June 2013
Cloud Based Practice Management
PCLaw Training
Free Webinars This Month
ActionStep Cloud Practice Management
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Nuance PDF Converter - Free Webinar
MacCorner - Managing Travel Downtime
MS Word 2013 Tip of the Month - Getting Rid of Annoyances
Ready for Summer Travel
Multi-Monitor Tip
SpeechExec 7.5
Cheap Chromebook - First Month
Managed IT Services
Current Versions of Law Office Software

Software Updates 

Make sure you stay current by checking out the Current Versions list on our web site.
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Cloud Based Practice Management

Cloud based practice management When it is time to choose practice management systems, there are many options.  
You can choose traditional "shrink wrapped" software that comes in a box that you install locally on your computer or server.  Many traditional practice management programs are adding cloud-based features such as the ability to access and modify your data from a mobile device or remote computer.  
Or you can choose a practice management system that resides primarily (or wholly) on remote servers operated by the software vendor which you access over the Internet from your computer or mobile devices.  
Actually, there is a third choice, but we have a hard time recommending it.  You can try to use ordinary personal information managers (PIM's) such as Outlook, Gmail combined to Google Calendar, iCal, etc., as a practice management system.  Yes, it is cheap (or free), but the fatal flaw is that none of these systems let you organize information the way a law firms needs to - by case or matter. 
This month we look at practice management in the cloud. This can include "pure" cloud based systems where all of your firms data is stored on a remote server that you access via the Internet.  It also includes the mobile access features of traditional law practice management software
You will also want to register for our seven FREE 30-minute webinars on Cloud Based Practice Management.  See the Affinity University Schedule below. 
PCLaw PCLaw Training in Ann Arbor, June 11-12 
We are excited to announce our PCLaw two-day User Training class that will help maximize the use of your firm's time, billing and accounting software. 
The instructor, Steve Best, will detail everything from PCLaw's basic features to tips and tricks that you will use daily.  Existing uses will have the opportunity to enhance their PCLaw skills.  New users will get an excellent overview to begin using the software.
Law QuadRegardless of what version you are currently using, this class is sure to help you make the best use of PCLaw.  Also, Ann Arbor in the late spring is a great place to be.
For the complete Workshop schedule and information on how to register, click HERE.
Affinity University - Free Webinars in June Focused on Cloud Based Practice Management
Affinity Univeristy Logo
This month's newsletter theme is Cloud Based Practice Management.  Consistent with that theme, this month's AU schedule is devoted to a series of 7 FREE 30-minute webinars on Cloud Based Practice Management.  

If you are uncertain as to how to navigate your Cloud Practice Management options, join us for an Educational Webinar designed to help you identify your options, and how to determine what programs might be right for you:

Cloud Based Practice Management Options - Wednesday June 12, 12 p.m. to 12:30 p.m.

When you are ready to see different Cloud Based Practice Management systems in action, these three seminars will meet your needs:

Rocket Matter - Tuesday June 11, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
ActionStep - Wednesday, June 12, 4 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Clio - Tuesday June 25, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Amicus Cloud - Thursday June 27, 3 p.m. to 3:30 pm.

If you now have, or plan to get, traditional practice management software, learn about your mobile access options:

Tabs3 Connect - Wednesday June 12, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
TM Mobility - Wednesday June 26, 3 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Amicus Anywhere - Thursday June 13, 2 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

All webinars are 30 minutes long, and FREE to join!

Note:  All times are EDT.

Don't forget our on-demand AU webinars offering basic and advance classes on leading law office software packages including MS Office, Adobe Acrobat, Amicus Attorney, Tabs3, Worldox, PCLaw, and Dragon NaturallySpeaking along with classes showing you how to use important productivity devices such as ScanSnap scanners and the iPad.
ActionStep ActionStep Combines Practice Management with Time/Billing/Accounting in the Cloud

This month's newsletter theme is Cloud Based Practice Management.  The cloud based practice management systems we support do a great job managing your calendar, contacts, documents, case information, and time entries. Some will also do billing. The missing piece in most cloud-based systems is accounting.

There is now a cloud based system that offers all of the features you expect in robust practice management system for law firms, but also trust and general accounting.  
ActionStep offers not only the front office functions now becoming common in cloud based systems, but it is the first cloud based system to integrate the full range of back office functions, all in a easy-to-use graphical interface.

EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    

June 7 - Ohio Family Law Institute, Columbus, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

June 11 - Intermediate MS Word, Columbus, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 
June 11 - Advanced MS Word, Columbus, OH - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

June 13 - Cloud Computing, Mobile Lawyering, & 60 Tech Tips in 60 MinutesArkansas Bar Association Annual Meeting, Hot Springs, AR - Barron K. Henley, Esq.
June 14 - iPad for Lawyers, Clearwater, FL - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

June 14Your Technology Road Map: Hardware And Software On A Budget, South Carolina Bar, Columbia, SC - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

June 19 - Automation Tools for Legal Drafting, Clayton, MO - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

June 20 - iPad Basics for Legal Professionals, Columbus, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq. 

June 21 - 2013 NACUA Annual Conference, Philadelphia, PA - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

June 21-22 - Oklahoma Bar Solo & Small Firm Conference, Durant, OK - Debbie Foster

June 25 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Basics, Perrysburg, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq.

June 25 - iPad for Legal Professionals - Advanced, Perrysburg, OH - Paul J. Unger, Esq.
June 28 - Legal Drafting with Microsoft Word 2007/2010 - Basics, Denver, CO - Barron K. Henley, Esq.

June 28 - Microsoft Word Advanced Techniques, Denver, CO - Barron K. Henley, Esq.
Nuance PDF Converter 8 Nuance PDF Converter - FREE Webinar June 12
- Chris Martz, Affinity Legal Technology Consultant

PDF Converter 8 from Nuance is a less expensive, yet fully capable, alternative to Adobe Acrobat.  It lets you create, convert, and work with industry standard PDF files.

On June 12 we are offering a FREE 30-minute webinar introducing you to this new alternative to Adobe Acrobat. Register HERE.
This month's newsletter also contains a concise summary of the features of Nuance PDF Converter 8.  Read HERE to learn about this exciting and full-featured software.
MacCorner - Managing Travel Downtime Effectively
- Jeffrey Schoenberger, Mac Specialist/Consultant, Columbus Office MacCorner

As lawyers, we're busy people. Between meetings, court appearances, and document drafting, we're often on-the-go. One problem with being busy outside of the office is that work continues to accumulate in the office. Your absence doesn't halt the flow of "to do's" to your inbox. 


This problem has been incrementally addressed by technological advances. First pagers, then cell phones, and most recently smart phones. Your office progressed from notifying you to reaching you, to allowing you to work outside the office during travel downtime.


Leaving aside the argument about constant availability and mental health, if you have a modern smartphone then you've no-doubt discovered the world of apps. Beyond email and text messages, your phone is really a pocket computer. What do attorneys mostly do with computers? Research and writing. How can you turn on-the-go downtime into reading and authorship time? Let me tell you about two app ecosystems that make this possible. 


Word Logo
MS Word Tip of the Month - How to Fix Two Word 2013 Annoyances
- Barron K. Henley, Esq., Affinity Partner
As promised last month, this is the second in our series Word 2013 tips.  This month, we will show you how to fix two annoyances in Word 2013. 

First, we show you how to get rid of the Start Screen.  Next, we show you how to add Quick Access to custom templates.  

Summer Travel Getting Ready for Summer Travel 
This month marks the end of the school year and the beginning of the summer travel season.  Most solo and small firm attorneys can never leave work fully behind, even on family vacations.  There is always a need to be connected to the office remotely to manage your practice and handle client emergencies.  

This month we provide a few timely tips for getting ready for the summer travel season.

Read the Getting Ready for Summer Travel article here.
Multiple Monitors Windows Multi-Monitor Tip - Bring Misplaced Windows Back On-Screen

The productivity benefits to lawyers of using multiple monitors are well known.  What isn't so well known is the headache of working on your notebook computer attached to an external monitor, then forgetting to move application windows back to notebook's built-in screen before disconnecting the notebook and trying to work elsewhere on the notebook alone.

What sometimes happens is that although you re-open the application on your notebook computer, the window for that application is not visible anywhere.  It is actually off screen and opened (in a phantom sort of way) in the position where the now disconnected external monitor once sat.  How do you get it back onto the notebook's screen?  Read on.

SpeechExec Philips Releases SpeechExec 7.5

We are not yet at the level of full voice interaction with our computers, but that time is coming.  One huge step along that path is Philips SpeechExec dictation and transcription software, especially when combined with Dragon NatuarllySpeaking speech recognition software.

Philips, the maker of SpeechExec, announced that Version 7.5 is now available.  It provides improved dictation workflow including:
  • Full native support of the new Digital Pocket Memo 8000 series handheld recorders
  • Enhanced workflow options after download
  • Support of Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12.5 (the latest version)
If you have questions about using speech to increase your workflow productivity, contact Phil Metcalf, Affinity's Speech Solutions Specialist, at (540) 767-7633 or pmetcalf@affinityconsulting.com.
Chromebook Cheap Chromebook - First Month 
- Scott Bassett, Esq., Senior Editor, Affinity Publications


I've had my cheap ($249) Samsung Chromebook for a month.  Almost every day I find a new productive use for it in my law appellate law practice and also for personal use.  At half the price of the cheapest full-sized iPad, I continue to be impressed  While a Chromebook isn't a "real computer" in the sense that you can load and run software, it is a testament to just how cloud-based our lives and practices have become and how much work you can do in the cloud.


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.   

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