Seamless Client Intake Webinar

  • Ever wish you could streamline your solo or small firm practice to easily track contacts, client leads, tasks, and reminders?
  • Or send out client intake forms with a few clicks of your mouse, set a due date for clients to complete forms, and automate client reminders?
  • Maybe you’ve been longing to implement eSigning of fee agreement and engagement letters, but you’re not quite certain how to get started.

On January 12, 2016 we offered a free Webinar with Lexicata – the all-in-one client relationship management and client intake solution exclusively for lawyers.

Did You Miss the Program?

No worries!  We recorded it.  It will be available in the next few weeks on the Past CLE page of our Website, free of charge.

We are pleased to make this CLE available to all Oregon lawyers, as Lexicata is really the only product on the market that can offer true client intake online – a feature many lawyers want to incorporate into their practice, but find cost-prohibitive to develop on their own.

 

The Year in Review – Top Posts in 2015

Thank you loyal readers!  As 2015 comes to a close, here is a look back at the year’s top posts:

Working Effectively – Time Management, Staffing

File Management – What to Keep, What Not to Keep

Marketing, Business Development, and the Attorney-Client Relationship

eCourt

Fees – Getting Paid, Finances, Credit Cards, Trust Accounting

Security

Technology – Macs, TECHSHOW, Office 2016, Windows 10, Paperless, and More

Potpourri

[All Rights Reserved 2015 – Beverly Michaelis]

Seamless Client Intake Online – Free Webinar!

  • Ever wish you could streamline your solo or small firm practice to easily track contacts, client leads, tasks, and reminders?
  • Or send out client intake forms with a few clicks of your mouse, set a due date for clients to complete forms, and automate client reminders?
  • Maybe you’ve been longing to implement eSigning of fee agreement and engagement letters, but you’re not quite certain how to get started.

Free Webinar – January 12, 2016

Learn how to do all the above at our free webinar on January 12, 2016 with Lexicata – the all-in-one client relationship management and client intake solution exclusively for lawyers.

If Lexicata is new to you, check out their website and blog.  Bob Ambrogi of the popular LawSites blog posted this review in May.

We are excited to offer this webinar in the new year, as Lexicata is really the only product on the market that can offer true client intake online – a feature many lawyers want to incorporate into their practice, but find cost-prohibitive to develop on their own.

Register Now!

Register now for this free program. This will be an accredited CLE touching on client intake and engagement practices folded into a Lexicata demonstration.  Even if you aren’t ready to make the move to online client intake and engagement, this is an event worth attending.  Topics include:

  • The Current Client Intake Landscape
  • Pitfalls of Client Intake
  • Overview of the Intake Process – Identifying what is needed from the client, getting organized, reviewing ethical considerations, assigning roles
  • Breaking Down Intake – Responding to the initial inquiry, consulting by phone or in-person, following up post-consultation
  • Social Media and Client Intake
  • Managing Initial Contact – Identifying referral sources, setting the tone, applying the Rule of 7, managing expectations, client tracking
  • The Role of Technology – streamlining intake, collecting information, balancing the need to screen v. wasting client time or damaging rapport
  • Client Engagement – signing clients, managing workflow, removing barriers to engagement, using eSigning as a tool, communicating next steps
  • Evaluating Your Intake Process – Asking for feedback to improve procedures

 

 

Adobe Acrobat DC

It is no secret to followers that I consider Acrobat to be the gold standard for PDF conversion and manipulation. I use it on a daily basis to insert, move, bookmark, and delete pages; edit and insert text and objects; remove metadata; redact; OCR; and much more.  


Since eCourt became mandatory in circuit court last year, the need for quality, comprehensive PDF software is more critical. (Mandatory appellate eFiling begins June 1.)


The New Kid on the Block 


Recently Adobe launched Adobe Acrobat DC, referring to “Document Cloud.”  This was a bit startling, as the name led some to believe that Adobe had switched to a cloud-only version of Acrobat.  Let’s set the record straight.


DC refers to a set of optional cloud services attached to Acrobat.  Here is an explanation of DC from Rick Borstein, author of the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog:


Read more here.


eSigning

There is at least one reason you might want to consider using the DC part of Adobe Acrobat DC:

 

Learn more about electronic signatures here.

[All rights reserved 2015 Beverly Michaelis]

Legal Tech by the Numbers

As we bid adieu to tips, sites, and other good stuff curated from this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, some interesting numbers for you – courtesy of the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center.

Who is Using the Cloud and Who is Using Technology in the Courtroom?

  • 50% increase YOY (year over year) in use of cloud services. @CaseyHall
  • 58% of lawyers use Dropbox #ABATECHSHOW stats. @paperlesschase
  • 40 percent of solos use cloud services. @rocketmatter
  • In 2013, 34% of attorneys use iPads in the courtroom, up more than 20% in one year. @pegeenturner

eFiling is Here

Security

  • Only 13% survey respondents use whole disk encryption for device security. 25% use remote data wiping. @RealSheree
  • Bonus tip from yours truly: lawyers would be well-advised to tighten up security promptly to protect information subject to HIPAA.

Social Media Engagement

  • … Almost 80% of firms now using Social Media. @CaseyHall_
  • 72.3% of all atty-social media stats are unverifiable. “@Westlaw: 39% of firm blogs result in clients or referrals.” @victormedina
  • 70% of lawyers use LinkedIn #ABATECHSHOW stats. @ernieattorney
  • 22.6 percent of law firms have no social media presence. @rocketmatter
  • 20% of lawyers responding to survey use twitter/microblogging. @Westlaw

To Blog or Not to Blog

  • 39% of firm blogs result in clients or referrals. @Westlaw
  • Surprised to see that only 27% of law firms are blogging yet 39% of those said the blog had resulted in clients-survey. @RealSheree
  • My two cents: Why aren’t you blogging!  Adding frequently updated content causes search engines to crawl your Web site more often and will improve your listing in search results.  Check out this oldie but goodie post, 5 Ways to Increase Your Visibility on the Web.

All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis [2014]

 

You’re Sold on the Cloud, Now What?

Good question! Fortunately, we can glean a lot of good ideas from the 2014 ABA TECHSHOW:

Security, Ethics, and Questions to Ponder

  • Snoops, Thieves, and Idiots – The Weak Links in Cloud Storage via @betabeat – @JackSmithIV RT @VIIVOkey
  • Securing client info. Reasonable safeguards for different type of data depending on circumstances. @LtdPI RT @Westlaw (Using Oregon’s standard – your duty of reasonable care to protect confidential client information will flux based on the circumstances.)
  • If you are storing client data in the cloud, do you inform your client? @Westlaw (Yes: incorporate appropriate language into your fee agreement/engagement letter.)
  • 18 states have issued opinions related to #cloud computing or similar technology. @Westlaw (Here is the low-down on Oregon’s opinion.)
  • Uptime and data security are a crucial element of a #cloud provider’s standards. Learn more @Cetrom
  • Great tip to switch cloud data storage providers! @LeeRosen: Discourse: The Cloud Wars are On. @pegeenturner
  • Takeaway from cloud session #ABATECHSHOW: continuing requirement to stay informed on cloud tech. @Westlaw (From Oregon’s opinion:  “As technology advances, the third-party vendor’s protective measures may become less secure or obsolete over time.  Accordingly, Lawyer may be required to reevaluate the protective measures used by the third party vendor to safeguard the client materials.”)

New Features in Popular Cloud Products Clio and Net Documents

Resources

All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis [2014]

Technology Update: Office 365 – Free CLE

untitledOn March 4, 2014 the OSB Professional Liability Fund will offer Technology Update: Office 365. This FREE seminar will provide an overview of Office 365, a cloud-based productivity service hosted by Microsoft.  Office 365 includes Microsoft Office applications that work with other services including e-mail, Web conferencing, and document sharing.  The program will include live demos and a question-and-answer period.

Date:               Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Check-in:         8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Program:         9:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Location:         Oregon State Bar Center – Columbia Rooms

Presenter
Lesly Kenney, Technology Trainer
Savvy Training & Consulting, Inc.

Free Giveaway
Savvy Training & Consulting will be giving away one FREE full-license copy of Office 2013 Professional Plus during the program.

MCLE Credits
2.50 General/Practical Skills MCLE credits are pending. Due to the timing of this seminar, notification of CLE credits will be sent out after the seminar.

Registration Fee
There is no cost to attend this program.

How to Register
To register for this seminar, please e-mail your name and bar number to
DeAnna Shields at deannas@osbplf.org.

REGISTRATION DEADLINE: Monday, March 3, 2014.  Space is limited.

Coping with Gmail Outages

Many lawyers rely on Gmail and Google Calendar as part of their practice management routine.  But what happens when Google experiences an outage, data corruption, or data loss?

According to Business Insider, Google’s own redundant backups ensure that you will eventually reclaim all your data.  You can rely on this or implement your own recovery plan. (Hint: implement your own plan.)

Here’s how to get started:

Establish a Backup Routine

In this older post, Lifehacker offers five simple ways to backup Gmail.  You’ll find some additional suggestions here. Since Hotmail is no more, swap out Outlook.com as a replacement solution.

Follow Google’s Post-Outage Advice14 - 1

After the recent Gmail debacle, Google sent the following message to all users:

Deleted Forever?

In my personal Gmail account, I didn’t experience messages being moved to Trash or Spam.  Instead, old messages that were “deleted forever” reappeared in Trash.

According to Google: “If you’ve deleted a message permanently by clicking Delete Forever in your Spam or Trash, you won’t be able to recover the message using the Gmail interface.”  Translation: You can’t recover it, but Google can.  Here is some further advice from Gmail help:

“In the past, users have reported that they are missing all of their messages as a result of unauthorized access. If your account was compromised* and you would like us to investigate whether recovery is possible, please first complete this process to secure your account and then file a report.

If you’ve moved a message to Trash, by clicking Delete, but it’s been fewer than 30 days and you haven’t permanently deleted it, follow these steps to put it back in your inbox:

  1. Sign in to Gmail.
  2. Click Trash along the left side of any Gmail page. (If you don’t see Trash along the left side of your Gmail page, go to the Labels tab in Settings, then click the show link next to the Trash label.)
  3. Locate the message you’d like to move to your inbox, and check the box next to the sender’s name.
  4. Click Move to Inbox.
Have your messages gone missing? Click here to start investigating.”
*Presumably Google would also honor this process following an e-mail outage.
Best Practices
One of the ways you can “backup” Gmail is to download messages to your Desktop E-mail Client (Outlook, Thunderbird, or Apple Mail).  But why not take it a step further?  Make your Desktop E-mail Client your primary method of interacting with messages.  Last year, I published two articles in the Oregon State Bar Bulletin on how to properly document client e-mail as part of the client’s file.  The first article focused on e-mail missteps; the follow-up on the mechanics of electronically filing e-mail.  Here is what I said about Web e-mail options like Gmail:
I find it ironic that lawyers who are leery of cloud computing don’t give their Outlook.com, Gmail, or Yahoo! accounts a second thought. When you leave e-mail on a web server, your confidential client data is not entirely under your control… If your provider’s server is down, or you can’t get on the Internet, then you can’t access your client information. Additionally, reliance on cloud solutions for e-mail may raise security and privacy concerns. Macs and PCs both ship with an e-mail application. Set it up to download your web mail. Doing so is absolutely free since you are using a program preloaded on your computer. Go to your web mail’s help page and search for instructions on how to download web mail to your specific program. For Google, log in to Gmail, click on Help, and click on POP under “Other Ways to Access Gmail.” Google offers instructions for setting up Apple Mail, Outlook Express, Outlook 2002-2010, Thunderbird, Windows Mail, the iPhone and other mail programs.

Google Calendar is Not Immune to Problems

Google Calendar isn’t immune to problems either.  When Gmail goes down, Google Calendar is likely to follow, which is what happened during the recent outage.  Google Calendar can also be a source of spam or scams.

Setting that aside, Google Calendar plays well with others.  So set it up to sync with your phone, tablet, or built-in desktop calendaring program.  If you establish a backup routine for Gmail, include Google Calendar.  For example, Backupify will capture all data from Google Apps.

All Rights Reserved 2014

Beverly Michaelis

 

 

What Lawyers Can Learn from the Yahoo Email Hack

Yahoo, the second largest email service worldwide, reported a security breach last untitledweek which exposed personal information from sent email folders.

The Associated Press reports:

Yahoo Inc. said in a blog post on its breach that “The information sought in the attack seems to be the names and email addresses from the affected accounts’ most recent sent emails.”

That could mean hackers were looking for additional email addresses to send spam or scam messages.  By grabbing real names from those sent folders, hackers could try to make bogus messages appear more legitimate to recipients.

If you correspond with friends, family, clients, or colleagues who use Yahoo’s mail service, scrutinize incoming e-mail carefully to avoid phishing scams. 

This breach has another takeaway for lawyers – you are only as secure as your third party vendors.  The Yahoo and Target breaches were both the result of third-party vendor hacks.  In the case of Yahoo, the information was collected from a third-party database.  In the Target hack, credentials were stolen from a third party vendor.

Lawyers should take this to heart when evaluating their own cyber liability and security – specifically with regard to HIPAA compliance.  If your servers are hosted in the cloud, or you use cloud-based practice management, accounting, or backup solutions, inquire into the security procedures of your vendors.  Remember that encryption is your friend.  All data stored in the cloud should be encrypted – minimally by your vendor.  Better yet: go the extra mile.  Seek out cloud providers who permit you to add your own third party encryption, like Viivo or TrueCrypt, so that you (and only you) hold the final encryption key.

All Rights Reserved [2014]

Beverly Michaelis

The 7 Rules of Using Dropbox

Dropbox – what could be new?  With the announcement of a new API last month, someimages believe it may become an alternative for iCloud.  For the rest of us, Dropbox simply remains the incredibly popular file sharing and collaboration tool.

But before you dive in, or if you’re already swimming in the Dropbox pool, use some common sense.  Follow these 7 rules of using Dropbox securely and without regret:

  1. Get educated about the Cloud.
  2. Read and understand your state’s ethics opinion.
  3. Know the difference between free, pro, and business accountsFree account users have a limited 30 day archive.  Pro and Business Users can add Packrat to recover any file “as far back in time as you like.”
  4. Before sharing folders or links, review Dropbox help and learn how to unshare a file or remove a member from your business account.
  5. Establish strong user names and passwords unique to the Dropbox site.
  6. Understand Dropbox security and privacy policies …
  7. But add your own “client side” encryption to fully protect files.

All Rights Reserved Beverly Michaelis (2013)