Practice Management

Posts

Want To See the Future Of Law Practice? Attend a Tech Conference

92decfde1d6e83f6737cd5c251d83103By Pegeen Turner

I recently returned from the Clio Conference in Chicago. Clio is cloud-based practice management software for law firms. But, don’t stop reading this post just because your firm does not use Clio or the cloud. This post is pertinent to you as long as you continue to practice law in 2016.

The Clio Conference offers more than just information on a product. It is a conference on the future of law. Unlike any other legal technology conferences that I have attended, the Clio Conference exposes attendees to technology used in other law firms today (read – your competitors). From AI (artificial intelligence) to online intake processes, and practice specific technology, firms are moving their data online. Today. Clio brings together a wealth of resources under one roof to show you the direction of where your firm should be moving.

Read more

Encrypt It, Restrict It, Firewall It: The Panama Papers’ Security Lessons for Lawyers

,

The leak of the Panama Papers has done more than reveal the underbelly of the international tax-dodger trade. This massive security breach, the biggest document leak in history, also serves as a wake-up call for lawyers and law firms about our responsibility to keep client information confidential.

The files, leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, came from the Mossack Fonseca law firm in Panama. Their contents are incredibly incriminating for several multinational organizations and many world leaders as they describe the ways powerful and knowledgeable people have gamed the financial system to create tax havens in off-shore accounts. It’s important that you understand the contents and repercussions of the documents, certainly, but even more important is that you understand what this leak means for law firm security in the future.

Here’s the takeaway:

  1. If you keep it, it can be stolen. Encrypt.
  2. If you send it, it can be misdirected. Encrypt.
  3. If you give access to it, it can be retained. Restrict Downloads.
  4. If your data is stored on your network, it can be accessed by anyone who has network permissions. Firewall it.

Read more

On the Ides Of March, a Soothsayer’s Tips On Making Law Partnerships Last

“All happy law firms are alike; each unhappy law firm is unhappy in its own way.” Tolstoy wrote that. Or maybe it was Tolstoy’s lawyer. I forget.

Whoever wrote it, it’s wrong.

Unhappy law firms – and by unhappy, I mean the law firms where the partnership is fracturing – are often unhappy in similar ways and for similar reasons. I regularly do consultations with a couple of lawyers who are planning to open a firm together. It makes sense; starting a law firm is scary, and doing it with someone you like and trust feels like it helps mitigate the risk.

Read more

The Chair’s Comments

By Ginny Allen

Almost two months ago, I left my job as head of marketing and business development with a large North Carolina law firm to start my own company. Until recently, my interest within the law practice management and technology world had largely been technology, specifically marketing technologies.

Over the course of these last months, my eyes have been opened to the resilience, hard work, and investment of time it takes to get a business up and running.

Read more

Gifts for Lawyers Who Say They Don’t Want an Apple Watch — But Really Do

Editor’s note: This article appears in the November edition of NC Lawyer.

By Erik Mazzone

I didn’t want an Apple Watch. Really.

With an iPhone, iPad and MacBook Air, I figured owning three Apple devices that need charging daily and upgrading regularly is enough for one person. Not to mention I wanted to avoid being one of those officious “Apple fan boys” running around, going, “and then Apple innovated by putting a device on my wrist … and it tells the time! Mind. Blown.”

Then this happened.

Photo2

In my limited defense, it was a gift. In my even more limited defense, I asked for it. It’s not entirely my fault, though. My normally tech-disinterested wife has been rhapsodizing about her Apple Watch for months now:

My Apple Watch does this. My Apple Watch does that. My Apple Watch has a built in laser app like Iron Man.

I’m only human. I broke.

I assumed the Apple Watch was going to be kind of a disappointment. It needs to be Bluetooth tethered to an iPhone. The screen is tiny. It doesn’t really do that much. I was prepared to be underwhelmed.

As it turns out, though, it has been kind of a delight. I’m not overwhelmed. But neither am I underwhelmed. Just regular whelmed.

After a few weeks of wear, the Apple Watch has quietly crept into some crevices in my tech life that I didn’t know existed.

Read more

Nine Questions to Ask About Your Firm’s Website

By Deborah McMurray

Law firms are investing more in the de­sign and development of their websites than ever. But are your visitors any happier?

No matter your law firm’s size or budget, visitors expect the same intuitive experience that they have with CNN.com, Southwest.com or Opentable.com. And your site is be­ing judged by the same criteria: (1) Is it easy to navigate and search—meaning do I quickly find what I want and need? and (2) does it an­swer my question or solve my problem?

If you have marketing or business development expectations of your law firm website, then you must view this medium and investment very differently.

1. Start at the Beginning: Is Your Strategy Clear? The reason so many law firm websites are poor is because too few firms pay attention to firm vision and goals, understand their target mar­kets or develop a website strategy. Firm strategy, key messages and points of differentiation should shape every decision that’s made in creating design, determining functionality and developing con­tent. Your firm strategy should be clear when a visitor comes to your site. You have one chance to make the right impression—and you have about five seconds to make it before your visitors make a “stay/leave” decision. Don’t risk making the wrong impression by not spending time on this critical step.

Read more