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LPM Newsletter

January 21, 2015

Click here to view online.

In This Issue

Tech Tuesday

Using Styles in Microsoft Word
Leah Peabbles
Tuesday, Jan. 27
Noon–12:30 p.m.

Click here for webinar archives.

Quick Links


Reba Nance

How to Choose Software For Your Law Practice

I am often asked “What software do you recommend for ______________” (insert time and billing, practice management, trust accounting, document management, etc.).

The answer always is “it depends.” There are a number of criteria you must consider before making any software decisions. Click here for a great overview to help you choose legal software, and check out an article by Nicole Black and Craig Greening that appeared in the October 2014 issue of the Texas Bar Journal’s Solo/Small Firm Column.

Here are some of the things you need to consider:
  • Want vs. need—do you “need” the software, or do you just “want” it?
  • Has the company been around for a while?
    • Likelihood that they will remain in business
    • Likelihood they will continue to improve it, fix bugs, issue updates
    • Likelihood you can find staff that knows how to use it
    • Likelihood that it will integrate with other software you already use (when appropriate)
  • Can you migrate your existing data?
  • What’s involved in getting your data out if/when you go with different software?
  • Is it okay if the software is cloud-based, or do you prefer to “own” it?
  • How complicated is it to learn? Can you find training options?
  • Does it ”think“ like you do? Or is it like swimming upstream?
  • Get a free trial so you can see how it works and “thinks”
  • Sit down and outline everything you need it to do
  • What is the price? Is it monthly? One time? Must you pay a yearly fee for “maintenance?”
  • How is their customer service?
  • Google reviews and see what others say about it.
  • Are any of your colleagues using it and what do they think?

I have never, ever encountered a piece of software that I hand’t heard of at least person who hated it. The perfect software doesn’t exist. All you can do is realistically consider what you need, do your research and then commit to using it. And don’t forget the training!


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Quick Tips
Product Reviews
Technology

TechnoLawyer NewsWire Top 10 and Top 25 Products of 2014 Awards

by Neil J. Squillante, posted on the TechnoLawyer
Read more.

2014 Techno-Gift Guide

by Jeffrey Allen and Ashley Hallene, published in GPSolo
Read more.

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies

podcast with Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell, posted on Legal Talk Network
In this episode of ”The Kennedy-Mighell Report,“ Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell survey the current landscape for collaboration tools, trends and best practices, and what lawyers should be doing to make better use of these tools. Read more.

Switching from PCs to Macs in the Law Office

by Ben Stevens, posted on the Mac Lawyer
It’s no secret that Apple products continue to gain traction in the legal field, and that they are a great option for many attorneys, particularly solo and small firm lawyers. However, changing operating systems or learning a new computer may seem like a daunting task, particularly to a busy lawyer. Read more.

Marketing

Why Content Relevance is Everything Online

by Jason Astle, posted on The Docket
“After I finished watching a puppy versus stairs video, I saw a link to a construction defect blog and I was really glad I did,” said no client ever. Clients do not find lawyers randomly. Read more.

How to Do Your Own SEO & Why You Probably Shouldn’t

by Gyi Tsakalakis, posted on AttorneySync
Can Lawyers Do Their Own SEO? Yes! But, it depends on what we’re including in our definition of SEO. Read more.

Powerful Lawyer Marketing: ”Word-of-Mouth, Plus“

by Dan Lear, posted on Attorney at Work
A decade from now, consumers of legal services will use the Internet and mobile technology to do it all: research legal issues, find and engage an attorney, even have legal services delivered to them. But when answering the question ”Where do clients come from?,“ today’s reality lies somewhere between that future world and one where numerous lawyers still resist the Internet. Read more.

Google to Penalize Non Mobile-friendly Blogs and Websites?

by Kevin O'Keefe, posted on Real Lawyers Have Blogs
Last year, Matt Cutts of Google indicated that the number of search queries on Google from mobile devices far surpasses the number of desktop/laptop search queries. So it makes sense that Google is now notifying webmasters of sites that are not mobile-friendly to fix mobile usability issues Read more.

Finances

Law Firm Intake and Lead Conversion: Turn Prospects into Paying Clients

podcast with Christopher Anderson and Stephen Fairley, posted on Legal Talk Network
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews law firm marketing expert Stephen Fairley about the importance of lead conversion and client retention, the mistakes most law firms are making, and some simple and more complicated solutions to increase intake success. Read more.

Capture More Billable Time and Stress Less

by Jacqueline Vinaccia, posted on Attorney at Work
Filling out a daily timesheet or inputting time into your firm’s billing software can certainly be aggravating, even stressful. The annoying timer. The big blank timesheet. The blinking cursor on the computer screen that greets you every morning. It constantly shows if we are working too hard to enjoy life, working too little to make our minimums, or working inefficiently. Listen here.

Security

The Sony Hack: You Can’t Keep the Barbarians Outside the Gate

podcast with Sharon Nelson and John Simek, posted on Legal Talk Network
In this episode of Digital Detectives, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek analyze the progression of data security over time, look into data loss prevention steps, and consider each potential suspect of the Sony hack. Read more.

Miscellaneous

Trust Account Basics

by Melanie Fischer, posted on Solo in Colo
The Colorado Bar Association recently aired a webinar entitled Trust Account Basics for the benefit of attorneys practicing law in the state of Colorado. The webinar was presented by Ms. Reba Nance, Director, Law Practice and Risk Management at the Colorado Bar Association. Read more.