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This week we were invited to demo two new products aimed at alleviating some of the pain involved in two key areas of law practice: legal research and landing new clients. PacerPRO is a new online research service designed to make finding and managing federal case records a much more pleasant task. Avvo Ignite is a new suite of online tools aimed at helping lawyers more easily connect the dots between their marketing efforts and actually closing the deal with new clients. Fall has been a busy time for practice management software developers as well, with MyCase’s acquisition, the debut of the much-anticipated Amicus Cloud, and Rocket Matter’s announcement of IMAP email integration, coming this Monday.
PacerPRO, which launched in preview mode last Thursday, is a sleek new online service that gives subscribers the ability to search, retrieve and manage case records from all federal courts. Co-founded by attorney Gavin McGrane and tech industry veteran Paul G. Locklin, PacerPRO directly connects to the 750 million court records currently available on the Public Access to Electronic Court Records (PACER) system. Instead of wrestling with the idiosyncrasies of PACER, subscribers can easily search across multiple courts simultaneously to find a complete set of records, filter results to identify relevant cases and save past searches—making entire caseloads quickly searchable and shareable. Once documents are retrieved, cases can be bookmarked for easy access and PacerPRO automatically indexes the docket for quick and easy searches.
PacerPRO will be available at an introductory price of $25 per month (users must still pay PACER directly for searches). In addition to search and management features, PacerPRO is compiling its own archival database—now with more than 32,000 documents. Archive searches are free to subscribers and return results with simple, one-word or Boolean searches. PacerPRO’s iPad app syncs with your PacerPRO account so that you can review research with or without an Internet connection. The iPad app subscription is $15 per month.
Whether you’re relying on Yellow Pages and referrals or you’re on board with the latest online marketing tools, it’s too confusing—and time-consuming—to figure out what’s really working in terms of marketing your practice. Lawyers need a little help (or a lot) figuring it out—what’s more, they need help “converting” all those leads that their marketing is generating into qualified, paying clients. That’s the premise behind the Avvo Ignite marketing suite. Billed as “a client conversion and website solution for attorneys,” the new product promises to help you close more clients in less time and know exactly which marketing channels are producing qualified clients.
Avvo Ignite is available in two editions. “Avvo Ignite Starter” is aimed at attorneys who are just starting out with a marketing program. Avvo will build a website for you (including help with writing) and, for a monthly fee, supply site activity reports, listing submissions to directories and access to legal marketing experts. The “Avvo Ignite Suite” is a secure cloud-based “client conversion and tracking solution,” built around a marketing intelligence dashboard that tracks marketing “channels” and campaigns. A dashboard also tracks the client intake process, from initial contact to hand-off to the responsible attorney. This is a killer feature considering how many leads and potential clients are lost due to inefficient intake systems. (Do you really know what happens when somebody calls your firm and where that information goes?) Plus, all data can be exported to a CRM system or address book, and potentially your practice management software. Monthly pricing, starting at $199, is based on how many things you wish to track. Avvo’s team will help you select items appropriate for your particular practice, set up your dashboard and train you to use the system.
How does this all work in practice? This week, lawyer Lee Rosen took a closer look at Avvo Ignite in his review for Attorney at Work.
Here are other product announcements that bubbled up these past few weeks.
For an update on the tablet computing scene, be sure to read Neil Squillante’s TL NewsWire article, “A Special Report on Tablets in the Legal Industry: iPad, iPad mini, and Surface with Windows RT,” and Droid Lawyer Jeff Taylor’s follow-up, “Tablets and the Legal Industry: The Android and a Rebuttal” for a good grounding on the topic. TechnoLawyer’s newsletters are subscription only, but the price is nice: Free when you earn points.
Finally, we’re thinking 2013 is the year to (at last) go paperless, and I’ve got my eye on the brand-new Doxie One portable scanner, available at the end of November. It’s about the size of an empty paper towel roll, syncs with the iPad (and mini) and sends your paper to Dropbox and Evernote. For $149 you get the Doxie One standalone paper scanner, Doxie 2.3 software with ABBYY OCR, a 2GB SD memory card and a worldwide power adapter. Doxie also offers a pricier wireless model, the Doxie Go, which, at $299, stores up to 600 pages.
Joan Feldman is Partner/Editorial at Attorney at Work. Follow her @joanhfeldman.
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