks, links, and an optional auto launch file for a CD or DVD. You can output to a single PDF file or keep all the documents that comprise the Binder separate. If you create the same types of Binders repeatedly, you can save your settings as a Binder Project Template.

What Else Should You Know?

The new version of pdfDocs sports an interface similar to that of Microsoft Office 2013 aimed at making tasks easier to perform and thus reducing training time. Pricing depends on number of seats you need. Learn more about pdfDocs 4.1.

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

Time Matters 14: Read Our Exclusive Report

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

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

A PRACTICE MANAGEMENT ICON SETS ITSELF UP FOR THE FUTURE

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

Time Matters 14 … in One Sentence

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

The Killer Feature

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

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

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

Other Notable Features

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

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

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

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

What Else Should You Know?

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

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

MetaJure: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers document management software that automatically indexes your documents and email regardless of their source (see article below), a Bluetooth keyboard case for the iPad Air 2, software for creating visual documentation such as software training guides, and a task manager for iOS. Don't miss the next issue.

CAPTURE, INDEX, AND SEARCH 100% OF YOUR FIRM'S DOCUMENTS AUTOMATICALLY

An arms race exists in law firms to keep pace with the growth of documents and email. Manual systems may work for a diligent solo but don't scale. Document management systems scale but are not completely automated (e.g., document profiles). And no search software exists specifically for the legal industry. Well, until now.

MetaJure … in One Sentence

MetaJure is automated document management and document search software designed by lawyers for the needs of law firms and legal departments.

The Killer Feature

MetaJure eschews manual document profiles and tags in favor of automation and search. It automatically captures and indexes all email and attachments, work product (documents you create in Word and other programs), and scans. MetaJure CEO Rob Arnold tells us that even law firms with a document management system tend to capture only half of their content versus MetaJure's ability to capture 100%.

Connecting to every program law firms use would be impossible. Instead, MetaJure connects at the hard drive level much like an operating system. This means you can point MetaJure at new data sources such as computers brought into your firm via a client, lateral hire, merger, etc.

MetaJure integrates with ScanSnap scanners. Thanks to the ISIS standard, it also integrates with virtually all other scanners. MetaJure uses optical character recognition (OCR) technology to make scanned documents editable and searchable.

"The powerful automation used to store and retrieve the world's knowledge on the web is the gold standard for document management," says Arnold. "Why should lawyers accept anything less inside their law firms? MetaJure eliminates the need for lawyers to be administrative clerks. It also reduces the risk of noncompliance with record retention rules, a leading cause of malpractice claims according to the ABA Standing Committee on Professional Liability."

Other Notable Features

MetaJure offers a Google-like search experience. This means that you can enter natural language searches, and rely on MetaJure to interpret what you mean. If you want more control, you can take advantage of advanced features such as Boolean operators, fuzzy logic (similar spelling), proximity (exact phrases, words and phrases within a specified distance of one another, etc.), and wildcards (similar words). No matter how you search, you can filter your results by document location, file type, and the creation date.

MetaJure is agnostic regarding other document management software. It works with NetDocuments, Worldox, and other profile-based document management systems. You point MetaJure at these data stores just as you would a hard drive. Similarly, Active Directory integration enables MetaJure to index documents in homegrown SharePoint solutions as well as in Microsoft's forthcoming Matter Center. "There's no expensive conversion to pull in legacy data from various repositories," says Arnold.

What Else Should You Know?

It copies all the documents and email it captures onto this server for both redundancy and speed. This means you can also use MetaJure as part of your document retention policy. You and your colleagues access the server via the free MetaJure client software. You can try MetaJure free for 30 days. Learn more about MetaJure.

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 | Document Management | TL NewsWire

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

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Legal: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers speech recognition software for lawyers that works with nearly any microphone such as the one on your smartphone (see article below), a cloud word processor with new spreadsheet functionality, an iOS scanning app with OCR, and an online payroll processing service. Don't miss the next issue.

BENEVOLENT DICTATION

A meme exists to the effect that no one makes telephone calls anymore. Except that many people still make many telephone calls, including lawyers. Furthermore, voice recognition has become an area of intense research. Every smartphone now includes it. In short, your voice is still a thing. Maybe you should learn to use it more productively.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Legal … in One Sentence

Launched earlier this month, Nuance's Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 Legal is speech recognition software designed for legal work.

The Killer Feature

In Dragon's early days, the difference between success and failure depended on your diligence and your microphone. It required reading training materials and an optimized microphone. Nuance realizes that training software is like watching paint dry and thus a deal killer.

The microphones built into computers have become so good that Dragon 13 Legal works with most of them. Automatic microphone detection lists all available microphones, enabling you to switch among them. If you prefer dictating on your feet or perhaps while holding a yoga pose, you can use your Android smartphone or iPhone as a wireless microphone. Alternatively, you can dictate into the free Dragon Recorder app for the iPhone and then import the files into Dragon 13 Legal.

Nuance has also eliminated the need to train the software (though it remains an option for optimal accuracy). You can expect 99% accuracy out of the box with this percentage improving as the software adapts to your voice. A language model tuned for legal terms and a legal dictionary means that Dragon 13 Legal understands legalese. The software also knows how to format citations.

Other Notable Features

The Dragon 13 Legal Macro Recorder enables you to integrate with any other product you use. For example, you can create a voice macro to run a conflicts search in your practice management system. Meanwhile, Smart Format Rules enable you to teach Dragon 13 Legal how to handle abbreviations, paragraph numbers, etc. to obviate having to make the same corrections repeatedly.

Another automation feature of sorts enables you to proofread your documents by listening to them. You can play your original dictation, but you'll likely find the text-to-speech playback more helpful.

What Else Should You Know?

Dragon 13 Legal enables you to control the toolbar and other commands by voice in popular applications such as Microsoft Word 2010 and later, WordPerfect X6 and later, Gmail, and the major web browsers. Dragon 13 Legal requires Windows 7 or later. It costs $799. If you don't need the legal features, Dragon 13 Premium costs $199 and Dragon 13 Professional costs $599. Learn more about Dragon NaturallySpeaking 13 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: Dictation/OCR/Speech Recognition | TL NewsWire

WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, October 9, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an office suite that includes software for automating tables of authorities (see article below), an iOS email app compatible with most email protocols and services, an iOS law dictionary app that works inside other apps, an iOS app for organizing paper stickie notes (not a joke). Don't miss the next issue.

A POPULAR OFFICE SUITE SWEETENS ITS LEGAL BUNDLE

Software is unpredictable regarding its ability to upend the status quo. However, it follows a predictable path. Multi-functional software such as a word processor renders single-purpose utilities obsolete. This process is now playing out regarding products to create tables of authorities.

WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Corel's WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition is an office suite that now includes Perfect Authority (normally $199.99), which automates the creation of tables of authorities.

The Killer Feature

Perfect Authority works with citations in Bluebook, California Style Manual, Florida Rule 9.800, and Louisiana Public Domain formats. You need not manually mark citations as Perfect Authority finds them unassisted.

You can place the table of authorities you generate in your current document or create a separate document. Either way, you can update the table of authorities as often as necessary. When placed in the same document, the table of authorities can contain a page number hyperlinks.

Perfect Authority's Option Sets enable you to create, save, and apply settings for citation type, dot leaders, fonts, margins, Passim, sorting, and more. You can create multiple Option Sets for different courts, document types, etc. The Dictionary Editor further enhances automation by storing short-forms and legal terms with the correct capitalization and spelling.

"Perfect Authority was developed and integrated into WordPerfect Office as a result of numerous requests from our loyal users," Corel Executive Vice President of Graphics & Productivity Nick Davies told us. "The automatic creation of tables of authorities from within WordPerfect saves lawyers and their teams a significant amount of time."

Other Notable Features

Because the PDF format has become essential to law practice, Corel has enhanced the PDF capabilities in WordPerfect. For example, you can now create PDF forms, import PDF documents and edit them, save documents in PDF or PDF/A formats, and apply security settings.

The new Favorites features facilitates quick access to frequently-used documents and enables you to open several documents simultaneously. The enhanced Macro Manger contains several new macros.

Other improved features include Bates numbering, metadata removal, redaction, optical disc burning (via Roxio), and of course the perennially popular Reveal Codes. BrainStorm training videos help you get up to speed.

What Else Should You Know?

WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition costs $349.99. Those eligible can upgrade for $224.99. Corel offers discounts via many bar associations. You can try it for free. Learn more about WordPerfect Office X7 Legal Edition.

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 | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

CosmoLex: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an integrated billing, practice management, and trust accounting cloud application (see article below), an add-on for WestlawNext, an iOS app for creating diagrams, and a cloud time-tracking application. Don't miss the next issue.

LEGAL PRACTICE MANAGEMENT FOR ALL ASPECTS OF YOUR BUSINESS

Last decade, integrated software was like an army that had advanced beyond its supply lines. It held a lot of promise, but the technology simply didn't exist yet to make it successful. From force of habit, many small law firms still use a smorgasbord of software products, but the times have changed.

CosmoLex … in One Sentence

Updated recently, CosmoLex is a cloud legal practice management application with integrated billing, calendaring, conflicts checking, task management, and trust accounting.

The Killer Feature

Integration of your law firm's finances and client work eliminates duplication and reduces errors. For example, CosmoLex handles the entire client intake process. You can use it to conduct a conflicts search, schedule the initial meeting on the team calendar, enter the initial retainer into a new trust account, assign the matter's initial set of tasks to you and your team, convert completed tasks into billable time entries, generate a bill, and apply the retainer to the bill.

"We knew that a simple but robust integration of calendaring, task tracking, billing, and trust accounting would solve the majority of operational efficiency problems at small law firms," CosmoLex CEO Dr. Rick Kabra told us. "The bonus of anytime/anywhere access to these capabilities in the cloud exponentially increases the productivity gains realized."

Other Notable Features

CosmoLex's 360-Degree Financial View is a one-page dashboard that displays a snapshot of important financial data across all matters, including fee advances in an operating or trust account, unbilled work, and unpaid bills.

You'll find support for any style of billing such as hourly, contingent, and flat fee. Time entry requires just three clicks or taps. The Shorthand tool expands abbreviations that you set up for faster entry. Built-in cost accounting enables you to charge for overhead. Billing features include invoice customization, batch billing into PDF or Word format, and the ability to email invoices and reminders for past due invoices.

CosmoLex handles any trust accounting scenario, including preventing common trust accounting mistakes such as ledger card over-draft, three-way bank reconciliation, an audit trail of all trust account activity for each client and matter, low retainer replenishment requests, check printing (standard and voucher-style), and statements for clients that comply with your governing ethics rules. Trust accounts are always audit ready and IOLTA compliant.

CosmoLex goes beyond traditional conflicts checking. For example, finding a matching name doesn't necessarily mean a conflict exists. For this reason, the Conflict Checking function shows you relationships (e.g., John Smith was a witness for opposing counsel in a case five years ago).

Law firms must safeguard client data from external threats, and limit access internally. CosmoLex uses only datacenters in the United States with the latest encryption and other security protocols. Your data gets backed up automatically every four hours. Role-Based User Security enables you to create groups of people to designate which functions of CosmoLex they can access.

What Else Should You Know?

CosmoLex features a responsive design that automatically adapts to smaller screen sizes, enabling you to use it in any web browser on any device. CosmoLex costs $50 per user per month ($43 if you pay annually). You can try it for free. Learn more about CosmoLex.

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 | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

Chrometa for Android: Read Our Exclusive Report

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Android app that automatically tracks your telephone calls and text messages (see article below), a Bluetooth keyboard that works with any device, a portable USB charger that consumes virtually no space, and an iPhone app that digs up the dirt on your contacts. Don't miss the next issue.

AN ANDROID APP THAT CAPTURES CALLS AND TEXT MESSAGES

The best tool for tracking billable time is the one that does so automatically. The second best tool is the one you have with you. Because software cannot (yet) read your mind, you need both tools. This means a smart app for your smartphone.

Chrometa for Android … in One Sentence

Launched this week, Chrometa for Android tracks your billable time, including telephone calls and text messages, and securely sends it to your Chrometa or Chrometa Teams account.

The Killer Feature

Chrometa is a popular web application that uses locally installed apps to automatically track the time you spend working on your Mac or Windows PC (Chrometa Teams is the multi-user version). Lawyers who use Chrometa told CEO and Co-Founder Brett Owens that they like the convenience of communicating with clients via text messages but find it difficult to bill for them.

Chrometa for Android addresses this problem by automatically capturing the time you spend on text messages as well as telephone calls. You finalize your captured time, and either generate bills or export the data to your firm's billing software using Chrometa. You control when to sync your smartphone with Chrometa. This enables you to prevent sending your personal communications over a weekend or while in vacation to Chrometa.

If you use Google Contacts, Chrometa can match each telephone number when you sync so that it can organize your time entries by client. Keyword-based rules in the web application categorize all your time entries in an even more granular manner, including assigning the corresponding matter (project) and grouping those that are not billable.

"By popular request, we added text message capture to the latest version of our Android app," says Owens. "Thanks to all the billable time Chrometa for Android can capture, lawyers can get paid for all the time they spend communicating with and producing work for clients."

Other Notable Features

In addition to automatically capturing telephone calls and text messages, Chrometa for Android also enables you to manually enter time for other activities. The time entry screen lists your billable time, a field for a description, and a list of clients and matters from which you can choose.

Manual time entry takes two forms. You can quickly enter billable time after the fact. Alternatively, you can start a stopwatch within Chrometa for Android when you start a billable task such as a meeting. When the billable event ends, you stop the timer and create a time entry based on the stopwatch. You can pause and resume the stopwatch as often as needed during a billable task.

What Else Should You Know?

Chrometa for Android is free for Chrometa and Chrometa Teams users. The app works on smartphones running Android 2.3 and later. Chrometa ranges in price from $12 to $19 to $29 per month depending primarily on how many devices you want to track. Chrometa Teams costs the same per user. Learn more about Chrometa for Android.

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Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | TL NewsWire
 
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