Newsletter Header, 12-2013
March 2014
Technology Audits
Paul Unger's New Book - PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers
March Speaking Engagements
Word Tip of the Month - Templates!
ALA Conference $100 Discount
Practice Management Client Care
End of Windows XP Support
Office Online
HP Chromebook 14 for Lawyers
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Technology Audits

- Barron K. Henley, Esq. 

There are almost always ways to improve work-flow and administrative processes in a law firm or legal department.  The protocols in use are often arrived at organically and it's not uncommon for participants to have no idea why things are done a certain way ("that's just the way we've always done it!").  This is an important first step because nothing constructive occurs if you try to automate (or throw money at) a broken process.  How do you know this might be an issue in your office? 
Read our March feature article about Technology Audits HERE.  
And be sure to attend our FREE one-hour webinar, "Know What You Own: Why You Need to Invest in a Technology Audit" on Tuesday March 18 at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. 
Register HERE.
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PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers 
-Order Affinity Partner Paul Unger's New Book Now! 
The difference between a successful presentation and an unsuccessful one can often be traced to a presenter's use--or misuse--of PowerPoint. PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers offers practical advice for creating effective presentations quickly and easily. PowerPoint expert and Affinity Partner Paul J. Unger, Esq., will help you avoid mishaps and develop a compelling presentation using storyboarding techniques. 

Paul's book is available for purchase now through the ABA and will ship later this month. Order your copy today HERE,
March Speaking Engagements
This month our Partners and Consultants will be traveling around the nation speaking on the latest in law practice technology.  If they are speaking in your area, be sure to sign up to attend the event.

Word Logo MS Word Tip of the Month - Templates!
This is probably the simplest, but most effective, Word tip ever.  It can be summarized in one word - Templates!  It is amazing how many Word users in law firms don't use templates to create new documents.  Instead, they use the very risky process of opening an old documents used in another matter, modify it for the new matter, and select File>Save As. Please, DON"T DO IT!  Instead, read this month's Word tip. 

ALA VIP Discount on ALA's Annual Conference & Exposition
Each year, the Association of Legal Administrators (ALA) brings together the best-of-the-best in the legal management profession at its Annual Conference & Exposition. This is where you can network, gain actionable information on your toughest challenges and explore new products and solutions - all under one roof.

This year's Conference takes place in Toronto May 19-22.  As an Affinity client and/or newsletter subscriber, you will receive a $100 registration discount when you use the promo code BPR003 when you register on-line.  Click HERE to register for the Conference.  And don't forget to visit us at booth #423.
Practice Management Client Care
- An Update
Affinity is finalizing the details of our new Practice Management Client Care program (PMCC).  This flagship program will provide ongoing educational content and technical support essential to firms using many of the leading practice management programs including Amicus Attorney, Time Matters, and PracticeMaster, as well as time/billing/accounting programs such as PCLaw and Tabs3, plus the Worldox document management system.

One of the most common problems we see is that firms fail to fully utilize the programs they own.  Our mantra is "know what you own", and our commitment to you with PMCC is to:

  • Educate your users on all of the features of a program.
  • Proactively help you utilize features with workflows designed for the way your firm operates.
  • Provide exceptional, efficient technical support you can't get from the software vendors.
We will announce the PMCC program details in the next few weeks.  Monitor our blog to find out how PMCC will let you focus on your practice, not your technology.
End of Support for Windows XP Just a Month Away
Change is hard.  We know that.  But seriously, Windows XP was released in late 2001. That is more than a dozen years ago. Forget about dog years, in tech years, that is ancient history.  It isn't that XP wasn't good in its day. But its day was long ago.

As of April 8, all of those goodies coming to your PC from Windows Update the second Tuesday of each month, such as security patches, will no longer come to Windows XP.  It is time to act.

Microsoft (Finally) Promotes Office Online
Many lawyers and law firm staff are dedicated users of Microsoft's desktop office suite (as traditionally purchased software or via the high-value Office 365 subscription).  However, most are not aware of the completely free web-based version of Office. Although it has been around for a while, Microsoft has until now given it a low profile (under its previous name, Office Web Apps). And that was unfortunate because Office Online has a lot to offer.  It is a full cloud-based office suite that is a worthy competitor to the better-known Google Docs.

Review:  HP Chromebook 14 for Lawyers
Last summer we published a series of three articles on how a lawyer can use a cheap Google Chromebook as part of his/her law practice. Last year's articles focused on the relatively low-powered Samsung Chromebook with an ARM processor similar to what you find in cell phones and tablets.  Late last year, several companies released new Chromebooks featuring the latest dual core Intel Celeron processors based on the Haswell architecture.  These processors offer more processing power and extended battery life.  

One of the new models is the HP Chromebook 14.  As the name implies, it is larger than most Chromebooks with its 14 inch screen.  Although less portable than last year's Samsung Chromebook, its added power and comfortable screen size can make it a more well-rounded travel companion for the mobile lawyer.

Each month we will bring you quick links to a variety of newsworthy items dealing with technology products, services, and other topics of interest to lawyers as they seek to better manage their practices.