Vendor Directory | Tip Check out our online
Vendor Directory to find services that will help you with your practice. Communications Business Services, Inc., (CBSI) has been providing a 24/7 live answering service since 1985 from its Marietta location. See their listing for special pricing. They can email, text or fax your messages, and their receptionists can also patch calls to you. CBSI serves firms of all sizes and has pricing plans appropriate for each.
Procertas | Tip Procertas offers State Bar members a 40 percent discount to improve quality and increase efficiency through their legal technology assessment, training and certification program. The flagship product, the Legal Technology Assessment, improves quality and increases efficiency by ensuring that legal professionals are properly using the basic technology tools of their trade: Word, Excel and PDF.
Software | Tip Meet
Zola Suite, a comprehensive cloud-based legal practice management application that brings the power of a 360 degree integrated solution to law firms. Zola Suite is listed on the State Bar of Georgia's Vendor Directory and offers a 15 percent lifetime member discount.
Mircosoft Outlook | Tip SlawTips technology blog tells how to add personal notes, annotations, additional information or comments to an email that you have sent or received.
Microsoft Excel | Tip Need to remove duplicates in Excel? Go to the Data tab, and select "Remove Duplicates" (under Tools). A pop-up will appear to confirm which data you want to work with. Select the data set and select "Remove Duplicates" and it's done!
Click here for more Excel tips.
Technology Training | Tip Check out
Procertas (Professional Certifications and Technology Assessments), the latest member of our Vendor Directory. This is a new kind of company for an evolving legal marketplace. Their mission is better alignment between law firms and law departments, as well as between law departments and the businesses they represent.
Scroll | Tip Scroll - A law firm's solution for content. Showcase your knowledge, prove your tech savviness and stay top of mind! Check out the great discount to members of the State Bar of Georgia. Our machine learning platform curates practice area specific news articles and publishes them to a news feed on your website, a branded blog site we maintain for you, and social media. All done for you!
TimeSolv Legal Billing | Tip Check out
TimeSolv Billing, easy to use time tracking and billing software serving law firms and other professionals since 1999.
LexHelper Virtual Assistant | Tip Check out
LexHelper Virtual Assistant, your newest member benefit. LexHelper provides front office support for attorneys, law firms and agencies, allowing customers to focus on their clients and case work. Focused 100 percent on the legal industry, our trained professionals and proprietary technology create the best experience for your clients. At a fraction of the cost of hiring a full-time person, our services include: live receptionist to manage inbound and outbound calls, scheduling appointments, managing intake forms, bilingual assistance (as needed). We help attorneys throughout the United States.
Fastcase Webinar | Tip Join us on 10/6 for an Intro to Fastcase, your legal research member benefit.
Click here to register.
Scanning | Tip ScanSnap Cloud enables ScanSnap to scan directly to your favorite cloud service without the need for a computer or mobile device. Simply press the scan button and your scans are automatically sorted into documents, receipts, business cards or photos, and sent to a predetermined cloud service.
Fastcase | Tip Fastcase combines two unique features, the Interactive Timeline and Forecite to identify important cases.
Click here for more details.
Web Browsers | Tip Which web browser is the most widely used? Click
here to find out.
Website | Tip Does your website tell your story? Read
this article to improve it.
Gmail | Tip Chelsey Lambert from Smokeball explains step-by-step how to integrate your email accounts in
this article on Solo Practice University
Member Benefits | Tip Check out your newest member benefit,
Earnest, and save $300! Go to the
Online Vendor Directory and use the select by name option to find Earnest. Earnest uses data and technology to understand every borrower's unique financial story and offer the lowest possible rates. On average, attorneys have saved $32,557 by refinancing their student loans with Earnest. Unlike other lenders, Earnest lets you pick the exact loan term that fits your budget, and will never pass you off to third-party servicers. Earnest also has no prepayment, origination or disbursement fees.
Blogs | Tip "Overall, among lawyers who blog for professional purposes, 38 percent have received a client directly or through referral," says Allison Shields in a recent presentation at the
ABA TECHSHOW 2016.
Encryption | Tip To set a password in an Excel spreadsheet follow these simple steps.
To encrypt your workbook and set a password to open it:
Click the Microsoft Office button
, point to Prepare and then click Encrypt Document.
In the Password box, type a password and then click OK.
You can type up to 255 characters. By default, this feature uses AES 128-bit advanced encryption. Encryption is a standard method used to help make your file more secure.
In the Reenter password box, type the password again, and then click OK.
To save the password, save the file.
MS Word 2010 Macros | Tip "Tech Tools for Writers" offers a nifty little
macro course in 20 minutes, and it's free!
Solo and Small Firm Institute and Technology Showcase | Tip What you'll hear on the Practice Management Track:
Disaster Planning: What to Do in a Small Law Office
From Big Law to Solo Practice: Tips for Starting and Managing
Staying Out of Trouble with the Bar: Ethics Update
Office Start Up for New Lawyers and Reorganization Tips for Seasoned Lawyers
Marketing for Solo and Small Firms (Panel Discussion)
Dealing with Clients: Preventing Problems by Managing Clients' Expectations
Solo and Small Firm Success: What It Takes to Get There and What Can Get in the Way (Panel Discussion)
Pro Bono in Your Business Plan
Small Firm Strategic Planning
Time Management and Productivity
conference website for more information about the Solo and Small Firm Institute and Technology Showcase.
Member Benefits | Tip Would you like to have a one-page document with contact information and live links to your State Bar member benefits? Well
here it is! Live links and all contact information in one easy place that can be saved to your desktop.
Quick Caselaw Search | Tip Need to find a case in a snap? Use the QUICK CASELAW SEARCH on the home page of your Fastcase account. Simply type the case name into the Quick Caselaw Search box, e.g.
Gideon v. Wainwright. Click SEARCH and your result list will give you
Gideon and all the cases that cite to it. They are live links, so simply click on the case name to open the case, where you will find the standard presentation: citation, parties, attorneys, judges, text and footnotes. If you need to incorporate a sentence or paragraph into a brief or letter, simply block and copy the desired text and tell the dialogue box if you want to paste the text or paste the text with "The Bluebook" citation.
Georgia Practice Advisor | Tip Don't miss reading the
Georgia Practice Advisor blog to keep up the latest on practice management and ethics advice for Georgia attorneys. This blog from the Law Practice Management Director Natalie Kelly and Assistant General Counsel Tina Petrig gives Georgia Bar members useful practice management advice and general ethical guidance specific to their Georgia law practice.
Law School Debt | Tip This article from Huffington Post and written by Stephen Dash, CEO of Credible, ranks Georgia as the second best state for attorneys trying to pay off law school debt. Georgia's employment ratio of 1.3 (ratio of lawyers to lawyer jobs), mean salary of $137,280 and cost of living rank as 19th lowest in the United States means lawyers there should have an especially low debt-to-income ratio, an important factor for those who want to refinance their loans, which pushes the state to the number two position. The state also has generous forgiveness options on a federal and school-specific level.
ABA Book Sale | Tip DEC. 1 ONLY! Save 40 percent on ABA books and CLE products with free ground shipping.
Click here to shop; use discount code CYBER14.
Web Design | Tip Marketing professional suggest that a firm should redesign their website "about every two to three years" due to technology innovations.
This article from Law Practice Advisor discusses how often firms are actually redesigning their websites and suggestions on how to update to maximize value.
Fraud Protection | Tip We are heading into the season to be jolly but it's also a time to be ripped off by identity theft-à la Target or Home Depot data breaches or just plain shopping online. If you don't already have protection,
this guide should help you take measures to secure your identity.
LPM Software | Tip Are you considering a purchase of practice management software?
This link will take you to a quick rundown on what's new with TimeMatters.
Law Firm Websites | Tip From an electronic brochure to a lead-generating tool,
read here how firm websites are changing.
Updating to iOS8 Apple's iOS 8 Is Here: What to Do About That Pesky Storage Problem. Alyssa Newcomb explains in this
cleverly written post via ABC News/World News.
Video Streaming | Tip Smartphone video streaming is up 86 percent year-over-year according to an Adobe U.S. Digital Video Benchmark report. Drew Keller's
post on attorneyatwork.com explains how you can use this media in your practice.
MS Office Tutorials | Tip In a December 2013
podcast hosted by Stephanie Ward of the
ABA Journal, tech experts agree that honing your skills using the tools of the trade, namely Microsoft Office products, is a great way to stretch your technology budget. Free tutorials are available
Amicus Attorney | Tip September is a good month to purchase or upgrade your Amicus Attorney software with discounts of 15 to 20 percent if purchased within the month. If you are interested please contact Pam Myers at 404-526-8621 or
Help Guides | Tip Mashable, one of the most resourceful technology websites, bills itself as a leading source for news, information and resources for the connected generation. Their "How To" guides, like
this one, gives tips on how to use LinkedIn. Others can be found under the
How To section of their site.
Timeful iPhone App | Tip Timeful is a new app for the iPhone. It's a smart calendar and to-do list for Google Calendar, Exchange and iCal. Timeful combines your calendars and to-do lists so you can see everything that's competing for your time in one place.
Marketing | Tip Read more about the power of email from Emma, a marketing software company. One article explains the
power of email and the other shows
how to make it work for you.
MS Outlook AutoText | Tip AutoText can be helpful in Outlook. In Outlook 2010, possibly other versions as well, one can highlight text in an email and click the Quick Parts drop-down arrow from the toolbar to create an auto text function for later emails. Select either Save Selection to Quick Part Gallery or AutoText; when you select AutoText, the Quick Parts list appears, and way at the bottom is "Save selection to AutoText Gallery." Then try typing the first letters of the sentence or paragraph and a screen tip appears with the option to press enter. Auto text then completes the desired portion of text.
iPhone Tech Tidbit | Tip Delete unused apps. Get rid of the apps that you rarely, if ever, use. Unused apps take up display space and create clutter that makes it hard to quickly find the apps you routinely use.
This article from Law Technology News gives five iPhone maintenance tips.
Marketing | Tip Word of mouth has officially moved online. More than ever, clients are using review sites, social media, search engines and legal blogs to find the right lawyer for them. For new ideas on how to market your firm online, consider checking out this book from the
LPM Resource Library,
Online Law Practice Strategies, 3rd Edition: How to Turn Clicks into Clients by Jabez LeBret and Mark Homer.
"Reply All" Nightmare | Tip If you read any legal newspaper today, July 18, 2014, you will probably wince upon reading about the prosecutor who mistakenly hit "reply all" in the Atlanta schools cheating scandal trial. It may be worth reading
this article to ensure you don't end up on the front page.
Fastcase | Tip Did you know Fastcase Live Chat assistance is free to active members of the Bar? Take advantage of a research associate today!
Word Tools | Tip "Words are the lawyer's tools of trade," wrote Lord Denning, the former Master of the Rolls. It can also be said that Microsoft Word is the lawyer's tool of the trade. MS Word can perfect your writing by two built-in tests. The Flesch Reading Ease (FRE) test utilizes word, sentence and syllable count to calculate a score on a 100-point scale. Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level (FKGL) does just that, assigns a grade level. The product guide recommends a FRE between 60-70 and a FKGL of 7.0-8.0. Simply activate by going to Options>Proofing and checking off the appropriate boxes. Next time you write something in Word, click on Spelling & Grammar (F7) under Review and when complete, a pop-up box will show your score. This post scored a 63.7 percent and a 7.8 respectively-must have gone wrong on the self-styled acronyms.
Tablets | Tip If your tablet is only Wi-Fi enabled but you want to be able to see a web page or a map when you are not connected, take a screen shot to capture the content for later viewing. When your tablet is opened to a particular page that you want to reference later, just press the Home and Sleep buttons at the same time and a picture of the page will be stored in your device's Camera Roll. This is useful for storing often referenced content such as directions on Google Maps, a search of restaurants nearby or someone's LinkedIn page. You can also use this technique to share a webpage with someone else though email or message.
Online Marketing | Tip Marketing your practice requires a branding strategy. What you look like and how you present yourself online has become a critical piece of your image. Having the right headshot can go a long way in reinforcing it. Mary Ellen Sullivan posts
an article on attorneyatwork law blog discussing the importance of a good headshot.
Note-Taking | Tip An interesting study concludes, note-taking by hand is better than typing on a computer. Read more about this on the
Mobile Email Apps | Tip Blogger Aaron at Bachya Productions offers a
comparison of email apps with the focus on those aspects that are crucial to a better mobile email experience.
Insurance | Tip Member Benefits, recommended broker for the State Bar of Georgia, will be glad to assist our members with insurance needs. The Board of Governors has selected Member Benefits as the Bar's recommended broker for members' health, dental and vision plans and approved them to also offer disability and long term care plans. This service is completely voluntary, and the recommendation is offered simply as another resource for Bar members who are seeking such assistance. For more information, contact Member Benefits: 1-800-282-8626,
Resource Library | Tip Check out the new online version of our
Practice Management Resource Library. Use the interactive tools to find new books, search by title or author, save to bookbag or manage a reading list. If you need help logging in to the library site, please contact Kim Henry at 404-527-8772 or
firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pam Myers at 404-526-8621 or
Adobe Acrobat Help | Tip Want to make the most of your Adobe Acrobat software? Check out
product tutorials to discover advanced features. Choose from a list of topics such as creating, editing, combining and reviewing under Acrobat Help and Tutorials. Make sure you're viewing information that corresponds to your version of Acrobat.
Tablet | Tip Microsoft unveiled the
Surface Pro 3 tablet this week, saying the goal of the device is to "take away the conflict" between owning a laptop and a tablet. Will this be an answer for attorneys who are looking for a work horse tablet?
Software | Tip If you are considering purchasing practice management software, then check out our
software library list with links to a variety of the best products.
Ethics Helpline | Tip Lawyers who would like to discuss an ethics dilemma with a member of the Office of the General Counsel staff should contact the Ethics Helpline at 404-527-8741, 800-682-9806 or
log in to your account and go to the "submit ethics question" under "My Account."
Networking | Tip Networking is an important element of doing business. Consider how useful our
membership directory can be in finding law school alums, company associates or like-minded attorneys in your area. Filter by law school, company, location or section to find attorneys that may be interested in collaborating on a project, sharing office space or just sharing ideas.
Paperless Office | Tip Going paperless requires a plan and
this recent article on the Denver Bar Association blog "DBA Docket" offers advice.
Law Firm Finances | Tip "
Law Firm Finances: Everything You Need to Know" by Randall Ryder is a good overview on the topic. Be aware that each state has its own trust account rules.
Click here to read State Bar of Georgia Rule 1.15(II) Safekeeping Property - Trust Account and IOLTA.
Start Up Resources | Tip If you are planning to open a law office in Georgia, find
helpful information from the Law Practice Management Program.
Private Health Insurance Exchange | Tip As a member of the State Bar of Georgia, you now have access to a
private health insurance exchange offered by Member Benefits Inc., the recommended broker of the State Bar for health insurance.
Workplace Productivity | Tip Are you presently running your practice from your home?
This article has some helpful suggestions on how to improve your productivity.
Password Protection | Tip This recent article in
PC Magazine offers a review of the best password managers. With security becoming even more a topic of concern it's worth a read.
Laptops | Tip In a world transfixed by smartphones and tablets, laptops are still the best way to get real work done. This article in
Law Technology News reviews the "
Top Laptop Computers for Lawyers."
Solo and Small Firm Techshow | Tip Coming April 25: 2014 ABA TECHSHOW Roadshow; 6 CLE Hours, including 1 Trial Practice Hour.
Click here for more information.
Fastcase Training | Tip The Law Practice Management Program announces a new interactive Fastcase class with 3 hours of CLE credit. Consult the
calendar to sign up.
Legal Websites | Tip Missed the ABA TECHSHOW 2014? You may want to check out the popular "
60 sites in 60 minutes" to see what legal technology experts find interesting in legal websites.
Windows XP | Tip Microsoft will no longer support XP after April 8, but don't panic. Read
this article from Law Technology News.
Windows 8.1 Review | Tip PC Advisor's Jim Martin offers a
comprehensive review for users of Windows 8.1.
Retirement | Tip Ed Poll from the LawBiz Blog offers some
video advice concerning lawyers in the second season.
New Fastcase CLE | Tip March 31, 2014, is the deadline for CLE hours and the Law Practice Management Program is offering a new option: once a month Fastcase will be offered in a three-hour format at the Bar Center. You can now get all three credits at one time. The first hour covers navigation of the system with the remaining time devoted to interactive training on advanced features.
Windows XP | Tip Starting April 8, 2014, Microsoft will stop supporting XP. No more support means no more automatic updates to patch and clean security vulnerabilities, leaving hackers free to do their thing unimpaired. Here's
an article from the
ABA Journal, including info and links to help you move to a new operating system.
Cloud Computing | Tip Lawyers are wary about using cloud services due to concerns about security, backup and portability. This
recent article by Peter Vogel on Law Technology News is worth a read.
Editing Software | Tip Gary Kinder, author, lawyer and founder of
WordRake, an editing software, advises "Read good writing, feel what is good about it, and transfer that feeling to the page in your own words. Then think about those words. Think about what they mean, and what they don't mean, and if they mean nothing, delete them." Speak with your own well-reasoned, or humorous, or colorful, or spare, or intrigued, or informed, or sincere voice, and let your reader hear it clearly.
Career | Tip "...[I]n many rural areas, there is actually a
shortage of attorneys," says Roy S. Ginsburg in a recent article, "
Be a Small-Town Lawyer," posted on Attorney at Work. He suggests that one solution for underemployed lawyers is to head to the country.
Marketing | Tip Survey Monkey is a web-based tool that will allow you to create professional surveys that will aid you in getting that competitive edge. It's flexibility allows users to download data into a spreadsheet as a chart or PDF for viewing.
Backup | Tip Read
"FYI: Data Backup," a helpful article that explains all you need to know about backing up your files offered by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.
Fastcase Apps | Tip Fastcase offers free
Android apps with the ability to search case law and statutes with a variety of search options.
Fastcase | Tip The new "Copy with Citation" feature in Fastcase saves time. When you select text in a case or statute, etc., a small menu pops up with the option to include the document's citation when you copy the text.
Password Security | Tip How secure are the passwords that you use on your computer and probably many of your favorite websites? Password manager programs in which you use a single, secure password to log in will bring added security and lessen frustration. Here are a few you may want to consider:
ABA E-Newsletter | Tip Did you know that the ABA offers a free email newsletter? Get the news monthly, weekly, daily or even as it happens via print, online or by email.
Click here to subscribe.
The ABA Journal Tech Monthly is a publication emailed to all ABA members who have provided an email address and those who have signed up to receive the weekly email.
Resource Library | Tip Check out this new book from the
LPM Resource Library:
Legal Project Management in One Hour for Lawyers. This book by Pamela H. Woldow and Douglas B. Richardson will help to improve efficiency, keep budgets under control, build strong relationships with clients and maximize profitability all in one hour.
"In One Hour" Resources | Tip A series of practice management books marketed as "in one hour" provide a quick way to practical help.
Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers by Katy Goshtasbi is one of the latest, which can be checked out from the
Law Practice Management Resource Library. This book will help you discover and communicate your personal brand.
Resource | Tip Join
TechnoLawyer for free to access great articles, blawgs, trends and advice from some of the country's top legal experts.
Document Management | Tip If you are considering a document management system,
this article by John Roth posted on Legal Loudspeaker might be worth a read.
E-book Publishing | Tip E-books enable lawyers to self-publish valuable information and establish their authority on a particular topic.
Fastcase CEO Ed Walters joined LXBN-TV to explain the value of e-books in the legal arena.
Practice Management App | Tip A new tablet-based case management app could be just the thing to help solo attorneys stay organized. Read
this article by Jeffery Taylor.
Software | Tip Search for
practice management software online from a hyperlinked list that opens up the company site with pertinent product information.
LPM Resources | Tip Need to purchase liability insurance? Law Practice Management has
compiled a list of admitted and non-admitted carriers, risk retention groups and multi-line agencies/brokers.
Practice Advisor | Tip Visit
Georgia Practice Advisor to view office management, ethics and technology tips and advice from the State Bar of Georgia's Law Practice Management Program and Office of General Counsel.
Discussion Board | Tip Wondering how other solo and small firms in Georgia run their practices? Use the
LPM Discussion Board to ask them!
Technology | Tip Fujitsu's New ScanSnap SV600 can scan books and other 3-D objects according to
this review by Sam Glover.
Lighter Side of Law | Tip Need a break from the daily grind?
Bitterlawyer.com is a legal humor site featuring lawyer jokes, news and celebrity lawyer interviews from a team of prominent (and sometimes anonymous) writers.
Law Office Start Up Resources | Tip If you are planning to open a law office in Georgia, don't miss out on these valuable
office start up resources from the Law Practice Management Program.
iPad Air | Tip The folks at
TechCrunch, MG Siegler specifically, give pros and cons on iPad Air.
Health Insurance Costs | Tip Everyone is talking about it...health insurance costs.
Above the Law has an interesting survey.
iPhone 5C | Tip Thinking of upgrading to an iPhone 5C? Read
this review from CNET.
Fastcase | Tip The new "Copy with Citation" feature in Fastcase saves time. When you select text in a case or statute, etc., a small menu pops up with the option to include the document's citation when you copy the text.
iPhone | Tip Did you recently update your iPhone or iPad to iOS 7? Read this
article by techradar to learn the newest features.
Social Media | Tip "Best time to post": A scientific approach to effective use of social media is presented on Buffer. Belle Beth Cooper has collected research and stats on Twitter, Facebook, email and blogging to help you find the best time to communicate with others in each format.
Password Protection Freeware | Tip For help protecting, storing and managing passwords, CNET has a list of
password protection freeware that includes a brief description, a rating system and a link to downloads.
Freeware Backup | Tip Is your personal computer backed up regularly? Mozy offers 2 GB of secure online backup free. Other free software includes AOMEI Backupper, Cobian Backup and FBackup. For a list of 11 top freeware backup options read
this article from Techradar.
Backup Software | Tip Backing up your computer is essential and relatively easy. The ABA offers help with links to useful articles and reviews on their
website, FYI: Data Backup.
Business Practices | Tip "Being an entrepreneur means constantly reviewing your operations and thinking of ways they can be improved." Jim Calloway discusses ideas in his
article, "The Small-Firm Lawyer Considers Big Ideas."
Law Practice Management | Tip The Law Practice Management Program offers a wide variety of
office management forms for download.
Technology Competency | Tip In a
recent article, Sam Glover encourages attorneys to get on board the technology train.
Tech Tips | Tip SoloSez™ is
the internet discussion forum for solos and small firm lawyers. As the ABA's most active email listserv, SoloSez™ features approximately 3,000 solo and small firm email subscribers discussing everything from tech tips and legal opinions to what to wear to court. Sponsored by the
ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division, anyone can join-even those who aren't ABA members.
Succession Planning | Tip Google has a feature that allows you set up directives for your Gmail messages and data if your account becomes inactive for any reason. Making plans for what happens after you're gone is really important for the people you leave behind. Google has a setting that gives a selection of options,
click here to find out more.
Law Resources | Tip
Guide to Starting Your Georgia Law Practice is LPM's famous "Start Up Kit," but don't let the name confuse you. This book is designed to cover almost every question about opening a practice in Georgia, making it an ideal resource for existing law firms as they do periodic evaluations of existing processes and procedures. These are free of charge to all Bar members.
Marketing | Tip Need good ideas for a business card?
Here are some clever ideas.
Twitter | Tip Wondering how to use
Twitter to improve your law practice? Select the discover tab and enter terms such as "law practice management" to find the top twitter accounts on that topic. You'll even find out which of your twitter acquaintances are following any of these accounts.
Marketing | Tip Justia.com offers lawyers a free account that allows them to "Claim and update" their profile in the Justia Legal Directory. The directory provides lawyer, legal aid & services profiles by practice area and location. There are options to participate in forums and blogs which are open to the public. By registering you can choose to also receive announcements of upcoming new free services. For more details read the
Law Resources | Tip On this 4th of July holiday we are encouraged to read The Constitution of the United States of America.
Cornell University Law School has long been a repository for this great document and a host of other legal documents all free of charge.
Succession | Tip The sale of a law practice is generally part of an orderly plan for the founder's (or founders') retirement. This process is discussed in a
recent article by Peter A. Giuliani who has an ABA publication on this topic.
LinkedIn | Tip At the recent 2013 Annual Meeting, several attorneys asked about the value of
LinkedIn for lawyers and law firms. An
article written by Allison Shields may be helpful in learning features, while
another article by Gyi Tsakalakis considers the value of the site.
User Friendly Bill | Tip In his blog, "
the [non] billable hour," Matt Homann of Lexthink gets creative in his redesign of a client bill. Clients might find this a more user friendly approach. What do you think?
Technology | Tip Technology has become the blessing and curse of law practice management depending on your comfort level. Make sure you have someone in your office who actually understands and is comfortable with technology and give them the ability to remain competent through exposure and training. The
ABA TECHSHOW is a great starting point, and this would be a great year to attend. Natalie Kelly, director of the Law Practice Management Program at the State Bar of Georgia, is the 2014 program chair, proudly representing Georgia.
Customer Service | Tip Clients pay attention to how you treat them. Lawyers often misjudge the expectations clients have concerning their matters. Regular communication, either written or spoken, is key and building a system to ensure it happens on a timely basis will pay dividends. A short email, a phone call or even a voice message sent periodically, will go a long way to reassure them that you are on the case.
Online Presence | Tip Referrals are the best way to obtain new business, but don't ignore the fact that most people will want to learn something about you before engaging your services. Your online presence should be thoughtfully designed; it often serves as your first introduction. This, of course, means potential clients will Google you. Make sure they can at least find current biographical information and a photograph of each lawyer. Your email address should reflect your website domain. Writing for publications that publish articles online is a good way to demonstrate your expertise. Above all, keep it current.
Tech Shopping | Tip A great place to find good deals on technology is at
shopper.com, an extension of CNET, a CBS-affiliated website that contains news, reviews and editorials on all things tech. Shoppers can see ratings and pricing on one page and compare deals side by side from a seemingly endless list of stores. Filters help target the best products and prices quickly and then link to the store check- out all in a few clicks.
Twitter | Tip Use Twitter to follow legal news by practice area by selecting "#Discover" from the tool bar then "Who to follow" and enter "personal injury law," for example. For a more general approach, follow
LJN Online, the official Twitter feed of Law Journal Newsletters, ALM's newsletter division covering 21 legal practice areas.
Smart Phones | Tip Smart phones are one of the most easily stolen items and contain some our most sensitive information.
PC World's recent article, "The 21 Worst Tech Habits, and How to Break Them," advises users to limit mobile device usage to areas where you're completely certain you won't be the victim of a smash-and-grab attack.
Bad Tech Habits | Tip According to "The 21 Worst Tech Habits, and How to Break Them" in
PC World, one of the worst tech habits you can have is leaving equipment in plain sight. Most gadget heists are conceived and executed in seconds, and probably because you left the item unattended. Don't leave laptops and other gadgets unattended when you are in a public area or even at your own desk if others can have quick access.
Georgia Code E-Books | Tip Free e-books with portions of the Georgia Code are available online. Evidence E-Book (2013), Civil E-Book (2012-13) and Criminal E-Book (2012-13, with archives back to 2007) are viewable in a book format online at no cost. The author, Parag Y. Shah, is a personal injury and criminal defense attorney in Atlanta, Ga.
Shortcut Reminders | Tip MS Office 2010 added to all its programs a shortcut reminder. Click on the Alt key to see the shortcut keys display on the various commands at the top of your screen. Continue holding down the Alt key while clicking on the key that initiates the desired command, such as insert, save or delete, for example.
Tech Buyer's Guide | Tip Looking to buy a scanner, tablet or new computer for your firm? Check
List Alert | Tip List Alert searches Craigslist while you sleep! An email is sent to notify you when someone posts the thing you're looking for on Craigslist.
Live Chat | Tip When purchasing a product or service or needing support for one, use the "live chat" option for instant assistance. This option can save time as you can continue doing other things while waiting for responses and it allows your conversation to be archived.
Tech Tips | Tip Tech columnist David Pogue shares
10 simple, clever tips for computer, web, smartphone and camera users in six minutes.
Start Up Conference | Tip Log in to the State Bar's website and then
click here to view a recent Chicago Bar's Start Up Conference with Natalie Kelly as one of the presenters. Great information for starting a practice or to review for an existing practice.
Adobe SendNow | Tip Adobe SendNow is a handy way to send large files which are tractable, secure, confirmed delivery, and stored (up to 2 GB) for only $19.99 a year.
RATs | Tip We are often warned about opening fishy looking programs or files attached to an email. Remote Admin Tools (RAT) hackers use this method to send files that infect your computer to gain access to almost anything on your computer including your webcam. To avoid RATs, keep your computer up to date and have good antivirus software, an anti-malware and/or anti-spyware up and running with all the latest updates.
iPhone J.D. | Tip Need help going mobile?
iPhone J.D. is a site for lawyers using iPhones and iPads published by Jeff Richardson, an attorney in New Orleans, La.
Blawgs | Tip Blawgs (law blogs) are the place to go for useful law-related information, and it's free. Justia offers a
list with links to 5,228 blawgs and categorizes them into 74 areas. They also list other blawg directories just in case you didn't find what you're looking for on their site.
Desktop "Search" Feature | Tip Use your desktop "search" feature to find that file you're looking for. Depending on what operating software you have, a shortcut will open a search bar that allows you to find a file on your system by entering part of the file name or even text within the document. Google "
find a file in windows 7," for example, to learn more about how this works with your system.
Free Blogs and Newsletters | Tip If you don't have the time or money to attend law-related seminars, make use of free blogs and newsletters. Author Ari Kaplan offers his audio book,
The Opportunity Maker, to subscribers of
Georgia Bar Journal Research | Tip You can research archived
Georgia Bar Journal articles easily. Search by
index or open the PDF of a particular volume and search by keyword using Ctrl+F.
Tips and Tricks for Android Users | Tip Jeffery Taylor, The Droid Lawyer, is an Oklahoma City attorney. Follow
his blog to find tips and tricks for lawyers using Android devices in their law practice.
Solo and Small Firms | Tip Wonder what other solo and small firms are doing about marketing, consultations and practice management? Join the conversation in the
solo & small firm group discussion board. You must be logged in to participate.
Training | Tip Training is arguably the most important part of any technology investment. Your technology budget needs to include initial and periodic training to get the most out of your investment.
Cloud Computing for Lawyers | Tip Have you wondered if it's safe to move to the cloud? Pick up
Cloud Computing for Lawyers, Nicole Black (2012) from our
library and find out all the details. This book features a discussion of cloud computing fundamentals, an overview of legal cloud computing products, and step-by-step instructions for implementing cloud computing in your practice-including practical tips for securing your data.
Client Intake Forms | Tip Client intake forms are a good first step to use in considering whether a client has a case in which you are able to be of service.
Firm Websites | Tip Law firm websites are increasingly more valuable to attorneys as a platform to building their brand. Think of ways that well written content can communicate your expertise through articles, blog posts, presentations, videos and podcasts for prospective clients to read.
LPM Resource Library | Tip To make the most of Microsoft Office 2010 check out
The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Word 2010, Ben M. Schorr (2011) or Microsoft OneNote in One Hour for Lawyers, Ben Schorr (2012) from our resource library. Members can see the entire list of
resources and lending policies or call Kim Henry at 404-527-8772 for further information.
ABA Publications | Tip
All ABA publications from the last two years are available for the iPad, iPod Touch, iPhone. Visit iTunes or the iBookstore and search for the book title. Also, e-books are available at the ABA Webstore.
Get the same 15 percent discount using the code: PAB5EGAB on all e-books from the
Fastcase Search | Tip While in Keyword (Boolean) search, you can use multiple proximity ("within") operators to fine-tune your search. For example, when looking for cases in all jurisdictions involving the constitutionality of a search of curtilage and would like the cases to mention the word warrant or a form of warrant, I could run a search like this:
constitution* AND curtilage AND search* AND warrant*
However, that search returns 1,000+ results and the terms could be anywhere within the opinion.
Try narrowing the search by using the proximity operator. When I do this, the terms will be within several words of each other. To use the proximity operator, simply put a w/ or just a / and a number between 2 and 50 between the words you want to be close to each other. In this case, I want the terms to be within 25 words of each other. Here's my new search:
This search, even across all jurisdictions, gives me 299 results, which is a lot easier to review than 1,000!
Twitter | Tip Twitter is great for finding trends or following like minded people. You can discover news as it's happening, learn more about topics that are important to you, and get the inside scoop in real time. You may want to develop a following of your own but the value is the real-time information. Click here to read more about Twitter.
Outlook | Tip Outlook lets you request delivery receipts and read receipts for email messages you send to other people. Microsoft Outlook 2000 and later versions of Outlook also let you specify how you want to respond to requests for read receipts that accompany email messages that are sent to you.
Click here to find out how to use this feature.
Fastcase App | Tip Well respected law blogger David Whelan recommends Fastcase App for Androids as a must-have. Even though Whelan lives in Canada and seldom needs U.S. cases for his research he included this tidbit in a recent post. "I have taken a look at some of these apps, and others, for use in law firms. The only one I would add as an absolute must-have-even I have it, even though I rarely do U.S. legal research-is the free Fastcase app, now available for Android". Georgia attorneys have the full featured app available as a member benefit.
Smart Phone Security | Tip If you think your screen unlock pattern provides adequate security for your smartphone, think again. After five incorrect attempts, Android will reveal a "forgot pattern?" button which may help intruders gain access to your sensitive information. A
recent ACLU article by Chris Soghoian, Keeping the Government Out of Your Smartphone, discusses smartphone security issues in light of law enforcement search and seizure processes and reveals some interesting thoughts on just how much we all have to lose if our phone security is breached, especially for lawyers.
Practice Management Consultations | Tip According to a
recent survey by LexisNexis of about 1,000 attorneys, mostly in one- to 20-member firms, administrative tasks take up the majority of time. Apparently attorneys are not very good at delegating tasks; solo practitioners and two-lawyer firms reportedly were the least efficient. Billing, filing, document management and accounting took up the most of their non-billable time. Schedule a general consultation with an LPM consultant to see where you can make improvements.
Solo and Small Firm CLE Seminars | Tip Attend Law Practice Management's Quarterly Solo and Small Firm CLE Seminars to get the latest tips and trends on technology, finances, marketing and management. Seminars are scheduled for Nov. 1, 2012, Feb. 15 and April 26, 2013. Visit ICLE's website at
www.iclega.org for more details.
Starting Your Georgia Law Practice | Tip Contact Law Practice Management to request your free copy of
Starting Your Georgia Law Practice. This tool will help answer most, if not all, your questions on what to do to setup your very own law practice. Submit your request by email to
email@example.com or call 404-527-8772.
Management Audits | Tip Conduct management audits throughout the year to keep an eye on your business and its progress. If you choose to use a consultant for this, make sure they have experience with law firms similar to yours. Use the results from the audit in an annual firm retreat or strategic planning session.