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These are the dog days of summer. The term dates back to Greek and Roman times. The Romans referred to the hot summer weather by the Latin term diēs caniculārēs. They associated the hot weather with Sirius, the Dog Star, because it is the brightest star in the Canis Major. In that era, during the hot summer months, Sirius rose with the sun. The dog days are alleged to be hot and stagnant with little hope for progress.
Fortunately, today we have air conditioning to ease the heat. We also have technology to help you progress in the efficiency and profitability of your law practices - even during these dog days. This month, we feature our soon-to-be-launched billing and bookkeeping service that lets you outsource that often hot and sticky job to the trained professionals at Affinity Consulting Group. Our new YOUR BOOKS ™ service has you covered whether you use PCLaw®, Timeslips®, Tabs3®, or QuickBooks. Read this month's feature article for the details.
This is another huge month for our Affinity University (AU) classes. For August, we are offering 21 classes, including several that have never before been offered. See this month's schedule below, including a summary of our new cutting-edge classes.
This month's newsletter continues our popular series of Microsoft Word tips, the Green Corner column, and the Current Versions list. So don't let the dog days cause you to overheat. Cool down with some refreshing law office technology services, training, and tips.
| Feature Article - YOUR BOOKS Accounting Support - COMING SOON TO AFFINITY!
Even though periodic and consistent billing is critical to the practice of law, its often quite the challenge to stay on top of everything. Often times monthly billing will turn into bi monthly billing and bank reconciliations are done many months (if not years) later. Further, asking a trusted staff member to stop producing legal work and oversee this process can be expensive, difficult, and unproductive.
Affinity Consulting is proud to announce that we are launching YOUR BOOKS. For a minimal setup and reasonable monthly fee, you can hire the professionals at Affinity Consulting Group to process your prebills, make your edits, completely manage your regular billing process, keep your accounting books in balance and provide easy to read productivity and profitability reports. Contact us TODAY to find out how you can take advantage of the initial roll out of this service and to learn more about introductory pricing.
Read this month's Feature Article explaining our new YOUR BOOKS outsourced billing and bookkeeping service.
| New Affinity University Classes Explore Cutting-Edge Topics | Model Rule 1.15-Safekeeping Property With A Fully Integrated Time, Billing & Accounting Program will showcase how technology helps attorneys remain in compliance with the rules and statutes governing the safekeeping of client property.
As you peruse our full Affinity University schedule for August
, you will notice several unfamiliar class titles. We are expanding our AU offerings to go beyond software training and tackle the latest issues on law office technology and management.
For example, Cloud Computing
is one of the most widely discussed and misunderstood technology concepts offering both challenges and opportunities for law firms. Our August 24 Cloud Computing
class will cover what you need to know.
If you use Outlook for email, calendar, contacts, and tasks, but don't yet have a practice management application, our August 15 Credenza Basics
class will show you how to turn Outlook into a practice management system with the Credenza
software from Gavel & Gown, makers of Amicus Attorney.
In a competitive legal market like this one, using social media to reach potential clients and referral sources is critical. Our August 18 class Virtual Cocktail Party: Tips & Tricks On Client Marketing & Social Networking For Law Firms
will get you started using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and other social networking strategies.
Compliance with ethical rules is always an important concern. Our August 30 class
Be sure to sign up for these classes as well as our classes on law office hardware and software.
| Affinity University - 21 Classes in August|
Affinity University is the go-to resource for online training on the legal software you and your team use every day. Focusing specifically on real world tips and tricks, our certified experts provide training on popular Practice Management, Time/Billing/Accounting, Document Management, Productivity Software and even Microsoft Office.
This month we offer 21 AU classes, including several that have never before been offered (see the article above for highlights of our newest classes). As always, our goal is to provide you with convenient and affordable web-based training on the software you use most.
- Worldox GX2 - Tips & Tricks, August 02, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking Basics, August 03, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Amicus Attorney 2011 Premium Edition - Tips & Tricks, August 08, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Amicus Attorney Small Firm Edition - Tips & Tricks, August 08, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- Time Matters 11 - Tips & Tricks, August 08, 2011 (3:00 PM)
- Microsoft Outlook - Email Management, August 09, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Microsoft Word 2010 for the Law Office - Basics, August 10, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- PracticeMaster Version 16 - Tips & Tricks, August 11, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- Adobe Acrobat for the Law Office, August 12, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Microsoft PowerPoint for the Law Office, August 12, 2011 (3:00 PM)
- Credenza - Basics, August 15, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- PCLaw - Front Office (Contacts, Calendar, Matter Manager), August 15, 2011 (3:00 PM)
- Microsoft Outlook - Contacts & Calendar, August 16, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Dragon NaturallySpeaking - Advanced, August 17, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Tabs v16 - Tips and Tricks, August 18, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Virtual Cocktail Party: Tips & Tricks on Client Marketing & Social Networking for Law Firms, August 18, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- Microsoft Word 2010 Advanced - Introduction to Styles, August 22, 2011 (1:00 PM)
- Cloud Computing, August 24, 2011 (3:00 PM)
- Windows 7 - Basics, August 29, 2011 (11:00 AM)
- Fujitsu ScanSnap for the Law Office, August 29, 2011 (3:00 PM)
- Model Rule 1.15-Safekeeping Property with a Fully Integrated Time, Billing & Accounting Program, August 30, 2011 (11:00 AM)
Special Notice to Local Bar Leaders and Members: Contact us to learn more about our local bar program. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
| Plan to Attend the LexisNexis Practice Management Annual Conference (PMAC) |
The year's LexisNexis PMAC is September 22 & 23 at the Loews Royal Pacific Resort at Universal Orlando. If you use a LexisNexis practice management or time/billing/accounting product such as PCLaw, Time Matters, or Juris, this is a terrific opportunity to learn how to better use your software.
The setting will also be a huge attraction. People have always been captivated by the allure of the South Seas. At this year's PMAC, you can experience the wonder of such island paradises as Fiji, Bali and Hawaii without sailing halfway around the globe. The Loews Royal Pacific Resort is a AAA Four Diamond Award® winning hotel that transports guests to the enchanted isles of the tropics.
Read more about the 2011 LexisNexis PMAC.
| Events in August |
August 4 - Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq. , presents Using Technology To Get The Most Out Of Your Time...and Your Life! for the Ohio State Bar Association in Fairfield.
August 7-10 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq. , speaks at the Minnesota Bar's 2011 Strategic Solutions for Solo & Small Firms conference in Duluth. Barron will be presenting at four sessions on several key law office technology topics.
August 11 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq. , presents sessions on document management, document automation, and ethics for the Virginia Bar in Richmond.
August 16 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq., presents Using Excel 2007/2010 In A Law Practice for the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The program will be presented in Cleveland on August 17 and in Dayton on August 18.
August 16 - Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq. , presents PowerPoint 2007/2010 For Legal Professionals for the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The program will be presented in Cleveland on August 17 and in Dayton on August 18.
August 22-24 - Affinity Partner Steven J. Best, Esq., in cooperation with LexisNexis University, Steve will conduct three hands-on PCLaw workshops at the LexisNexis training center on Park Avenue in New York. See article below for details.
|Microsoft Word 2010 Tip of the Month - Return to Your Last Edit Point |
Legal documents are almost always somewhere in the editing process. Most of the time, new edits are made to a section of the document that was previously edited. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to quickly get to the place in your current or recently saved document where your last edit was made?
Fortunately, in Word 2010, getting back to the last edited place is easy. Just hit SHIFT+F5, also known as the GoBack command. This command will take you to the last place you were editing in your current document. Hitting SHIFT+F5 again will take you to the next most recent editing point. This works for up to three edit points. You can also do this with a recently saved document, but only the most recent editing point is saved for a quick return.
Learn even more Word tips by registering to attend our Affinity University Word 2010 Basics on-line class.
| PCLaw Workshops in New York this Month |
Join Affinity partner, Steven J. Best, Esq., in New York City for three very special PCLaw workshops! Presented in cooperation with LexisNexis University, Steve will conduct three hands-on PCLaw workshops at the LexisNexis training center on Park Avenue in New York on August 22, 23, and 24.
- PCLaw Beyond the Basics (Monday, August 22, 2011) - this course consists of reviews of PCLaw navigation, time/fee entry, client and matter manager, matter list, basic system settings, workstation settings, connection settings, calendar, to-do list, and the phone call manager. Laptops, preloaded with PCLaw are provided to each registrant. Breakfast and afternoon snack included. 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EST.
- Mastering PCLaw Workshop (Tuesday, August 23, 2011) - this workshop reviews data input and billing. We cover expense recoveries, general checks, trust accounting, accounts payable, prebilling, basic billing and unique billing issues/scenarios. Laptops, preloaded with PCLaw are provided to each registrant. Breakfast and afternoon snack included. 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EST.
- PCLaw Accounting & Financials Workshop (Wednesday, August 24, 2011) - this advanced workshop reviews PCLaw accounting and money flow, understanding financials, advanced reporting, report layouts, the template editor and security settings. Laptops, preloaded with PCLaw are provided to each registrant. Breakfast and afternoon snack included. 9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EST.
For more information or to register, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/university. Browse to COURSE CATALOG and choose ProductLine: PCLaw, Location: New York City.
Questions - reach out to Chris Katchuk, training coordinator, at email@example.com. Registration deadline is 5:00 PM, August 12, 2011.
| Amicus Premium Billing Released |
In July, Gavel & Gown, makers of Amicus Attorney, released Amicus Premium Billing. This new software adds billing, collections and trust accounting to Amicus Attorney. It makes Amicus a complete practice management solution that manages both the professional (front office) and business (back office) sides of your practice.
Amicus Premium Billing eliminates the need to establish a link between Amicus Attorney and a time/billing/accounting application. Simply do your work in Amicus Attorney, capture your time, and create fees, expenses, bills, trust entries and productivity reports, all within the same interface. The simple workflow lets you automate your client billing processes - from time entries to expenses, trust activity to bill creation, productivity reports and more.
For more information about Amicus Premium Billing, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office. As always, before you purchase new software or an upgrade to your existing software, speak with your Affinity Consulting Group consultant to determine if the new software or upgrade is right for the unique needs of your office.
| PCLaw Version 11 Gets Green Light |
In our June newsletter
, we announced the release of PCLaw v11
with its new Mobility features. But we also cautioned readers to let us thoroughly test this new version of PCLaw in our offices to be sure we were aware of any real-world issues you might encounter when implementing PCLaw v11 in your offices.
The good news is that we have completed our initial testing and are now ready to give the OK for our clients to upgrade to v11. However, as with any mission-critical software, we urge each firm to contact us
prior to this upgrade to discuss and prepare for any issues that are likely to arise based on our own experience with the new version of this software and particularly its Mobility features.
Be sure to sign up for our PCLaw Front Office Affinity University class on August 15
or attend Steve Best's PCLaw workshops in New York on August 22-24 (see article above).
|Dragon Upgrade Discount to v11.5 |
Nuance, the makers of Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software, is offering discount upgrades to its latest version, v11.5, until September 30, 2011
. If you have Dragon 9 or 10 Legal, you can upgrade to 11.5 Legal for $199.99, a $100 savings. If you have Dragon 9 or 10 Professional, you can upgrade to 11.5 Professional also for $199.99, again a $100 savings. If you already have v11, the downloadable upgrade to v11.5 is free of charge and should be available later this month.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 has improved correction features and better speed and accuracy. It also features the new Dragon Remote Microphone capability that, depending on your office or home wireless network configuration, lets you use your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad running iOS 4.2 or later as a wireless dictation microphone.
Learn advance Dragon features by signing up for our Dragon NaturallySpeaking Basics and Advanced Affinity University classes.
| Affinity Offers Managed IT Services
In addition to our expert consulting services in the area of law office software, Affinity Consulting Group offers a full range of Managed IT services.
Small and medium-sized law firms can rarely afford a full-time IT staff. Let Affinity serve as your IT staff - we can manage your technology resources for you and correct any problems, often before you know anything is wrong.
For information on the many IT services we can offer your firm, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
| Green Corner - LED Monitors Save Energy|
By now every law office should have swapped its ancient cathode ray tube (CRT) computer monitors for sleek and energy efficient flat panel monitors. But many users are unaware that there are two predominant types of flat panel computer monitors. The older type, liquid crystal display (LCD), uses a cold cathode fluorescent lamp to illuminate the display from behind. The newer type, light emitting diode (LED), uses diodes for that purpose. There is a substantial difference in energy usage. LED displays use about 40% less electricity than LCD's for the same size monitor. For a multi-computer office where displays are on eight or more hours a day, the cost savings of LED monitors can be substantial over time. Because LED is a newer technology, you will pay a bit more at the time of purchase. But you will make up that difference quickly in energy savings.
LED monitors have a few other advantages over LCD's. The light emitting diodes will last longer than fluorescent tubes, giving LED's a longer useful life. They also provide finer color resolution so that colors are more natural. LED's offer better contrast than LCD's, and also provide a wider viewing angle, meaning that if you have to view the monitor at an angle other than straight on, the image will remain sharp.
If you are in the market for a new monitor, especially if you have not yet retired your old space and energy-hogging CRT's, look for LED flat panel monitors for the best displays using the least energy.
| Current Versions of Law Office Software