How to unshorten and shorten links

unshortmeYou might be familiar with shortened links from social media or email. They’re handy for keeping things tidy and within a character limit, but you can’t see what you’re clicking on. What if the link is malicious or just a waste of time? Turn that short link into a long link with unshort.me and see where you’re going. Copy and paste the short URL into the text box, and the site will expand it for you. A Chrome extension is available, allowing you to right-click and unshorten any short link you see on the web.

Conversely, you may want to shorten links, either to make a character limit or clean up an email. For instance, the URL or link for the 2012 Law Practice Management & Tech Tips for Lawyers program is http://www.chicagobar.org/source/Meetings/cMeetingFunctionDetail.cfm?section=Calendar&product_major=C8215W&functionstartdisplayrow=1. Instead, to get to the same webpage you can shorten the link with Bit.ly to: http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7.  The first link is long, can’t really be read to someone, it breaks onto a new line, and is cumbersome. Bit.ly neatens it up.

bitly

There are many URL shorteners available for free on the web, such as ow.ly, goo.gl, and the originator of this technology, tinyurl.com, but Bit.ly has some really useful features. It has browser plugins for all major browsers so it is always available in one click.  You can also add notes to the link, create link bundles (see: http://bitly.com/bundles/catherinereach/3), create private links, share via email in one click, and also track whether people have clicked on the link. Finally, you can customize the link so the above Bit.ly link (http://bit.ly/1EaKaU7) can be: http://bit.ly/2015techtips.

Check it out and get your free account at http://bitly.com

Know What You Are Sending (With A Little Help) in MS Word

Microsoft can warn you  before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Microsoft can warn you before sending, saving or printing a document with comments or tracked changes

Eighteen jurisdictions have ethics opinions on metadata.  All of them suggest that a lawyer who is sending an electronic document should take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information. While technically not metadata, the comments and tracked changes in a Microsoft Word document do present a significant opportunity to unintentionally expose  confidential information.  There are many ways to remove and reduce exposure of metadata, but one very important aspect is that the sender is aware of what is being sent. In some cases you may fully intend to send a document with comments and tracked changes.

Whether intentional or not, a notification that a document you are saving, sending, or printing has tracked changes or comments could be useful.  Fortunately you can do exactly that with a setting in MS Word.  In Word 2010-13 go to File – Options – Trust Center – Trust Center Settings – Privacy Options and check the box that says “Warn before printing, saving, or sending a file that contains tracked changes or comments”.

Once this option is checked if you click to save or save as, print to a physical printer or to PDF,  save to PDF or use a PDF conversion tool like Acrobat or Nuance, or use any command under the “Save and Send” menu you will get a warning that the document has either comments and/or tracked changes and asks you to click yes to continue.  However, the warning system is fallible because if you attach the file from an email program, such as MS Outlook you will get no notice.

CBA Future of the Law Week is Coming 2/17-2/20

The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and Law Practice & Technology and The Chicago Bar Foundation are excited to invite you to attend the Future of the Law Week events. Every day we will present a new cutting edge topic on how to practice like Steve Austin (better…stronger…faster). We’ll also have a Future Fair where you can meet organizations and companies that are helping lawyers respond to client’s needs while investing in their own. Plus a reception to kick it off and lunch for the finale!

Week at a Glance:

To get all the details see our Chicago Bar Association Future of the Law Week Guide. Hope to see you there!

Disaster Planning: Turn Off Email Address Autocomplete

February LPMT Tech Tip

Headline after headline after headline reveal attorneys suffering disaster because of mis-sending email. While slowing down and paying more attention can help, turning off some of the convenience features built into email applications can’t hurt. In MS Outlook (2010 & 2013) go to File – Options – Mail – Send Messages and uncheck “Use Auto-Complete List to Suggest Names when Typing in the To, CC, and BCC Lines”.

autocomplete

 

 

 

 

Then click on “Empty Auto Complete List”.

autocomplete button

 

 

 

 

If that seems a bit too nuclear you can selectively remove old or easy to abuse AutoComplete email addresses that appear in email by clicking on the X next to the name that appears. This will clear it from your auto-complete list.removefromlist

 

 

 

 

 

If you use keyboard shortcuts like <Cntrl + Enter> to send an email you can turn it off. Why? Because this method  is so quick that it can be dangerous! You can turn off that shortcut by unchecking the option box, which appears in the same options menu as turning off AutoComplete. Now you won’t be able to create a disaster in the blink of an eye.

cntroenter

 

 

 

 

For Gmail you must delete individual contacts for them not to show up in AutoComplete, though you can go to Settings and choose to add contacts youself instead of the default “When I send a message to a new person, add them to Other Contacts so that I can auto-complete to them next time”.

gmailcontacts

 

There are other remedies for common mistakes like the “Reply All” monitor from Sperry for MS Outlook or Google’s “Undo” option in Labs (which can also be done in MS Outlook and is actually just putting a short delay on the “send” time). However, the main way to having embarrassing, costly or worse things happen from misuse of email is just to slow down on the send button.

 

How to Securely Use Dropbox in a Legal Environment

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Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile in 2 Steps

LPMT Tip of the Month (January)

Got a LinkedIn profile? Maximize your efforts by doing two things.

1.) Go into Accounts & Settings – Privacy & Settings and click “Manage”.

privacysettings

 

 

 

 

 

 

Under “Helpful Links” click “Edit Your Public Profile”.

editpublicprofile

On the page that appears in the right column click on the pencil icon under “Your public profile URL”.

customurledit

 

 

 

 
Now, change the link to your personal profile from a generic link to one you choose.

typeinyourname

 

 

 

 

 

2.) Add your new public profile URL to your email signature block.

signatureblock

 

 

 

 

 

Voila, you’ll be connecting with more people in no time.

The Healthy Lawyer: The importance of finding your Zen moment

By Chelsey Lambert

How you start your day will dictate the events thWebat follow. Facing life’s daily challenges isn’t something you master, it’s something you practice. For me, I have found one exercise that’s helped me deal with whatever falls in my path that day.

I found my Zen moment

For years I told people I don’t have a ‘quiet place’ . I tried meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, everything I could. With no luck. What I eventually discovered is that your Zen moment is what works for you. For some its meditation, for others it’s going to a place in their house, looking at a photo, playing with your kids, or the look on your dog’s face when you come home. You have to find what works for you. And once you have that you can use it every time you need to help yourself out of a feeling, situation, or challenge.

My Zen moment has become a ritual in my day

I live in a 50+ story high rise, the view out of my place overlooks the bustling city, and usually reflects the pace of my life – full of energy and traveling non-stop at what seems like 1000mph some days. While beautiful and motivating, it reminds me that I have a million things to do, places to go, and usually how late I’m running as I look at traffic building on Lake Shore Drive below.

My moment occurs every time I leave my place. On the other side of the elevator bank there’s a floor to ceiling window. Out that window lies a view that is so opposite in nature, it calms every space in my mind. There’s no city, no building traffic, just an emerald golf course, quiet harbor, soft sandy beach and lake as far as the eye can see.

So begins my ritual

I leave my place, press the elevator button, and walk to the window. I stare blankly in gratitude and find stillness. I stand there and breathe until my racing heart and thoughts finally stop. Sure, I might miss an elevator… or two. But when I am done, I am at one with myself, calmed from whatever I was worried about, rushing to, and weighted with before I got to that window.

Now I can conquer my day, event, situation, or stress

I never appreciated the power that finding this moment can give you. My other moment I find on my yoga mat. If my day includes both, I swear I have super powers.

Finding my Zen moment has catapulted my professional career

No matter what happens in my day, I try to remind myself of that moment, that gap in time and space where you right yourself. Your thoughts cease and you fall into that silent pause amidst everything circling around you. If I can bring myself back to that place, with a few breaths and the memory of that moment I can look at solutions from the outside. Removing the emotional component that we tend to carry with us throughout the day and make a decision.

Ways you can find and leverage your own Zen moment: 

  • Take a walk and let your mind wander. What memories or thoughts evoke the most happiness?
  • Affirm the things in your life you are thankful for. Health, children, a caring partner, having a job.
  • Forgive yourself. Take a moment, and release any self judgement. Everybody makes mistakes, carrying them with you shouldn’t be one of them.
  • Become a tea drinker. Coffee is synonymous with work, taking 5 minutes to prepare a cup of tea, especially a fragrant one helps calm the nerves.
  • Keep a journal. When you lose your cool, fly off the handle or just need to get something off your chest write it down. Then it’s out of your system, and onto a piece of paper.

 

I hope that sharing my experience will help you find your own Zen moment. I promise you, you will feel unstoppable once you are able to find it, and return there whenever an obstacle lies in your path.

For more information on health, wellness, and leveraging each to benefit your legal career. Attend our new Healthy Lawyer series presented by Dr. Jordan Leasure.

ChicagoBar.org/HealthyLawyer

Legal Marketing Video Library

Immerse yourself in legal marketing tips, strategies and techniques from the experts and your peers.  Each video in our Legal Marketing Bootcamp library, with accompanying materials, will teach you about marketing your practice including how to do it right – and wrong.  Find out how marketing is not just about promoting your practice, but also about providing great customer service to keep your newly gained clients coming back.

You can earn IL MCLE and Professional Responsibility Credit for this day-long course by registering and watching online or CBA members can log in and  watch individual segments for free (no IL MCLE or PR credit).

How to unshorten and shorten links

You might be familiar with shortened links from social media or email. They’re handy for keeping things tidy and within a character limit, but you can’t see what you’re clicking on. What if the link is malicious or just a waste of time? Turn that … [Read more]

Know What You Are Sending (With A Little Help) in MS Word

Eighteen jurisdictions have ethics opinions on metadata.  All of them suggest that a lawyer who is sending an electronic document should take reasonable precautions to prevent disclosure of confidential information. While technically not metadata, … [Read more]

CBA Future of the Law Week is Coming 2/17-2/20

The Chicago Bar Association Young Lawyers Section and Law Practice & Technology and The Chicago Bar Foundation are excited to invite you to attend the Future of the Law Week events. Every day we will present a new cutting edge topic on how to … [Read more]

Disaster Planning: Turn Off Email Address Autocomplete

February LPMT Tech Tip Headline after headline after headline reveal attorneys suffering disaster because of mis-sending email. While slowing down and paying more attention can help, turning off some of the convenience features built into email … [Read more]

How to Securely Use Dropbox in a Legal Environment

Excerpted from “Securely Use Dropbox in a Legal Environment” ABA TECHSHOW 2014 Written by Diane Ebersole, ABA TECHSHOW Board 2015 We have discussed how you can enhance the security of access to your Dropbox files by moving to a two-step … [Read more]

Maximize Your LinkedIn Profile in 2 Steps

LPMT Tip of the Month (January) Got a LinkedIn profile? Maximize your efforts by doing two things. 1.) Go into Accounts & Settings – Privacy & Settings and click … [Read more]

The Healthy Lawyer: The importance of finding your Zen moment

By Chelsey Lambert How you start your day will dictate the events that follow. Facing life’s daily challenges isn’t something you master, it’s something you practice. For me, I have found one exercise that’s helped me deal with whatever falls in … [Read more]

Legal Marketing Video Library

Immerse yourself in legal marketing tips, strategies and techniques from the experts and your peers.  Each video in our Legal Marketing Bootcamp library, with accompanying materials, will teach you about marketing your practice including how to do it … [Read more]

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