Affinity Consulting Blog

Our Partners and staff came up with several resolutions that will help you and your law firm get off to a good start in 2015.

Some of these resolutions related to law office technology. Others are applicable to small businesses in general. Finally, there are a handful of personal resolutions that may help you become healthier and happier in 2015.

Here is our list of resolutions for 2015 (in no particular order).

We asked our Partners, Consultants, and Staff for tech-oriented gift suggestions this holiday season. They answered with an impressive variety of gadgets and gear.

As the year draws to an end, it’s important to reflect on the relationships you have, the people you know, and the good work that you do. Affinity Consulting Group cherishes the relationship we have built with the Association of Legal Administrators as VIP Partners, and want to say thank you for the great events we have had the pleasure or participating in over the past year.

Is it really December already? This year has flown by and with the upcoming holidays, there will be no slowing down for most of us. And even though there is a lot to accomplish, it is important to focus on the End of Year (EOY) review in your time, billing and accounting software.

While it is always a best practice to implement monthly procedures, the fact is it's December and here we are! Don't wait until January or February to review and cleanup 2014; in the long run this will take a lot more time. With everything in order, there’s no last-minute rush trying to get advice from your accountant, or paying excessive fees for hour-intensive catch-up work.

There is a reason law firms continue to use Microsoft Word in the face of less expensive (sometimes free) alternatives like OpenOffice, LibreOffice, and WPS Office. Those alternatives work well enough for general document drafting. WPS Office can be configured to look and work remarkably like MS Word. However,many great add-in programs work only with MS Word. A great add-in program designed especially for lawyers is WordRake.

What if you could do more with less? What if you could be more productive, more efficient in less time with less resources? The goal of the newly announced partnership between BigHand and Affinity Consulting Group allows Legal Professionals to use their voice to delegate, manage, instruct and capture time and billing from your mobile device in real time.

The two document formats lawyers most often encounter are Word (.docx) and Adobe Acrobat (.pdf). In Word 2013, you can not only open, create, and edit Word files, you can do the same with PDF documents.

In today's world, most clients expect to receive communication and billing by e-mail, and more and more firms are adopting e-mailing invoices to save money and, more importantly, shorten the time it takes deliver invoices to clients, which hopefully translates into getting paid more quickly.

For the last few years, PCLaw could accomplish e-mailing invoices, but it always missed the mark when law firms wanted to e-mail more than one at a time. If most clients wanted their invoice e-mailed and the firm had several hundred invoices a month, e-mailing one at a time crippled an efficient billing process. As a workaround, firms would mass bill, save their invoices to PDF, and then e-mail them after-the-fact. In fact, this is what we did here at Affinity.

Well no longer…meet PCLaw v14 !

In v14, Lexis has introduced the Invoice E-mail Queue. You will be able to set matters for an e-mailed invoice or printed invoice, and set an e-mail template message; (e-mail templates were introduced in v13.) Invoices that are to be e-mailed will now appear in your queue where you will be able to review the e-mail message, change it, fix or add an e-mail address, and even update

Matter Manager with an e-mail address change. You are also notified if an e-mail has failed.

For Firm Administrators, this new feature incorporates an efficient workflow process and may even allow you to redirect the efforts of the billing and administrative staff to more productive tasks, thereby adding even more value to the firm. For Attorneys keeping tabs on the billing progress, they can filter by various options and review Sent or Current/Unsent invoices.

The Invoice E-mail Queue is reason enough to upgrade to v14! Just ask our Director of Business Operations, ">Del Depew!

Additional features you can find in PCLaw v14 include:

• Sorting by Firm Name in the Contact Manager.

• More robust security to restrict a user's access to a timekeeper. This limits time, billing and collection information a user can see for timekeepers.

• My Clients Dashboard - The Collection Memo field is now available for viewing and editing data, and the New Call button has been added.

• Filtering the Work-in-Progress Report - Billable entries can now be more precisely defined, based on the hold status of the entry. The user can now choose to include or exclude items that are on hold, not on hold, or have been assigned a status of Never Bill. Similar options are available for disbursement entries as well.

• New Billing Tokens include Business Phone, Cell Phone, Home Phone, Other Phone, Bus Fax, Email 1, and Email 2.

• The Destroy Date in the Close Matter function is now available in the Case Label template.

• Third party integrations are supported for Amicus Premium 2014, Amicus Small Firm 2014, Microsoft Office Click-to-Run 2010 and 2013

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. today if you have any questions, or if you want us to prepare you a flat fee upgrade proposal.

Microsoft released its Office for iPad apps earlier this year, including Word for iPad. One key feature missing from the initial release was the abiliyt to print a Word documents from your iPad. That omission has now been c corrected.

With the free version of the Office for iPad apps (including Word for iPad), you can read Word documents, view Excel data, present with PowerPoint, and print your documents. With an eligible Office 365 subscription (a bargain for most law office users), you can also edit and create documents on the iPad, use Office for your PC and Mac®, and get many other benefits.

With printing now built-into Word for iPad (and the other Office for iPad apps such as Excel for iPad and PowerPoint for iPad), all you need is an AirPrint compatibile printer on your network. PC Magazine has a nice list of the ten best AirPrint compatible printers at a wide range of prices. If you like the printer you already own and don't want to buy an AirPrint compatible printer, instead buy an AirPrint server such as the xPrintServer from Lantronix for $100 to $200 depending on how many printers you want to enable to work with your iOS devices like your iPad.

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