August 2013
Social Networks - Next Great Frontier
PCLaw Training in Atlanta
New Word for Mac AU Course Series
Upcoming Speaking Engagements
Employee Spotlight - Art Roehrenbeck
Farewell to Ross Kodner
MacCorner - Efficient Mac Lawyering
Desktop Computer Buying Guide
Business Travel Tips
ScanSnap iX500 Adds Wireless Capabilities
Chromecast for Inexpensive Wireless Presentations
Managed IT Services
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Social Networks - The Next Great Frontier

Social Networks

Much as the internet became the buzzword in the late 90's, systems like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are seemingly everywhere these days. The questions legal professionals need to ask themselves is should I (or my Firm) be using these tools and, if so, do I know how to maximize each of these different channels?


Today, roughly 70% of lawyers are using Facebook socially or professionally and about 15% are using Twitter. Think of these tools as ways to hasten some key communication needs. Social networks can be used for: Professional Development; listening (to industry news and/or trends); research; citizen journalism; or general communication.


Social media is another tool in your communications and marketing toolbox. If you have an audience that can benefit from finding you and communicating with you via these social networks, then it may be worth your time to build a presence on one (or more). 

This month's feature article addresses how your firm should approach the decision to use social media.  

Current Versions of Law Office Software

Software Updates 

Make sure you stay current by checking out the Current Versions list on our web site.
PCLaw PCLaw Training in Atlanta - August 27-28
We are excited to announce our PCLaw two-day User Training class.  This class will help maximize use of your firm's time, billing and accounting software. 
Atlanta 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.

Regardless of what version you are currently using, this class is sure to help you make the best use of PCLaw.  
For the complete Workshop schedule and information on how to register, click HERE.
Affinity University - Our First Course Designed for MAC Users Begins in September
Affinity Univeristy Logo
Affinity University is excited to offer our first course designed specifically for MAC users. Join Affinity Consulting Group's Jeffrey R. Schoenberger, Esq. for a 5 part series on Word 2011 for MAC!
This 5 part series will cover Word - Basics, Word - Introduction to Styles, Word - Share and Compare, Word - Forms and Templates, and Word - Mail Merge.
Classes are one hour, are held once per week, and are conducted via live webinar.
You can register for the September Session or the November Session by clicking here.
Bonus!  When the last class in the series ends, attendees will be provided with a link to watch the recorded training, accessible for 6 months!"

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.
EventsUpcoming Events & Speaking Engagements                    

August 4-6 2013 Strategic Solutions For Solo And Small Firms Conference, Duluth, MN - Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

August 14 - Time Management & Technology-Stop The "Time Suck": Own Your Technology-Don't Let It Own You!Columbus, OH (live simulcast to Cleveland), Paul J. Unger, Esq.
August 27-28 - PCLaw Workshop, Atlanta, GA - Steven J. Best, Esq. (see article above)
August 30 - Litigation Technology Workshop, Butler, PA (live simulcast to locations throughout PA), Paul J. Unger, Esq. 
Employee Spotlight Employee Spotlight - Art Roehrenbeck


Art Roehrenbeck

If you've ever worked with Affinity on practice management tools like Amicus Attorney or Time Matters, or document management tools such as Worldox, you've probably talked to consultant Art Roehrenbeck. Art brings years of experience in technology and practice management including 5 years with Affinity. Prior to joining Affinity, he was a law firm administrator as well as an office and IT manager for a law firm. Art is a go-to guy who is always willing to help our clients and other Affinity team members solve issues and bring more efficiency to our clients' practices.


Art is a proud Ohio State graduate and has a passion for the game of hockey. He served as Head Coach for a local high school's varsity hockey team but now devotes his coaching expertise to teaching his 3 year old son the game. Art and his family live in Columbus.

Ross Kodner Affinity Friend and Law Office Tech Pioneer Ross Kodner Passes Away

Affinity's Partners and Consultants had a long and productive relationship with law office technology pioneer Ross Kodner, who died on July 30. Although Ross owned a competing law office technology company, he was always willing to share his incredible knowledge with others, both formally through countless CLE programs and informally via email, his blog, and in person.  For a fascinating insight into his background and perspectives on law office technology, watch this interview.

Ross had strong opinions on many subjects, including his advocacy for WordPerfect and his drive to make law offices more efficient by using Fujitsu ScanSnap scanners to reduce the amount of paper flowing through a firm.  We will miss Ross, but we will always remember his pioneering spirit that brought so many lawyers into the world of technology.
MacCorner - Meet Fellow Mac Lawyers
- Jeffrey R. Schoenberger, Esq., Mac Specialist/Consultant, Columbus Office MacCorner

Much like Apple's other businesses, Mac sales have grown remarkably in recent years. At first it was the "halo effect" of folks buying first an iPod and then a Mac. Then came the iPhone and the iPad, both of which spurred additional Mac sales.


Previous Windows-only bastions fell as employees demanded IT departments adapt to Apple products. At some firms, this change was motivated by "C-level" employees demanding that company email work with their new devices. At others, "bring your own device" polices drove platform variety into the mainstream. This device variety was further enabled by cloud computing and other platform-agnostic technologies.


Today's office is very different from the 1990s. In the legal environment, we see the rise of web-based case-management software like RocketMatter, Clio, and even old-line firms like Amicus Attorney going into the cloud. None of these solutions requires more than a web browser to access case data. All work perfectly well with Safari on the Mac. And that's just one example of flexible computing in the modern law office.


But without knowing the available resources, you're left to wonder what your Mac can do in a formerly PC-centric environment. That's what I'm going to share with you in this month's MacCorner.


Desktop Computer
Desktop Computer Buying Guide 
- Barron K. Henley, Esq., Affinity Partner 

We are fans of laptop computers for lawyers. However, not every lawyer wants or needs a laptop computer.  Also, laptop computers are sometimes not the best choice for your paralegal or clerical staff.  

Desktop computers have some advantages over laptops.  They tend to be less expensive for comparable performance (although that price/performance gap has narrowed considerably in recent years).  They are also easier to upgrade and easier to repair if something goes wrong.  

This month, Affinity Partner Barron K. Henley offers his Desktop Computer Buying Guide.  Use this buying guide to make an informed decision when purchasing a desktop.  Buying a computer today is a lot like buying a new car in that choices have to be made on models, options and warranties.  While the automobile choices are usually straight-forward and understandable, the parallel choices for a computer are often the opposite of that.  This buying guide will help clear up the confusion.
Business Travel Tips Business Travel Tips from Our Consultants

In our June 2013 newsletter, we included tips for summer vacation travel.  Now that summer vacation travel season is beginning to wind down, it will soon be time for business travel to take over.  

This month we asked our consultants, many of whom travel frequently, for their favorite business travel tips.  

iX500 ScanSnap iX500 Scanner Adds Wireless Scanning for PC and Mac

Our top recommendation for a law office desktop scanner, the Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500, just received a software upgrade that makes it an even more impressive choice for your firm.  
When introduced earlier this year, the ScanSnap iX500 offered wireless scanning directly to Android and iOS devices such as smart phones and tablets.  With an update to the ScanSnap Manager software, which also updates the scanner's firmware, the iX500 can now scan wirelessly to a Windows PC or Mac. With this new capability, it functions just like it is connected to your computer via USB, but without the cable. 

The limitations are that only one computer can be connected via Wi-Fi to the iX500 at a time.  Also, the computer and iX500 must first be connected via USB cable in order to set up the wireless capabilities.   

This software/firmware update makes the best law office desktop scanner even better.  If you would like more information about the ScanSnap iX500 and how to make your firm more efficient by reducing the flow of paper through your office, contact your Affinity Consulting Group office.
Chromecast Chromecast Promises Cheap Wireless Presentations for Lawyers 
- Scott Bassett, Esq., Senior Editor, Affinity Publications


The new $35 Google Chromecast HDMI dongle is not yet a fully realized product, at least in its usefulness to a lawyers, but it has tremendous potential.  


Until now, lawyers who have wanted to present wirelessly in court or at CLE and other presentations from their laptop, tablet, or other mobile device have been limited to using an Apple TV connected to a projector or HDTV.  Not that using an Apple TV is a bad thing, but it costs $100 and will natively mirror the displays of only iOS and Mac devices, leaving out Windows, Android, and Chrome OS users.


The much cheaper and smaller Chromecast dongle is compatible with devices running all three of these operating systems.  For now, it is not a true "mirroring" device that lets you send whatever is on your mobile device screen to an HDMI-equipped projector or HDTV.  It works only with certain apps, such as Netflix, YouTube, and Google Play movies.  That is fine for home use, but has limited utility for lawyers. 


However, the real news is that Chromecast lets you display anything you can call up in a tab in your Chrome browser.  This includes PowerPoint presentations, documents, and spreadsheets stored on your Google Drive.  All you need to do is download a free Chrome browser extension to make this happen. 


Over the next several months, the capabilities of Chromecast are likely to expand to make it an even more useful device for lawyers making presentations from their mobile devices.   

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.