Every year, ABA TECHSHOW not only covers the latest technology in practice management, but also gives you the knowledge you need to apply it to your practice. Whether you are a small firm owner looking for day-to-day solutions or an experienced litigator looking for the newest courtroom app, ABA TECHSHOW has everything you need. This year is no exception, as we highlight six new books that deserve a place on any lawyer’s shelf.
The phrase “virtual law practice” sounds confusing, even impossible. Not that different from “cloud computing,” which is difficult to explain beyond “accessible anywhere.” The first edition of Virtual Law Practice broke the mold, defining “virtual law practice” and laying waste to preconceptions.
This second edition delves deeper, and breaks topics like management and marketing down into their own chapters, giving the reader greater detail, including technological updates and advancements since the first edition. For any lawyer looking to launch a virtual practice, or incorporate virtual processes to improve communication, customer service, or other aspects of running a law firm, this step-by-step guide is a must. It covers every facet of online legal services, from a background on virtual law practices to setting up and managing your own online firm. This edition includes interviews with online legal service providers, giving real-world examples of what they do and how they do it. There are also several new appendices that define the sometimes-difficult terminology, and provide sample letters and checklists that do a lot of the work for you. If you don’t want to miss out on the latest in legal innovation, this is the book for you.
Scan blurbs on practice management software and chances are you read the same phrases: “leading solution,” or “most comprehensive solution.” The buzzwords make it hard to figure out if one practice management system is really that different from the others, beyond color scheme. Author Steven J. Best thinks there is a difference, and he makes his case in The Lawyer’s Guide to PCLaw® Software. While any practice management system is only as good as its users, there are often customizations, shortcuts, and methods to make the software work more for you than you work for it. The Lawyer’s Guide to PCLaw® Software focuses on how you can best interact with the software, and how you can customize it to your specific needs. It takes the guesswork out of managing your firm, so you can focus on what you need to.
Research is a frustrating, but unavoidable, part of any lawyer’s life. The Internet has made this easier by offering new options, but true research is more than just Googling things. Many resources exist online, but are they trustworthy? Is a subscription to WestLaw or LexisNexis worth the investment? Can free sites compete with the bigger pay sites?
Even a year after its publication, Internet Legal Research on a Budget continues to be a leading resource for any attorney looking for research options. Even experts in the field of research have described authors Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch as having “powerful search-fu.” Levitt will be doing a “Meet the Authors” sessions on Friday, where you can ask her questions.
The book begins with an overview of general research before delving into more specific topics like legal portals, case law databases, and bar association member-benefit databases like Casemaker and Fastcase. They don’t just list websites to use, they examine every aspect of the search, from tips on usage to the accuracy of the information. There’s even a section on cite-checking your research to make sure your cases are still considered “good law.” No lawyer should be without this helpful and handy guide.
There are many technological tools available for attorneys, specifically litigators. From early case assessment software to custom programs to track judge’s rulings, the litigator’s life is getting more and more digital. But the iPad has surprised everyone by proving it’s much more than an “oversized iPhone.” It has become the standard for tablet computers, and perhaps more importantly, has become a major tool for trial lawyers.
After covering the basics in the first two editions of iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, author Tom Mighell turned his attention to a specific uses for litigation. This second edition of iPad in One Hour for Litigators updates his 2013 original to cover the many advances made in the last two years. He examines how different models have changed in both physical features and operating power, which can have a major effect on the apps you’ve used in the past. He also discusses which apps have been updated, which ones are still relying on years-old knowledge, and which ones have disappeared entirely. There is also space devoted to looking at apps that aren’t quite there yet, but show promise in the future. Embracing new technology may seem frustrating, but not doing so can affect both your reputation and your bottom line.
Mighell is doing a “Meet the Authors” session on Friday, at 11:00am, if you want to talk shop, ask questions, or simply say hello. Also, don’t miss his “So You Want to be a LP Author” session on Thursday from 3-4pm!
Who doesn’t aspire to do more in less time? The 4-Hour Work Week, anyone? What if you didn’t need more hours? What if you just need to use your time more effectively? That’s the crux of How to Do More in Less Time. So many time management ideas can sound like common sense, like “prioritize your duties” or “avoid web-surfing,” yet can be surprisingly difficult to put into practice. How to Do More in Less Time not only shows you how to take full advantage of these ideas, but also covers the reasons why they are so hard to implement. This way, you know exactly what you’re up against, and how best to overcome it.
It also teaches you ways to overcome feeling overwhelmed, the difference between being efficient and being truly productive, the best ways to schedule and manage meetings, and the most effective way to prioritize your many tasks. The second half of the book covers technology and how to maximize the time you spend using these tools. Don’t procrastinate; use this book to increase your productivity and spend more time on the things that really matter.