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TECHNOLOGY

6 tips for choosing legal practice management software

By Diane Camacho There continues to be a tremendous push in the legal community from practice management software companies. This has evolved from the use of cloud-based software. What should practice management software do for you? Keep all your client information in one place. Keep all your information available to you on the go. Allow you to enter your information one time for all applications. Provide document automation. Provide document management. Efficiently track your time and produce bills. Either produce financial reports or sync with a financial management platform like QuickBooks. From my experience in the legal community and particularly working with small firms and solo practitioners, I’ve accumulated the following tips on legal practice management software. Tip 1 Each of these programs have a sweet spot. Some do billing… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

Voice technology can give you an extra set of hands

By Philips Dictation From robotics to augmented reality and beyond, the growing prominence of technology’s role in business has been fascinating. But there is also concern that some types of technology, such as AI, may threaten people’s jobs by performing functions or even “thinking” as humans do. However, the reality is that the development of AI-related technologies, especially speech-to-text, is designed to complement human work—not replace it. There are many ways the rising popularity and adoption of speech-to-text help enhance workflows and make the day easier and more enjoyable for employees in all kinds of roles. Utilizing advanced voice solutions also helps prepare employees for future technological evolution in the workplace, keeping them on the leading edge with desirable, transferrable skills. For support staff, this is a win-win, as evidenced by these key benefits… . . . read more

TRAINING

5 ways to conduct law firm training without burnout

By Doug Striker I have written often about the importance of creating a learning culture at your law firm. It’s truly the only way for your firm to embrace new technologies and innovative solutions, thus serving your clients better and more efficiently. At the heart of any genuine learning culture is a training program that helps people advance their skills and knowledge. But how do you conduct law firm training without burnout? How do you foster a culture that rewards learning while people can still get their jobs done? It is a tricky balance. I recently read an article titled “5 Ways to Upskill Your Employees Without Causing Burnout” in HR Daily Advisor by Vance Hilderman, founder of aviation company AFuzion. The aviation industry is obviously one that demands continuous… . . . read more

TECHNOLOGY

A primer on document management systems

Are you wondering how to modernize your office’s system of managing documents?  A document management system, or DMS, refers to the tools and processes your organization uses to store and manage documents. A modern DMS will often provide robust search capabilities, metadata tagging, access controls, and increased security processes to protect files. NetDocument, a cloud content management platform where legal professionals do work, offers this primer document management systems: In the past, document management meant a combination of filing cabinets, boxes, shelves, folders, binders, scanners, thousands upon thousands of printed pages, and designated square footage in the office to hold it all. Document management has evolved to align with today’s digital workplace by storing electronic  files and documents either in an on-premises or cloud-based DMS. These tools bring with them… . . . read more

TRAINING

14 tips for improving your training content

You have to make someone responsible for keeping content current. Use titles and not names in your documentation, so you don’t have to update when people leave your firm. Find a quiet time of the year to do an annual review of training content. Be careful with holding onto out-of-date training content. People will find it! Content needs to be accessible from anywhere. You can have fabulous content, but it’s useless if no one is using it. Advertise! If you have an enterprise search tool, why haven’t you indexed your learning content there? People search in different ways. Some look for a search box. Some never see it and look for a menu. It can seem overwhelming, but just pick a pain point and start developing your content! Consider a… . . . read more

PRODUCTIVITY

Artificial intelligence can boost billable hours

Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents one of the latest advances in legal technology. Rather than replacing attorneys and support staff, AI can help lawyers and other legal professionals do more to serve their clients with greater efficiency and less expense. Teaching computers to learn One significant advantage of employing AI is the ability of machines to learn tasks that previously required the time and effort of lawyers, according to a blog by SMI Aware, a social media evidence collection and preservation service. Likewise, AI enhances the ability of lawyers to extract pertinent case information by directly typing a query in a search field—or directing the machine to perform a given task. Of course, before computers can perform these tasks, they must be “taught” to do so by humans. Connecting various concepts, such as… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

How to stay vigilant without hiring a surprise attack ninja

Remember the Pink Panther movies? Peter Sellers’ character, Inspector Clouseau, hired “Cato” to randomly attack him. He thought unexpected ninja attacks would keep him every vigilant. While the over the top comedy is ridiculous, it does remind me of how to approach cybersecurity. You do not need to hire someone with a kendo stick to beat your staff into compliance, but frequent “reminders” do promote vigilance. This comparison comes from Mike Sacopulos, founder and CEO of the Medical Risk Institute. He said most professional practices provide cybersecurity training when an employee is first hired, and annually after that. While certainly this method will check the box for “security training” it is highly ineffective for maintaining good cybersecurity habits. Cybersecurity training is not a “once you learn it, you know how… . . . read more

STAFF MEETINGS

Zoom hiders: Camera shy or disengaged?

By Lynne Curry Question: For our mandatory manager meetings, I show up on time so my attendance is noted, and then get through the meetings by multi-tasking. It’s easy enough to hear what’s said as I get other work done. I cover this up by always making a positive comment on at least one of the manager’s proposals. I leave my video off, though, and when the manager chastised me, I compromised by turning it on at the beginning, saying “hi” to everyone, and turning it on anything important is happening, and when I’m speaking. I thought this was a reasonable compromise, so imagine my shock when my manager said my leaving the camera off was a key reason I wasn’t one of the three managers being sent to a… . . . read more

RETURN TO THE OFFICE

Caregiver caught between employer’s expectations and family’s needs

By Lynne Curry As managers require employees to spend more time at the office, they will encounter special circumstances that require special solutions. Consider the following situation of an employee needing to work from home to provide family care. Employee question: Since our schools no longer require masks, my husband and I decided to homeschool our youngest child. My employer initially made this easier by allowing me to work remotely. Although I needed to run into the office occasionally for an hour or two, it wasn’t a problem because my mother-in-law lives with us. Unfortunately, my employer now insists that all employees work a minimum of three full workdays in the office. I argued with my manager and he insisted it was a matter of fairness that I work onsite…. . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

7 ways to cut costs with a greener office

By Daryll Esposito The well-being of our planet is a universal concern, but it’s not always front-of-mind when we’re busy at work. The good news is that making greener choices at the office is not only better for the environment, it’s better for your budget too. With Earth Day this week on April 22, it’s time to look at some environmentally friendly improvements. Some common repurposing and recycling advice is not appropriate for a law office, where confidentiality requires paper to be properly shredded for safe disposal.  On the other hand, the move to electronic documents greatly reduces paper use. 7 simple, sustainable and cost-saving steps that any office can take: Turn off electronics at night. You don’t pay your employees while they aren’t working, so why pay for off-duty equipment?… . . . read more


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