Part 2: More Favorite Products from 2013 ABA TechShow

checkmark-fb (1)While I’m still digesting all the great new products, there were a few vendors making announcements about new products, features and integrations. So here is a summary of some of their announcements. And then there’s the ever popular LegalTypist – home to the SuperPass for TechShow. Plan on going to 2014 TechShow and save $150 with the SuperPass – only available through LegalTypist.

Legal Typist

LegalTypist – Your legal virtual assistant and legal transcription service for firms of all sizes, but fills a great need for the solo/small firm attorney. And one exciting thing for me was I actually got to meet Ms. LegalTypist – Andrea Cannavina. Until TechShow, for me, just a friendly and engaging Tweeter.  Andrea has created a product for law firms of all sizes – a scalable digital workflow accessible from any telephone or internet connection that is as easy for the staff to use as it is on the firm to implement. Try it for free – you just may free yourself up to do more tweeting with Andrea.

clio_certified_consultant_125x125Clio announced 2 new integrations with Xero and NetDocuments. After 5 years in business providing small firms an affordable solution, this opens the door for Clio to be ready for larger law firms. NetDocuments is a popular document management system for mid to large size firms. A cloud-based document management system, every time you open or save a document, you now have the option to be doing it with NetDocuments. So this integration gives larger firms, not using DropBox or Box, a reason to look closer at Clio for their practice management solution. Xero is a cloud-based accounting package that many had never heard of until Clio announced its integration. For current clients using QuickBooks, a conversion guide is available.

bookmark side mentor horizontal (1)Building upon a well recognized brand in the legal community, Rocket Matter announced at TechShow it’s new comprehensive Internet marketing platform – RocketX1. Rocket X1 consolidates online marketing services offered by multiple agencies, eliminating the need to individually hire separate expertise – it’s a one-stop shop approach. The feature I was most impressed was  the systems in place to measure progress and ROI:  checklists, deadlines, analytics, and milestones to keep the firm on track.  The cost, well it’s not cheap but it is comparable to what other vendors might charge and RocketX1 customers  get a website, a blog, SEO optimization, PR, graphic design, strategic consulting and more in a single package. Still in beta, results won’t be out for a few months.

Hope you find the time to check out these products and see how you can use them in your practice. Free demos are always available. And if I may add a shameless plug – I am now certified in both Clio and RocketMatter. So consider contacting me for more information about these 2 great cloud based law practice management solutions.

Peggy Gruenke, LawBizCOO

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A Sampling of My Favorite Products from 2013 ABA TechShow

Here is a summary of my favorite vendors and products from ABA TechShow 2013. I hope next year I can get a few Cincinnati attorneys to attend with me. Mark your calendars – March 27th – 29th. It would be such a pleasure showing you around the TechShow. While reading through my list of Top Picks, have an open mind and be willing to spend a little to realize the potential you have to make your practice more efficient. And more efficiency leads to happier clients and more revenue.

Three days of the ABA TechShow just may not be quite enough when there are so many great presentations, authors to meet and products to experience first-hand. But I did my best to make it around to most of the 100 vendors in the exhibit area. I wanted to visit and test drive products that I thought would add value to a solo/small firm practice. So here are my top picks. If there are any products you want to try, let me know. I have access to discounts for some of the products.

WordRake – I have tried this product and it is one of the best Word add-in products for editing I have seen. WordRake helps you write better by instantly editing Microsoft Word documents and suggesting changes you can accept or reject to create clear and concise documents by eliminated useless words and phrases.  It’s an editor that identifies extra language to remove for brevity and clarity. With WordRake legal editor, you’ll edit your legal documents quickly, professionally, and all within Microsoft Word! Once you step back and realize the amount of time you spend composing documents, this product is just a no-brainer. $99 for one year. You can download a 3-day trial, which is what I did. You’ll be hooked. Just do it…

logo_legal_transcriptionE-Typist, Inc. – This is a small company right here in Ohio. I liked the simplicity of this product – you dictate, transfer you audio files, E-Typist transcribes, proofreads and sends them back to you – for as little as 1¢ per word. Really, you have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. There are 4 options for submitting your audio file – Just do it…

  1. Dial in your dictation on a toll-free line OR
  2. Upload files from your digital voice recorder or PC to a secure server OR
  3. Email your voice files OR
  4. Dictate on your iPhone, Smartphone or Blackberry and send your files  (you will need to download an app – $14.99). Dictate directly into your iPhone, utilizing the Dictamus app or DictaDroid for Androids. Then save your dictation and “share” it. You can record up to 90 minutes of dictation. The apps have all the recording features of a digital voice recorder – and won’t use your cell phone minutes.

orange-clock-black-rimChrometa – Even with the trend towards flat fees and other alternative billing arrangements, the billable hour is not dead yet. I started using this product day I got home. I love it. It tracks everything I do on my computer – every email written, every document I produce and every phone call I make from my mobile device. The web interface is easy to use and it has not affected anything else running on my PC. You can sync your time entries right into Clio, Rocket Matter or export to an Excel file or .iff file for QuickBooks.  It’s a beautifully seamless product for capturing your time, applying time to the correct matter and producing more accurate invoices. Since you are capturing more time, you just might make more money. And it’s priced right – $19/mn. Give it a try. It really is simple. Just do it…

abillity-TM-logo_236x77_RGB_72dpiAnother simple product, focused on one thing – capturing time spent on phone calls. A few minutes here or a half-hour there adds up quickly, and before you know it, you’ve lost billable hours and left sizable revenue on the table.  With this product you can capture time not only on your mobile phone but also on your office phone (if you have a VoIP system). You can record or type a quick memo about the call, as it happens, for quicker reconciliation and more descriptive billing records. All call records are accessed via a web portal and can be exported to a .csv file for integration with your billing system. I tried it and saw first-hand how simple and quick this application worked. It is currently in beta mode. If you would like to participate as a beta user, let me know.  Just do it…

SmokeballFinally, a simple and affordable document automation application that integrates seamlessly with Outlook and Word. And it has a cool name. This tool sits within Microsoft Word to assist you in generating forms and letters for your matters. But the really amazing part is it comes with thousands of Court Forms at no extra charge. They maintain the forms making sure they are always up-to-date and they are stored as Word documents so you can easily modify them. Smokeball stores the details of all clients and matters as you work, so it is automatically building your database for future access. For $29/mn you get a document automation system that includes automation of letters and forms, document management and version control, and email management with Outlook plus 1000s of court forms. At this time, not all states are available. But they are committed to adding court forms as requested and the tool is simple enough for you to convert any current Word document into a form. Just do it…

logikcull128E-discovery products were a the largest product category represented in the exhibit hall. One of the newcomers in this growing arena is Logikcull.  Here is a nice article by Brett Burney about this great e-discovery software. No gigabyte fees – you are charged by month for the amount of documents you need to upload. It’s a very robust product, well designed to work on mobile devices, recognizing that legal professionals also use mobile phones and tablets to get work done. Go mobile with your e-discovery, when you upload your documents into Logikcull, they get converted into web-viewable formats so you can access them without the constraints of original software. You can try it for free. If you do, let me know how you like it. Just do it…

Hope you find the time to check out these products and see how you can use them in your practice.

And finally, keeping with the theme, I’ll end this post with one of my favorite motivational speeches – “Just Do It”, a speech by Art Williams . http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y86o1snrC-I

Peggy Gruenke, LawBizCOO

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Headed to ABA LegalTech Show

I am sitting on the MegaBus on my way to Chicago for the annual ABA Legal Tech Show, an event I look forward to every year, using my iPad to write this log post. Besides the show, it’s my favorite city to visit (get to squeeze in a visit to see my daughter and her friends). Packed days, great dinners and after dinner parties. This is where I get to see in person my Twitter legal tech friends.

I have my ABA TechShow app downloaded and mapping out where I will spend my time this year. Because there are so many great vendors and products to explore, I’ll spend a fair amount of time in the Exhibit Hall, checking out what’s new for solo/small firm attorneys.

Then there is the Meet the Authors opportunities and great prices on books. The ABA bookstore is also a favorite place to hang out. I really do not need another book but because I get the chance to look at all the offerings and talk to the authors, it’s inevitable, I’ll have a few more in my backpack on the way home.

The sessions – so many choices, too little time. I’m still choosing but online marketing, social media, paperless technology, document production and cloud computing will some of my first choices.

The Taste of ABA TechShow was an ingenious idea. So you pick a legal tech topic you want to learn more about and meet-up with a small group for dinner with the discussions led by one of the tech show speakers. I’ll be hanging out with Jared Correia (author of Twitter for Lawyers) and Dan Pinnington and Reid Trautz.

So I have no doubt I’ll be returning with lots of information to sort through and will be sure to report back to you on what looks new, different, and beneficial to your practice. Maybe next year you can join me.

Peggy Gruenke
Pgruenke@lawbizcoo.com
LawBizCOO