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Where to Start With Business Development

Business development entails two principle kinds of activities: One-time activities to establish the overarching business development. Recurring activities that constitute the ongoing business development process. Taken together, the framework and the process constitute the business development system. Before you embark on the business development process, you must put the framework in place. A sound business development framework provides a strategic…

The Best Security Software of 2014

Adapted and excerpted from The 2014 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, published by the ABA Law Practice Division. Security software provides an important line of defense against malware, including viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and other external forces. Even in a solo or small firm network, your client data is of the utmost importance…

New Law Office Technology for Everyone

In “Ditching Paper Signatures: Are All Electronic Alternatives Equal?” Eliya Fishman listed “6 Questions to Ask Now” about digital signature programs. I propose a seventh question, and it doesn’t just apply to digital signatures, but to all law office technology. My question: Are your technologies—and your content—accessible to everyone? Handling paper for signature can be challenging for…

5 Questions on Automation

It is easy to confuse artificial intelligence with automation, or use the two interchangeably when talking about technological change “automating” people out of a job. Google says automation is, “The use of largely automatic equipment in a system of manufacturing or other production process.” Think of a car assembly line done first by humans, and now by…

Beyond eDiscovery: New Technology for Legal Collaboration

When we think of technology in the legal profession, we tend to focus on electronic discovery and its potential to save time and reduce costs by sorting through and filtering out massive amounts of data, particularly before it undergoes the labor-intensive and expensive phase of document review. Often overlooked, however, are other, lesser-known technologies that…

Guidelines for an Effective Associate Training Program

The following is an excerpt from the Law Practice Division’s publication The Survival Guide to Implementing Effective Law Firm Management Strategies. A well-designed and properly implemented associate training program will pay huge dividends. There are two main issues. First, develop a training plan that will ensure that associates get up to speed quickly and are able to bring…

What Is, and Is Not, an Alternative Fee Arrangement

The phrase “alternative fee arrangements” raises a question: alternative to what? The obvious answer is “to the billable hour.” But lawyers—creative lot that they are—have bastardized the phrase to mean “alternative to stand rack rate hourly billing,” meaning that any discount off a firm’s standard hourly rates is an “alternative.” Interpreting the idea so broadly…

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