February 2013
Valentine Gift Guide
AU Classes in February
Check Win8 Compatiblity BEFORE Upgrading
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
MacCorner - Malware on the Mac
MS Word Tip of the Month
Review - iAnnotatePDF for iPad
Nexus 7 as Productivity Tool
AU Qualifies for CLM Credit
Managed IT Services
Green Corner - Sustainability Starts at Top
Current Versions of Law Office Software

Software Updates 

Make sure you stay current by checking out the Current Versions list on our web site.
Join Our Mailing List
Valentine Gift Guide for Geeky Lawyers
- Gadgets and gifts that are fun and useful 
Geeky Valentine The origins of Valentine's Day are shrouded in mystery.  Does it honor a priest named Valentine who defied Roman Emperor Claudius II after the ruler outlawed marriage for young men so it wouldn't interfere with their service as soldiers?  Or is it based on a Pagan fertility festival traditionally celebrated in February?  We will leave that debate to the historians.

We know that Valentine's Day became popular starting in Britain in the 17th century.  It soon spread to the colonies.  Today, Valentine's Day is celebrated in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, France, and Australia.

The most popular expression of Valentine's Day wishes is to exchange small tokens of appreciation.  That once meant mailing a romantic greeting card.  In today's high-tech world, mailing greeting cards is less popular.  Giving a tech device or gadget is a modern substitute, particularly if your sweetheart is a geeky tech-oriented attorney (or anyone who appreciates technology and how it can make our busy lives easier or more fun). 

This month we present a Valentine's Day gift guide.  Most of the items we suggest are modestly (or at least reasonably) priced in the event your budget has not yet fully recovered from the recent holiday season. 

Read our Valentine's Day Geeky Gift Guide.
Visit Our Blog
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.
Affinity University - Classes in FebruaryAffinity Univeristy Logo

Affinity University Courses are one hour, live webinars. Cost is $99. Many of the topics of this month's courses are new.  Don't miss them! 

Join us for:

Excel Basics with John Federico, Esq. - Monday, February 11, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Outlook Advanced with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq. - Tuesday, February 12, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

iPad for Legal Professionals with Paul J. Unger, Esq. - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM EST

Word - Mail Merge with John Federico, Esq. - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Microsoft OneNote with Jennifer M. Ramovs, Esq. - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

PDFDocs with Greg Bray - Friday, February 22, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Networking or NOT Working? Social Media for Law Firms - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 1:00 PM - 2:00 PM EST

Foxit PhantomPDF with John Federico, Esq. - Thursday, February 28, 2013 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM EST

Note:  All times are Eastern Standard Time

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.
Check Software Compatibility Before Upgrading to Windows 8 

Windows 8 Compatible In our December newsletter, we promised to update you on the status of compatibility issues between leading law office software products (practice management, document management, time/billing/accounting) and Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system.  While we are seeing several law office software makers certify that their latest versions are Windows 8 compatible, that is not yet true of all the software you are likely to use in your firm. 

We would like to provide you with a list of law office applications that are compatible with Windows 8.  However, such a list could be dangerously misleading.  There are many variations in the version and edition of software products used by law firms.  Some versions or editions may be compatible while others are not.  The list would also quickly become out of date as more software makers test their programs with Windows 8 and certify compatibility. 

For now, our best advice is to contact us or your software maker directly to ask about Windows 8 compatibility.  We (and they) will need to know your edition (Small Firm, Premium, etc.) and version number to properly advise you.  Don't simply upgrade your PC to Windows 8, or buy a new Windows 8 PC to add to your office network, and expect everything to work perfectly.  You may be lucky and everything will be fine.  But luck is a dangerous thing to depend on when your firm's productivity is at stake. 

The bottom line:  Check first, then upgrade only if you can confirm that your mission-critical law office software is compatible with Windows 8.
EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    
February 3 - I'm Buried In Paper - What Can I Do? Scanning & Paper Reduction Strategies That Won't Break The Bank, ACLEA Mid-Year Meeting, Clearwater, FL - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

February 6
-  PDFing For CLE Professionals With Adobe Acrobat, ACLEA Mid-Year Meeting, Clearwater, FL - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

February 6 - iPad for Legal Professionals, Cary, NC - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

February 7 - Legal Tech Tips, Tricks, Apps, Gadgets & Cool Stuff, Marysville, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

February 12 - iPad Basics for Lawyers, Plymouth, MI - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

February 12 - iPad Mastery for Lawyers, Plymouth, MI - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

February 15 - Bills Out = Money In: Getting Paid at Solo and Small Firm Winter Seminar, Atlanta, GA - Steven J. Best, Esq.

February 19 - Mobile Lawyering: How To Work From Anywhere With Full Access To Your Practice Information, Columbus, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

February 19 - Cloud Computing For Lawyers: The Pros, Cons, Ethical Issues & Options, Columbus, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

February 20 - Social Media For Health Law Attorneys, ABA Health Law Section, Miami, FL - Debbie Foster

February 21
- iPad For Legal Professionals: Introduction And iPad Basics, Cincinnati, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq.  

February 21 iPad for Legal Professionals: Advanced iPad Topics, Cincinnati, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

February 25 - Technology for Litigators at Ted Dalton America Inn of Courts, Salem, VA - Britt Lorish
 MacCorner - The "Mac-Ware" Way to Handle Malware
- by Jeffrey Schoenberger, Mac Specialist/Consultant, Columbus Office MacCorner

We know that viruses and other forms of malware are a constant problem for Windows users.  But what about Mac users?  As of today, there are 35 known malware exploits on the Mac.  This is a tiny number compared with the estimated 49 million variations of Windows viruses.  Still, Mac users need to take precautions to prevent malware from infesting their systems.

Word Logo
MS Word Tip of the Month - Protect Yourself Against Lost Files with Word 2010
- by Barron K. Henley, Esq., Affinity Partner 


You meant to save that document. You thought you saved that document. However, the document is no longer open in Word and you can't find it anywhere. This occasionally happens to even the most careful users. Believe it or not, Office 2010 introduced a feature which can protect you against this.


Read the MS Word Tip of the Month here.   


Don't miss our Word - Mail Merge (February 19) and Working with Word and WordPerfect Side by Side (March 8) AU webinars 

iAnnotatePDF iAnnotatePDF for iPad - A Mini-Review
-by Scott Bassett, Esq. Sr. Editor, Affinity Publications

Last month I reviewed Oral Argument by Tablit, an iPad app I use during appeal arguments. But Oral Argument is not the only app I use while standing before an appellate panel making my client's case. No matter how well I prepare for argument with a comprehensive outline and pop-up notes with key cases, statues, and rules in the Oral Argument app, there will always be the need to quickly access a complete document such as a brief, exhibit, transcript, etc.

For quick access to my important appeal documents, I rely on iAnnotate PDF ($9.99) from Branchfire.  iAnnotatePDF has a range of features that are unmatched for PDF review and annotation on the iPad.  There are many excellent PDF annotation apps for iPad to choose from.  iAnnotatePDF should be on your list of apps to try.

Read the review of iAnnotatePDF by Branchfire.

Don't miss our AU course iPad for Legal Professionals with Paul J. Unger, Esq., on February 19.
Nexus 7 with Keyboard
Turn a Nexus 7 Tablet into a Lawyer's Productivity Tool 

Although Android tablet makers have promised an "iPad killer" since the iPad was introduced three years ago, it has not materialized. However, we are beginning to see the first Android tablets that can compete with the iPad in some ways.  The first of these was the Google Nexus 7 tablet made by Asus.

The Nexus 7 is a 7 inch tablet that is much more portable than an iPad or full-sized Android tablet.  It is also noticeably smaller (but thicker) than the new iPad Mini. 

The Nexus 7 fits well into a man's inside suit jacket pocket or a woman's purse.  But small size alone does not make it a good lawyer's mobile productivity tool.  For that, you need the right apps and accessories.  This month we will suggest several apps and accessories to make the Nexus 7 work for you.
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. 

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 - Sustainability Starts at the Top Sustainability
Law firms that develop and implement sustainability policies to save energy and reduce waste need support at the top.  Senior partners can set an important example.  Even simple things such as turning off lights, powering down equipment, and recycling paper and other products are important to set the right tone. 

Setting the right example also includes changing the way work flows through the office.  This includes working with electronic versions of documents rather than hard copies for markup and editing or switching to energy sipping notebook computers or tablets instead of large desktop guzzlers. 

Firm leaders need to send a clear message that they are committed to the firm's sustainability policy.  This includes explaining to associates and staff why the policy is important to the firm.  When it comes to saving energy and resources, success starts at the top.