Shape Up! Practice Management Tips for 2010
Table of Contents | Features | Frontlines | Technology | Business
Table of Contents | Features | Frontlines | Technology | Business
Electronic Billing “Hub” Streamlines Work-to-Cash Cycle
Elite 3E’s new eBillingHub feature streamlines the work-to-cash cycle with a comprehensive and collaborative approach for preparing, tracking, submitting and managing the electronic billing process. The easy-to-use SaaS Web-based platform integrates a law firm’s time and billing software with multiple electronic billing vendors. It validates e-bills against all LEDES standards, billing rules and protocols established by the client and their e-billing vendor to help find and fix incompatibles before they are submitted for payment. eBillingHub also features invoice tracking and reporting features to help firms better manage receivables, reduce write-downs and improve cash flow.
Web-Based Practice Management App Adds Features
Clio, Themis Solutions’ Web-based practice management application, has announced several major new features in its First Anniversary Edition. Highlights include two-way synchronization of Outlook contacts, tasks and calendar items, plus several new reporting options, and integration with Intuit’s QuickBooks. Since its initial release, Clio has incorporated dozens of improvements and major new features like ClientConnect, an extranet for clients to access legal documents and pay bills online, and the Clio Express time-tracking application. Clio provides case/matter management, time tracking, billing/reporting, client contact and document management, task scheduling, trust accounting, and performance metrics for independent lawyers to benchmark their business goals.
Affordable Access to Online Documents
DocuLex Archive Studio is a Web-based content management service that provides remote document access, printing and distribution, enabling secure document warehousing and sharing for knowledge management and colleague collaboration. Users are presented with a custom portal for content management, which offers support for electronically created files in their native formats, e-mail with attachments, and scanned paper converted to PDF. Paper documents can be scanned remotely from any location by the user or a third-party service provider. Secure document access features include encrypted site access and SSL protection.
Free Conference Call Service Records Calls, Too
FreeConferenceCall.com is a free teleconferencing service that provides a dedicated dial-in number and an access code that is available to users 24-7. Accounts require only a name and e-mail address, and accommodate up to 96 callers on an unlimited number of six-hour conference calls. Account users can record and monitor conferences, conversations and depositions while maintaining a detailed record that isolates and acts on recorded data from individual conference lines. Recordings are accessible by phone or computer and users can distribute, archive or send recordings via RSS or podcast with no additional downloading charge.
Web-Based Time Capture and Entry
Smart Time is a new Web-based, on-demand time capture and entry system that helps timekeepers construct and recoup their billable time easily and accurately. Smart Time searches network applications used by timekeepers, such as Exchange, document management systems, VoIP switches and BES servers. This allows users to find time buried in e-mails, phone calls and meetings. While all may not be billable, the timekeeping process is greatly simplified because the users can affirm the entries rather than creating entries from memory. Timekeepers record entries in a detailed journal of their daily work activities and can assign project or matter codes to time entries and export the information to their accounting system. Smart Time’s relationship engine learns which phone numbers and e-mail addresses correspond to which projects and matters to become increasingly self-sufficient. Smart Time requires only an IIS Web server and is sold via annual subscription based on the number of firm timekeepers.
Easy Branded E-Mail Marketing
for Law Firms
Concep Campaigner is an interactive, Web-based e-mail marketing platform that helps firms easily create branded HTML-formatted e-mail campaigns. No HTML skills are required. The service offers professionally designed templates, and it allows users to customize and personalize content and add surveys and RS VP forms. Built-in analytical capabilities assess the success of a campaign in simple graphs and tables, and provide realtime feedback on receipt and recipients’ actions. Reports show users’ access rates, URL clicks, survey/RS VP r esponses, undeliverables, opt outs, hits and domain reports. Concep also publishes the e-newsletter One to One, full of best practice advice on Web marketing topics such as tips for improving open rates.
New Transcript Repository Features
Merrill Corporation’s Lextranet Transcript Repository Version 2 offers new video deposition search and synching features, with a video deposition library that makes it easier to review video assets and incorporate them into case preparation. Users can now search for keywords across all video depositions in a case. Keyword occurrences appear in a convenient display window that synchronizes their location on both the transcript and accompanying synchronized video. Annotations also are searchable and synchronized to the video testimony and transcript. Lextranet Transcript Repository is a Web-based solution for managing deposition-related materials. Users can quickly search, organize, evaluate and share deposition calendars, transcripts, exhibits, evidence and other related documents and files.
More Affordable Records Management
LexisNexis’ s PCL aw 10 offers new features that allow smaller firms to manage records automatically, enhance electronic billing and perfo rm smarter backups. The new PCL aw Safe Custody and Physical Closed File management system offers the ability to electronically track, m anage and associate physical items and records with their clients’ active and closed files. These processes are integrated with other aspects of practice management functions for a smoother and more consistent workflow. PCL aw’s billing and time tracking elements have been enhanced, including direct integration of research charges into firm billing. And credit card processing is now compliant with the Payment Card Industry transaction standards set by VISA. A new automated data backup capability allows firms to select and set pre-determined backup times and frequencies that avoid busy primary work hours.
Enhanced Relationship Management
One Marketing Center
6.4 offers full integration between
Contact Manager and
ContactNet, the enterprise relationship management application. This new functionality enables firms to access ContactNet relationship data within their Contact Manager workflow to seamlessly evaluate relationship strength as part of list creation, e-mail communication development and activity tracking. Also, new search enhancements improve the ability to view contacts, manage lists and analyze client portfolios by relationship strength. The new features offer an effective way to gain a comprehensive view of client relationships in context with firm marketing efforts.
Improved Document Creation
Microsystems has announced the release of its Correspondence, Pleadings, Numbering, Table of Contents and DocID software solution, Legal TemplatesPlus. Legal TemplatesPlus is designed to simplify document drafting, template design and maintenance. The software helps lower the total ownership cost of a template, numbering and macro package by minimizing costs associated with maintenance changes, simplifying Office migration initiatives and reducing training. It improves the user experience in both Word 2003 and 2007, and simplifies interaction with complex Word features. Providing a familiar user interface for drafting everyday documents, Legal TemplatesPlus automatically connects to contact sources, eliminates duplicative data entry and accelerates deployment time through pre-built automation. It also supports an easy-configurable dialogue box interface, enables the creation of toolbars and ribbons and integrates with other Microsystems software, creating a document authoring environment that includes the essentials for document creation, document quality control, formatting and cleanup.
Mobile Bar Review Application
BAR BRI Mobile, an enhanced iPhone and iPod touch application that helps law students prepare for the bar exam, has been updated to include a full-service bar review course that allows enrolled students to access video and audio lectures on their iPhone or iPod touch. BAR BRI Mobile offers the ability to answer thousands of StudySmart MBE questions as well as study BAR BRI ’s Conviser Mini-Review. The app closely tracks each student’s progress, compares the student’s performance to thousands of bar exam takers nationwide and provides i ndividual feedback. The app also helps law students prepare for final exams. Enrolled students can watch exam review lectures, work multiple choice questions or review outlines, and students who are taking the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination (MPRE ) can access the MPRE lecture, StudySmart questions and mini-review content.
www.barbri.com ; www.itunes.com/appstore
Enhanced Attorney Document Review
Integreon eView 3.0 offers new features for efficient workflow management and productivity tracking of complex attorney document review. Among the hosted document review platform’s new features is Concept Search, which uses advanced clustering technologies that allow litigation review managers to quickly understand the types of documents in the collection prior to assigning them for review. This accelerates the review process by excluding non-relevant material altogether (or putting it at the end of the review queue). Users can also highlight a s pecific document or section of text and, with a single mouse click, immediately identify related documents ranked by relevance. In addition, eView improves production management with a central and secure location for organizing production documents. Various different production styles can be managed simultaneously, for example when producing to one or more parties, each with different requirements for one or more productions. Built-in processes prevent the same document from being produced twice and reduce the risk of producing privilege documents. Detailed reports make it easy to track all productions. eView also offers the ability to quickly group similar privilege log entries by field and see the quantity of each occurrence.
Improved Calendaring Functions and Storage for Web-Based Practice Management Product
Rocket Matter has added increased calendaring efficiencies and unlimited document storage. Updates to the calendaring system include day, week and month firmwide views; Outlook-style calendaring, with drag-and-drop event editing; the ability to add or remove any number of user calendars from your screen; and apppointment notifications. In addition, Rocket Matter now offers unlimited document storage and has increased document upload sizes to 5 MB, plus easier access to view lists of all open matters. Rocket Matter is a Web-based SaaS (Software as a Service) product that addresses legal practice management and time and billing needs of law firms. It requires no installation or upgrades. Users navigate Rocket Matter securely using an Internet browser and by simply logging in to use the application.