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| The Affinity Consulting Group Law Office Technology Blog has up-to-date information on hardware, software, and tips for using technology in your practice. Click on the icon above to visit now. ||
|Celebrate Law Day with Affinity - Free OnLine Tech Training Courses|
Affinity is honored to help mark Law Day, established in 1958, to celebrate our nation's commitment to the rule of law. The 2012 Law Day theme, "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom," underscores the importance of the courts and their role in ensuring access to justice for all Americans.
Affinity Consulting Group supports National Law Day and is offering free Affinity University (AU) training courses to help celebrate those who practice law and those who support them every day. As technology becomes more and more prevalent in the practice of law, Affinity is committed to supporting our legal professionals so that they can perform at the highest level in their day-to-day tasks.
The two free webinars are:
- Microsoft Outlook Tips & Tricks: This 20-minute web session will cover receiving, sending viewing and organizing email; managing and archiving folders, and customizing Contact and Calendar views. Tuesday, May 1, at 3 p.m. EDT. Register here.
Affinity University's free Law Day legal training courses are designed to help attorneys, staff and administrators get better acquainted with iPads and Microsoft Outlook. Please join us in celebrating Law Day 2012 with free OnLine technology training.
|Affinity University - Classes in May |
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. If you "attend" a live AU webinar, you can watch it again within 30 days of the original live date at no additional charge.
** New courses offered for the first time by Affinity University.
In addition to our live AU classes, all classes are available "on-demand
" for viewing individually as your schedule permits. Many of our most popular AU classes are available for on-demand viewing as part of discounted bundles
. We offer discounted bundles for Microsoft Office
, Microsoft Word
, Microsoft Outlook
, Amicus Attorney Premium Edition
, Amicus Attorney Small Firm
, and Tabs3
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.
|Events in May |
- Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq.
, speaks on Legal Technology Tips, Tricks, Gadgets and Websites, featuring OSBA's Casemaker
and the OhioDocs
document automation tool as part of the Ohio State Bar's Annual Convention
at the Duke Energy Convention Center in Cincinnati, May 2-4.May 2-3
- Affinity Partner Debbie Foster
speaks at the Alaska Bar Association's Annual Convention
in Anchorage on several law office technology and management topics.
- Affinity's Director of Education, Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.
, teaches a Paralegal Course at Florida Atlantic University.
- Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq.
, presents Introduction to PowerPoint for Legal Professionals
for the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The seminar will be simulcast live to locations in Akron, Cleveland, and Perrysburg. May 9
- Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq.
, presents Advanced PowerPoint for Legal Professionals
for the Ohio State Bar Association in Columbus. The seminar will be simulcast live to locations in Akron, Cleveland, and Perrysburg. May 17
- Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq.
, speaks on HotDocs Automated Forms, Effortless Drafting with Microsoft Word, and Paperless Practice at the ICLE 52nd Probate and Estate Planning Institute
at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme, MI, near Traverse City.May 17-19
- Eleven Affinity consultants will attend the Tabs3/PracticeMaster annual conference in Lincoln Nebraska. Affinity Partners Britt Lorish
and Sandy Adams
, along with Affinity Senior Consultants Stacy Devlin
and Michelle Motyka
will be speaking at the conference.May 22
- Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq.
, presents Microsoft Word Basics for Legal Professionals
for Michigan's ICLE in Plymouth.
| Affinity Partner Steve Best Wows Audience at LexThink.1 in Chicago with his "Passion"|
Affinity Partner Steven J. Best, Esq.
, was one of 12 speakers at the inaugural LexThink.1
conference held in Chicago on March 28, the eve of ABA TECHSHOW 2012. LexThink.1 was conceived as a way for each speaker to share one big idea about law practice in just 6 minutes - the proverbial .1 of an hour that is the smallest increment recorded on a lawyer's timesheet. Steve's topic was "passion" and how it can help firms of all sizes and complexities better serve clients.
Now everyone can view and learn from Steve's presentation and those of the other speakers. The direct link to Steve's presentation is here
. All of the LexThink.1 videos are available here
| Affinity Partner Britt Lorish Chairs ABA TECHSHOW 2013|
- Affinity Partner Steve Best on TECHSHOW Board
The annual ABA TECHSHOW each spring in Chicago is the nation's premier law office technology event. Planning is already underway
for TECHSHOW 2013 on April 4-6 at the Hilton Chicago sponsored by the ABA Law Practice Management Section.
Affinity Partner Britt Lorish
has been named Chair of the nine member TECHSHOW 2013 planning board that also includes Affinity Partner Steve Best
. Britt served as Vice-Chair for the recent and very successful TECHSHOW 2012
. Since 2006, at least one Affinity Consulting Group partner has been on the ABA TECHSHOW planning board.
| Affinity Partners to Contribute Bi-Monthly Column for ALM Media's Law Journal Newsletters |
Starting this summer, Affinity Partners will contribute bi-monthly columns on several key law office technology topics to the LJN Legal Technology Newsletter
published by ALM Media. Topics include using Adobe Acrobat more effectively, making technology choices that improve a law firm's business processes, using iPad's in law practice, cloud computing, document management, document automation, and trial presentations.
In addition, the July/August issue of ALM's Legal Management
, an ALA membership magazine, will include an Affinity-authored article on technology audits for law firms. The article will highlight Affinity's focus on helping law firms "Know What You Own."
| Microsoft Word 2007 and 2010 Tip of the Month - Inserting Page Numbers|
- Barron K. Henley, Esq.
As you probably discovered in Word 2007 and 2010, there is a button for inserting page numbers in the Insert Tab. If you click the Page Number button, you get choices for Top of Page, Bottom of Page, Page Margins, Current Position, Format Page Numbers and Remove Page Numbers. One would assume that if you want to add page numbers at the bottom of the page, you should simply click the Page Number button > Bottom of Page > choose an appropriate sample number from the options that appear. Actually, there are drawbacks of this approach.
Read the complete Word Tip of the Month.
|Microsoft Windows 7 Tip - Easier File Selection in Windows Explorer |
It is common for lawyers and legal staff to select multiple files in Windows Explorer to copy, move, email, etc. Anyone who has done it knows that selecting multiple files by holding the Control key and clicking on the desired files is time consuming and awkward. If you let up on the Control key for just an instant and click on the next file, your prior selections will be undone, causing you to start over.
Fortunately, with Windows 7 (and Vista before it), you can change your Windows Explorer settings to use checkboxes for file selection. Just click the Start button and type Folder Options in the search box. When the Folder Options window opens, click the View tab, scroll down to Advanced settings and check the box for Use check boxes to select files. Finally, click Apply and OK. That's it!
|Mini-Review: Adobe Reader for iPad|
- Scott Bassett, Esq., Senior Editor, Affinity Publications
In April, Adobe updated its Adobe Reader
app for iPad (and iPhone) to version 10.2.0. While several highly-rated paid PDF reading and annotation apps (Goodreader for iPad
, iAnnotate PDF
, ReaddleDocs for iPad
, and PDF Expert
) offer more advanced features, the free Adobe app does the basics very well and includes some nice extras.
Adobe reader not only lets you open and read PDF files, you can mark-up PDF content. Highlight text or use strikethrough, underline, and freehand drawing tools. You can also add sticky notes just as you can with the desktop version of Adobe Reader.
Best of all from a law firm perspective, users can fill out PDF forms, sign them, and forward them to others via email. It is easy to envision a law firm having an iPad for clients to use at the initial consultation to complete and sign intake forms. The iPad would then be returned to the lawyer or staff who could email the completed form to himself/herself or anyone else at the firm to save to the client's folder on the network.
The form fill feature can also be used to complete standard court forms. I used Adobe Reader to complete an appeal form downloaded from the Michigan Court of Appeals web site. I typed information into the form's fields using the iPad's on screen keyboard (if it was a long form, I could use my external Bluetooth keyboard). Once done, I was able to sign the form using a stylus (a finger can also be used) and email the completed form to myself to save in the matter's folder on my network. From there it can be electronically filed with the court.
Considering that this is a free app, it offers all of the basics and a few very useful extras. I expect to use it extensively in my appellate practice as I review documents and transcripts and complete forms for e-filing.
For in-depth information on using an iPad in law practice, attend Affinity University's iPad for Legal Professionals
webinar on May 18 at 3 p.m. If you attend our free 20-minute Law Day iPad webinar
on May 1 at 1 p.m. EDT, you will receive a 50% discount on the one-hour May 18 webinar.
|Microsoft Word 2010 Bonus Tip - Receive Warning When Saving or Printing a File with Tracked Changes. |
Lawyers often collaborate on documents with clients, co-counsel or opposing counsel. When doing so, it is wise to enable Word's Track Changes feature (on the Ribbon, go to the Review tab, then to Track Changes). This feature allows each collaborator on a document to easily see (and accept or reject) changes made by others. However, there will be times when you don't want to reveal a document's tracked revisions or internal firm comments to a subsequent viewer of that document. For example, if the document went through several revisions within your firm or included comments, revealing those changes and comments to opposing counsel could inadvertently disclose negotiation strategy or client confidences.
Fortunately, Word 2010 can be set to warn you whenever you try to save or print a document with tracked changes or comments or if you try to email it from within Word's menu system. To set-up this warning, go to the File Menu, select Options, then Trust Center. Click on Trust Center settings, then Privacy Settings. Check the box next to "Warn before printing, saving or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments."
For help with other Word questions specific to law offices, attend our Affinity University webinars for Word users of all levels. The live Word Basics class is May 8 at 11 a.m. EDT, the live Word Advanced - Introduction to Styles class is May 14 at 11 a.m. EDT, and the live Word - Share and Compare class is May 23 at 3 p.m. EDT.
| 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.
|U.S. Dept. of Energy Guidelines on When to Turn Off Computers|
Some lawyers and law firm staff leave their computers on 24/7/365. Others power their computers down, or at least put them into either hibernate or sleep mode, whenever they leave their desks. Each user's needs are different, and leaving the computer on while the user is away may be necessarily to allow automatic backup programs to run or for remote access services to work. There is no single answer to the question of when you should turn off your computer.
However, absent special circumstances, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recommends that you turn off your computer's monitor if you will be gone more than 20 minutes, such as going to lunch or attending a meeting in the office. If you will be gone more than two hours, such as going to a meeting out of the office, to court, or leaving at the end of the workday, the DOE recommends that you power down your computer completely or use hibernate or sleep mode. Hibernate uses the same tiny amount of power as a computer that is completely shut down. Sleep mode uses about 70% less electricity than leaving the computer on. The DOE also reminds us that screen savers are not energy savers and may actual increase electricity usage. Modern flat panel LCD and LED monitors do not require screen savers to prevent image burn-in.