Law Firm Essentials


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  • WiFi Security Tips Activate “WEP”! (Wired Equivalency Privacy) WEP is not 100% secure but is far better than doing nothing Choose 128 bit WEP if available (v. 40 bit WEP) Turn OFF “SSID Broadcasting” Your WAP is less visible MAC Address limiting - only authorized users allowed Use firewalls - networked hardware firewalls and software firewalls on laptops and home PCs Software firewall tips: ZoneAlarm Pro Norton Internet Security Don’t be discouraged - it is worth the effort
  • SharePoint has been stripped out of 2008
  • ● Speed : Dual or Quad Core Xeon Processor ● RAM : 4 GB if 32GB ● CD-ROM : Get a DVD Drive for faster installs ● Hard Drive : Raid 5 Configuration. A Hard Drive can fail and you will not lose all data, Higher RPM is Better ● Operating System: Small Business Server 2008, Standard or Professional ● Network Card : 2 Network Cards ● Price : $2000 to $3000 ● Brand : HP and Dell ● Service Contract : 3 Years Next Day Parts
  • Speed : Pentium Core 2 Duo or Athlon X2 Series ● RAM : 2 Gb (Needed for Vista readiness) ● Sound: for VR use a USB headset ● Monitors : 19-22” LCD flat panel (wide-mode preferred) ● CD-ROM : Must have a DVD Drive. CD-Writer/DVD reader (but at least one PC with a DVD-writer, if not all of them) ● Hard Drive : 80 Gb SATA II if LAN station, 120-500 GB if standalone system (10,000 rpm is best) ● Operating System: Windows 7 Proffesional ● Network Card : 10/100/1000 wired ● Price : $900-$1500 ● Brand : Whatever works for you! HP and Dell or the industry leaders. Buy the business line, instead of the home line. ● Service Contract : 3 Years Next Day Parts ● Software : Microsoft Office Basic 2007 (Excel, Word, and Outlook and Adobe 9.0 Standard)
  • Speed : T2300 t0 T7400 Intel Core 2 Duo or Athlon X2 ● RAM : 1-2 GB (more RAM extends battery life!) ● Sound: You have little choice in this (use a USB headset for best voice recognition results! Look at Telex and Plantronics) ● Monitors : 14-15“ widemode (careful with UXGA - tiny characters! – also wide is good!) ● CD-ROM : DVD/Writer / CD-Writer ● Hard Drive : Make sure you can encrypt the drive ● Network Card : Built-in 10/100/1000 and 802.11g wireless ● Weight/Size : A personal decision ● Price : $900-$2400 ● Brand : No Generics! First tier vendors like Toshiba, Lenovo (IBM), Dell, Compaq, HP
  • Slate v. Convertible Docking Solutions Mobile Office
  • ● Brand : No Generics! First tier vendors like Toshiba, Lenovo (IBM), Dell, Compaq, HP
  • Type : Laser printer (black & white) is better than color inkjet for office use and much less costly to operate RAM : 64 Mb preferred (more is better) Speed : At least 15 pages per minute (faster is better!) Networking : It should be a networked printer Paper Handling : Less flexibility than standard laser printers – a second tray is a must Model Suggestions : Dell 1720DN, HP Laserjet 3390 or Color 2840, Brother MFC-9800 Price : $300-$900 Putting a Printer at ever desk encourages people to print. If you want a paperless office put a scanner at every desk and have a couple of networked printers.
  • Putting a Printer at ever desk encourages people to print. If you want a paperless office put a scanner at every desk and have a couple of networked printers.
  • Putting a Printer at ever desk encourages people to print. If you want a paperless office put a scanner at every desk and have a couple of networked printers.
  • Offsite : Make sure you keep a copy of your data offsite. Test Restore: You should always Test Restore your Data at least once a month. Good firms do this!
  • Types : Blackberry, Smartphones (Palm), Smartphones (Pocket PC) Differences : Blackberry syncs with Outlook and to check more than e-mail, you need the Blackberry Enterprise Server software and Exchange Server Real-time always on email Palm Smartphones - 100% Palm devices - maximum syncability with legal apps - real-time email with software like SnapperMail Pocket PC Smartphones sync with Outlook and Microsoft apps primarily -more limited when it comes to legal apps like case managers Popular Models : Palm Smartphones : 650/680/700/755 Blackberry : Depends on the wireless provider - look for color, larger screen models with built-in cell phone Capabilities – BEWARE BLUETOOTH SECURITY Pricing : Anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on the cell service provider and available rebates
  • Software is the fuel that drives your law office system. You should have the following applications to run your practice: ● Software: ▸ One or both office suites and Adobe Acrobat or other PDF Writer ▸ Billing/accounting software ▸ A Case management system ▸ A document management system ▸ E-mail software and a web browser(s) ▸ Internet access for research ▸ Data backup, security and anti- virus software
  • Software to Bundle : Microsoft Office - Ver. 2007 Small Business Edition best for most firms since it comes with PowerPoint Least costly way to acquire Microsoft Office is “bundled” “ Professional” adds Access and FrontPage 2003 “ Basic” is Word, Excel, Outlook and Adobe Standard. Look for bundling of Adobe Acrobat 8 Standard Edition - it’s a necessity today and runs $220 - $275 if bought separately – then upgrade to Pro which adds Bates stamping Actual Acrobat is the best bet for creating PDFs because of its standardized security Dell effectively includes it free when you get a Microsoft Office version on Latitude and Optiplex systems Second Best – NitroPDF (www.nitropdf) - about $99 per PC Corel WordPerfect X4 Suite Can be less costly to buy it separately in an OEM version on a 1:1 basis with any new PC systems
  • What is the difference:
  • Plantronics DSP 400 is $79.95
  • Do not buy single user copies of Antivirus Software or bundled with workstation because the virus definition expirations will overlap and someone will forget and then you will get a virus. TrendMicro is the better then symantec and the 5 user edition costs $330 and is good for 2 years of virus definitions, which comes down $33
  • Your firm may be eligible for a number of “hidden” discounts on hardware and software systems Examples include membership benefits offered to members of various legal associations: If your firm is also an ABA, ATLA , ALA or other legal association member, you may be entitled to very significant software discounts ABA members get “additional” discounts from companies like Dell, among others These discounts can often save money even after you’ve secured the “best price” on hardware and software Also, are there any rebates?
  • No. 1 Training mistake = not training No. 2 Training mistake = training poorly Don’t make either mistake – implementing new technology without training your people properly usually creates more chaos than you had with the “obsolete” stuff before! Top Training Tips: Go “ TASK-ORIENTED ” not “ FEATURE-ORIENTED ” NO GENERIC TRAINING! Use legal-focused trainers/training content PROFESSIONAL TRAINERS Knowing software doesn’t = training ability TRAIN OFTEN, TRAIN GENTLY Make sessions as short as they can possibly be MAKE TRAINING MANDATORY Attendance should be a pre-requisite for new tools access LIVE IS ALWAYS BETTER, BUT IF NOT TRAIN ONLINE Via the web and your intranet (see below) THE TRAINER’S PHYSICAL LOCATION IS IRRELEVANT Use tools like GoToMeeting and WebEx
  • Law Firm Essentials

    1. 1. Low Cost Office Technology Essentials Craig Bayer: TYPE WHO YOU ARE SPEAKING FOR HERE
    2. 2. ESSENTIAL BOOKS ●● “ How to Start and Build a Law Practice” by Jay Foonberg ● “ Flying Solo” – Bill Gibson ● “ 2008 Solo & Small Firm Legal Technology Guide” –Nelson, Simek & Maschke ● “ The Business of Law” by Edward Poll ● Visit for ordering information
    3. 3. HARDWARE ▸ Desktops, Laptops, Tablets ▸ Windows Small Business Server ▸ Scanners ▸ Network P rinter ▸ Gigabit Switch
    4. 4. Peer-to-Peer Network
    5. 5. Local Area Network
    6. 6. WIFI NETWORKING ● Configurations ▸ The most common type is now the faster 802.11g - many laptops come with it already ▸ 802.11n (now called “Pre-N”) is the system to buy when it becomes formally available ▸ Causes problems running client server applications ● Cost ▸ WAP - $10 to $750 ▸ WiFi PC Access - $5 to $100 ▸ Wireless Print Servers - $50 to 300
    7. 7. THE CLOUD
    8. 8. SAAS
    9. 9. Small Business Server ● Microsoft Exchange ● Automatic Patching (WSUS ● Fax Server ● SQL 2005 (Premium Edition) ● Backup Solution ● Outlook 2007 to all Users ● Monitoring Reports ● Access to Workstation And Data Remotely ● Cheaper then Server 2008 ● Included in the Price of Server
    10. 10. Server ● Choose over Workstation ● 4GB Ram (At Least) ● Redundant Systems ● Raid 5 Configuration (3 Drives) ● Affordable ● Harder to Setup ● Must have Warranty PowerEdge 2900: $2500
    11. 11. DESKTOP PC ● Intel Core 2 Duo ● Windows 7 Professional ● 4GB RAM ● Sound ● 20 Inch Wide Monitor ● DVD-ROM ● 80 GB 7200 RPM SATA 3 ● 3 Year Warranty Dell OptiPlex 360: $945
    12. 12. NOTEBOOK ● Intel Core 2 Duo ● 4GB RAM ● DVD-ROM ● Encrypted Drive ● Bluetooth ● Weight/Size ● 9 Cell Battery ● Docking Station Dell Latitude E5500: $1300
    13. 13. TABLET PC’s
    14. 14. TABLET PC ● Intel Core 2 Duo ● 4GB of Ram ● 8 Cell Battery ● 160gb Hard Drive ● No XP, Vista or 7 Thinkpad X200: $1800
    15. 15. LASERJET PRINTERS <ul><li>Type </li></ul><ul><li>RAM </li></ul><ul><li>Speed </li></ul><ul><li>Networkable </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Trays </li></ul><ul><li>Brand / Model </li></ul><ul><li>Color </li></ul><ul><li>Price </li></ul><ul><li>Paperless Office </li></ul>LaserJet 1720DN: $339
    16. 16. Desktop Scanner <ul><li>50 Sheets </li></ul><ul><li>Duplex </li></ul><ul><li>Adobe 9.0 Standard </li></ul><ul><li>ABBYY Fine Reader </li></ul><ul><li>Scan to Word </li></ul>ScanSnap S1500: $399
    17. 17. Portable Scanner <ul><li>USB Powered </li></ul><ul><li>Duplex </li></ul>ScanSnap S300: $275
    18. 18. Switch <ul><li>Gigabit </li></ul><ul><li>No Daisy Chains </li></ul><ul><li>Cat 5 or 6 </li></ul><ul><li>Most Critical Piece of Hardware </li></ul>Gigabyte Switch: $109
    19. 19. USB Hard Drive <ul><li>Tape vs USB </li></ul><ul><li>Easy to Restore </li></ul><ul><li>Rugged </li></ul><ul><li>Used with Small Business Server </li></ul><ul><li>Test Restore </li></ul><ul><li>Have 2 or 3 </li></ul>Lacie 250GB: $139
    20. 20. HANDHELD DEVICES <ul><li>BlackBerry </li></ul><ul><li>Smartphones (Palm) </li></ul><ul><li>Smartphones (Palm Web OS) </li></ul><ul><li>Smartphones (Windows Mobile) </li></ul><ul><li>iPhone (Apple) </li></ul><ul><li>Considerations </li></ul><ul><ul><li>BlackBerry syncs with Outlook and to check more than e-mail, you need the BlackBerry Enterprise Server software and Exchange Server! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Palm Smartphones - 100% Palm devices - maximum sync ability with legal apps - real-time email with software like VersaMail </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Windows MobileSmartphones sync with Outlook and Microsoft </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>apps primarily – Easiest to setup and has Push Synchronization </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>BEWARE BLUETOOTH SECURITY </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Pricing : Anywhere from $200 to $600 depending on the cell </li></ul><ul><li>service provider and available rebates </li></ul>
    21. 21. SOFTWARE ▸ Word Processing ▸ Adobe Acrobat or other PDF writer ▸ Billing/accounting software ▸ Case management system ▸ Do cument management system ▸ E-mail software ▸ Internet access for research ▸ Data backup, security and anti- virus software
    22. 22. BUNDLED SOFTWARE <ul><ul><li>Microsoft Office Basic – Outlook, Excel, and Word, Adobe Standard (docx v doc) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Adobe Acrobat 9 Standard Edition </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corel WordPerfect X4 Suite </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Less costly to buy OEM version separately with any new PC systems </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
    23. 23. Adobe ● Pro allows Bates Stamping Upgrade to Pro: $159 Best Adobe Blog:
    24. 24. BILLING & ACCOUNTING SYSTEMS ● Most packages are becoming integrated. ● Timeslips requires you to also have an accounting package like Quickbooks or Peachtree ● PCLaw, Tabs 3, Juris, and Billing Matters have billing and accounting functions. ● Legal specific accounting software makes it hard to commit malpractice PCLaw: $2270 (4 Users)
    25. 25. CASE MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ● Combines ▸ calendaring/docketing ▸ tickler functions ▸ case information tracking, ▸ address book functionality ▸ conflict of interest searching, ▸ document assembly capabilities ▸ Palm and laptop portability ● Turn wasted time looking for case info and documents into billable time ● Avoid malpractice ● Look at Amicus Attorney, TimeMatters, PracticeMaster, PCLaw and ProLaw ● Don’t Practice Law Without One! PCLaw: $2270
    26. 26. DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ● Opened Ended vs. Close Ended ● SharePoint is a DMS ● Most Practice Management Software include an Open Ended DMS PCLaw: $2270
    27. 27. Dictation ● Dragon Natural Speaking ▸ Has a legal edition ($1200) ▸ Get Preferred ($199) or Pro ($899) ● Vista has Dictation Software Built into it. ● Tips ▸ Must Train Software ▸ Use a Quality USB Headset ▸ Learning Curve
    28. 28. WINDOWS XP / VISTA / 7 = = Buy a new computer with Windows 7 Upgrade to Windows 7
    29. 29. LEGAL RESEARCH ● Get it online! ▸ Dump the CD-ROMs ▸ Discontinue books ● Th ere is no single “best” legal research service ▸ Combine Lexis, Westlaw, LOIS and the Internet ▸ Look at the best small firm packages negotiated by your State or County Bar ● Resources ▸ ▸ “ Fact Finding On The Internet”
    30. 30. ANTI-VIRUS ● Trend Micro Client Server Messaging ▸ ▸ Includes anti-virus, anti-spam, anti-spyware ▸ Available in small office and “Corporate” editions ● ZoneAlarm: ● Norton Anti-Virus Buy corporate not Internet Security ● McAfee VirusScan: ● CA eTrust and Trend PC-Cillin: TrendMicro: $330
    31. 31. PRICING <ul><li>Leverage Web-based PC component pricing engines and save a fortune! </li></ul><ul><li>Membership Discounts </li></ul><ul><ul><li>ABA, ATLA , ALA or other legal association member </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prices change daily </li></ul></ul>
    32. 32. TRAINING <ul><li>Top Training Tips </li></ul><ul><ul><li>TASK-ORIENTED not FEATURE-ORIENTED </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>NO GENERIC TRAINING </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PROFESSIONAL TRAINERS </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>TRAIN OFTEN, TRAIN GENTLY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MAKE TRAINING MANDATORY </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LIVE IS ALWAYS BETTER, BUT IF NOT TRAIN ONLINE </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>THE TRAINER’S PHYSICAL LOCATION IS IRRELEVANT </li></ul></ul>
    33. 33. <ul><li>Fifty or fewer employees. </li></ul><ul><li>In business in the state for at least three years, contributing and in full compliance with state UI tax laws. </li></ul><ul><li>Training costs cannot exceed $3,000 per trainee per state fiscal year (July 1 - June 30). </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>FREE TRAINING
    34. 34. Thank You For Listening! Gulf Coast Technology Center Law Office Technology Tom O’Conner ( Craig Bayer (