2011 Newsletter Header-with Tagline
December 2011
Feature - Know What You Own
Ohio Legal Tech Conference in December
AU Classes in December
December Events
Word Tip of the Month - Free Tips from Microsoft
Review of the Month - iPad and Apple TV for Presentations
Holiday Tech Gift Suggestions
Trade-In Offer on State-of-the-Art Philips Digital Dictation Recorder
Default Services Division Launches Affinity Client Care Network
Managed IT Services
Green Corner - Save Paper, Save Energy
Current Versions of Law Office Software
Join Our Mailing List
Happy HolidaysGreetings!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays.  It's hard to believe 2011 is almost over.  It has been quite a year here at Affinity Consulting Group.  We have expanded our software, hardware, and IT management services to include support for many new products that can help your firm become more efficient and profitable.  One of the most exciting developments is the opening of our Default Services Division to meet the specialized needs of law firms handling foreclosure and related matters.  The launch of the Division's Affinity Client Care Network is highlighted in this month's newsletter.

As you wrap up the year, it is time to look back at the hardware and software you already have and use your office. Taking full advantage of what you already own is the best way to end the year right and get a good start in 2012.  Our Director of Education, Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq., explains how much you lose by failing to adequately train yourself and your staff to use what you already own.  Her feature article, Know What You Own, tells you how to take full advantage of the technology you already have in your office.

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Feature Article - Know What You Own
- Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.
Managed Services
Training. To some, a dirty word that represents lost billable time, a boring lecture, and examples that don't really apply to them.


For many firms, this misconception has turned into an epidemic, the result of which is MORE lost billable time, embarrassing mistakes, and frustrated employees.


In just about any other industry, you receive training on the tools necessary for you to succeed at your job. An X-Ray technician doesn't just walk in and start taking X-Rays, they learn how to use the relevant equipment....and lawyers and legal staff should not try to work without being trained on the tools they use everyday - software.  


Read how you can make sure you and your staff are properly trained on the software tools your firm uses every day.  In other words - KNOW WHAT YOU OWN.   

Legal Technology Conference Presented by the Ohio State Bar - December 15th and 16th
Live in or near Ohio?  Be sure to join us December 15th and 16th in Columbus to get those last CLE credit hours and hear some of the most prominent legal technologists share the latest in technology for lawyers and legal professionals. Speakers include Brett Burney, Barron Henley, Adriana Linares, Erik Mazzone, and Paul Unger.

Sessions tracks will include Technology 101, Apple/Mac, General Technology (including Cloud), Professionalism/Ethics, How To, Litigation, Marketing/Social Networking, and Paperless Office. For more information or to register, contact the Ohio State Bar on-line or at 800-232-7124, or contact Alison Lukan at Affinity via email at alukan@affinityconsulting.com.

Affinity University - Classes in DecemberAffinity University Logo


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.   


Many of our AU classes are now available "on-demand" for you to view as your schedule permits.  On-demand topics include Adobe Acrobat for the Law Office, Microsoft Word Basics, Microsoft Word Advanced, and Outlook Email Management and many more.  Plus, if you "attend" a live AU webinar, you can watch it again within 30 days of the original live date at no additional charge.   

This month we offer an abbreviated schedule of AU classes in recognition of the busy holiday season.  However, there remain some great classes to attend in December, plus check out our on-demand offerings.  

Special Notice to Local Bar Leaders and Members: Contact us to learn more about our local bar program.  Send an email to training@affinityconsulting.com.
EventsEvents in December            


December 5 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley will speak for the Ohio Bar in Columbus on Technology, Ethics, Professionalism And Substance Abuse.

December 6 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley will present Start It Up, Reboot, or Reload - The Technology You Need for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia in Vancouver.

December 7 - Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley will present Microsoft Word: Advanced Techniques for Making Word a Legal Word Processor and Law Office Paper Reduction and Document Management for the Continuing Legal Education Society of British Columbia in Vancouver. 

December 15-16 - Ohio Bar Legal Technology Conference in  Dublin, OH. (see article above)

December 29 - Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger is a presenter at the program iPad for Legal Professionals for the Ohio State Bar Association in Cincinnati.
Microsoft Word 2010 Tip of the Month - Free Tips from Microsoft MS Word


Our monthly series of Word tips focus on the specific needs of law office users.  But there are sources for general Word tips that can benefit you, your staff, and the Word users in your family.  One of the best sources is Microsoft itself.  Microsoft's Office web site has a set of easy to follow Word 2010 tips and tricks.  The video-based tips range from about 30 seconds to three minutes in length.   


For help with Word questions specific to law offices, attend our Affinity University webinars for Word users of all levels.  The Word - Basics class is December 9 and the Word - Advanced class is December 13. 
Review of the Month - iPad and Apple TV for Courtroom and ADR PresentationsiPad and Apple TV
- Scott Bassett, Esq.

Apple's iPad has proven to be a remarkable tool for lawyers.  Many lawyers now carry iPads instead of notebook or netbook computers.  They use them not just for email and web browsing, but to create, read, edit, and annotate legal documents.  A growing number of lawyers are also using iPads in court in place of bulky paper files or traditional notebook computers. [Note:  If you will be in the Cincinnati area later this month, check out Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger's presentation on the iPad for Legal Professionals for the Ohio State Bar Association on December 27.]

With the latest software update to iOS 5, the iPad, when used with a $99 Apple TV box, has also become a useful presentation tool for courtroom, ADR, or educational use. 

Read our review of the iPad and Apple TV as a lawyer's presentation tool.
Tech Gift List Holiday Tech Gift Suggestions for Lawyers and Law Firm Staff 

If you have a lawyer or law firm staff member on your holiday gift list, or if you need a few ideas to pass along to your family as they decide what to buy you, here are six tech-related gift suggestions at three price levels - inexpensive, moderate, and expensive - for your consideration. 

Read our holiday tech gift guide.
Philips Promo Offer Cash for Clunkers Trade-In Offer on State-of-the-Art Philips Digital Dictation Recorders

From now through December 31st, 2011, trade in your old portable recorder and receive a cash back bonus of $100 when buying a new Philips Digital Pocket Memo 9600.  The recorder traded in, analog or digital, must be in working order.

This offer is only available through Philips Certified Dealers such as Affinity Consulting Group.  We normally sell the 9600 for $400.  This trade-in offer reduces the price to $300.  The 9600 is an an excellent choice for digital dictation using the optional  Philips SpeechExec software or for use with Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software.

For details on how to take advantage of this offer and get a nice discount a Philips 9600 recorder, contact Phil Metcalf at Affinity's Roanoke office at (540) 767-7633 or via email at pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Client Care Network Affinity Default Services Division Announces Launch of Affinity Client Care Network

Affinity Consulting Group's Default Services Division announces the launch of the Affinity Client Care Network™! 

Affinity Client Care is an ongoing support plan that is essential to every default services firm. Because your systems and processes are ever-evolving, you need your CaseAwareŽ System and your operations to grow with the decisions you make to run your business. With Affinity Client Care, you are not only assured to get the assistance you need to solve problems and complex business scenarios, you are also provided with the latest training and product information. We help you to stay on top of the technology to ensure that you are taking advantage of the most recent CaseAwareŽ functionality and that you are also preparing your firm for any upcoming changes. With three levels of support to choose from, our Affinity Client Care program allows you to choose a plan that fits perfectly with your needs.

If you have any questions about our Affinity Client Care Network or would like to join, please contact our Default Services Team for more information at (877) 676-5492 or defaultservices@affinityconsulting.com.
Managed IT Services 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 - Paper Waste Still the Biggest Problem
Paper Waste
There are many things you can do to make your law firm greener, such as switching to energy-efficient light bulbs and tweaking the power settings of your computers. But paper waste remains the major energy and environmental problem in most law offices.  The average general office tosses out about 350 pounds of paper per employee per year.  Law firms likely exceed that per employee average. 

Here are some tips to help you save paper, energy, and the environment:
  • Set your printers to print double-sided, or designate a draft tray and fill it with paper that's blank on one side.
  • Buy copier paper with a minimum 30 percent post-consumer recycled content (100 percent is best!).
  • Collect used paper separately for recycling, and coordinate with your building manager and waste hauler to set up a recycling system that works for everyone. If you can, also recycle other materials, like aluminum, glass and plastic.
  • Stock bathrooms with post-consumer recycled tissue products. Here is a guide from the Natural Resources Defense Council listing which brands contain the most post-consumer recycled tissue products.
Current Versions of Law Office Software

Check out our list of the current versions of important law office software we support.  Staying current is an important way to protect your data and documents.

Read the complete Current Versions list.