How To…Integrate the New Timeslips With QuickBooks

Several years ago, Timeslips introduced a direct link between Timeslips and QuickBooks. Clients and consultants found the link less than ideal and were able to work with Sage to re-write the link from the bottom up. Today, firms have a single point of data entry for accounting information when receiving payments, allocating fees and expenses, and tracking client funds. Terry Rosenthal demonstrated the new link and provide instruction for configuration and use.

Watch the archived session, watch the quick demonstration, and see Terry’s response to a few audience questions:

  1. Does this integration link work with Timeslips 2012?

No.  The new link only functions with Timeslips 2014.  The required version of QuickBooks is QuickBooks Pro 2011 or higher.

  1. Is there a mobile app?

Sage Timeslips eCenter is a mobile site that is optimized for tablets and smartphones.  Users can enter their time using the eCenter; all time is then downloaded into Timeslips by the system administrator.  At this point, this is the product to be used for tablet and smartphone time and expense entry.  There is not yet an “app” to manage the entire billing process.

  1. Does Timeslips have any plans for a cloud based system?

Sage Timeslips has not disclosed any plans for rolling out a cloud based ASP model product.

Email Encryption For Everyone

The recent confirmation that the US government, through the NSA’s PRISM surveillance, collects massive amounts of electronic data is really only the tip of the iceburg when viewed in light of all of the potential exposure email has to unauthorized access. From hackers to governments to law enforcement to targeted espionage to identity thieves, there are many who may want to access and view your email and its attachments.

Depending on the type of client you represent and the work you do unencrypted email exchange may not provide enough protection for confidential communication. The ABA’s formal opinion from 1999 on email encryption (99-413) generally allows for use of email to communicate with clients, but also provides the caveat that “when the lawyer reasonably believes that confidential client information being transmitted is so highly sensitive that extraordinary measures to protect the transmission are warranted, the lawyer should consult the client as to whether another mode of transmission is, such as special messenger delivery, is warranted..”

Much has changed since 1999. Commentary in the opinion states: “[t]he Committee believes that e-mail communications, including those sent unencrypted over the Internet, pose no greater risk of interception or disclosure than other modes of communication commonly relied upon as having a reasonable expectation of privacy. The level of legal protection accorded e-mail transmissions, like that accorded other modes of electronic communication, also supports the reasonableness of an expectation of privacy for unencrypted e-mail transmissions. ” Read in light of the known, legal interception of email transmission by the government and the increased use of webmail services that offer free service in exchange for access to the text of the email is it still reasonable to rely on an expectation of privacy and legal protection of email transmissions?

There are a variety of ways to encrypt email communications. For large firms working with corporate clients, firms representing governments, lawyers representing political prisoners and other circumstances may require an end to end encryption solution such as PGP to be set up and used by both parties. Once in place the process is relatively seamless. Lifehacker provides a great guide on end to end encryption for email clients and webmail..

However, lawyers who work with consumer clients including estate planning, family law, bankruptcy, criminal, real estate, civil rights etc. may not have a long term relationship with their clients or have the level of sensitivity in the communication that warrants a long term encryption key exchange. For those situations attorneys can still encrypt email on a short term or case by case basis by using some of the “on demand” email encryption options available. These tools are often free for limited use and while they do not provide the level of protection afforded by traditional email encryption they do provide some peace of mind. The article Easy Encryption for Email is Not an Oxymoron provides information on three such services that employ different models for protection. To see these easy encryption options in action check out the How To… video from the Chicago Bar Association’s LPMT.

Your Dropbox Questions Answered

During the recent program “How to… Use Dropbox for File Management” (now available for free in the archives for CBA members) I received a number of great followup questions. Here they are, with my answers.

Q: My opposing counsel sent some documents to me in (I think) Dropbox and the email notice said access would expire after 48 hours. Is this common?

A: I can’t find any way to make a file expire via a link or shared folder in Dropbox. It must have been another service. I know in Hightail (fka YouSendIt) you can set a file to expire, as well as Acrobat SendNow – both popular services to share large files.

Q: Is it possible to use Dropbox to backup e-mail correspondence and folders, say from Outlook? I have been using Dropbox for a few months already but cannot figure out how could I achieve that. Thanks!

A: In MS Outlook you can set an automatic archive to save the .pst file to Dropbox. See these instructions: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/830119. You can do this for all folders, or just specific folders.

Another option is to use Adobe Acrobat Pro to save emails and/or folders to PDF and then save them to a local drive or to Dropbox. In MS Outlook 2010, if you have Adobe Acrobat X Pro installed, right click on an individual email or on a folder. In the resulting drop down menu you should see the option to “convert to PDF”. Just follow the instructions on the screen and set the save location as a Dropbox folder. Or click on the Adobe PDF tab in MS Outlook to set automatic archives for folders.

I prefer the PDF format to .pst because you can open a PDF with any PDF reader, whereas you can only open .pst folders with MS Outlook (or a third party viewer).

Q: Can we limit a shared file with a client to “read only”?

A: Whether providing a link to a file with a client, or sharing a folder of documents with a client, Dropbox does not offer a “read only” function. You can send a client a link to a file – versus sharing a folder with a client – and they can view the file OR download it. So, if they download it they can edit it – if you don’t protect it first. You can accomplish that by restricting the original file before you make it available to clients via Dropbox.

Before sharing a MS Word file in Dropbox:

In MS Word 2010 go to the “Review” tab and choose “restrict editing” and then choose “no changes (read only)” from the drop down menu, like this:

restricteditingmsword

Before sharing a PDF in Dropbox:

In Adobe Acrobat X go to File – Properties and choose the “security” tab. Choose “password security” from the drop down menu and you will get this screen:

restricteditingadobeacrobat

Under Permissions check “restrict editing…” and create a password (which will allow you to make changes, but not anyone else). Then choose if you want to allow printing or not, and keep the default “Changes Allowed: None”.

If you have older versions of these software applications you still can modify permissions, they are just in a slightly different place.

Q: I set up my own Dropbox account, and then my boss shared some doc’s with me via Dropbox. However, I can only access the doc’s he shared with me via a link in the e-mail he sent me. I cannot access them through my own Dropbox account. Does this make sense, and do you know how this may have happened?

A: This issue points to the difference between sharing a link and inviting collaborators to a folder in Dropbox. In order for you to see the files he puts in his Dropbox folder that he wants you to have access to in your Dropbox he must go to Dropbox (screenshots are from the web interface) and right click on the folder he wants to share with you. He will see this menu:

shareversuslink

Then instead of choosing “share link” choose “invite to folder”. He will get a dialog box and will put in your email address and a note (if he likes). Then you will both have access to that folder. If he makes a change to any of the documents on his hard drive, and the folder is synchronized, then you will have access to the latest versions of the documents.

Do you have a question about Dropbox or another technology? Got something to add to the answers above? Let me know in the comments!

Managing LinkedIn Endorsements and Optimizing Your Profile

During Membership Appreciation Week here at the Chicago Bar Association I put on a program on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. One question that came up was about the new endorsements of your skills and expertise listings. If you are interested in managing that area of your profile take a look at this short video. If you would like to see the entire program it is now online, free for Chicago Bar Association Members.

You may also want to take a look at a recent article from Attorney at Work titled “Should Lawyers Connect with Competitors?” and note the links to other pertinent articles on lawyers’ use of LinkedIn at the end of the article.

CBA LPMT Co-Sponsors LOMAP Third Annual Marketing Conference

FYI, the Chicago Bar Association Law Practice Management is co-sponsoring the Mass LOMAP  annual marketing conference which occurs on May 16.

The ‘Third Annual Super Marketing Conference: Accelerate Your Marketing’ will focus on web marketing.  As always, there is an impressive lineup of speakers covering subjects germane to lawyer advertising online.  Avvo Founder and CEO Mark Britton will be the keynote speaker, and will address ‘Ten Opportunities Lawyers Miss in Online Marketing’.

Check out full conference agenda.

Interested CBA members can get online access via the Massachusetts Bar Association’s On Demand portal.  Select the $49 discount rate for co-sponsoring organizations when you RSVP.

The event page is accessible here: www.lunchhourlegalmarketing.com.

Learning, Food, Prizes: CBA Law Practice Management & Technology Expo

Come by the CBA on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, between 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to catch up on the latest in law practice management and technology services that can benefit your law practice, including CBA Member Benefit providers, plus participate in free CLE, see product demos, and enjoy food and prizes!
Expo Hall from 10am – 3pm

From 10-3 visit with national and local law practice management, business services, and technology companies in the Law Practice Management & Technology Expo. See more and find out who is coming in the Expo Guide.

Door prizes will include: $100 American Express Gift Card, compliments of Practical Law Company, LLC; iPad Mini, compliments of LexisNexis Firm Manager; Four $25 Starbucks Gift Cards, compliments of LexisNexis Firm Manager; Two Lawyer Career Manuals: (1) Direct Examination, a workbook for lawyer career satisfaction and (2) Ask the Career Counselors, answers for lawyers on their lives and life’s work, compliments of Under Advisement; Software package including WordPerfect Office X6, Perfect Authority and PDF Fusion, compliments of Corel; 12 months free subscription to Smokeball, compliments of Smokeball; Kindle, compliments of AAA; and more!

Complimentary lunch and snacks will be available in the Expo Hall.
Complimentary CLE from 11am-12pm and 1pm-2pm

Join us for complimentary CLE presentations at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. sponsored by LexisNexis Firm Manager and Practical Law Company.
11am – 12pm – Moneyball for Lawyers: Using Data to Make Your Firm Competitive

Long gone are the days of an “if you build it, they will come” law practice. Today’s potential clients are not only savvier about what specific legal services they need, they’re willing to shop around to ensure they’re getting the biggest bang for the buck. Running a competitive firm these days takes management and marketing skills, sure, but it also takes something many lawyers don’t think of: data analysis. Just as the Oakland A’s used player stats to build a winning team in the hit movie Moneyball, so can lawyers take their firm to new levels with inside data. This webinar will teach you how to look at your firm’s stat sheet in a whole new light—and how to use that information to make sound business decisions. Register Now!

Speaker: Christopher Anderson, LexisNexis Firm Manager
1pm –2pm – This Just In: Keeping Up With Developments in Your Practice Area

Keeping up with cases, codes, regs and news that affects and informs your ability to competently represent your clients can be a daunting task. Come learn about resources and strategies to get “just in time” information and harness it in your law practice. Free and fee-based services provide a focused stream of real-time information that can be accessed via the web and mobile platforms. From do-it-yourself RSS feeds to professionally edited, curated and produced content portals there are ways to maximize your efforts and minimize time when keeping up with current developments. Register Now!

Speakers: Ryan Allen, PLC and Catherine Sanders Reach, Director CBA Law Practice Management & Technology
Product Demonstrations at 9:00am, 9:30am, and 3:00pm

Product demonstrations in Charter Hall (first floor) directly before and after the Expo Hours will give you a chance to sit down and get a focused look at some new and favorite technologies. Come watch and learn more about:

3:00pm- Avvo Ignite Suite marketing platform
9:00am – Corel WordPerfect Office software
9:30am – Smokeball Office document management and assembly

This is but a taste of the festivities during CBA Member Appreciation Week. Check out the full week of festivities and please join us!

Three Ways to Add Pizzazz to Your Firm Website

Law firm websites often have a lot of text rich content, but little in the way of multimedia or graphics. Visitors to a website need something that grabs their attention, tells a story, and delivers it in short, digestible bits. Consider updating and enhancing your site content with some video, infographics and live feeds.

1. Lights, Camera, Action: Video

More and more law firm websites are incorporating video. In addition to using multi-media to add interest and engage your visitors, you can fit a lot of content into a short amount of time that does not require someone to read a long article. It can also highlight the real lawyers in your firm and help introduce them to potential clients. This November 2012 article from the American Bar Association on How Lawyers are Using Video has great information on the basic who/where/how/why of law firm videos. If that doesn’t convince you let’s look at some YouTube statistics:

  • Over 800 million unique users per month
  • More than 20% of global YouTube views come from mobile devices
  • 500 years of YouTube videos are watched every day on Facebook, and over 700 YouTube videos are shared on Twitter each minute

A YouTube channel is free. Creating good looking videos will likely require getting help from a videographer. Or, if you want to create educational videos that are a little more “fun’ you can use sites like goanimate.com or www.xtranormal.com to create an animated video using your own script.

2. Learning Is Fun: Infographics

Infographics are the new way to communicate complex information in a visually appealing way. It takes charts and graphs and punches them up for today’s graphics oriented and attention deficient audience. Companies like Visual.ly let you subscribe to the service and request a custom infographic through their marketplace. For attorneys looking to add some visual punch to their websites or blogs, the over 25,650 infographics in 27 categories can also be embedded in your website. Simply find one that speaks to your target audience and grab the code. For instance, if you represent green companies you could add a “going green at the office” infographic or if you want to let your clients know to keep their social media presence curbed you could add the “Privacy Fail: Concerns that Face Facebook Users” infographic.

3. Keep It Fresh: Social Media Feeds

Clients not into Twitter? No problem! If you tweet, and wish more of your clients and potential clients were on Twitter, you might want to take a look at Twylah. Twylah, currently in invitation only beta, is a free (for now) service that turns your tweets into a beautiful, customizable web page with subject groupings, graphics and more. What might have looked like gibberish, or too much information to non-tweeting clients and colleagues is now beautifully arranged and shows your tweets to their best advantage. The easiest way to explain Twylah is to look at an example: http://www.twylah.com/catherinereach .

Additionally, whether your firm is active on Twitter, LinkedIn or Facebook, it is possible to show the updates to those profiles directly on your website. Your website may not get updated as often as you would like, so this is a way to add some fresh content and interest PLUS provide your website visitors a glimpse at your social media presence.

A law firm’s website is a vital first impression for potential clients. How well does your website reflect your firm? Get a Law Firm Website Review from the Chicago Bar Association’s Law Practice Management & Technology Director. This service will not only report on a site’s content and appearance, but also look at management and organizational issues to help the firm keep the site fresh and current. Take advantage of this objective review for your firm’s website to help provide the best possible reflection of your firm to website visitors.

This article first appeared in CBA Record February/March 2013

Make Mine To Go

You might have heard already, but we are experiencing a mobile revolution. The message from market research companies is loud and clear – mobile web access is growing exponentially. What’s more, Search Engine Watch reports a Google survey of mobile users found that they are five times more likely to abandon the task they are trying to complete if a site isn’t optimized for mobile use, with 79% saying they will go back to search and try to find another site to meet their needs. While this is likely far more true for an ecommerce site or news site than a website for a professional service do you want to risk losing a potential client because your website isn’t optimized for mobile viewing? But, you may say, won’t I have to hire a web developer to make a mobile version of my site, pay more money and spend more time? Well, yes, you can go that way but for those who want immediate gratification at a do-it-yourself level then I have a site that might interest you.

Read more: http://www.slaw.ca/2013/04/11/make-mine-to-go/

How To…Integrate the New Timeslips With QuickBooks

Several years ago, Timeslips introduced a direct link between Timeslips and QuickBooks. Clients and consultants found the link less than ideal and were able to work with Sage to re-write the link from the bottom up. Today, firms have a single point … [Read more]

Email Encryption For Everyone

The recent confirmation that the US government, through the NSA’s PRISM surveillance, collects massive amounts of electronic data is really only the tip of the iceburg when viewed in light of all of the potential exposure email has to unauthorized … [Read more]

Your Dropbox Questions Answered

During the recent program “How to… Use Dropbox for File Management” (now available for free in the archives for CBA members) I received a number of great followup questions. Here they are, with my answers. Q: My opposing counsel sent some documents … [Read more]

Managing LinkedIn Endorsements and Optimizing Your Profile

During Membership Appreciation Week here at the Chicago Bar Association I put on a program on how to optimize your LinkedIn profile. One question that came up was about the new endorsements of your skills and expertise listings. If you are interested … [Read more]

CBA LPMT Co-Sponsors LOMAP Third Annual Marketing Conference

FYI, the Chicago Bar Association Law Practice Management is co-sponsoring the Mass LOMAP  annual marketing conference which occurs on May 16. The ‘Third Annual Super Marketing Conference: Accelerate Your Marketing’ will focus on web marketing.  As … [Read more]

Learning, Food, Prizes: CBA Law Practice Management & Technology Expo

Come by the CBA on Wednesday, May 8, 2013, between 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. to catch up on the latest in law practice management and technology services that can benefit your law practice, including CBA Member Benefit providers, plus participate in free … [Read more]

Three Ways to Add Pizzazz to Your Firm Website

Law firm websites often have a lot of text rich content, but little in the way of multimedia or graphics. Visitors to a website need something that grabs their attention, tells a story, and delivers it in short, digestible bits. Consider updating … [Read more]

Make Mine To Go

You might have heard already, but we are experiencing a mobile revolution. The message from market research companies is loud and clear – mobile web access is growing exponentially. What’s more, Search Engine Watch reports a Google survey … [Read more]

Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin