Daily Dispatch

Product Beat Fall 2014: Law Practice Management Alley

By | Sep.17.14 | 0 Comments

Legal Technology Product Beat

For legal technology, it’s been a year focused on start-ups, disrupt-style events, legal hackathons and competitions aimed at improving delivery of legal services. Meantime, developers of law practice management software want to help improve the business side of your practice, too — steadily adding features and apps that help track time and email, and handle invoicing, documents and client communications — and making it all seamlessly and securely accessible online. And on the new features front, September is shaping up to be a busy time for announcements, with news today from Rocket Matter, LexisNexis Firm Manager, CosmoLex, Amicus Cloud and more … READ THE REST

Client Service

Think Like a Client: Mind the Gap

By | Sep.16.14 | 0 Comments

Client Service

Let’s face it: Lawyers don’t think, talk or write like regular people. We’re trained not to. The systems we work in are bewildering. The language we speak is full of specialized terms. The documents we create are both written in our language and designed to work within the legal system, making them highly unfriendly to non-lawyers.

Regular people know this, and yet they come to lawyers every day (often unwillingly) for help with some of the most important issues in their lives. Many of them have little idea what to expect from this experience, except that whatever happens will probably be confusing and expensive.

It’s little wonder, then, that clients are anxious when they walk through your office door. You can’t avoid it at the start of your relationship, but you can alleviate confusion and anxiety if you do two things … READ THE REST

Using Social Media to Find Better Job Candidates

By | Sep.15.14 | 2 Comments

Social Media to find Employees

Whether you consider yourself “social media-savvy” or not, your prospective employees likely are. The days of placing want ads in the local paper are long gone. Certainly, you can post job listings on standbys like Monster.com, or aggregators like Indeed.com, to cover your bases. If you want to target your search to the people most likely to be a good fit, though, you need to go to the places where they are looking for a firm like yours. Today, for better or worse, that is online, using social media sites. READ THE REST

The Friday Five

Techy Tips to Protect Your Time

By | Sep.12.14 | 0 Comments

Friday Five

Time is money. We all know it. But the fact is, we all have the same 24 hours each day, and it’s just not enough. And like everyone else, when the day ends, it seems like more has been added to our to-do list than has been removed. Want to regain some precious minutes? Here are five techy tips to help protect your most valuable resource — your time. … READ THE REST

Tempted by a Personal Injury Case?

By | Sep.11.14 | 2 Comments

Malpractice Risk

I’m always cautioning lawyers about the hazards of dabbling, reminding them that there really is no such thing as a “simple” will or contract. It’s not that I want them to avoid taking on matters that lead them into unfamiliar territory. Rather, my intention is to remind lawyers that if they choose to do this, they must be responsible about it. For example, they might research the law, seek advice from a mentor, find another lawyer willing to act as co-counsel, call in a favor from a colleague or take a relevant CLE course.

I just don’t want to see them “shooting from the hip” because that can really backfire. It is simply too easy to forget that you don’t know what you don’t know. Far too often the matter only appears simple because you don’t know what questions to ask. … READ THE REST

Product Review

Cloud and Clear: Abacus Pivots

By | Sep.10.14 | 1 Comment


It is the nature of an abacus to shift — beads making time, marking off distance and space. An experienced abacist knows the score. Still, you’ve gotta have the stones to make the big moves. In 2014, it’s time for Abacus to reset the frame with a big move into the virtual space.

You’ll know Abacus, firstly, for its law practice management software, AbacusLaw, which is aging well into its fourth decade, with a recently overhauled UX and UI, and a revamped calendar that works a lot like what you get out of Microsoft Outlook. Then there’s Abacus Billing, Abacus Balance and Abacus Professional Services.

But wait: there’s more! Over the course of the past year, Abacus has added a new CEO and CTO, and dozens of other staff; that changeover in management was the spur for the development of Abacus’ latest platform: Abacus Private Cloud. … READ THE REST