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WordPerfect Office X8 Aims to Help Law Firms Streamline Their Software Portfolios

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, May 20, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a word processing suite with legal and PDF tools (see article below), an iPad Pro case that may reduce the risk of theft, a gadget to help you sleep better by reducing external noise, and an email app designed to save you time. Don't miss the next issue.

It's fun to learn about new software products, but implementation? Not so much fun. Accordingly, the more each application can do, the fewer applications you need, the less money you spend, and the less training is required. Call it Suite's Law since such multifunction products often reside in a suite.

WordPerfect Office X8 … in One Sentence

Launched earlier this month, WordPerfect Office X8 (X8) is the latest edition of the most popular legal-specific word processing suite.

The Killer Feature

Corel relied heavily on feedback from legal users during the development of X8. The end result is a word processor with legal-specific features that obviates additional products.

For example, X8 contains advanced PDF tools. In addition to creating PDF documents, you can convert PDF scans to editable WPD documents thanks to built-in OCR. Reveal Codes enable you to clean up any odd formatting. You can also create PDF forms with X8, including drop-down menus, tool tips, and electronic signatures. Other PDF features include support for PDF/A and document security.

X8 also includes a number of built-in legal tools such as Bates Numbers and Pleading Paper (you can design your own). AfterShot 2 is a nondestructive photo organizer and editor with a $40 value that Corel now includes at no charge. The only extra that costs extra is Perfect Authority for automating the creation of tables authorities in briefs ($164.99).

"There may be more productivity apps around than ever, but lawyers quickly find that most simply aren't powerful enough to rely on," Senior Product Manager Cindy Howard tells us. "We asked our power users to tell us the most important improvements we could make in X8 for their workflows — and then we delivered."

Other Notable Features

Corel also set out to deliver some crowd pleasers for longtime fans. For example, you can now display Reveal Codes on the left or ride side of your monitor as there tends to be more unused space there than below your document. Additionally, you can adjust the color and other Reveal Codes settings, and save the Reveal Codes of a particular document in a separate document for review. X8 now includes a Reveal Codes glossary for any shorthand you don't understand.

The many law firms that use their own templates will welcome the new Template Viewer. You can create as many custom templates as needed and store them in a nested hierarchy. X8 automatically creates thumbnails of each template to make it easier for your staff to find the one they need.

Back in the early days of computing, lawyers and staff would often place an official WordPerfect Keyboard Template over their function keys for one stroke access to key features such as macros. With the ability to customize function keys, this one-size-fits all overlay became a relic. But now it's back — you can print a customized Keyboard Template that maps to your function keys.

Other features include an improved Macro Manager, the ability to hide any menu item and lock toolbars to reduce helpdesk calls, the option to include spaces in word and character counts, increased levels of Undo, short form citations in Perfect Authority, and support for high resolution monitors.

What Else Should You Know?

WordPerfect Office X8 Standard Edition sells for $249.99 (Full) or $159.99 (Upgrade). However, Bar Association members can purchase the full suite for $124.99. WordPerfect Office X8 runs on Windows 7 and later. Learn more about WordPerfect Office X8.

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 | Coming Attractions | TL NewsWire

TrialPad Seeks to Shift the Balance of Power in Trial Presentation Technology

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an iPad app for trial presentations with special support for the iPad Pro (see article below), a free virtual private network for iOS, an intelligent email assistant, and a multi-platform database. Don't miss the next issue.

Tech savvy lawyers have debated for years whether the iPad can replace a laptop. It turns out that real life is not mutually exclusive. The iPad performs certain tasks better than a PC and vice versa. Many lawyers now own multiple devices, and use the best tool for a given job. For trial presentations, many lawyers swear by the iPad.

TrialPad 4.5 … in One Sentence

Launching today, LIT SOFTWARE's TrialPad 4.5 is a popular trial presentation app for the iPad.

The Killer Feature

The new version of TrialPad leverages the size and resolution of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, enabling you to preview and annotate documents more easily, and view longer file names without truncation. TrialPad also supports the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. For example, you can use the Command-F key combination on the Smart Keyboard to start a search, and use the Apple Pencil to more precisely create callouts and annotations.

TrialPad creator Ian O'Flaherty also runs a trial presentation company. When he first launched TrialPad in 2010, O'Flaherty targeted smaller, less document intensive trials. "This is no longer the case," he tells us. "TrialPad 4.5 on an iPad Pro is faster and more versatile than Windows software even in complex trials. And it also remains the best choice for do-it-yourself trials without a consultant like me."

Other Notable Features

TrialPad's new Snapshot tool enables you to capture annotations and callouts exactly the way you want to present them. TrialPad saves Snapshots as PDFs in their own folder for quick access. You can email, print, or upload them to cloud storage. The Snapshot tool works whether you're displaying just one document or two documents side by side in Split Screen mode.

To go along with the new Snapshot tool, TrialPad offers improved annotation tools. The Pen tool snaps to 90-degree angles when using the straight line option. When a highlight overlaps an earlier highlight, the intersecting highlights don't get darker but instead remain transparent and readable. A long press on any tool reveals additional options.

The new version of TrialPad also makes it easier to prep exhibits. You can add exhibit stickers in bulk, and even replace previous exhibit stickers if necessary. If you use LIT SOFTWARE's DocReviewPad for document review and production, you can move selected documents into TrialPad organized by issue code.

When it's time to go live, TrialPad tries to prevent human error. When Output is switched off, the Blank, Freeze, and Present buttons remain visible but grayed out. Similarly, Apple's Split View is disabled to prevent accidentally showing another app such as your email or an outline.

What Else Should You Know?

LIT SOFTWARE has taken advantage of new Apple technologies, resulting in an improved full-screen mode, faster PDF rendering, smoother zooming, and use of iTunes for backup and transferring cases between iPads. A new training mode shows your fingers as round dots on an external display. TrialPad 4.5 costs $129.99 (it's a free update for users of TrialPad 4 and later). Learn more about TrialPad 4.5.

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: Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | Presentations/Projectors | TL NewsWire

BlueStylus Seeks to Offer the Best Value in Cloud Billing Software

By Neil J. Squillante | Friday, May 6, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud billing software that might have the lowest price in its category (see article below), a service that enables you to connect cloud apps to create automated workflows, a social media scheduling app, and an iOS calendar app. Don't miss the next issue.

When law firms look at their credit card statements, they see an increasing number of software subscriptions, one of which never comes under scrutiny — their Exchange email service. For this reason, when law firms consider adding another app to their workflow, they ask, "How much will it cost, and will it integrate with my email?"

BlueStylus … in One Sentence

Launched recently, BlueStylus is cloud billing software that also offers document sharing and email integration at a comparatively low price of $7 per user per month without an annual contract commitment.

The Killer Feature

BlueStylus connects directly to your inbox or any other folder in your Exchange email account. Once connected, it can automatically file your incoming and outgoing email and attachments in the corresponding matter.

This works by placing the matter number in the subject line or anywhere else in an email message. BlueStylus recognizes this matter number and files your message and any attachments. It then captures all future replies related to this initial message. You can also manually file email messages that don't have an embedded matter number.

Other Notable Features

Upon logging into your account, the main Dashboard lists key performance indicators such as revenue, matter distribution, a summary of billings per timekeeper, etc. You can drill down into any of these items.

The intake process for new matters automatically checks for conflicts and saves a report if needed someday. Along with your email, BlueStylus stores documents. You can see who uploaded a document and when. Other practice management features include automated workflows for sequential tasks that notify the next person in line, a calendar for matter-related events, and a client portal for securely sharing documents with clients.

Matters and timekeepers can have default billing rates. You enter time by using the timer or the quick entry form at the top of the Time dashboard. Either way, you can add a note to your time entries in addition to a billing code. The Time dashboard also lists your unbilled time such as events on the calendar, completed tasks, etc.

In accordance with your internal controls, invoices can require several approvals before they're printed or emailed. An interactive Aging Report enables you to email delinquent clients. When you get paid, you apply the payment so that BlueStylus matches your accounting system.

What Else Should You Know?

BlueStylus has an on-boarding process that walks you through all the key settings such as your firm name and logo, users and their billing rates, the invoice template you want to use, billing codes (UTBMS is an option), email credentials for sending invoices (works with any email address), active matters, etc. BlueStylus works in all desktop browsers. A mobile app for iOS and Android enables you to use BlueStylus on the go. Learn more about BlueStylus.

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 | Document Management | TL NewsWire

Nutshell Aims to Automate Law Firm Marketing on the Cheap

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, April 28, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a marketing automation app that costs less than most apps in this genre (see article below), a new legal research tool, a powered iPad Pro stand, and a VPN that works on all major platforms. Don't miss the next issue.

In the beginning, lawyer rainmakers spent significant time keeping their Rolodex up-to-date. Then personal information managers (PIMs) moved these contacts into software. This century gave us client relationship management software and then marketing automation software, often with high price tags.

Nutshell … in One Sentence

Nutshell is cloud marketing automation software priced significantly lower than most such products.

The Killer Feature

Nutshell enables you to create a sales process for your firm. For example, if your firm spans several practice areas you can assign leads for each practice area to a different partner. Nutshell can ingest contacts from the forms on your website to trigger these assignment rules. Email templates enable you to send elaborate messages to leads with one click. Nutshell can automatically create a set of tasks for each new lead and assign them. You can also manually add tasks such as creating a proposal.

Other Notable Features

In addition to its web form capabilities, Nutshell can import contacts from any source, including Outlook. Nutshell can also extract contact information from scanned business cards. You can categorize contacts with tags. Thanks to an integration with Zapier (sold separately), you can send contacts from Nutshell to a practice management system such as Clio, and also to Office 365 and Google Contacts.

Nutshell offers click-to-call functionality. After verifying your identity and telephone number, you can click the Call button for any contact to place a call from your computer that looks like it's coming from your phone. Nutshell logs the call in that contact's activity timeline. You can optionally record calls too. Click-to-call also supports several VoIP services, enabling you to place calls through apps such as Skype, RingCental, and Kixie.

As noted above, Nutshell contains basic email marketing tools. It also integrates with MailChimp (sold separately) if you need more functionality and reporting. Other features include threaded discussions, integration with Gmail and Outlook for capturing email conversations, and extensive reporting to help you analyze your sales process and forecasts.

What Else Should You Know?

In addition to using Nutshell in a web browser, you can also use it in the Android and iPhone app. Nutshell costs $20 per user per month for the Starter version. The Pro version, which you'll need for sales process automation, click-to-call, and implementation assistance, costs $35 per user per month. Learn more about Nutshell.

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: Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | TL NewsWire

Smart Writing Set Lavishes Attention on the Paper, Not Just the Smart Pen

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a smart pen and accompanying app that captures the notes you take in a tablet-shaped paper notebook (see article below), a case management app for litigators, a folding Bluetooth portable keyboard, and a task management app. Don't miss the next issue.

Digital note-taking takes three forms — writing on paper and then scanning what you write, writing on a tablet using a stylus, and writing on paper using a smart pen that captures what you write. Technology companies have dominated all three types, but the latter seems ripe for participation by companies renowned for their paper notebooks.

Smart Writing Set … in One Sentence

Launched earlier this month, Moleskine's Smart Writing Set consists of a smart pen, special Moleskine notebook, and a mobile app.

The Killer Feature

Moleskine calls its paper notebook the Paper Tablet not because it's a tablet, but because it's about the same size and shape as a tablet, including rounded corners. The Paper Tablet consists of 176 pages of thick paper. You can write on both sides. An email symbol at the top of each page enables you to email that page to someone with a tap of the smart pen (you then need to use your Android or iOS device to finish sending the message).

Other Notable Features

Called the Moleskine Pen+, the smart pen is made by Neo, the company behind the N2 smart pen. A camera on the Pen+ captures what you write. This eliminates the need for a transmitter that competing products use. The paper in the Paper Tablet contains small dots that enable the Pen+ to identify its location on the page.

The Pen+ stores up to 1,000 pages of notes for offline use. Whether live or after the fact, your notes eventually end up in the free Moleskine Notes app for iOS (Android version coming soon). The app's built-in OCR makes your notes searchable.

The app automatically tags notes by date, location, and page. You can apply custom tags such as a client/matter name, and then view a list of all notes with that tag. An optional recording feature enables you to playback your notes along with the audio.

What Else Should You Know?

Moleskine Notes syncs with Evernote and Google Drive. You can export notes in PDF, JPG, PNG, or SVG formats. The Smart Writing Set costs $199, including one Paper Tablet and one Pen+. Additional Paper Tablets cost $29.95 each. Learn more about Smart Writing Set.

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 | TL NewsWire

Ulysses Combines Word Processing With Document Managament

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an integrated app for writing and storing all your documents (see article below), a task management add-in for Outlook, a clipping and annotation utility, and a black and white laser printer with a small footprint. Don't miss the next issue.

Email is so important (or at least voluminous) that email apps offer both a writing environment and document management tools such as folders and search. Given how much time lawyers spend writing documents — most of it alone in their office — a similar unified system makes sense for word processing.

Ulysses 2.5 … in One Sentence

Launched last month, The Soulmen GbR's Ulysses 2.5 is an integrated writing environment for Macs and iOS devices.

The Killer Feature

Ulysses looks like an email app with customizable folders (called Lists) along the left that contain your documents. Smart Lists also exist such as "All," "Last 7 Days," and "Trash." You can create your own Smart Lists using Smart Tags. Filters and full-text searching also help you find documents.

Ulysses automatically saves your work in your iCloud account, enabling you to access the same documents on a Mac, iPad, and iPhone without having to worry about file management. A conflict resolution tool exists if a sync error occurs or you work on the same document on two devices without an Internet connection.

You write in plain text using an easy-to-learn markup syntax for headings, bullets, numbering, etc. Customizable paragraph styles map to this syntax for previews and when you export. Speaking of which, you can export documents in Word and PDF formats, including the styles. Ulysses also outputs to plain text, ePub, and HTML, and integrates with the blogging platform Medium.

Other Notable Features

Ulysses seeks to offer distraction-free writing. The optional Typewriter Scrolling feature always keeps the line you're typing at the center of the screen. Every function in Ulysses has a keyboard equivalent to keep your hands in place, including adding footnotes, hyperlinks, and images. Other features designed to get you in the zone include full-screen, dark (light text on a black background), and minimal (tools disappear) modes.

You can set goals for a document such as word count. Even without a goal, Ulysses offers live statistics. In complex documents, you can group different sections and collapse the groups you're not working on, attach notes, add bookmarks, annotate and comment, search and replace, and create a glossary of keywords. Ulysses keeps all versions of a document, enabling you to revert back anytime.

Ulysses takes advantage of services built into Apple's operating system such as dictation, text-to-speech, special characters, spell check, grammar check, auto-correction, dictionary, and thesaurus.

What Else Should You Know?

You can import Word and other documents into Ulysses using several methods, including Dropbox. You can also export documents to Dropbox. The Ulysses Mac app costs $44.99. The iOS app costs $24.99. Learn more about Ulysses.

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

Lexis DiscoveryIQ Helps Lawyers Assess Cases Before Embarking on Expensive Document Review Projects

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an all-in-one ediscovery suite with advanced technologies for early case assessment (see article below), a service for tracking telephone calls from prospective clients, an email virtual assistant service, and a password manager with its own authenticator. Don't miss the next issue.

Cases that are winnable on the law and facts can end up being lost because of discovery costs. Fortunately, new ediscovery technologies can give you key insights into a case before you conduct an expensive linear document review. In some instances, these technologies can even obviate such a review.

Lexis DiscoveryIQ … in One Sentence

Launching this week, Lexis DiscoveryIQ is an all-in-one ediscovery platform with an emphasis on early case assessment.

The Killer Feature

Using several new technologies, DiscoveryIQ seeks to reduce litigation costs by enabling you to find relevant documents and develop insights about a case faster.

For example, DiscoveryIQ's statistical sampling technology tells you the percentage of likely relevant documents among those you've collected. You can take this analysis further with DiscoveryIQ's proprietary predictive coding technology. A form of machine learning, predictive coding involves training DiscoveryIQ to find relevant documents on its own. You can select a confidence level negotiated with opposing counsel or ordered by a judge.

DiscoveryIQ also features Brainspace's Discovery 5 via an exclusive licensing relationship. Discovery 5 adds concept searching and data visualizations to DiscoveryIQ. For example, when you enter a search term, you can view related terms that also exist in the documents you're searching. Using simple sliders, you can adjust the importance of each related term. The Focus Wheel enables you to visualize your search so that you can get a handle on how many relevant documents exist for each key issue in the case.

Other Notable Features

After creating a new case in DiscoveryIQ, you use the built-in processing tools to ingest the data collected from custodians. These tools automatically de-duplicate documents and email messages, perform any necessary OCR, and create near-native versions of documents for improved reading comprehension (e.g., spreadsheets look like they would in Excel). Unlike traditional processing tools, you can begin reviewing processed data immediately.

In addition to the advanced technologies discussed above, DiscoveryIQ also offers traditional ad-hoc searching via the Explore tab. Powered by dtSearch, you can search by date range and Boolean operators, and apply filters such as custodian, file type, etc. No matter how you find documents, the Review environment in DiscoveryIQ enables you to apply customizable tags such as Confidential, Privileged, and Hot Document.

The DiscoveryIQ Dashboard helps you stay on top of your cases. The Document Timeline visualizes your team's progress, and provides key metrics such as total documents and total custodians. The Dashboard also displays the number of searches, filters, and Brainspace tags used to date.

What Else Should You Know?

You can perform a traditional linear review in DiscoveryIQ or export documents for use in any ediscovery review product. DiscoveryIQ sports a clean, modern interface that runs in all desktop and mobile web browsers, including Chrome and Safari on the iPad. Learn more about Lexis DiscoveryIQ.

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: Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

Concordance Desktop Seeks to Make Ediscovery More Accessible

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers ediscovery software for small-to-medium size litigation matters (see article below), a multifunction monochrome inkjet printer, speech recognition software for lawyers, and an email app that can send push notifications for even non-push accounts. Don't miss the next issue.

Discovery documents used to arrive with a thud — the sound of bankers boxes being unloaded from a hand truck. Today they're more likely to arrive via the dulcet tone of a Dropbox notification. Of course, this notification may not sound so sweet if you don't have ediscovery software.

Concordance Desktop … in One Sentence

Launched last month at LegalTech New York, LexisNexis' Concordance Desktop is an all-in-one ediscovery software suite for small-to-medium size litigation matters.

The Killer Feature

Concordance Desktop has a new input engine designed for do-it-yourself processing. The software can run on a relatively modest Windows PC, but thanks to its multicore, hyperthreaded architecture, you can increase processing speed with beefier hardware. Product manager Wil Cummings tells us that Concordance Desktop can process up to 60,000 pages per hour.

Processing requires just a few clicks. You create a new database, and then point Concordance Desktop to a data source such as an Outlook PST file or a folder of scanned documents. Concordance Desktop de-duplicates documents in the dataset, applies OCR technology to make scanned documents searchable, and performs a near-native conversion to make the documents look like they would in their native application. You can customize the processing workflow, including adding Bates stamps.

Other Notable Features

LexisNexis has also improved the tools for document review and production. Among the highlights, you can structure searches in new ways such as focusing only on email attachments. The new Persistent Search feature enables you to search a subset of a database (e.g., the key custodians in a case). The core review tools include redaction, notes, and issue tagging.

When producing documents, you can choose from native format or a traditional PDF- or TIFF-based load file, and apply a watermark and Bates numbers in the header or footer of each page. Concordance Desktop tracks all work performed from processing to review to production, providing you with an audit trail.

Concordance Desktop now works directly over the Internet so there's no need for remote desktop software. Remote users just download and install Concordance Desktop, enter their credentials, and work as if they're in the office. In the office, you can centrally install Concordance Desktop throughout your firm.

The new Admin Console enables you to manage databases of processed documents such as assigning them to Groups and Matters, and reindexing databases so that newly added documents become available to reviewers (reindexing can occur automatically by setting up a recurring Job). The SmartPath tool locates all Concordance Desktop databases on a volume.

What Else Should You Know?

LexisNexis sells concurrent licenses for Concordance Desktop. This approach saves you money because you only need enough licenses to cover the number of people working in Concordance Desktop simultaneously. Using the Admin Console, you can end the session of an idle user to free up a license for another user. Also, LexisNexis offers Burst licenses for short-term projects that temporarily require more simultaneous users. Learn more about Concordance Desktop.

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: Litigation/Discovery/Trials | TL NewsWire

Onit Enterprise Legal Management Takes a "Process" Approach to Ebilling and Matter Management

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers enterprise legal management software for corporate legal departments that goes beyond ebilling and matter management (see article below), an app for scheduling meetings (including paid consultations), case analysis software with document review capabilities, and a virtual desktop service for law firms. Don't miss the next issue.

Traditional enterprise legal management software enables corporate legal departments to manage and track the spending of legal work they outsource to law firms. This is important, but it's just one of hundreds of tasks corporate counsel need to manage.

Onit Enterprise Legal Management … in One Sentence

Onit Enterprise Legal Management is an integrated suite of ebilling and matter management apps designed to tackle the routine tasks of corporate legal departments.

The Killer Feature

There's a saying that every spreadsheet would be better expressed as a software program. Onit co-founder and CEO Eric Elfman found that lawyers in legal departments used a combination of spreadsheets and email to track processes ranging from board minutes to contract review and approval to legal matter assignments and much more.

This explains why Onit goes beyond traditional matter and spend tracking. Onit itself offers what Elfman calls a "process platform" that you can use as your primary system or as a means to augment your core software, including for the tasks noted above. Additionally, your department can create its own custom Onit Apps to fulfill specific needs.

"Traditional process management initiatives take between nine to 12 months to implement," adds Elfman. "By contrast, Onit Apps are configured and implemented in weeks so you can reap the financial and operational savings faster."

Other Notable Features

Onit features a configurable Dashboard comprised of widgets such as Pending, Disputed, and Overdue Invoices, Inactive Matters, Pending Vendor Evaluations, etc. Your view depends on your role in the department.

You create a new matter by entering the name, type, and lawyer managing the matter. You can add metadata such as whether it involves litigation and is a major matter. Selecting the type of matter (e.g., bankruptcy, investigation, real estate, etc.) can automatically add resources such as a paralegal, outside counsel, and vendors. You can upload documents, and set a budget or alternative fee arrangement.

Onit offers an ebilling workflow that adjusts to whatever business rules you have in place. You can create different workflows for special matters such as those involving more than $1M in fees. The workflows you create can proceed in a linear or parallel flow.

Law firms use Onit's BillingPoint service to submit invoices in a LEDES format. The use of a separate Onit App ensures that law firms cannot gain access to your data. Once ebills are submitted, Onit can format them so to look like a traditional invoice. Onit automatically alerts you if an invoice violates a preset requirement. In addition, you can reject invoices, add comments, adjust line items, etc.

Onit includes all the reports you would expect as well as the ability to export the data in Excel format. For richer reports with bubble charts and other data visualizations, Onit integrates with Tableau.

What Else Should You Know?

Onit runs in all web browsers. It also integrates with Outlook via an add-in. When you receive an email alert such as for a new matter, contract or legal service request, you can securely log into Onit from inside the email message to view the details. Learn more about Onit Enterprise Legal Management.

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

LexRex Rethinks Practice Management Software for a Mobile World

By Neil J. Squillante | Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud practice management system designed to work just as well on your smartphone as on your Mac or PC (see article below), a chat service you can add to your website to transform visitors into leads, and two practice management systems that announced new features today at ABA TECHSHOW. Don't miss the next issue.

If you build a cloud practice management system today, you have the advantage of knowing that virtually all lawyers have an iPhone or Android phone and expect your product to work on it. Many lawyers also have an iPad with similar expectations.

LexRex … in One Sentence

Launching today, Cerno Technologies' LexRex is a cloud practice management system built for use on both desktop computers and touchscreen mobile devices.

The Killer Feature

LexRex uses the same vertical scrolling design for both the desktop browser app and the Android and iPhone apps. According to VP Business Development Ray Priddle, this simplifies navigation, reduces the number of different screens, and enables you to find what you need faster.

The smartphone app offers the same functionality as the desktop app plus several device-specific features. For example, the app can automatically prompt you after a call to assign a case and post a time entry. Additionally, you can upload any document on your phone to a case.

"LexRex has been designed to work just as well on a smartphone as on a desktop," says Priddle. "The increasing use of touch screens means that applications need to be designed with touch as a key input and navigation method. Also, with the significant amount of business undertaken on smartphones it's important to fully use the technology lawyers always have with them."

Other Notable Features

LexRex groups together under Custom Settings everything you need to get off the ground such as adding users with default billing rates. Most notably, Case Categories enables you create a custom template for each of your core practice areas to standardize your workflows, prevent errors, and improve case outcomes. For example, a case category for medical malpractice cases can require incident dates during intake.

The heart of LexRex is the Case Summary, which lists all associated activity such as calls, meetings, court dates, documents, email, tasks, notes, expenses, time entries, invoices, etc. You can connect anything in LexRex to a case. LexRex's Dashboard gives you a head's up about your day and looming deadlines across all cases.

LexRex lavishes a lot of attention on your calendar, email, telephone calls, and tasks given their importance. Calls have their own time entry slip and are grouped together for reference. Tasks enable you to add multiple time entries as you work towards completion.

LexRex connects directly to Exchange, Google, IMAP, Office 365, etc. for your email and calendar. You can save email messages to cases. When you compose an email in LexRex, it automatically captures the time and files the message in the corresponding case. Likewise, LexRex can automatically bill meetings on your calendar.

The Billing system enables you to create invoices and send them to clients via email (PDF), mail, or their client portal (see below). When creating a bill, you can make adjustments such as overriding the billing rate for any line item, adding a late payment penalty, etc.

What Else Should You Know?
LexRex's secure client portal enables clients to pay bills with a credit card, access documents that you make available, upload documents that you request, and add notes. LexRex costs $35 per user per month when paid annually ($42 when paid monthly). Learn more about LexRex.

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Topics: Coming Attractions | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire
 
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