"Ten Must-Have Apps for the Solo Practitioner"

More helpful info from Rick Georges, author of the FutureLawyer blog [links below from original post]:

"This month I'm focusing on application software. Although there are different software preferences for every lawyer, I'm sticking to Windows, since most lawyers use it. As with last month's article, 'Ten Must-Have Web Sites for Solo Practitioners,' picking the best of anything is difficult, so I'll focus on what I use every day in my practice. I'm sure I'll hear from you about software you use, that I missed.

[snip]

"As with last month's article [Ten Must-Have Web Sites for Solo Practitioners], there are many other software applications that I could have mentioned, as I'm certain that there are a few that you might suggest. However, I use every application in this column at least once each day of my life, and my law practice would be lost without them. If you have an essential application that is important to your law practice, send me an e-mail and let me know. Now, go out and use computer software to improve your life and your law practice."

Definitely liked the inside scoop of how this lawyer daily uses technology. What would your list of "top apps" look like? Is your own Treo "NEVER far from [your] cold hands"?


"Ten Must-Have Web Sites for Solo Practitioners"

Yeah, that "must have" (must bookmark, must login?), description is odd, but the list of 10 sites in this article does look helpful:

"Picking the best of anything is difficult. However, I decided to take a stab this month at the Web sites I use most frequently during a typical day of practicing law. I'm not including the obvious ones: legal research and general search sites. I'm aiming to point to sites that create a new source of information on the Web, and that leverage the interactive Web 2.0 space.

"Here goes:

  1. GoToMyPC is a remote-access Web application that permits me to access my office host machine anytime I like. It allows me to run updates, check my calendar and contact changes created by my secretary, and, in general, prevents running to the office to maintain the server, or to practice law. It's the solo lawyer's best friend, runs flawlessly and costs only about $20 a month per machine."

Author Rick Georges is a Florida solo attorney and author of Law.com's Future Lawyer blog.


Paralegals Help with "Do-It-Yourself E-Discovery"?

It's all about making EDD accessible to small firms & solo practitioners where paralegal tech skills can come in handy:

"Recently, a Texas firm received a dozen Microsoft Outlook .pst files from a client. Like the dog that caught the car, they weren't sure what to do next. Even out on the prairie, they'd heard of online hosting and e-mail analytics, but worried about the cost. They wondered: Did they really need an e-discovery vendor? Couldn't they just do it themselves?

[snip]

"Most evidence today is electronic, so curtailing discovery of electronic evidence isn't an option, and trying to stick with paper is a dead end. We've got to deal with electronic evidence in small cases, too. Sometimes, that means doing it yourself.

"The Texas lawyers sought a way to access and search the Outlook e-mail and attachments in the .pst files. It had to be quick and easy. It had to protect the integrity of the evidence. And it had to be cheap. They wanted what many lawyers will come to see they need: the tools and techniques to stay in touch with the evidence in smaller cases without working through vendors and experts."


"Solos' First Step: Converting Contacts Into Clients"

Very helpful advice from The Connecticut Law Tribune:

"Office space? Check. A computer and other requisite technology? Check. Clients?

"For attorneys venturing out on their own, that's not only the hardest ingredient to come by, it's also the most vital.

"Depending on their legal niche, or how desperate they are for business, solo practitioners can spend as much time marketing themselves as they do racking up billable hours. Without the safety net of an existing clientele, everyone they meet is a potential client and/or referral source.

"'If you want to go out on your own, personality is the key,' insisted attorney Matthew Lloyd Brovender, who graduated from Quinnipiac University School of Law in 2003.

[snip]

"Laura Flynn Baldini benefits from a wide referral network for her 3-year-old Farmington, Conn., practice that includes insurance defense, personal injury and commercial law. After she left a large Hartford firm, one of her first projects was to create a presence on the Web to connect with clients, especially those from out of state. 'It's another way for them to get to know me,' Baldini said. 'Being a good businessperson is as important as being a good lawyer."