Showing posts from February, 2020

Speeding Up Smartphones

The roll-out of 5G cellular service has started in cities across the USA. Before purchasing a smartphone with 5G capability, ask you cellular provider about the cost and availability of 5G in your metropolitan area . 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). The higher 5G speeds will be noticeable when downloading large files, streaming videos, and playing games.

Productivity Software

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 of Google vs Microsoft and their apps for email and productivity . Get tips for using apps by reading articles parepared by Microsoft and Google . Read the ABA's Microsoft Office 365 for Lawyers and 30 Minute's Guide to Google Apps for comprehensive guidance to automate your practice. Remember to secure your data and documents with tips from Google and Microsoft .

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 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 ethics  of digital assistants and lawyers using them in their office  and law practice.

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 , and  retention .

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 ,  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

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. To learn more, read the ABA's Guide to Practicing Law and an article about  improving your skils .  And click here for a workbook to help you advance your career and 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. 

Creating 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. Click here to learn more about client portals and how to implement one for your firm. Read reviews of standalone and packaged software for creating client portals.

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). For more information, click here to learn more about encryption and client portals. And click here for additional ways to protect your email.