Showing posts from February, 2020

Improving Smartphone Performance

The roll-out of 5G cellular service has started in cities across the USA. Higher  5G speeds will be noticeable when downloading large files, streaming videos, and playing games. In addition to  purchasing a smartphone with 5G capability, you can speed up phones by clearing cache, deleting emails, and removing unused apps. Read  articles about apps ,  speed , security and  tips  for using smartphones.  Click here  for a 5-minute video about the evolution of cellular technology from 1G (slower than a telephone modem) to 5G (comparable to speeds of home networks).

Google Docs vs. Microsoft Office

Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite have become ubiquitous at law firms. They provide tools for calendaring, collaborating, communicating, and creating. To choose the best one for your firm, read comparisons prepared by  ComputerWorld and ZDNet . Also see comparisons of Google and Microsoft apps for email and productivity . Get tips for using the apps by reading articles prepared by Microsoft and Google . Read books about  Microsoft Office  and  Google Apps for comprehensive guidance. Get inspired by listening to a podcast about Microsoft features that lawyer love . Remember to secure your data and documents with tips from Google and Microsoft .

Using Digital Assistants

Popular digital assistants include Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri, Google Assistant, and Microsoft Cortana.  They use artificial intelligence to converse with users. Although law apps don’t currently use them, digital assistants can also be used to  control smart devices, create appointments, make phone calls, play music, search the Internet, send texts, take dictation, and transcribe messages . Remember to backup data and protect confidential information when using digital assistants in your law practice. Read articles about using virtual assistants , ethical considerations ,  practical applications,   privacy , and  productivity .  

Texting Tips

Lawyers are  texting with clients   to schedule meetings, send links, and give status updates. Read  tips for texting   and be mindful of  ethics .  Remember  to  protect privacy  by hiding messages from your lock screen and turning off sound.  Avoid distractions by  disabling notifications ,  filtering texts  from unknown senders, and  blocking spammers .  Collaborate with others  in your firm by  using Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams,  and Slack. Communicate with clients, family and friends using personal messaging apps like  WhatsApp, Signal, SnapChat, Telegram and iMessage.  Learn more about texting by reading articles about  abbreviations ,  applications , chat apps ,  encryption ,   management ,  marketing ,  retention , and security

Email Etiquette

Email etiquette establishes your credibility and helps communicate your message. Etiquette is essential whether your email is a short message or a complex legal analysis. Practice good etiquette by using appropriate subject lines, keeping messages short, avoiding abbreviations and using bcc instead of cc for long distribution lists.  Don't use all caps or emojis. Substitute a phone call or meeting when needed to avoid misunderstanding or controversy. Read articles about things to consider , tips for writing , and best practices .  Study books about Digital Manners , Business Etiquette ,  Online Etiquette ,  Email Risks , and Legal Ethics .  

Email Management

Many lawyers are overwhelmed by the volume of incoming emails and texts. Click here for an article with tips for managing your electronic communications. Click here for an article comparing email providers. And  Click here for an article about how to protect your communications using apps, encryption, portals, and restricted access.  

Being a Better Lawyer

For many years, companies like Nestle and Toyota have used an improvement strategy known as Kaizen to make better products and increase market share. Focus on improvement can also help individuals boost their careers and well-being. For inspiration, read famous quotes about being your best. For in-depth study, read books about  Practicing Law  and  Creative Lawyering . Advance your career by reading an article about how to improve your skills  and using LOMAS  workbook  to enhance your practice.

Protecting Your Office

Law offices are subject to several security risks - burglary, sabotage, theft, unauthorized access, and workplace violence. Learn how to protect your firm by reading articles about office security  and best practices . Use a security checklist to assess your firm's security and then adopt a security policy . Follow-up with a safety meeting to insure that lawyers and staff are made aware of safe practices and firm policy. 

Using Client Portals

Client portals can be added to firm websites to secure communications and improve client relations for small and large law firms. Client portals are commonly used by accounting, financial, healthcare organizations, but less frequently used by law firms The cost of adding a portal is nominal. See below for resources including, articles, examples, and review of providers.   Articles Benefits of Client Portals Comparing Emal and Portals Using Portals to Collaborate Examples of Client Portals M.C. Thomas & Associates (Small Firm, Mid-Atlantic) Osorio Cachaya (Small Firm, White Plains, NY) Reviews Standalone software Package Software

Email Security

Lawyers are vulnerable to hackers who seek access to emails that contain information about cases and clients.  Protect yourself and your clients by encrypting your emails, creating passwords for attacments, and connecting to virtual private networks. When away from your office, use your cellular provider to connect to the Internet (instead of public WiFi). See the articles for more information. Articles   Anti-phishing Tools and Services Encryption and Client Portals Click Protecting Email Privacy and Security Safely Using Email Books Cybersecurity for Dummies Lawyers Handbook on Cybersecurity