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GPSolo eReport

GPSolo eReport August 2023

Ask Techie: How Can I Make Scheduling with Potential Clients Easier?

Ashley Hallene and Wells Howard Anderson


  • This month’s tech Q&A column answers your questions about how to make scheduling with potential clients easier and how to protect your firm from an even bigger cybercrime threat than ransomware.
  • One way to make scheduling meetings with potential clients easier is by implementing an online service such as Calendly.
  • Ransomware concerns us all. Yet, “business email compromise” (BEC) attacks represent a bigger, less publicized threat to small law firms.
Ask Techie: How Can I Make Scheduling with Potential Clients Easier?
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Welcome to the latest installment of our monthly Q&A column, where a panel of experts answers your questions about using technology in your law practice.

This month we answer readers’ questions about how to make scheduling with potential clients easier and how to protect your firm from an even bigger cybercrime threat than ransomware.

Q: How Can I Make Scheduling with Potential Clients Easier?

A: One way to make scheduling meetings with potential clients easier is by implementing a service like Calendly. Calendly is an online scheduling tool that simplifies the process of setting up appointments and meetings. Once you have an account set up and linked to your office calendar, you can embed a link in your email signature so any potential clients that you exchange emails with can access and schedule a meeting with you.

You start by setting up a profile with Calendly. Go to and create an account. You can customize your availability, time zones, and other preferences. You may want to try designating a certain time slot each week when people can schedule meetings. Next, you will connect your calendar. Calendly can integrate with popular platforms such as Outlook, Office 365, and Google Calendar. Once connected, Calendly can automatically check your availability and prevent double bookings.

Next, you will create your schedules. You can create different types of schedules based on your needs. For example, you can set up separate schedules for different types of appointments or meetings. You can define the duration of each event and specify buffer times between appointments. When you are finished, you can share your scheduling link. Calendly will provide you with a unique scheduling link that you can share with others. This is the link you may want to include in your email signature for added convenience. When your invitees (potential clients) click on your scheduling link, they will see your available time slots. They can choose a time that works for them and confirm the appointment. Once booked, Calendly sends automatic notifications to both you and the invitee when an appointment is scheduled. These notifications can be customized to include relevant details and reminders.

If you prefer to set up a videoconference rather than a phone call, Calendly will integrate with popular videoconferencing tools such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. This allows you to automatically generate meeting links and include them in the appointment confirmation. It will also automatically update your connected calendar with the scheduled appointments, ensuring that your availability is always up-to-date.

There are four pricing tiers available depending on the complexity of your needs. I recommend starting with the free version and building on it as your need grows:


Always Free

  • Schedule unlimited meetings with a single event type (e.g., a 30-minute meeting via video call)
  • Connect one calendar.
  • Customize your booking link and brand your page.
  • Send automatic event notifications.
  • Add scheduling to your site.


$10/seat/month (monthly), $8/seat/month (annually)

  • Create unlimited event types (such as a 30-minute video call or a 15-minute phone call).
  • Create “group events” such as webinars (one host with multiple attendees).
  • Connect multiple calendars (e.g., your personal Google calendar and your work Outlook calendar) for availability and scheduling.
  • Reduce no-shows with reminders, reconfirmation requests, and other workflows.
  • Connect with live chat support.


$15/seat/month (monthly), $12/seat/month (annually)

  • Bring a coworker to a meeting (“collective events”) with multiple hosts on your team.
  • Ask qualifying questions before booking a meeting (“routing forms”).
  • Standardize how your team uses Calendly with admin-managed events and user groups.
  • View analytics and insights.
  • Connect to Hubspot, PayPal/Stripe request-a-payment, and hundreds of integrations.
  • Build automated workflows with custom notifications and reminders.
  • Customize branding and logos for Calendly on your website.


$20/seat/month (monthly), $16/seat/month (annually)

  • Connect to Salesforce to flow meeting data into the CRM.
  • Share meetings booked around the team with “round-robin” event types.
  • Route leads with Marketo or HubSpot forms.
  • Lock and sync admin-managed event templates across your team.

Calendly streamlines the scheduling process, eliminates back-and-forth communication, and saves time for both you and your invitees.

Techie: Ashley Hallene, JD, GPSolo eReport Editor-in-Chief ([email protected]).

Q: Ransomware Extortion Keeps Making Headlines. Are There Bigger Cybercrime Threats to My Small Firm?

A: Ransomware concerns us all. Yet, “business email compromise” (BEC) attacks represent a bigger, less publicized threat to small firms.

You’re right about the headlines. Ransomware attacks on schools, hospitals, utilities, and governmental agencies generate a stream of scary stories. Those headlines may motivate us to pay extra attention to our file backups, antivirus protection, and other cyber defenses. That is all good.

But where is the real danger coming from? Let’s compare losses—measured in actual dollar amounts—that resulted from BEC versus ransomware in the last three years:

BEC: $1,867 million
Ransomware: $29 million

BEC: $2,396 million
Ransomware: $49 million

BEC: $2,742 million
Ransomware: $34 million

These statistics (from the Federal Bureau of Investigation Internet Crime Support 2022) show that BEC losses are roughly 50 times higher than ransomware losses. Clearly, ransomware damages are tiny in comparison to BEC, a growing profit center for cybercriminals.

How Does Business Email Compromise Work?

BEC works by deceiving you, someone in your office, or your client into believing that a counterfeit email is an actual business email. The counterfeit email can trick the recipient into sending a wire transfer, making a purchase, paying an invoice—the number of subterfuges keeps growing.

The email counterfeiting methods used by thieves range from basic to highly sophisticated:

  • Sending an email from an email address with a subtle misspelling, such as substituting the number 1 or an uppercase “i” for the lowercase version of the letter “L.”
  • Tricking people into revealing their email address and mailbox password and then taking over their email account, using it to send emails from the real account.
  • Penetrating a local network through classic phishing techniques so that the intruder can take over email accounts.
  • Using social engineering pretext stories on the phone to finagle access to a user’s email account.
  • Bribing an employee of a mobile phone company to gain access to an executive’s phone, then using it to send fraudulent emails from the real account.

While the losses to BEC are in the billions, don’t think that only big companies are targets. The median loss last year was about $50,000. While that amount won’t necessarily put you out of business, it is big enough to hurt a lot. The feeling of being seriously ripped off is not one that tends to disappear even years later.

Sadly, antimalware services and security awareness training have not stemmed the rise of BEC. These are porous defenses. A subgenre of cybersecurity services has appeared to protect your firm’s email accounts. Examples include:

  • Ironscales: $6 to $8.33 per mailbox per month, minimums may apply.
  • Avanan: for enterprises and managed service providers, prices starting at $4.30 to $7.20 per user per month, minimum user count may apply.
  • CrimeBlocker: $5 per month or less per machine for small businesses and professionals, no minimum user count. (Disclosure: CrimeBlocker is a product of SecureMyFirm, of which I am CEO.)

Some services require an involved setup process, establishing connections through an email gateway. Minimum mailbox counts can also be an obstacle to small firms. Be sure to ask a lot of questions when evaluating various services.

Techie: Wells H. Anderson, JD, GPSolo eReport Contributing Technology Editor and CEO of SecureMyFirm, 952/922-1120,—we protect small firms from cyber threats with affordable, multiple layers of defense.

What’s YOUR question?

If you have a technology question, please forward it to Managing Editor Rob Salkin ([email protected]) at your earliest convenience. Our response team selects the questions for response and publication. Our regular response team includes Jeffrey Allen, Wells H. Anderson, Ashley Hallene, Al Harrison, and Matthew Murrell. We publish submitted questions anonymously, just in case you do not want someone else to know you asked the question.

Please send in your questions today!