Should time and billing be integrated with your practice management software? Or are you better off with a stand-alone program? Before deciding, do your homework. Here are some useful links and posts:
Software Comparison Charts and Buying Guides
Billing and Practice Management Software Integration
System Considerations: Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Mobile Timekeeping, Auto Capture
Options for Mac Lawyers
Best Practice Tips
Great tips at Law Technology Today on mobile security. Don’t take confidential client data outside the office without taking these precautionary steps:
Password protect all technology (phones, tablets, laptops)
Enable remote wiping capability
Limit what you carry when outside the office
Mark your property and don’t leave it unattended
Consider computer locks for laptops
Use less conspicuous carrying cases
Read the full post.
If you are balancing a law practice while caring for an adult family member, you are not alone:
- 44.4 million Americans age 18 or older are providing unpaid care to an adult.
- The average length of caregiving is 4.3 years, although some people spend many more years in a caregiving role.
- Almost 60% of all caregivers either work or have worked while providing care. Sixty-two percent have had to make adjustments to their work life.
- Many caregivers fulfill multiple roles. Most caregivers are married or living with a partner (62%), and most have worked and juggled caregiving at the same time (74%).
- The most frequently reported unmet needs of caregivers are finding time for themselves (35%), managing emotional and physical stress (29%), and balancing work and family responsibilities (29%).
How do Caregivers Cope?
With information, help, and resources. All three are addressed in the current issue of In Sight. Articles include:
- 10 Tips for Family Caregivers
- Assistance for Caregivers – Resources
- Caregiving Statistics
- Ways to Approach a Difficult Topic (How to talk to a parent or loved one about caregiving issues)
Making Adjustments to Your Law Practice
Many years ago I met a lawyer who contacted the PLF for help after experiencing a series of legal malpractice claims. The lawyer had missed deadlines, failed to appear in court, and made mistakes in document preparation. During our meeting I learned he was caring for his elderly parents. Nearly every day he was called out of the office to retrieve a prescription, take care of an incident at his parent’s home, or drive his mother or father to the doctor. Keeping a regular work schedule in the midst of this chaos seemed impossible. Winding down the practice was not an option – his family needed the income. The solution? He closed his office on Fridays. New and existing clients were informed of the office hours. The lawyer also explained his strategy to health providers, obtaining their cooperation in scheduling regular medical visits on Fridays. He was fortunate to practice in a smaller legal community where colleagues, opposing counsel, and the court were understanding. The final secret to his success was a full-time legal secretary.
Not all lawyers are as fortunate as the one described above. You may practice in a large, sprawling community where few lawyers know one another and bench-bar relations are nonexistent. Hiring a full-time legal secretary? Sounds great, if you have the money. No matter what the circumstances may be, there are always options. If you are a lawyer in Oregon struggling with caregiving and lawyering, contact the OAAP and the PLF. The OAAP can provide emotional support and personal assistance. A practice management advisor can help you strategize about how to adjust the scope of your practice. Both services are free and confidential.
All Rights Reserved 2013 Beverly Michaelis
Today the Oregon Senate passed HB 2654B which would forbid employers from demanding access to potential employee’s social media accounts. Read the full story at KATU. Maryland started the trend, which has spread to other jurisdictions. Twenty eight states are entertaining similar legislation.
For a related discussion, see this post.
Snapnumbers is a free Word add-in that allows you to number paragraphs naturally without regard to Word styles or the underlying format of your document.
What does this mean? In the legal profession, we often apply multiple levels of numbering in the same document. We need the flexibility to move from one numbering scheme to the next and back again without Word’s interference. We also expect our numbering schemes to remain sequential. Unfortunately, Word is rarely cooperative with these transitions. In fact, many users end up numbering documents manually out of frustration.
All of this can be avoided as the folks from Snapdone explain:
Simply type text normally — tabbing, indenting, and formatting as desired – then when you want to insert a Snapnumber choose Level 1 through Level 9 from the Snapnumbers menu (or use a shortcut keystroke). [See the examples here.]
My thoughts? Download the free version and give it a trial run. If you like it, the full version at $20 per license is cheap. While you’re at the Snapdone, be sure to check out TheFormTool, Snapdone‘s incredibly easy documentation automation for Word. The basic version is free. The advanced version is $89. To learn more about TheFormTool, check out “Using TheFormTool in Your Law Practice” on the PLF Web site > Programs on CD/DVD.
All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis – 2013
The Associated Press is reporting that 160,000 social security numbers were exposed when the Washington State Administrative Office of Courts was hacked in late 2012 or early 2013.
“The breach happened due to vulnerability in an Adobe Systems Inc. software program, ColdFusion, that has since been patched, court officials said. The hack happened sometime after September but wasn’t caught until February…
Mike Keeling, the courts’ information technology operations and maintenance manager, said officials were alerted to the breach by a business on the East Coast that had a similar intrusion.”
Following the breach, new security measures were implemented, including encryption.
Court officials have confirmed that 94 social security numbers were obtained – those affected will be contacted directly. Names and driver’s license numbers may also have been accessed. People who were booked in a city or county jail during specified periods or those who had a DUII, traffic, or a superior court criminal case in Washington may also be affected.
If you believe your information may have been exposed, call 1-800-448-5584 or visit this site.
Read more here.