Tag Archives: technology

Why The Apple Watch (& Time Management At Your Law Firm) Works Best In Pairs

So it’s here: The Apple Watch. What’s the verdict?

“It’s a gorgeous piece of hardware with a clever and simple user interface and some fine built-in functions. It already has more than 4,000 third party apps. I will probably buy one,” writes Walt Mossberg after wearing a demo Apple Watch for more than one month.

“But it’s a fledgling product whose optimal utility lies mostly ahead of it as new watch software is developed. I got the strong feeling that third-party app developers taking their first swing at the thing simply hadn’t yet figured out how best to write software for it—especially since Apple, for now, is requiring that watch apps basically be adjuncts of iPhone apps.”

Because, after all, the best hardware comes with a variety of well-written, complimentary software.

It’s why, for example, in law firm management the best time savers are not thanks to Timex, rather thanks to coupling incentive pay plans with supporting innovative work practices.

Why? According to experts, the secret to project management has nothing to do with time at all. In fact, most managers speed past deadlines.

Forget the schedule. Key filing or court deadlines aside, it’s more important to be goal- and product-oriented than time-oriented.

“Why don’t more project managers sound an alarm when they’re going to blow past their deadlines?” ask Joe Knight, Roger Thomas, and Brad Angus for the Harvard Business Review Blog.

“Because most of them have no earthly idea when they’ll finish the job. They don’t even think it’s possible to know. Too many variables. Too much that’s out of their control.”

It’s true, law firm managers should focus more on what keeps the client informed and happy rather than exactly how long it took you to get there. Unfortunately, the billable hour and client satisfaction are inextricably linked in legal services industry.

For some companies, the Harvard Business Review advice may be sound. “If your customer doesn’t think you’re late, then you’re not late,” it states.

But, if the equity partner thinks you’re late, then you’re late. And, if the judge thinks you’re late, then you’re really, really late.

So, is time management a strategic variable that law firm managers can manipulate at all?

It turns out, a not-so-recent study from 1997 shows that innovative employment practices—incentive pay, flexible job assignments, and higher job security—increase employee productivity. Although employees may be in a time crunch to write that legal brief, those who work for firms providing non-traditional working hours or environments to do so are more efficient and effective at their job.

The study published in the American Economic Review by Ichniowski et al. investigated the productivity effects of innovative employment practices using data from a sample of 36 homogeneous steel production lines owned by 17 companies.

“The productivity regressions demonstrate that lines using a set of innovative work practices, which include incentive pay, teams, flexible job assignments, employment security, and training, achieve substantially higher levels of productivity than do lines with the more traditional approach, which includes narrow job definitions, strict work rules, and hourly pay with close supervision,” write the authors.

In addition, these innovative employment practices tend to be complements. Essentially, optimal incentive structures—like higher employment security but lower salaries, or higher training couple with incentive pay—come in pairs.

“That is, workers’ performance is substantially better under incentive pay plans that are coupled with supporting innovative work practices—such as flexible job design, employee participation in problem-solving, teams, training to provide workers with multiple skills, extensive screening and communication and employment security—than it is under more traditional work practices.”

So, if your law firm can’t pull back on its billable hours or push forward its many deadlines, at least it can manage the time of and human resource policy for its employees.

Consider implementing flexible scheduling, work-from-home policies, or other innovative management practices. Give your employees the opportunity to diversify their workload or work on a variety of departmental teams.

That doesn’t mean your attorneys won’t appreciate the Apple Watch as a firm gift during the holidays. In fact, as Mossberg continues to tout Apple’s genius: “While testing the watch, I was able to try it during a faux check-in at a W hotel in Washington, D.C. As I walked in, my room number appeared on the watch, and I was able to breeze by the front desk, go right to the room and use the watch as a key.” Undoubtedly your traveling lawyers will still benefit from quick-fix gadgets.

But, in the end, the more choices you offer your employees, the more hours they will bill—and happily—for your firm.

Not sure where to start? Check out ideas for innovative management practices for law firms here.

Reference: Ichniowski, C., Shaw, K., & Prennushi, G. 1997. The effects of human resource management practices on productivity: A study of steel finishing lines. American Economic Review, 87: 291-313.

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B-to-G? The Vital New Tech Lingo That Law Firm Professionals Need To Know

Do you know what B-to-G means? Maybe not what you think. These days it means business-to-geek. And that’s exactly what’s trending for law firm professionals.

Law is one of the world’s oldest and most established industries. It’s made a name for itself by not being trendy, rather, traditional. So why pay attention to trends now?

Well, for one, technology is pervasive in today’s society, and understanding it will not only bring your firm more clients, but it will prepare your firm to better defend them. If you haven’t already formed a dedicated legal team for “technology and emerging companies,” your firm is missing out on a not-so-niche sector.

Entrepreneurs, public and private emerging growth companies, and venture capital and private equity firms are among law firms’ biggest and (potentially) wealthiest clients. If lawyers don’t understand the mainstream and trendy tech trends, it will be difficult to represent the interests, including litigation, advisory, and contractual work, of defense technology, e-commerce, Internet and social media, medical devices, semiconductors, or wireless communications companies.

But B-to-G (don’t forget, business-to-geek) is really describing the future of homes and offices. Nest—a success story for one of this decade’s biggest breakthrough tech companies—embodies everything the modern consumer is looking for in their household and their local neighborhood business.

“I think in the next five years there will be hundreds of millions of smart new home networks,” Mike Maples, Venture Capitalist, said to Forbes, about smarter wifi networks, an area ripe for disruption.

“Right now, I think Linksys and Netgear basically just call China up and say, ‘Can you make the box in my color so I can sell it?’”

But business-to-geek also means developing new business strategies, such as mobile on-demand services. Just like food service or taxis, venture capitalist James Slavet said to Forbes, “The core concept is that with smartphones, we’re all transacting with compressed planning cycles and addictive ease.”

“If you get sick at 2 a.m., rather than going down to urgent care, you’ll be able to pull up your phone and have a consult with a doctor on demand.”

Ping Li, another VC, said to Forbes in agreement: “The marketplace effects are really powerful. These things are not taking years to happen. They’re taking months.”

Law firms confront different kinds of policy and insurance issues than the average services industry. Nevertheless, legal services online and on-demand are on the horizon. Avvo Inc., already launched in 2014 an on-demand service that provides legal advice at a fixed rate via your iPhone, Android phone, or smart tablet.

No, business-to-geek may not have been why you signed up for the legal profession, but it is here to stay. Technology has, in many ways, made the law both harder and easier to practice. The same tools that facilitate doc review may also convolute it.

The same tools that streamline operations and increase profits weigh firms down in extensive training and infrastructure costs.

Still, it’s important for law firm managers to be as up-to-date on technology trends as legal ones. Don’t worry, if you’re struggling, there are now ample online courses here to help. The hardest part will be identifying the best way to transition your team from businessmen to geeks.

Here’s a good start: http://www.c4cm.com/lawfirm/recordings.htm

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Bring On The Lawsuits, Says FCC Chairman & Other Net Neutrality News (Plus Mobile Apps)

Net neutrality. It’s finally here.

The FCC, led by a former lobbyist for the cable and wireless industries, exceeded expectations by voting 3-2 to approve Title II-based net neutrality rules after an unprecedented public-driven tech advocacy campaign, reports Above The Law (ATL) Blog.

It’s rare that grassroots campaigns have any sort of effect on major, lobby-driven government issues. But, protecting the freedom of the Internet has been tried, tested, and found—well—important.

The debate over both side, of course, including the precise wording of the neutrality, will continue for months.

“It also probably goes without saying that opponents of net neutrality and those who like it when AT&T, Verizon and Comcast are allowed to write protectionist telecom law aren’t taking the day’s events very well,” writes TechDirt on ATL.

“Thousands … are celebrating a rare instance where Internet activism was able to overcome lobbying cash and push a government mountain toward doing the right thing.”

In honor of the event, here are three must-haves for the tech-savvy lawyer in order of price:

TrialPad (iPad, $89.99)

TrialPadfor the iPad may, at first glance, seem like a fortune. But, most users claim to be fortunate enough to own it. Reviews include:

“The short review. Wow.”
“TrialPad offers the best parts of a full blown laptop/desktop trial presentation system in a simple-to-use package at a fraction of the cost.”
“For anybody doing any amount of trial work…TrialPad is a must have application.”

TrialPad is a document presentation tool that helps lawyers create convincing courtroom arguments without being tied to a whiteboard or TV screen. Pre-trial, lawyers can import photo, video, or text evidence into individual case files. During trial, lawyers can use call-outs, annotation, and highlighting to emphasize key information for jurors. TrialPad also allows you to add exhibit stickers to documents and search document text.

TrialPad has been honored with numerous awards, such as “The Best Trial Presentation App” with an A+ TechnoScore by LitigationWorld.

JuryTracker (iPad, $4.99)

“Your jury is seated. You are presenting your case. You are busy arguing the law with the judge, arguing the facts with the witnesses and just plain arguing with opposing counsel. So who is watching the jury to make sure they understand your case?”

That’s the advertisement from JuryTracker, which works to help attorneys improve jury selection, identify key jurors, simplify and enhance notetaking, and share reports with the trial team.

Using the iPad app, you can record the jurors’ gender, race, age, religion, education level, and more. The app also lets you to take note of a variety of juror emotions and behaviors during trial, such as smiling at the witness, fidgeting, and taking notes. Lawyers can enter custom questions to ask potential jurors, or flag jurors for preemptory challenge or dismissal.

Fastcase (iPad and iPhone, free)

Fastcase provides lawyers thousands of cases, legal statutes, and bar publications through the iPad and iPhone. Lawyers can search for relevant information by jurisdiction and date, and save their searches for future reference. Fast case provides keyword (Boolean), natural language, and citation searches and sorts results by the most relevant. Fastcase for the iPhone won the American Association of Law Libraries New Product of the Year Award, and both the iPhone and iPad versions are free of charge.

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Cyber-Attacks Increase, Threaten Banks, Law Firms & How To Terminate Them!

Of all the scenes in James Cameron’s sci-fi film “Terminator 2,” there’s one in particular we’d like acted out in real like. The one where young John Connor uses a high-tech device to steal money from an ATM.

Free cash being dispensed at your local bank branch as in “Terminator 2” may be science fiction, but ATM hacks are really happening.

This week, a security company claims it uncovered an “unprecedented” number of cyber-attacks on a reported 100 banks, reports the BBC.

The security company, Russian company Kaspersky Lab, claims that first, hackers accessed the banks’ networks by sending spam/spoof emails to staff; then, the hackers manipulated ATM machines to dispense stolen money.

Europol director Rob Wainwright told the BBC the agency had, “issued warnings and intelligence to national law enforcement authorities and European banks through the European Banking Federation.”

“Reported infections in the EU are unconfirmed at this stage, although we are continuing to work actively on the matter.”

Largely out of the limelight, this attack was patient and planned. News sources are trying not to rattle the money market, but the attack was certainly one point for theft, zero for the economy.

“This is likely the most sophisticated attack the world has seen to date in terms of the tactics and methods that cybercriminals have used to remain covert,” one of Kapersky’s directors told the New York Times.

Corporate data security risks are only getting more frequent and more severe. In fact, the news is full of stories about major organizations (Sony, Target, Google, Ebay, Westinghouse, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus) being hacked, with the perpetrators stealing the financial and personal information of clients, customers and others.

While the malicious reason for an attack may not be apparent, one thing is clear: counsel must understand that traditional network security approaches are no longer enough.

Attackers are getting more and more sophisticated and organizations (including law firms) must prepare as if a data breach is imminent. Because it is!

survey by the Ponemon Institute reports the average cost of cyber crime for U.S. retail stores more than doubled from 2013 to an annual average of $8.6 million per company in 2014. The annual average cost per company of successful cyber attacks increased to $20.8 million in financial services, $14.5 million in the technology sector, and $12.7 million in communications industries.

And, PriceWaterhouseCoopers found that this year is expected to see 42.8 million cyberattacks, roughly 117,339 attacks each day, after cyber-attacks skyrocked in 2014 by 48 percent from 2013.

It’s difficult to prevent cyber-attacks. Your law firm must get involved in prevention; developing good policies and practices to stop an attack once it occurs; practicing mock-breaches with your employees; and creating a public relations plan for your clients in the event your firm falls victim.

The threat may still seem like fiction for your firm, but it is already fact for others.

Try your best to avoid cyber-attacks by attending The Center for Competitive Management’s comprehensive webinar, “Mitigating a Data Breach: Proactively Planning For and Responding To a Cyber Attack,” Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 2PM to 3:15PM EST.

It explores real world data breach scenarios, practical tips for how to proactively plan and respond to a breach, discussion of regulatory enforcement activity and practical advice on:

  • Proactive measures to ensure that you (and your clients) are ready in the event that a data breach occurs
  • The kind of incident response plan that should be in place after a breach
  • What to include in the plan and how to execute it
  • How to apply the right blend of legal and IT responsibilities
  • Appropriate breach reporting to state attorneys general, insurance carriers, customers, etc.
  • The type of crisis experts you must have on file before a breach occurs
  • Best practices for company response to lawsuits and investigations that often follow a breach
  • Brief overview of a laws and regulations applicable to personally identifiable information – GLBA, HIPAA, State Laws on information security.

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Throw-back Thursday: Sumerian Syria & Serious Uses For Excel (For Lawyers)

How about another throw-back Thursday history lesson (and then some law). It’s about Syria—but long before the country was known for ISIS, it was valued for ideas.

Today, two days after news came out that ISIS had burned a captive Jordanian pilot to death, the small Middle Eastern nation hit back big. Jordanian fighter jets flew over the home of the slain 27-year-old pilot, Lt. Moath al-Kasasbeh, in the village of Ay in Karak governorate after participating in air strikes over ISIS’ de facto capital of Raqqa in Syria.

Government spokesman Mohammed al-Momani told CNNThursday that Jordan’s response to the killing “will be strong and will be decisive.”

“We will not let this crime of killing our pilots with the horrific way it was done pass without punishment,” al-Momani said to CNN. “These people will be punished.”

As of today, the government certainly lived up to that promise.

If we go back in time, however, we can look to a small city—Mari—located on the border of Iraq and Syria, not far from Jordan, where civilizations used to come together, rather than clash.

Mari (modern-day Tell Hariri, Syria) was an ancient Semitic city located on the Euphrates river western bank. Thousands of years ago it flourished as a trade center and hegemonic state from 2900 BC until 1759 BC. The city was built expressly for the purpose of trade, based on its relative position in the middle of the Euphrates trade routes—a position that made it an intermediary between Sumer in the south and the Levant in the west.

Sumer is a civilization that existed slightly before that of Ancient Egypt and located in southern Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq). By the late fourth millennium B.C., Sumer (or Ki-en-gir, ‘Land of the Sumerian tongue’) was divided into approximately a dozen city-states which were independent of one another and which used local canals and boundary stones to mark their borders, according to historians (read more about Sumer here).

Far before Iraq was coveted for its oil, it was celebrated for its inventions. There are at least four different translations (although they sometimes conflict) on the names of Sumerian rulers and their illustrious lengths of rule. It’s on one such document that an early Sumerian invention is described: the wheel, dating to circa 3500 BC.

You could perhaps claim that Iraq was forever—since as far as Sumer—destined to be a place highly influential in the creation of the car.

Besides the wheel, however, law firm professionals—people, in general—should be thankful for Sumer’s many crucial contributions to modern technology and language. For example, the civilization reminds us even today why there is no point, thousands of years later, in reinventing the wheel (although many people throughout history have tried).

Now, going back to the practice of law, think about how many new computer programs, tablet and mobile apps that organize case matter material, new-fangled software to organize all the details of your case.

Do we need it all?

When it comes to timesheets, timelines, case status updates, “to do” lists, and other casework assignments, Microsoft Excel has become a tried and true tool for lawyers and law firm managers.

And, its many features are available on the iPad, a favorite among attorneys.

Recently, when Microsoft Excel rolled out a bunch of new features for Excel for iPad, we were paying attention. This is a run-down of Excel for iPad’s new design additions (thanks to AccountingWeb):

  • Pivot table functionality. In the first incarnation, pivot tables were literally trapped under glass, meaning you could only scroll the data around on the screen. Now, although the workbook must already contain a pivot table before opening it using the app, you have the capability to expand, collapse, filter, and even refresh pivot tables, as shown in Figure 1.The caveat on refreshing is that the source data must be within the same workbook as the pivot table.
  • Email documents as PDF. Previously, Excel spreadsheets could only be emailed in their native format, but you can now email spreadsheets in PDF form. Figure 2 walks you through the steps.External keyboard support. Using an external keyboard allows you to use the same navigation and data entry techniques that you do in the desktop-based versions of Excel..
  • Flick to select. You’ll quickly wish for this innovative feature in the desktop versions of Excel. Flick a cell’s selection handle in any direction to automatically select all data in that row or column for a contiguous area of the spreadsheet. It’s a huge advance in using Excel on a touch-enabled device.
  • Third-party fonts. You can now access third-party fonts installed on your iPad in the Excel app.
  • Picture tools. Excel for iPad now supports in-app picture editing so your firm can, for example, update its very attractive blog site.

Not yet convinced of Excel’s application to your law practice? Here‘s a detailed account of how lawyers can use Excel.

Lawyers can use Excel to track (1) timesheets; (2) timelines; (3) case status updates; (4) casework assignments; and (5) financial reporting. These uses, and more, can be easily configured to sync with e-mail in Outlook and all your mobile devices (like the iPad, see above). More than that, Excel is a tried-and-true program that has been used for centuries decades throughout history to save time and money.

Instead of the ghastly air strikes, remember the history of Syria for Sumer. And, don’t reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to (also, don’t add unnecessary conflict in your professional life over it, either).

Learn more about how your law firm can use Excel with The Center For Competitive Management (C4CM)’s guides and webinars:

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Luddite Lawyers: What Vital Skills Your Firm Can Learn From Its Younger Associates

Lawyers aren’t luddites. At least, the upcoming generation of lawyers won’t be.

Thanks to technology-savvy law school professors like Bonnie Kipp, law school graduates will forevermore understand the importance of technology in the courtroom and in cases.

Nicole Black for Above The Law (ATL) blog describes, “Today’s Tech: How An Adjunct Professor Teaches Law Students Trial Technology.” In this article, Black introduces Bonnie Kipp, an adjunct professor at Michigan State University and judicial assistant for Judge McKeague in the United States Court of Appeals. Professor Kipp teaches “Technology Enhanced Trial Advocacy” and similar courses since 2005 after becoming a certified trainer on electronic evidence presentation software.

“I began teaching law students how to use trial technology after watching attorneys struggle with the technology. Our courtroom was one of the first to be wired for technology presentation and when the judge began to require lawyers to use it, I realized how difficult it was for many of them. I wanted to simplify the learning curve, so I started teaching law students how to use these tools,” said Professor Kipp to ATL.

A struggle to which your firm—particularly among its more “experienced” lawyers—can certainly relate.

“I teach students how to use Trial Director which is electronic evidence presentation software operated from a laptop, and which also includes a free corresponding iPad app. Recently I began to teach the students how to use other iPad apps, some of which are created specifically for trial presentation, while others have more general applications. Apps taught include Keynote, Timeline 3D, TrialPad, JuryTracker, iJuror, Dragon Dictation, Evernote, and WestlawNext. I also teach TD Notebook, which is a cloud-based app for case preparation which permits lawyers to work in a collaborative environment to prepare case for trial.”

Don’t recognize any of those app names? Well, you should. Using the iPad for trial presentations is not new. And, neither is software that helps attorneys with case preparation.

Steep learning curve? Maybe not. While experienced attorneys at your may advise younger associates about trial practice, younger associates—fresh out of courses like Kipp’s—have a value-add in their own right. They can help explain the uses for each of the above apps.

Don’t be too proud to accept help from your more technically proficient pair. Mentoring is a two-way street. So, ask a first-year associate how they use some of these digital tools for case management. In turn, you’ll have plenty to impart from your end.

“[Technical] skills absolutely give students an edge over students without this experience. For example, the resumes of many recent law graduates often look alike. But a student who’s been in a trial advocacy program, who has had hands on learning with trial practice, and has learned electronic evidence presentation will definitely stand out,” explains Professor Kipp to ATL.

“In fact, we’ve had students tell us they’ve taken their laptop with them to job interviews to showcase their electronic evidence presentation skills and they’ve felt that it’s helped them get jobs.”

If your firm is hiring, transform the interview into a mock trial presentation. Don’t simply ask a graduate law student about their expertise, let them demonstrate it to you. This same associate may also be able to lead the charge when it comes to in-house training for your other law firm professionals.

The best part about modern technology is the options it provides. There is likely an app best suited to the specific practices and culture of your firm. If not, there are ample app programmers willing to create one for your firm.

Technology can be tailored to your needs, so you just need to lay out an implementation plan. Consult experts if you don’t know where to begin. Make sure there is at least one lawyer-liaison who speaks regularly with your IT Department. In fact, consider assigning one of the younger associates to this position.

Younger associates are anxious for leadership roles. Technology is an arena where young lawyers can thrive, boost your firm’s bottom line, and help improve overall productivity.

Even at an age where they may not be bringing in new business to the firm, younger associates can feel a sense of loyalty and attachment to their firm by taking on a greater role of responsibility.

In the end, technology is not a miracle solution to all law firm inefficiency.

“Certainly whenever you’re working with technology, nothing is set in stone and things don’t always go as planned. But the possibility that technology can fail doesn’t outweigh the benefit of using it. The key is to practice, practice, practice. That way it becomes second nature and doesn’t add to the stress of an already stressful trial,” explains Professor Kipp to ATL.

“And always have a plan B in case technology issues arise. You need a hard copy of exhibits to send back to the jury anyway so if the worst-case scenario happens and the technology goes down you have the hard copies available. So, no matter what, it’s always important to have a plan B.”

The upside to integrating technology in your firm is that your staff—currently proficient in paper—already has a plan B in place.

Don’t know where you firm stands in terms of technical skills? Take C4CM’s audio course, “Suffolk/Flaherty Technology Audit: Is Your Firm Ready?” to help your firm assess individual lawyers skills and training needs at your firm.

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Microsoft Outlook: Time Saving Tips & Tricks To Get You Home For The Holidays

These days there is an app for everything: Uber for taxis, Tinder for dating, Washio for laundry, and WhatsApp for texting. BigLaw has caught on to this trend and delivered its own range of legal services at your fingertips.

  • Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has a global sourcing app that helps users calculate costs in outsourcing contracts.
  • Baker & McKenzie has an app summarizing legal and tax issues for public companies granting employee stock options overseas.
  • O’Melveny & Myers provides an introduction to the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in its app. The app also reports on related enforcement actions and settlements.

Among those attorneys attune to the app age, 60.8 percent are accessing them on an iPhone (66.8% of the 91% of attorneys who reported using a smartphone), according to the 2014 ABA Legal Technology Resource Center Survey.

In addition to smartphones, lawyers are tapping away at tablets. From 2011 to 2013, the number of attorneys using a tablet increased every year. In 2014, roughly 84 percent of attorneys who use a tablet reported that they use an iPad, according to the 2014 ABA survey.

If Apple is dominating the app and portable device market for lawyers, MS Office still reigns in, well, the office.

The 2014 ABA Technology Survey Report suggests that Microsoft software programs are among the most used office productivity solutions within law firms. Law firms use Outlook for email, Word for documentation, and Excel for timelines and timesheet management.

Work with multiple time zones?

You can easily add a second time zone to your Outlook calendar. Although it varies by version of Outlook, go to File >Options /Microsoft Bubble > Options OR Tools > Options. On the Calendar tab, under Time Zones, select the Show a second time zone check box. In the Label box, type a name for the additional time zone. In the Time zone list, click the time zone that you want to add (read more here.)

Need to add a new person to your Outlook contacts?

Create a new contact in your Contacts folder from an e-mail message you have received by right-clicking directly on the senders name or e-mail. On the shortcut menu, click Add to Outlook Contacts.

Need to schedule an email to send later? No problem. In the email message that you wish to delay, find and click the Options button. Under Delivery options, select the Do not deliver before check box. Next, click the delivery date and time you want.

Finally, sometimes e-mails are more useful on your calendar than in your Inbox, emails such as payment reminders, conference call details, or docketing-related e-mails. Outlook allows you to drag and drop e-mails from your Inbox onto the Calendar folder to convert that message into an appointment

Now there’s one more way to use of Microsoft Office products.

LexisNexis Firm Manager, the cloud-based practice management solution for small law firms, has been integrated with Microsoft Outlook and Microsoft Office 365 since August this year.

The synchronization of these services streamline services for the computer-savvy attorney. For example, if a new law firm client is added to the practice management system, the contact and any associated calendar items will appear in Outlook.

“Microsoft continues to attract more users to using Microsoft Office 365 productivity solutions and with more independent attorneys using mobile and tablet devices such as the Apple iPad, we see an ever increasing demand for seamless integration between Microsoft technology and the LexisNexis Firm Manager solution,” said Susan Harman, vice president and product champion for the Firm Manager team, reported the Law Practice Advisor.

Further initiatives by the two companies include:

  • an integration that will be a bi-directional synchronization between Microsoft Outlook calendar and contacts and those stored in the Firm Manager product. For example, if a new law firm client is added to the practice management system, the contact and any calendar items will appear in the Outlook client of the attorney working on that client’s matter, and vice versa.
  • an app that will enable users to save documents generated in Microsoft products to the LexisNexis Firm Manager application and attach these documents to the relevant matter or client contact, as needed.
  • the ability to save emails and email attachments directly to a LexisNexis Firm Manager contact or matter. These integrations provide additional simplicity and ease-of-use enabling independent law firms to keep their legal matters on track, from anytime, anywhere and on any device.

Need a little help navigating this new integration for better law office productivity? Take C4CM’s audio course called, “Microsoft Outlook: Unlock E-Mail, Calendar and Time-Saving Secrets” on Monday, January 19, 2015 from 2:00 PM To 3:15 PM EST.

You will learn faster and better ways to conquer your biggest time traps and regain control of your time. This is your hands-on road map to Outlook, and how it can send your productivity skyrocketing.

You will learn:

  • Turbo-charge Outlook with powerful, little-known tips and tools
  • Strategies to keep the Inbox clear and email under control
  • How to track appointments, contacts, due dates, and tie them all together
  • Build and maintain an Outlook database and improve business communications
  • Ways to prioritize your daily tasks and long-term projects using Microsoft Outlook
  • Helpful tools to manage your contacts and calendar

So whether it’s via your iPhone, iPad, or the new tools available through MS Office, you can shorten your work day to ensure you get home on time for the holidays.

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