7 Ways Google Inbox Can Boost Your Firm’s Productivity

best new apps 1In my most recent edition of the Best New Apps for Lawyers, I discussed the most recent email offering from Google – Inbox by Gmail.  Some speculate that this app may eventually become the preferred email client for Google, replacing the iconic Gmail system.  While that particular decision is still a long way off, Inbox already offers several tools that lawyers may find useful.

The tech guys at Gizmodo offered 7 Tips to Unlock the Potential of Google Inbox, which I have updated to more specifically outline the benefits that lawyers can derive.  So here are 7 Ways Google Inbox Can Boost Your Firm’s Productivity: (more…)

Knowledge Management for Lawyers: Track Your Results!

ThiThis post is the second in my continuing series “Knowledge Management for Lawyers”
Part 1: 7 Expensive Ways Lawyers Fail at Knowledge Management
Part 2: Track Your Results!
Part 3: Establish a Routine

knowledge managementKnowledge management means a lot of different things, but at its most basic level, it means being able to combine the collective experience and wisdom of your team into actionable data.  Effective knowledge management takes that data and uses it to improve the quality or efficiency of your practice.  Better results for your clients, at lower cost, and you’ve just solved the puzzle of how to beat your competition!

But as a profession, we’re incredibly bad at collecting and utilizing this information.  Not everyone, however, is bad at it.  The plaintiff’s firm Crumley Roberts, based in North Carolina, has a fantastic system in place to improve efficiency.  Way back in 2005, they had systems tracking the effectiveness of their local television ads, giving them insight on the best time of day to advertise on which channels, in which neighborhoods.  This system allowed Crumley Roberts to become the largest plaintiff’s personal injury firm in the southeast.

You’re not going to emulate Crumley Roberts’ success overnight, but you need to start somewhere… (more…)

Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2014

Fall is in the air! The leaves are changing color, a cool wind is blowing, and they’ve added pumpkin spice to everything you never wanted to taste like pumpkin. The past month has been a flurry of activity for tech companies like Apple, Samsung, and Amazon.  New product launches usually slow the introduction of new apps so developers can match them to the new products, but October still saw some excellent new additions.

These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – October 2014:

(more…)

Law Firms in a BYOD World [Slideshow]

BYODLast month I was privileged to be invited to speak about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in law firms at the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference (check out the live blog I made of Day 1 here).  My presentation, titled Law Firms in a BYOD World, discussed the reasons why law firms need to implement not just any BYOD policy, but the right BYOD policy.

As you can see in the presentation below, the right BYOD policy does more than address the basic elements of any effective workplace policy.  To be the right BYOD policy, it must provide for regular updates, it must have universal buy-in among your employees, it must apply universally within your firm, and it must take the privacy concerns of your employees seriously.

Check out my presentation, Law Firms in a BYOD World: (more…)

7 Expensive Ways Lawyers Fail at Knowledge Management

This post is the second in my continuing series “Knowledge Management for Lawyers”
Part 1: 7 Expensive Ways Lawyers Fail at Knowledge Management
Part 2: Track Your Results!
Part 3: Establish a Routine

knowledge managementAs an attorney, particularly a litigator, I’m conscious of how much valuable information I carry with me just from my experiences as an attorney.  I’m usually able to tell you right from the start of a case whether discovery will require filing a motion to compel.  I’ll be able to tell approximately how long a mediation will take.  I’ll even be able to predict at what point during the litigation the matter is most likely to settle.

I provide better service to my client, and increase the value of the services I provide, as a result of my experience.

That’s the essence of knowledge management – a business functions primarily due to the knowledge of its employees.  The best form of knowledge management takes the best of that information so that it can be analyzed, shared, improved upon and reused.  The result is higher quality, more predictable service to our clients, and more efficiency for our firm.

So why are we failing at knowledge management? (more…)

Review: Rocket Matter for iPad

rocket matterI’ve long been a huge fan of the cloud-based practice management services, even though I have been critical of their offerings.  It’s criticism offered with love, because I don’t need any proof that they’re working to improve their products. With enterprise products like Pro Law or Amicus Attorney, you have to wait for the next version before you know whether your criticism has actually been heard.  With the cloud-based services, the response to your criticism may be just an update away.

One area that all of the cloud services have recognized has been providing mobile access to their services.  Clio has a phenomenal iPhone (and now Android) app, but it’s designed for the phone.  While it has some features that I do like on my iPad, in reality, I’m better off using the web version (which is totally fine!).

Rocket Matter, on the other hand, has decided to take advantage of the unique platform opportunities offered by the iPad, and customized an app taking full advantage of it. Recognizing that the major advantage that a tablet has over a smartphone is size, the Rocket Matter app has created a platform that provides a ton of information on one screen – which couldn’t be done effectively on a phone – while making sure it remains optimized for a touch-screen system that, despite its strengths, just isn’t the same as your desktop computer.

The results are impressive. (more…)

What’s the Point of Voluntary Cyber Security?

cyber securityA recent publication by the FDA regarding cyber security for medical devices got me wondering how ready law firms are for the true cyber security needs of the future.  The publication, official guidance to the medical device community, informs the manufacturers of medical devices that utilize wireless connectivity that it is necessary for them to consider cyber security in making their products.  Necessary, but not required.

Huh?  I don’t understand.  If the FDA believes, as their report says, that the risk of hacking medical devices is significant, why aren’t they simply requiring cybersecurity steps?  Why, before even stating the purpose of the rule, do they take a whole paragraph to emphasize that the word “should” as contained in the remaining NINE paragraphs does not indicate required action? For reference:

“FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.”

And how on earth does this have anything to do with lawyers? (more…)

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