Document assembly conjures up thoughts of expensive software that often becomes shelfware once lawyers realize that they cannot figure it out without professional help. Document assembly consultant Seth Rowland has helped many firms that decided to invest in professional help. But in this TechnoFeature article, Seth reviews XpressDox, a new document assembly program that sells for $150 and promises ease of use regardless of your skill level. Who better to test this claim than Seth? Read his review to see what this expert thinks of this new expert system.
In “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century,” Thomas L. Friedman, argues that advances in technology and telecommunications have created a level playing field between competitors that has transformed the way business (and law) is conducted. In this article, Mr. Rowland looks at how “affordable” communications and web-based collaboration tools can now enable solopractitioners and small law practices to service clients on a global basis. In the “Death of Travel,” Mr. Rowland explains how “physical presence” is optional. Through technology, ad hoc teams of lawyers and specialists can be brought together on a moment’s notice with zero marginal cost to work together in virtual workspaces.
Document Assembly Systems work best when they are paired with a Practice Management Systems which can feed data in to the Document Assembly system and eliminate duplicate entry. Please view this slideshow which demonstrates how Amicus Attorney and HotDocs can work together seamlessly to make lawyers efficiency experts.
And now for something “completely different” in law firm practice management — HoudiniESQ, a new practice management system developed from LOGICBit. You can host HoudiniESQ on a Windows, Mac, or Linux server, and use it in any Web browser. Sounds good, but
how well does it work? In this TechnoFeature, practice management and document assembly specialist Seth Rowland, Esq. takes HoudiniESQ for a spin and presents his findings.
Have you ever wanted to cut the cord and take your practice everywhere you go? Have you ever thought about all the money you spend on hardware and software? Practice management consultant Seth Rowland began hearing these questions from his clients a year ago. Ever since, he has searched for the best Web-based practice management system. In this TechnoFeature article, Seth reviews AdvologixPM, which is built on Salesforce.com’s Force.com platform. What does Seth think? Read his review to find out.
Geography can often get in the way of your firm’s plans for world domination. But thanks to technology, you can overcome such hurdles. In this article, technology consultant and practice management expert Seth Rowland discusses several innovative law firms, ranging from a solo practitioner to a mega-firm, that have embraced some aspects of virtual law practice. He explains the technology they use to “cut the cord” and expand beyond the “four walls” of their physical office.
Software as a Service (SaaS) — we prefer the term Web app — has made significant inroads in areas such as project management and sales management. Themis Solutions has turned its attention to the legal profession. Its product, Clio, aims to make implementing a practice management system as simple as subscribing to a magazine. In this article, technology consultant and practice management expert Seth Rowland, Esq. reviews and rates Clio. Seth isn’t the only person who has reviewed Clio, but his evaluation is the most thorough. (Technolawyer – 2009)
Rocket Matter has rocketed into the practice management world, offering law firms a Web-based system for managing their practice. But is all the hype justified? That’s what we asked technology consultant and practice management specialist Seth Rowland, Esq. to find out. The result is a comprehensive review of Rocket Matter based on several months of use. Thinking of strapping your practice to Rocket Matter? Read Seth’s review for all the details.
The amount of savings from a well-implemented document automation system could be as much as one or two FTE staff members. Properly implemented, document assembly will improve baseline work product; better forms mean better first drafts, period.
Document automation is the art of doing more with less — with the potential of leveraging higher profits out of a shrinking staff.
Word 2007 is a mature and well thought out product. If you have never used Microsoft Word, now is the time to switch. Finally, a product that places all your formatting commands no more than 2-clicks away. If you have used Microsoft Word as a “text editor” and struggled to format documents like the pros, you will find the new Ribbon much more intuitive. In particular, the ability to “preview” a change as you review the options will result in much more professional-looking documents. If you are a Word power user like me, you may be frustrated at first. But give it time. You will soon find many new features to love as you survey the “Ribbon.” You will find even more power and produce even more polished and professional documents
AllCLEAR’s FlowCharter and Analyzer build process diagrams and enable you to evaluate multiple paths in the process to determine the optimal path. The FlowCharter builds tree diagrams and organization charts from a simple text editor in minutes, and then enables you to refine these charts with powerful graphic tools to get the precise look you need. Analyzer, enables you to then add data to each of the
steps and branches in the chart for the purpose of finding all the paths through the process, and helps you calculate totals, averages, and probabilities. A more complete review is provided below.
MindManager creates idea maps that enable you to link issues, facts, documents, and solutions in a multi-branching tree. A litigator might use MindManager to map out the evidence supporting a particular theory of the case.
If you take your law practice seriously and plan to stay in the law business over the next decade, you should seriously look into document assembly, and more specifically HotDocs. It is a truly great product that can dramatically enhance your productivity and profitability. Buying the software, however, is only the first step. Like my membership at New York Health and Racket Club, merely paying dues doesn’t make you healthy and fit.
The “Connected” Lawyer of Today Is Wired with Technology. Whether armed with a BlackBerry, Palm Treo, or Motorola Q, the modern lawyer constantly communicates with his/her clients, colleagues, and the court. Text messages, e-mails, and documents fly across the airwaves and wires 24-hours a day. With the expectation of “24×7” service comes the need for access to information “24×7” — far more information than the hard-drive of a PDA-Phone (or even a laptop) can store.
Women are different. And that includes their approach to buying computer hardware, software and services. We at Basha Systems have found that an emphasis on responsiveness and customization have been highly appreciated by our female customers. For more on our approach and philosophy, please see the attached.
Below I explore DealBuilder, QShift, Exari, and Perfectus IPManager in detail, focusing on the strengths of each system. I also offer a peek at D3. Each of these solutions are incredibly sophisticated tools in their own right. Each tool would result in significant people multipliers from its use. Each tool empowers the author of templates to reach numerous end users and give them the tools to rapidly create sophisticated legal documents.
One of the chief virtues of a Web server-based document assembly system is the reduced cost of maintaining hundreds of workstations. By centralizing most of the processing onto the server, you eliminate the installation and maintenance cost of servicing hundreds of workstations. DealBuilder, Exari, and Perfectus are zero-footprint solutions and can be run in any Web browser. By contrast, QShift requires the installation of a local fat client and relies on integration with Microsoft Word. For a more detailed review, see below.
Technology can be engaging. Why not indulge yourself (or at least your imagination) in a few devices that will give you great joy and maybe even a workout? Drawing on the Internet and Maxim
magazine, I have put together some of my personal favorites. I have chosen 10 categories of items that will “waste” your time, “engage” you in another dimension, make you the “envy” of your colleagues, or all of the above.
Although Microsoft comes with its own Remote Desktop Connection, Seth Rowland recommends that you take a look at GoToMyPC.