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]

 

Quickie Tips and Tricks for the iPhone and iPad

And for the iDevice users – here are tips and tricks cultivated from the 2014 ABA TECHSHOW:

  • Why #iPad is better than laptop at trial? Makes you Johnny-on-the- spot for info to share w/ Judge and Jury. @jeffrichardson – via @MrsMacLawyer
  • Writing w/ #iPad: Hidden section symbol: Hit, # key, then hold down & key for section key to show up. @jeffrichardson – via @MrsMacLawyer
  • If you don’t have a Password Lock on your iPad, shame on you. @jeffrichardson #GoodAdvice – via @MrsMacLawyer
  • Recommended styluses for lawyers using iDevices: Wacom Bamboo Stylus Duo and Adonit Script @rocketmatter
  • Use Stable Pro (by Thought Out) to cradle iPad as a second monitor. @rocketmatter
  • Here’s our post Review of STM’s new Studio Case for iPad Mini @TheMacLawyer – via @MrsMacLawyer
  • Want to read our post on the Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard Cover for iPad mini? Click here. @themaclawyer – via @MrsMacLawyer
  • Text Expander Touch for Mac/iPad/iPhone per Vic Medina #ABATechshow. Great shortcutting tool for your fingers. @david_bilinsky

[All Rights Reserved - Beverly Michaelis -2014]

Using Google Voice in Your Law Practice

The February issue of Multnomah Lawyer, the official publication of the Multnomah Bar Association, has an excellent article by Charley Gee about using Google Voice.

As Charley describes:

Google Voice is a service from Google that provides a user with a telephone number, voicemail, conference calling, and text messaging service. It is accessible from any computer with access to the Internet, or from a cellphone or tablet.

The best feature of Google Voice is its price: free. Using your Google account, just sign up, select the number you want from a list of available numbers, and verify and connect your cell phone to the account.

Google Voice supports call routing, text message archiving, and voicemail to e-mail transcription.  (But not emergency service calls.)  If traveling, you can access voicemails and make calls without cell service:

Google Voice users can make and receive calls and text messages, as well as fetch their voicemail, over the internet instead of a cell tower signal. I’ve accessed my voicemail and text messages from remote locations around the state just by finding a Wi-Fi hotspot.

Great tip Charley!  My only caveat is to keep security risks in mind when using Wi-Fi.

If you are evaluating Google Voice vs. Skype, read this post.  For more thoughts on the benefits of using Google Voice in your law practice, check out what Go Matters has to say.

If you’ve committed to Google Voice and want to know about using it on your Android Phone or iPad, see:

How to Use Google Voice for Your Primary Android Phone Number and Messages or App Review: Google Voice for iPad.

Final Thoughts

I blogged earlier this month about how to cope with Gmail outagesGoogle Voice is tied to your Gmail account.  If Gmail goes down, Google Voice may also experience an outage.  Without a doubt, you will lose WiFi functionality, voicemail to e-mail transcription, and perhaps other features.  A cursory search did not return an answer to the question: How many times has Google Voice experienced an outage?  However, searching for “Google Voice outage” returns numerous results dating back the last few years.  Whether Google’s uptime stats are better or worse than the competition is hard to gauge.

Finally, I can’t write a post about Google Voice without expressing how much I like Ruby Receptionists, our very own home-grown virtual reception service based in Oregon.  Ruby Receptionists goes far above and beyond Google Voice, with the advantage of personalized, live reception services.  Read about this awesome service for lawyers here.  For another take, see this post.

All Rights Reserved [2014] Beverly Michaelis

iOS 7 Tips and Tricks

I follow several technology blogs, but one of my favorites is sharechair (“everyday technology for everyday folks.”)

Starting with her Update Adventure on September 20, sharechair is posting a series of iOS 7 tips and tricks focusing on new features of Apple’s latest operating system.  Here are just a few of her very helpful posts:

If you like technology blogs, I hope you’ll follow sharechairNew visitors can learn how to quickly navigate to how tos and old posts here.  If you are a very new user of iPhones, iPads or Kindles, start here.

The Best of TECHSHOW – Tablet and Smartphone Apps

This is another post from my “best of” ABA TECHSHOW series.  Today  – supercool apps for tablets and smartphones.

Build a Visual Timeline

BeeDocs  – This app turns a dull timeline into an engaging 3D/multimedia presentation.  Chart dates, times, amounts, distances, prices, quantities – just about anything – in a visually appealing format to help clients (or jurors) better understand historical events.  Publish to the Web, create presentations, or add a visual timeline to a PDF.

Settlement Apps

Picture It Settled - Helps parties evaluate cases with probabilistic scenarios.  Draws on historically successful negotiating rounds to help users plot successful negotiation moves.  Uses the Settlement Prophet™ application to project when the parties are likely to settle and the amount of the settlement.

Scanning on the Go

Genius Scan, Scanner Pro, Text Grabber - Scan, crop, straighten, organize, and share images or documents quickly and easily by e-mail or through cloud services like Dropbox and Evernote.

158_iPhone_img3World Card - Capture business cards and sort them automatically by name, company, position, address, phone number, e-mail address and other fields.  Exports to address book – no more entering information manually.

Office Suite Productivity

OfficeSuite Pro 7 (Android only) and QuickOfficePro (Android and iOS) – Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and PDF for mobile users.

CloudOn - The full power of applications like Microsoft Office®, the convenience of cloud storage and more—all in your very own workspace in the cloud. Best mobile app for redlining/tracked changes.

iPadObjectTimekeeping

iTimeKeep - Enter time from anywhere, securely access matters back at the office, apply billing codes to time entries, run spell check.  Free trial version available from the App store.

Presentation Apps

Haiku Deck and SlideShark - Solid choices for presentation apps. Haiku Deck impresses with amazing images.  SlideShark is ideal for conversion of PowerPoint slides created on your desktop.

PDF and File Management Appsgr-icon-96

PDF Expert - Simple PDF conversion and markup. Integrates with Dropbox.  Easy to use signature feature, compatible with fillable forms.  Goodreader - The “Swiss Army Knife” of PDF readers with the ability to replicate desktop file management and structures.

Notetaking on the Fly

OneNote Mobile (free for up to 500 notes), Notability (syncs with Dropbox), Penultimate (syncs with Evernote), and Noteshelf (file notes into different books, download templates and themes including planners, grid paper, stationery, and more.)

Security Apps

1PasswordPro - 1Password will securely store your important information and automatically log you in to Web sites with a single tap.  No need to remember your username, password, or even the Web site address.

Lookout - Virus protection, backup, and location of your missing device.

Thanks to

Tom Mighell, James Province, Jeffrey Taylor, Ben Schorr, Dan Pinnington, and
Mark I. Unger for all the great apps!

All Rights Reserved – Beverly Michaelis – 2013

How to Use Acrobat XI on Your iPad

Adobe TV Is a great way to learn Acrobat and its features. Here’s an episode about using Acrobat XI on touch devices like the iPad. Learn about the new Touch mode that provides smoother scrolling, the ability to swipe to scroll a page, accelerated swiping to allow to you to scroll quickly through large documents, and pinching to zoom.

Quick Tip: How to Bold, Italicize, or Underline on Your iPad or iPhone

Have you ever wanted to apply rich text formatting to an e-mail message on your iPad?  I did and went on a quest to learn how.  Here is what I learned after perusing several blog posts on the subject:

Step One: Change Your Default Settings

Begin by changing the default settings on your iPhone or iPad.

  • Tap Settings
  • Tap General>
  • Scroll down to Keyboard>
  • Locate Keyboards 1 >

  • Tap Keyboards 1 >
  • Tap Add New Keyboard… >
  • Scroll down to Emoji and tap once
  • Exit by pressing the Home button (or return to the parent level of Settings by tapping Keyboard, then General, then Settings)
  • If you are successful in adding Emoji, you should see Keyboards 2 > under settings:

Step Two:  Start Bolding!

To apply rich text formatting, begin composing an e-mail message.  Tap a word and choose Select.  Cut Copy Paste Suggestions > will appear.  Tap the right arrow >, then BIU, and select Bold, italicize, or underline.

For complete step-by-step directions, including screenshots, see this post by shairchair. (Caveat:  this only works in your Mail app.  If you are using Web mail through Safari RTF is not available.)

Step Three: Jazz Up Your Signature!

Now that you’re hip to rich text formatting on your iDevice, why not jazz up your e-mail signature?  Rob tells you how. Enjoy!

All Rights Reserved 2012 Beverly Michaelis

20 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Your iPhone and iPad

From time to time I like to compile the terrific posts that whiz by on Twitter.  And let me tell you, there are plenty to choose from.  Today’s blog focuses on tips and tricks for iPhone and iPad users.  Could this technology be any more popular?  Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing further posts in the areas of marketing, social media, eDiscovery, financial management, time management, ethics, and more.  Stay tuned!

20 iPhone and iPad Tips and Tricks

Apps and Reviews

Security and Protection

Even More Tips and Tricks

25 Law Practice Tips from Twitter

If you follow this blog, then you know I’m a fan of Twitter – in part because it is a great source for law practice and technology tips.  Consider these 25 recent tweets in the areas of organization, financial management, marketing, security, and iPhone/iPad tips:

Organization

  • Are you an e-hoarder? Here’s how to tell. http://t.co/4FmX6ZH8 (So true!) (RT @NetworkWorld)
  • Protect yourself from e-mail overload: http://t.co/codvw2Ad #smallbiz #organization #business (RT @bettybudget)
  • Organizing your workspace based on function zones http://t.co/RYBW3duG #organization (Good tips from The Unclutterer) (RT @rocketmatter)
  • 17 Best Tools and Apps for Building New Habits and Goals. http://t.co/pjViXVgA #SPU Do you use any? (RT @SoloPracticeU)

Financial Management

  • What lawyers need to know about 1099s and other tax compliance issues: Wash St Bar News, p. 32: http://t.co/i08xDml (from @OreLawPracMgmt)
  • “The sky still hasn’t fallen on the hourly rate model” | Daily Report http://t.co/m0yRUSuE (RT @AdvertisingLaw)
  • Can I Double My Fee if the Client Doesn’t Pay? http://t.co/WFr124BK(from @OreLawPracMgmt)
  • Don’t Leave Receivables in Limbo http://t.co/7Ek7A8zQ (unless you want to go out of business) (RT @Law_Practice)
  • In some sense, all lawyers are sole practitioners. Why *you* should build a portable book of business, http://t.co/gf7h36Kp (from @OreLawPracMgmt)
  • Check Scams Continue to Plague Oregon Lawyers, http://t.co/PPvlZDJV(from @OreLawPracMgmt)

Marketing

  • Cross-Selling, Up-Selling, and Communication Increase Revenue http://t.co/kcSsrIUJ (RT @lawyerist)
  • How to promote your law blog – RLHB http://t.co/k3XrbGLi (RT @jaredcorreia RT @rodneydowell RT @kevinokeefe)
  • Myrland Marketing Moment: Not happy others aren’t commenting on your Social Media? How often do you comment? (RT @NancyMyrland)
  • Online Marketing Strategies for Small Budgets – @attnyatwork http://t.co/8Zct2GL6 (RT @rocketmatter)

Security

  • Are Passwords the Weak Link in Your Firm’s Security Chain? http://t.co/yJt690rl (RT @ltrc RT @jaredcorreia RT @erikmazzone)
  • The State of Mobile App Security [TCTV] | @scoopit http://t.co/DUcrZtZf… (RT @deboraplehn)
  • Please Rob Me! Posting Location Data on Facebook http://t.co/Qsmc9U25 (from @OreLawPracMgmt)
  • Are You Safe & Secure On The Web? http://t.co/NjZTYJ1Y (RT @rocketmatter RT @nikiblack: via @advocatesstudio)
  • What Lawyers Should Know About Cloud Computing Security http://t.co/oqzSar5z (RT @PhilNugent RT @sfinnovation)

iPad and iPhone Tips

Social media offers a virtual means to share, exchange, engage, and learn.  Consider getting involved today!

My Experience with Square

A number of lawyers have asked me recently about using Square to process credit card transactions.  Admittedly, the ads are appealing.  If you are an iPhone, iPad, or Android user and want simple, straightforward credit card processing, I understand the temptation.  Square advertises:

  • Fast set up
  • A free credit card reader and free apps
  • Next-day payout
  • 2.75% merchant fee

If you occasionally accept credit cards for earned fees only and own an iPhone, iPad, or Android, then Square may be a good choice for you.  It is not a good choice if you:

The lesson here is simple: always know the Terms of Service for any vendor with whom you do business.  It only takes a few minutes to review the content at Square’s Help Center.  I found it to be direct, to-the-point, and easy to navigate.

My Experience with Square

As a customer, I used Square for the first time recently.  I really liked it!  The store owner swiped my card, entered the amount and description, and I used my finger to sign on her iPad.  It was easy/breezy.  (I chose to have the receipt e-mailed to me.)

Tips for Using Square

A couple of tips that I learned from this retailer and a lawyer I know who uses Square:

  • Customer support is friendly, helpful, and knowledgeable.  Once you jump through the support hoops on their Web site, I’m told they are very easy to work with.
  • Haggle!  Terms with Square can be negotiated – just ask!  One lawyer I know got Square to change his terms for processing payments manually – see above.  I’m sure it didn’t hurt that he had a track record with them.
  • Using Square on the iPad is substantially easier than using it on the iPhone or Android (Clients will have a difficult time signing on the small screen of your smartphone.)
  • Remind ladies with long fingernails to sign with the pads of their finger, not with their nails – the signature technology is heat-sensitive.  Nails won’t work and may scratch the surface of your iPhone, iPad, or Android.

Other Alternatives for Lawyers Who Want to Take Credit Cards

LawPay/Affinipay is my favorite choice by far.

How does LawPay work?

  • Lawyers using LawPay save up to 25% on credit card processing fees compared to typical bank charges for the same service.
  • Fees are deducted exclusively from the operating account (no client money is ever taken).
  • Funds are never commingled between the operating and trust account.
  • You are in control of your deposits.  If you take a credit card for a retainer, simply direct LawPay to deposit the funds in your trust account.  If you accept a credit card for fees you have already earned, direct LawPay to deposit the proceeds into your operating account.  Your ability to “direct traffic” ensures that funds are always properly separated.
  • Transactions can be processed traditionally or via virtual terminal (i.e., over the Internet).

For a refresher about accepting credit cards (and the ethical constraints), see this blog post.

Copyright 2012 Beverly Michaelis