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. The Assistants can be used for calendaring, communicating, and controlling devices.  They are useful in both homes and offices.  Below are tips, reviews, and user guides to help you put digital assistants to work in your home and office.  Tips Backup - remember to backup data. Privacy -  adjusting settings to protect privacy and confidential information  Transcription - send texts, take dictation, and transcribe messages .  Uses -  control devices, create appointments, make phone calls, play music, and research.  Articles Artificial Intelligence Ethical Considerations Law Office Applications Privacy   Productivity Smart Devices Using Digital Assistants  Reviews Tech Radar Wall Street Journal Washington Post User Guides Alexa Cortana Google Siri

Texting Tips

Texting has become an increasingly popular form of communication. Lawyers are using texts to communicate with clients, co-workers, and opposing counsel. Texting can  schedule meetings, send links, and give status updates. Improve your texting with the following tips, articles, and books.    Texting Tips Applications - Communicate with clients, family and friends using personal messaging apps like  WhatsApp, Signal, SnapChat, Telegram and iMessage. Collaboration  -  Collaborate with others  in your firm  by  using Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams,  and Slack.  Distractions - avoid distraction by d isabling notifications ,  filtering texts  from unknown senders, and  blocking spammers .  Filtering - use the filtering button to view messages in categories like know sender, unread message, etc. Marking  - mark important texts as unread or add a star to avoid forgetting them. Privacy - protect privacy by hiding messages from your lock screen and turning off sound.  Scam  - block texts from

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. Below are emailing tips and links to articles and books for further study.  Tips Abbreviations - avoid abbreviations Addressing - use bcc instead of cc for long distribution lists.   Brevity  - keep messages short Caps - don't use all caps  Calling - substitute calls with meetings to avoid misunderstanding or controversy Subject  - use appropriate subject lines Articles Avoiding Email Mistakes Best practices Getting past spam filters Things to consider Sending Emails When to Use Email Writing Emails Books Digital Manners Business Etiquette Online Etiquette Email Risk Legal Ethics .  

Managing Email

Many lawyers are overwhelmed by the volume of incoming emails and texts. Below are tips for managing email and articles for implementing them. Tips Avoid stress by turning off notifications and alerts Create a burner address to use for sign-ins Determine client preference for email and texts Secure communications using apps, encryption, portals, and restricted access Label messages and organize into folders Prioritize emails for response  Use electronic email to send reminders and marketing communications Articles Comparing Apps Electroninc Communications Eliminating Mess and Stress Managing Email Sending Reminders Books Digital Manners Online Etiquette Email Risks Legal Ethics Microsoft Outlook Time Management

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  and design thinking . Advance your career by reading articles about critical thinking ,  lawyering skills and  how to improve yourself . Use the Massachusetts Bar Association's free  5-workbook series  to be a better lawyer.

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 Email and Portals Guide to Using Client Portals Setting Up a Client Portal Using Portals to Collaborate Virtual Firms Require Client Portals Why Your Firm Needs a Portal Books Guide for Onboarding Clients Paperless in One Hour Virtual Law Practice Reviews Standalone software Package Software Portals for Small Firms Samples Book Law Firm (Solo, Frisco, TX) M.C. Thomas & Associates (Small Firm, Mid-Atlantic) Osorio Cachaya (Small Firm, White Plains, NY) Platt Law Firm (Small Firm, Atlanta, GA) Larry Weiss (Small Firm, Ambler, PA) Webinars Client Portals (ABA) S

Securing Your Email

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