December 2012
Legal Tech Gift Guide
Ohio Legal Tech Conferences
AU On-Demand Classes Only $20 This Month
AU Classes in December
Windows 8 Upgrade? - NOT YET!
Help With Holiday Card Lists
Affinity Welcomes Jeffrey Schoenberger
MacCorner - Using Multiple Monitors on a Mac
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Word Tip of the Month - Holiday Fun with Word
Managed IT Services
AU Qualifies for CLM Credit
Green Corner - LED Holiday Lights
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Holiday Legal Tech Gift Guide
- Our Suggestions for Lawyers and Law Firm Staff
Gift Guide This is the season for giving.  But let's be real.  It is also the season for receiving.  It is always more interesting to ask people what they would like to receive rather than what they would like to give.

So we asked our consultants and administrative staff what they would like to receive this holiday season.  We received suggestions from the ridiculous to the sublime, dirt cheap to fairly pricey, but nothing too extreme.  With a little editing, we have come up with a diverse list of tech goods, gadgets, and services that will appeal to many lawyers, law firm staff, and a whole bunch of others as well.

At the end of our list, we have links to lists from other sources that you may find interesting.

But before you jump to the link below to read our gift suggestions, all of us at Affinity Consulting Group wish each of you a very happy holiday season with time to share with family and friends. In the spirit of holiday sharing, check out our huge discounts on Affinity University On-Demand Webinars.  Also, read our caution about prematurely upgrading your computer to Windows 8.

Read our holiday gift suggestions.
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Blog Icon 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.

Ohio Bar Legal Tech Conferences This Month - Register Now!

OSBA Logo The most anticipated legal technology events each year in Ohio are the December Legal Technology Conferences.  This year's two-day Conference will be held on December 20 and 21 at the Embassy Suites in Dublin, OH, near Columbus.  The one-day version of the Conference is held on December 17 at the Ritz Carlton in Cleveland. 

Several Affinity partners and consultants are speaking at both Conferences.  The Cleveland Conference features Debbie C. Foster, Barron K. Henley, Esq., Paul J. Unger, Esq., and Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq.  The Dublin Conference will include Debbie, Barron, Paul, and many other talented consultants.

Topics will include:
  • Legal tech tips, gadgets and cool stuff
  • Day in the life of an iPad using lawyer
  • On the trail of the Craig's List killer: a case study in digital forensics
  • Time management for lawyers: is it 5:00 already?
  • How to grow your practice with social media
  • Cloud-based litigation support
  • Voice recognition
Ohio lawyers can earn up to 14.25 CLE credits for attending the two-day Dublin Conference. Download the brochure or register on-line here

The one-day Cleveland Conference earns Ohio lawyers 7 CLE credits.  Download the brochure or register on-line here
Affinity University - Discounted On-Demand Classes 
- Each On-Demand Class is only $20 During December!
Choose from on-demand courses in Microsoft Word, Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint as well as Amicus Attorney, PCLaw, Time Matters, PracticeMaster, Tabs3, Worldox, Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Fujitsu ScanSnap Scanners, Adobe Acrobat, and the popular iPad for Legal Professionals.
December 2012 AU On Demand Coupon
Click on the Coupon for a Larger Version

To take advantage of this coupon, visit and use promo code: Holiday2012
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.  If you "attend" a live AU webinar, you can watch it again within 30 days of the original live date at no additional charge.

In order to encourage you to take advantage of our extensive library of on-demand AU courses during the $20 December promotion detailed above, we are offering only three
"live" AU webinars this month.  The December 12 and 14 webinars have each been approved for 2.5 hours of Florida Bar CLE credit.

December 4, 1 p.m. - Tabs3 Year-End Essentials

December 14, 11 a.m. - Getting the Most from Your Staff - Understanding Motivation and Improving Employee Productivity with Liz Lamar, JD, LSSS.

Special Notice to Local Bar Leaders and Members: Contact us to learn more about our local bar program.  Send an email to
Hold off on Windows 8Windows 8 Upgrade? Not Yet!

If you plan is to install a shiny new operating system on your Windows PC this holiday season, we suggest you hold off - at least until you check with us.  Many of the mission-critical law office applications we support are not yet certified by their respective vendors to work with Windows 8.  The last thing you need at year-end are glitches in your time/billing/accounting or practice management software due to a premature operating system upgrade. 

By most accounts, Windows 8 is notable technological achievement.  Our consultants testing Windows 8 agree that It boots more quickly and runs faster than Windows 7 on the same hardware.  However, it looks and works in ways that even Windows 7 "experts" are not able to immediately grasp.  Most importantly, complex law office software depends on certain code in the operating system.  If that operating system code changes, the software may not work properly.  There will be a time when we can recommend Windows 8 for your law firm, but we are not there yet. 


What if you need a new computer NOW and Windows 8 is the standard operating system offered on every desktop or notebook PC you find on the shelf at Best Buy, Office Depot, Staples, etc.?  There is no reason to buy "off-the-shelf" computers for your law firm.  Pre-configured computers at big box stores are not usually the best choice for the tasks you need your computer to perform in a law office setting.  For example, few will have the "Professional" version of Windows with networking and security features needed by any business operation.  A custom-configured PC can be ordered from several major computer makers with Windows 7 Professional pre-installed along with the right to upgrade to Windows 8 when you are ready.  


If you have questions about buying a new computer, contact us and we can custom configure a system for you based on your specific needs.  For more information about the Windows 8 upgrade process, watch the Affinity blog over the next few days for a post by John A. Federico, Esq., on this topic.

Help with Xmas Card Lists Let Affinity Help With Your Holiday Card Lists

Is your firm stressed out trying to compile your holiday card lists? It shouldn't take so long that it becomes a Valentine's Day list.  There is no reason to devote hours of staff time to this task while your are also addressing critical year-end issues. 

Instead, let Affinity help you easily export and format your holiday card lists into easy to manage labels or files available for upload. Whether you're mailing out holiday cards, sending e-cards or the like, we can quickly and easily help you gather your holiday card mailing lists. Whether you use Tabs3, PCLaw, Practice Master, Amicus Attorney, Time Matters, or just good ol' Outlook - we will produce quality labels or e-mail lists for your holiday greetings to your customers and vendors.

For help with your holiday card lists, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office today.
Jeffrey Schoenberger Affinity Welcomes Jeffrey Schoenberger
-Apple (Mac, iOS) Consultant, Affinity's Columbus OH Office

The legal technology world is increasingly operating system agnostic. There was a time when law firms used only Windows PC's. Today, from observing our own clients, law students about to graduate, and our own consulting staff, it is clear that Apple products have made inroads into the legal technology area.  


In order to better serve our Apple-using clients, and those who may be considering a Mac, iPad, or iPhone, we are pleased to welcome Jeffery Schoenberger. Jeffrey 

began working with Apple technology when he started law school in 2005. For three years, he helped fellow students use Macs in the law school's overwhelming Windows environment. After graduation, he practiced law on an AmeriCorps fellowship with the Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio. There he introduced Macs, iPhones, and implemented a document-scanning/paperless file workflow. He joined Affinity Consulting Group in October.  



For Affinity, Jeffrey specializes in Apple, Mac, iDevice, and document automatic projects.  Jeffrey can be reached at, or on Twitter or @jrsch. Read the inaugural installment of Jeffrey's MacCorner monthly article below.


If your are interested in using Apple's iPad in your law practice, view our on-demand iPad for Legal Professionals class for just $20 this month only using promo code Holiday2012. 

MacCorner MacCorner - Using Multiple Monitors on a Mac 
- This is the first in a monthly series of articles by Affinity consultant Jeffrey Schoenberger on the use of Apple products in the practice of law

Mac-based attorneys are less familiar with using multiple monitors to increase productivity because Apple provides no native solution to make multi-monitor workspaces a reality. There are two reasons for this situation. First, Apple's preferred solution is its 27" Thunderbolt display. The upside of the Thunderbolt display is plenty of real estate, a minimum number of cables on your desk, and the functionality of a docking station built into the monitor. The downside is its $1,000 price. The second barrier to creating a multi-monitor Mac environment is that no one makes docking station solutions for the Mac.  
Between the Apple-promoted $1,000 solution and the lack of docking stations, no obvious, inexpensive Mac multi-monitor solution presents itself. But it does exist.  Read on....  
Read the complete MacCorner article here.

Speaking of Apple, if you are interesting in using an iPad in your law practice, don't miss our $20 special this month only on our on-demand Affinity University courses including iPad for Legal Professionals by Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq.  Use the promo code Holiday2012
EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    
December 3 - Technology Ethics, Professionalism and Substance Abuse, Columbus, OH and Live Simulcast to Akron and Perrysburg, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq., and Barron K. Henley, Esq.

December 7
- iPad for Legal Professionals, Philadelphia, PA - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

December 17 - OSBA Cleveland Legal Technology Conference, Cleveland, OH - Debbie C. Foster, Barron K. Henley, Esq., Paul J. Unger, Esq., and Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq. (See detailed article above).

December 18 - Legal Technology Show & Tell, Montgomery, AL - Steven J. Best, Esq.

December 20-21 - OSBA Legal Technology Conference for Solo and Small Firm Practitioners, Dublin, OH - Debbie C. Foster, Barron K. Henley, Esq., and Paul J. Unger, Esq. (See detailed article above).
Holiday MS Word Tips  Word Xmas template

Admittedly, these tips are not something you will use year-round.  But it is the holiday season, so let's have some fun!  Microsoft Word is an incredibly full-featured program.  It can do many things to make your law firm more productive and profitable.  It can also help you create holiday letters and cards with a bit of flair. 

An often overlook source for Word tips is Microsoft itself.  Microsoft's web site offers a selection of Word borders, clip art, and other media.  Microsoft also offers a wide selection of free downloadable holiday Word templates (including the template pictured to the right).  These include party invitations, gift certificates, gift tags, letters to Santa, and, of course, Christmas cards. 

So go ahead, have some fun with Word for a change.  In January we will get back to our regular Word productivity tips.

And don't forget to take advantage of our huge discount on our on-demand Affinity University classes this month including Word Basics, Word Advanced, and Word Share and Compare by Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley, Esq.  Each class is only $20 this month with promo code Holiday2012.
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.   

Affinity and the ALA
News Updates
Affinity University Live Webinars Qualify for ALA CLM Credit ALA VIP

Whether you are in the process of applying or re-certifying to become a Certified Legal Manager (CLM), Affinity University Live Webinars are a great way to get relevant training on the software you use every day. And the best part is - you get CLM credit.

New Applicants may use any Live Webinar toward their Information Technology education requirement, and CLMs going through recertification can use any Live Webinar toward their Operations Management education requirement.


And remember, ALA members receive a 25% discount on all AU courses. Contact Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq., our Director of Education, to find out how. 

Green Corner - Save with LED Holiday Lights LED Lights
Whether your are decorating your office or your home, traditional incandescent holiday lights can add significantly to December's electric bill.  Just as you can save money in your office by switching to higher-tech light bulbs such as compact fluorescent or LED bulbs, you can save on holiday lighting with a technology upgrade to LED bulbs. 

There will be an upfront investment in purchasing LED holiday lights.  However, if you are like most of us, half of last year's incandescent light strings that worked when you put them away will not work when you take them out this year.  Purchasing new strings of lights is more necessity than option - so why not purchase more efficient lighting that also has the benefit of lasting years longer?

Traditional incandescent C9s use about 8-9 watts each; C7s use about 6-7 watts each; and mini lights are usually between .5 and 1 watt each.  Compare that with LEDs that typically use between .05 and .07 watts each.  That means a LED bulb uses only one-tenth the electricity of an incandescent mini light while projecting more light.  The energy savings over a larger C9 or C7 are in the range of 100 fold.  Add to the joy of the season with savings on your electricity bill by switching to LED holiday lights when your decorate your office or home.