Archive for the ‘IT’ Category

Technology update: are you taking advantage of 2008?

January 4, 2008

Effective use of technology means that small office and home office professionals can match (and outgun) their big firm counterparts. But not doing something puts you at risk.

Take some time from the slow holiday season to rethink your risk management and work effectiveness.

For example, hanging on to an out of date PC can not only slow you down. It can put you at risk of a crash and loss of time and data.

So I recently retired a PC I was using that had been struggling along with 256MB of memory (Hint: keep expanding memory as it is one of the cheapest and effective ways of improving performance). I replaced my Dell with an Acer Veriton L460 with 2gb of memory. At the same time I increased the memory on another PC from 512MB to 1gb and on a notebook to 1.5gb.

I’m reviewing my back up procedures and have done a general clean up and office redesign.

Here are some of the articles I referred to:

Tech Greats for ’08

How to set up your new computer

And some great home office articles:

Home office update

Home office warrior

Designing a new home office

BONUS: Digital marketing for modern firms (David Maister)


Sites for solos

November 18, 2007

Here are links to 2 collections of sites relevant to solos:

Sites for sore eyes has links to tech sites to help you understand how things work.

Blawg Review #132 is especially for Home Office Lawyers and Solo’s.

He offers the following words of encouragement:

Solo’s, independent practitioners, those that practice law from a home office tend to be innovative. We tend to be out in front. If for no other reason we have no one to answer to. We are the partnership committee. We are the marketing committee and we are the technology committee. For that reason, we tend to adopt new advances in those areas, dare I say, quicker.

Reading for solos

October 8, 2007

Here are links to articles I’ve been meaning to write about.

I am sure you’ll find something of interest:

Technology that enables small firms to match big firms

May 31, 2007

Fred Faulkner has identified a common scenario:
You have worked for a large firm for many years and you have made the decision to either go solo or start a small firm. You were used to having access to all your information via an Intranet, file server, and your desktop. You could practice law and let the IT department worry about when the printer jammed or if you got a virus. Now that you are solo, you are the one that has to deal with all those problems as well as practice law.

In his article Are you ready for the web-based office? he suggests alternatives that enable solos to  have all the applications big firms offer.

From my point of view, the latest offerings mean I can work effectively anywhere  without big firm IT department restrictions.

Working virtually

March 9, 2007

One of the best things about being small is your ability to be fast and flexible.

And that includes being able to work virtually without being stuck in an expensive city office with ageing IT systems.

If you need to have a face to face meeting, then have it but otherwise work where it best suits you, including on the move.

Ron at Strategic Technology has a selection of recent articles on working virtually including a story from a big company general counsel who gave up his corner office!

Australian legal technology

October 20, 2006

All too often technology suppliers are simply interested in a product sale without making the effort of improving the profession’s knowledge of available solutions.

So if you’re wondering what’s available locally, check out the conferences organised by Simon Lewis and Australasian Legal Technology.

Buying Law Office Technology

August 30, 2006

If you’re wondering where to start your research into buying  laptops, desktops, phones, cameras and gadgets or creating a paperless office then the notes from the recent ABA General Practice/Solo Program are worth reading.(via Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog).

Links to free resources

June 10, 2006

Here's a variety of links any one of which will be of value if you invest the time:

Technology for small firms

May 5, 2006

Small firms can now afford technology that was only previously available to mega-firms.

But you need to have a strategy. And don't forget that the cost of installing and maintaining new software can be up to 4 times what it cost you to buy it.

So the ABA Law Practice Magazine feature on Pointers and predictions for solos and small firms is worth looking at.

Some key points:

  • A good rule of thumb is to budget an annual dollar value for new purchases that is one-third of the total technology cost. This includes such items as hardware, software (upgrades if needed), maintenance and support, subscription renewals, communications expenses and any third-party-provided service such as e-mail or anti-spam filtration.
  • have a hardheaded approach to how technology can reduce costs
  • Continuously analyze work flow to see where the bottlenecks lie.
  • tech knowledge and tech investment are mandatory and an intrinsic part of substantive and procedural law practice today.