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Getting the Most out of Law Firm Portals in SharePoint 2013: DO THIS, NOT THAT!

Tim KenneySummer is about here and you know that means two things:  

  1. A deluge of insipid and obvious diet advice segments on television (EAT THIS: grilled chicken on a bed of lettuce NOT THAT: triple bacon cheeseburger a la mode. Shocking!) and 
  2. The year is moving along and it’s time to get serious about upgrading your law firm portal.   

As we all learned in the classic movie Groundhog Day, sometimes repetition and experience make all the difference. Having worked with law firms on various Microsoft SharePoint intranet, extranet and Search projects for the past 18+ years, we’ve learned (sometimes the hard way) what to do and not to do with your portal upgrades.

Larger Law Firms and Change: We Don’t Wanna!

Nicole BlackIt’s that time of year again. The annual Altman Weil “Law Firms in Transition” report was just released. And the results are entirely surprising—that is if you don’t follow the profession and didn’t read last year’s report. And the report before that one. And the one before that. 

The conclusion, in a nutshell? The majority of responding firms agree that everything’s changing, but they’re not really all that interested in acclimating.

How to become a great legal dictator

Maxine ParkA guide to the perfect dictation

When it comes to accurate dictation, a few simple guidelines will help not only make transcription of your files easier and more accurate, whilst saving you money into the bargain. 

The first choice is the equipment you use, but whether it’s a dictation machine or a Smartphone with the latest dictation app., it’s important not to hold it too close. The microphone should be about six inches (15cm) from your mouth to prevent words becoming muffled by other sounds, like the burst of air that hits the microphone when you use ‘plosive’ words like ‘punish’ or ‘benefit’. Also, if you get too close, your breathing can muffle your words.

ERP mustn’t be seen as a PMS swap out in the legal sector

Guy PhillipsLaw firms have always been enthusiastic adopters of best of breed technology – practice management, document management, time and billing, expense, human resources and more. Unfortunately today, despite the significant investments that law firms have made in these systems, the software is falling short. 

Why? Well the economic and market landscapes have changed – there are increasing competitive and market pressures forcing law firms to change the way they operate. There is a heightened need for operational efficiency like never before as clients demand value for money, greater transparency and the highest levels of service. The siloed PMS solutions are not designed as enterprise-level technology platforms.

Reflections On ABA Techshow 2015

Nicole BlackABA Techshow 2015 has come and gone. It was a whirlwind of activity from start to finish and it’s only now that I finally have a chance to take a breath and look back on it. Here are my thoughts.

As is the case every year, ABA Techshow 2015 turned out to be a great place to connect with like-minded people with an interest in the intersection of law and technology. So if that sounds like you and you’ve never been, mark your calendars now for next year’s show (March 17-19). You really shouldn’t miss it.

21st Century Legal Conferences: The Future of the Profession

Nicole BlackJust as the legal profession needs to change with the times, so too do legal conferences. Even though many studies and books have been released in recent years on how people best absorb information, the format of most legal conferences have changed very little. Most take place in cavernous rooms with horrible acoustics and no Wi-Fi and consist of multiple, back-to-back, hour-long panels where each panelist sits behind a table and provides their own mini-presentation in monotone, replete with PowerPoints straight out of the 1990s consisting of text-heavy, bullet-point-laden slides. In other words, they are the perfect antidote to insomnia. 

Looking at New Legal Apps? The Latest Software Upgrade? Think Twice about UI and UX

Jeffrey BrandtEarlier this month, I joined several thousand legal professionals congregating in New York for LegalTech as well as the 11th annual Law Firm CIO & CTO Forum where I ended up. Thanks to an invite from the Tikit folks, I was asked to moderate a panel presentation entitled, "Engaging Human-Computer Interaction & Ergonomics Experts to Boost User Experience and Profitability". More or less, it's a fancy way of saying what are the best ways to design an app and to develop the user interface (UI) for the ultimate user experience (UX) and productivity? Mark Garnish (MG), Tikit’s Development Director, Peter Zver (PZ), Tikit North America’s President, and Justin Hectus (JH), CIO at Keesal, Young & Logan made up the panel.

Musings on Legaltech 2015 and the Future of Legal Cloud Computing

Nicole BlackAt the beginning of the month, I made my annual pilgrimage to New York City to cover Legaltech 2015. I’ve attended Legaltech since 2009 and every year I learn something new and meets lots of really interesting people in the legal technology space. In fact, I think that’s my favorite part about Legaltech—it’s a place where like-minded people from across the globe converge and enthusiastically discuss the intersection of technology with the practice of law. 

How KM can deliver the wow factor!

Joanna GoodmanLegal IT columnist Joanna Goodman attended KM Legal Europe, Managing Partner’s annual two-day knowledge management event

KM Legal Europe in Amsterdam concentrated on the role of knowledge management (KM) to identify and exceed clients’ expectations. The themes were familiar but the perspective has shifted – towards client-facing initiatives. Conference chair Dr. Raffael Büchi, Head of Know-How & Business Development at Bär & Karrer, Switzerland highlighted the blurring lines between KM and other business support functions, particularly marketing and business development. Legal KM is looking for continuous improvement and broadening its focus to help deliver the ‘Wow factor’ that differentiates them from the competition. This review is a snapshot of a highly interactive event – bringing together knowledge professionals from law firms and corporate legal teams across Europe to share ideas and insights. 

At LegalTech: How to Ensure Your Firm is Ready for Today’s Security Challenges

Scott McFettersSecurity is not a new concern for law firms. However, with news of breaches—including just this January when tens of thousands of phishing email scams were sent, looking as if they came from some of the top US law firms--persistently hitting the headlines, so too are clients’ demands to increase security measures. 

It is no surprise that the subject dominates much of LegalTech New York’s 2015 agenda. LegalTech is always one of the best conferences for the legal industry to discover innovative products to meet their current and future technology needs. But law firms may be questioning how the necessary new security products, updates and releases showcased at LegalTech can fit into their budget.

An Open Letter To LegalTech Vendors

Nicole BlackDear legal technology vendors,

It’s a competitive marketplace and you want to get press coverage at LegalTech New York next month. Trust me, as someone who is employed by a legal software company, I totally get it. It’s a big investment to exhibit at this conference and you want to get your money’s worth.

In addition to lots of foot traffic, new leads, and new customers, you want to trumpet your company’s achievements to the world. So, you scour the press list and you either have an employee of your company reach out to the media or you hire a PR firm to do it for you. 

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