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The Stuff of Case Management Dreams

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, July 5, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers case management software that runs on Windows, Android, and iOS with features, customization options, and integrations that acknowledge today's world (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an online marketplace for finding contract lawyers without running afoul of ethics rules, an accounting and practice management system that automates client intake, rules-based calendaring, and document creation, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

For many lawyers, the ideal case management software would consist of native desktop and mobile applications with options for on- or off-premises hosting of the data, and the ability to integrate with any new cloud service. One legal technology veteran spent the last five years rewriting its software from scratch to make this dream come true.

Needles 5 … in One Sentence

Launching this week at AAJ 2018, Needles 5 is a case management system renowned for customization options that can now integrate with third-party cloud software too.

The Killer Feature

Needles spent five years bringing Needles 5 to market — and I'm among the first to see it. Head of Customer Education Bryan Billig starts by running through a few before-and-after screens comparing versions 4 and 5.

Needles adapts to your window size and is optimized for widescreen monitors, which is unusual for a Windows application. "The visual changes alone make Needles far more user-friendly and, by default, more productive," says Tiffany A. Cypress, paralegal at Sutherland & Brinster, PA. The new Needles mobile app for Android and iOS provides a similarly optimized native experience for on-the-go access.

Needles manages the entire client lifecycle from lead generation to intake to settlement. The company pioneered what it calls Case Types — a collection of custom fields, forms, and checklists for specific practice areas. In version 5, customization options no longer have limits. Checklists can now handle complex dependency rules with unlimited date triggers and case assignments.

Because special use cases exist in many law firms, Needles built a web-enabled API. Translation — you can integrate with virtually any product. The forthcoming Needles App Store will feature third-party integrations you can add with a few clicks.

"With a modern feature set that includes updated functionality, a clean user interface, texting, dashboards, and more, Needles 5 has both the tenured experience and the cutting-edge functionality to transform your practice," says Ryan Pakter, the company's Managing Director. "Needles 5 continues to position the company as an industry leader, with the most customizable and robust case management software on the market."

Other Notable Features

Needles includes hundreds of reports for monitoring the health of your firm. Use filters to focus on a subset of data, and customize the look and layout to reflect your law firm identity. Previously, you would need a technician to create your own reports, but the new Report Writer offers a wizard that anyone can use. You can even create reports comparing data over two or more time periods.

Many small touches in Needles reflect today's world. Most notably, a dashboard keeps you apprised of activity on your cases. Contacts have fields for social media accounts, and you can send and store text messages in addition to email. Notes within cases support rich text and hyperlinks, and the new Timeline view in the calendar lists your events side by side with others on your team to facilitate scheduling meetings.

What Else Should You Know?

"True, role-based security in Needles covers every corner of the firm," Billig tells me, wrapping up my demo. Applying a role to an employee restricts their access to information and what they can do with it (e.g., view, add, edit, and/or delete notes). You can host Needles at your firm, in Needles' data center, or with a third-party virtual desktop provider. Learn more about Needles 5.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

LAWCLERK Offers an Online Marketplace for Contract Legal Work

By Neil J. Squillante | Thursday, July 5, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an online marketplace for finding contract lawyers without running afoul of ethics rules (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an accounting and practice management system that automates client intake, rules-based calendaring, and document creation, a corporate messaging service that automatically saves discussions and shared documents to NetDocuments, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

You have more work than you can handle but you're hesitant to assume the expense of a fulltime lawyer. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of law professors, biglaw refugees, and other lawyers are available for contract work. You just need a way to find and outsource your work to these freelancers within the constraints of your state's ethics rules.

LAWCLERK … in One Sentence

Launched recently, LAWCLERK is an online marketplace for freelance legal talent that incorporates ethics rules compliance into its outsourcing process.

The Killer Feature

When you first sign up to use LAWCLERK, the company securely verifies your identity and law license. Those seeking freelance work go through a similar verification process.

Your agreement for each project specifies that the freelancer will work as a paraprofessional under your supervision. For example, one of the provisions states, "I will not ask or otherwise cause the lawclerk to sign or file any documents with any court or administrative body." These and other terms eliminate ethics concerns about the unauthorized practice of law and self-dealing. Also, the terms assign ownership of all contract work to your firm, and LAWCLERK takes care of the freelancer's tax reporting.

"Many smart, talented lawyers are underemployed or choosing alternative legal careers where they aren't using their full work product capacity," says co-founder Greg Garman. "This creates a tremendous opportunity for solo practitioners or firms to tap into this underutilized legal talent by hiring these lawyers as freelancers."

Other Notable Features

You post new projects from the Dashboard, including a description, the price you're offering (flat fee), applicable areas of law, skill level, your deadline, and how long you'll accept applications. There's no charge to post or any monthly fees. After working with a freelancer you like, you can send additional projects directly to this person instead of making your projects available to all applicants.

As applicants apply, you can review their profiles, which contain their resume, sample work product, and ratings from previous projects. Ratings indicate whether the freelancer met, exceeded, or fell short of expectations. You can ask applicants questions and reject those who don't meet your requirements.

While you can communicate with freelancers via email and telephone, LAWCLERK offers a portal for secure messaging and document sharing. Also, freelancers can log their time here. Even though you pay freelancers a flat fee, this time tracking can help you decide what to charge your client. Ethics rules enable you to mark up a fee but not a cost.

What Else Should You Know?

How are lawyers using LAWCLERK? All sorts of ways according to co-founder Kristin Tyler. Examples include solos who want to grow their practice without risk, lawyers who need expertise on a niche issue, ediscovery document review, and law firms pursuing alternative business models.

The Bach Law Firm uses LAWCLERK for litigation work. "After using LAWCLERK for the first time, our firm stopped using any other contract attorneys," says managing partner Jason Bach. "LAWCLERK provides us unparalleled talent at rates that are friendly to the bottom line." Learn more about LAWCLERK.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Consultants/Services/Training | TL NewsWire

Avoid This Microsoft Word Styles Setting Like the Plague Plus 58 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 59 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Deborah Savadra of Legal Office Guru on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: The 1 Styles Setting You Should Avoid

The Best USB Microphones

Microsoft Word Secrets for Lawyers

The Best Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service (DRAAS) Solutions of 2018

Microsoft Developing Dual-Screen "Pocketable" Surface Device

Review: BlackBerry Key 2 (Video)

The Best iPad Bluetooth Keyboard Cases for Typing on the Move

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets

Law Firms Can Outsource Everything Except This Plus 43 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to the 44 best articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week. SmallLaw is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Lee Rosen of Rosen Institute on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: One Thing You Should Never Outsource

Differentiation Builds Unique Relationships With Your Clients

False Starts: Five Misconceptions About Starting a Law Firm

Five Content Marketing Ideas for Five Practice Areas

Do Proposed Ad and Referral Changes Go Too Far, or Not Far Enough?

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small law firm, big dreams. Written by successful small-firm founders, managing partners, administrators, and legal technology and practice management experts, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in solo practices and small law firms. Additionally, SmallLaw features comprehensive reviews of legal products with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles, podcasts, and videos about solo practices and small law firms. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw

Microsoft Word Secrets for Litigators Plus 39 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Coming today to LitigationWorld: Our editorial team has selected and linked to 40 articles from the past two weeks worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sample article from each section of today's issue, including our LitigationWorld Pick of the Week.

How Have Courts Addressed Proportionality Since the FRCP Amendments?

Who's Paying for Your Litigation?

May a 30(B)(6) Designee Review Documents During a Deposition?

Court Refuses Disproportionate Production of "Every Shred" of Evidence

Congratulations to Joseph Regalia of Appellate Advocacy Blog on winning our LitigationWorld Pick of the Week award: Technology Should't be a Legal Writer's Trigger Word

How to Receive LitigationWorld
All practice areas evolve, but none faster than litigation. Written by successful litigators and other litigation experts, LitigationWorld provides you with practical tips related to electronic discovery, depositions, litigation strategy, litigation technology, and trial presentations. You'll also receive in-depth litigation product reviews as well as links to the most noteworthy articles in other online litigation publications so that you'll never miss anything. The LitigationWorld newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Business Productivity/Word Processing | Coming Attractions | Litigation/Discovery/Trials | LitigationWorld

How to Take Your Smartphone on Vacation Plus 44 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to the 45 best articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week. SmallLaw is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Affinity Consulting Group of Solo in Colo on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: Taking Your Smart Phone on Vacation

Editor's Pick: We Hired a Negotiating Expert

Boosting the Value of Your Law Practice

30 Seconds From Death: The Formula for Being a Happier Lawyer

Should Your Home Page Contain a Large Photo of You?

Eight Ways for Lawyers to Get High-Quality Backlinks

Are Legal Directories Passe?

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small law firm, big dreams. Written by successful small-firm founders, managing partners, administrators, and legal technology and practice management experts, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in solo practices and small law firms. Additionally, SmallLaw features comprehensive reviews of legal products with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles, podcasts, and videos about solo practices and small law firms. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | SmallLaw

Review of WhenWorks Plus 52 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Monday, June 25, 2018

Coming today to BlawgWorld: Our editorial team has selected the 53 best legal technology articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week. BlawgWorld is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Brett Terpstra of MacStories on winning our BlawgWorld Pick of the Week award: WhenWorks Ends the Scheduling Back-and-Forth

Go Beyond the Practice Management Status Quo

How to Create a Template in Microsoft Word

The PDF Format 25 Years Ago This Week

Here's Why the Surface Book 2 Is Worth $3,000 (Video)

Intel and the Danger of Integration

Meet the AI That IBM Research Is Teaching to Debate Human Beings

How to Receive BlawgWorld
Our newsletters provide the most comprehensive coverage of both legal technology and mainstream technology of interest to the legal profession. But not the only coverage. BlawgWorld enables you to stay on top of all the noteworthy legal and mainstream technology articles (and podcasts and videos) published elsewhere without having to hire a research assistant. Even when you're busy, you won't want to miss each issue's Pick of the Week. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: BlawgWorld Newsletter | Coming Attractions | Laptops/Smartphones/Tablets | Practice Management/Calendars

Important Feature Missing From All Practice Management Software; Review of Time Matters AMP; Is It Now Safe to Use a Mac in Law Practice?

By TechnoLawyer | Friday, June 22, 2018

Today's issue of TL Serendipity contains these articles:

Neil Squillante, An Important Feature Missing From All Practice Management Software

Michael Caccavo, Review of Time Matters AMP

Harry Steinmetz, PCs Don't Have an Advantage Over Macs Anymore in Law Practice

Courtney Schael, Macs Are Better Than Windows PC in Desktop Search

Don't miss this issue — or any future issues.

How to Receive TL Serendipity
Our most serendipitous offering (hence its name), TL Serendipity consists of contributions by TechnoLawyer members who have important information to share. You'll no doubt enjoy it because of its mix of interesting topics and genuinely useful knowledge, including brutally honest product reviews and informative how-tos. The TL Serendipity newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Consultants/Services/Training | Document Management | Networking/Operating Systems | Practice Management/Calendars | TL Serendipity

AbacusLaw Goes Beyond the Practice Management Status Quo With Client Intake, Court Rules Calendaring, and Legal Accounting

By TechnoLawyer | Thursday, June 21, 2018

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an accounting and practice management system that automates client intake, rules-based calendaring, and document creation (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a corporate messaging service that automatically saves discussions and shared documents to NetDocuments, a Microsoft Word add-in that scores your briefs and offers a spellchecker-like tool which suggests corrections and stylistic improvements, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Why is Elon Musk so focused on rocket launches? Because with space travel everything stems from the launch. Now think about your cases. They all start with intake, a process that many practice management systems ignore. But shouldn't intake be a priority?

AbacusLaw … in One Sentence

AbacusNext's AbacusLaw is a popular practice management and legal accounting system with customizable intake tools, court rules calendaring, Outlook integration, and a mobile app.

The Killer Feature

AbacusLaw has an Intake button on its toolbar, which underscores the company's reverence for this aspect of law practice. Click this menu, choose the applicable PALS or Practice Area Legal Solution, and begin entering information about your new matter. AbacusLaw offers PALS for all major practice areas. Each PALS consists of special fields, reports, document templates, and smart intake forms. You can customize a PALS to fit your needs, and create entirely new PALS for niches within your practice.

The intake forms in each PALS are "smart" because they automatically check for duplicate data and link to related information. These forms populate all areas of the software, obviating the need to enter data in multiple locations. Instead of entering all the data yourself, you can have clients, witnesses, and others securely enter information into these forms on your website. You can still take advantage of this automation even if you create a matter the old-fashioned way. Just assign a PALS to the matter and all the associated fields and forms appear for data entry.

Other Notable Features

Rules-based deadline calendaring for litigation matters is another area most practice management systems ignore. By contrast, AbacusLaw includes calendar rules for civil actions in federal courts and most state courts. The calendar rules for California even include specialty courts such as family law. You can set up the applicable rules as part of an intake form or do it later after filing a complaint. The rules calculate all deadlines, and automatically adjust them as continuances and other delays occur.

AbacusLaw also offers automation for transactional practice areas with its built-in document assembly. Choose from dozens of bundled forms and create your own (AbacusNext provides training). After choosing a form, assign it to a matter, fill it out, and generate a Word, WordPerfect, or PDF document for further editing and sharing.

In addition to managing your legal work, AbacusLaw also manages your finances with a full accounting system — general ledger, accounts payable, trust accounting, and of course billing. Every screen in AbacuLaw has a Time Tix button that can start a timer or record a time entry. Reports include all those you would expect, which you can customize. You can also create your own reports.

Because AbacusLaw is matter-centric, you can access all information related to a matter in one place, including calendar events, contacts, documents, and invoices. If you use Outlook, you can also save relevant email to a matter using AbacusLaw's add-in. With the free mobile app, you can access your matters on the go.

"Designed for lawyers, easy to use, and powerful, AbacusLaw helps me manage my practice and do my billing," says Delaware solo practitioner Thomas Shellenberger. "The calendar coordinates well with Outlook and my mobile device."

What Else Should You Know?

Most law firms use AbacusLaw via Abacus Private Cloud, AbacusNext's virtual desktop service. You can host AbacusLaw at your firm if you prefer. Learn more about AbacusLaw.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Topics: Accounting/Billing/Time Capture | Automation/Document Assembly/Macros | Practice Management/Calendars | TL NewsWire

The Impact of Tax Reform Your Law Firm Plus 56 More Must-Reads

By TechnoLawyer | Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Coming today to SmallLaw: Our editorial team has selected and linked to the 57 best articles, podcasts, and videos from the past week worthy of your attention. Below you'll find a sampling from today's issue, including our SmallLaw Pick of the Week. SmallLaw is free so don't miss the next issue — sign up now.

Congratulations to Mary E. Vandenack of Law Practice Today on winning our SmallLaw Pick of the Week award: The Impact of Tax Reform On Law Firms

Top 10 Ways to Avoid a Malpractice Claim

The ABCs of Law Firm Strategy: AI, BI, and CI

Eight Attorney Headshot Tips Every Lawyer Should Follow

Posthaste Aims to Make It Easier for Lawyers to Blog

The Best Email Marketing Software of 2018

How to Receive SmallLaw
Small law firm, big dreams. Written by successful small-firm founders, managing partners, administrators, and legal technology and practice management experts, SmallLaw provides practical advice on management, marketing, and technology issues in solo practices and small law firms. Additionally, SmallLaw features comprehensive reviews of legal products with accompanying TechnoScore ratings. SmallLaw also ensures that you won't miss anything published elsewhere by linking to helpful articles, podcasts, and videos about solo practices and small law firms. Subscribe now for free.

Topics: Coming Attractions | Law Firm Marketing/Publications/Web Sites | Law Office Management | SmallLaw
 
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