Affinity Consulting Blog

If you are creating bills in PCLaw, hopefully you know by now that you can create a PDF version of that bill during the billing process. There are many benefits to creating a PDF from within PCLaw, a few of which are: you keep a copy of original bill for historical purposes; you don’t waste time and resources printing and scanning the bill (this means the original PDF can be text searchable with some PDF applications); and if you aren't using the e-mailing features, you at least have your bills in a location and format where you can insert it into an email, etc.

Your firm may have clients that require uploading electronic bills, typically called Ledes, Tymetrix, etc., where the format is EDI.

Let's talk about where PCLaw stores these PDF or EDI files and the options you have to change that.

PCLaw's default location is the Data\Dyndata folder on your server, or workstation if PCLaw is installed as a standalone system. This folder contains live data files for PCLaw (i.e. banking transaction data, client and matter data, billing data, etc.). You can imagine the potential for accidently deleting data files when users browse to this folder so as a best practice, we change the location to a different folder. Here are the steps to accomplish this. This must be set at each workstation for users who create or recreate bills in PCLaw. You log into PCLaw at that workstation with a PCLaw login that has sufficient security to access System Settings, hence why you should consider this a workstation setting.

1. Create a folder on your server (or workstation a standalone install) called PCLaw Bill Images, in a location backed up and accessible by other users.

2. Go to the Options pull-down menu | System Settings.

3. Go to the Billing tab and locate the Output Options for Invoice Images section. Here is what the default location and settings could look like, depending on how your computer is connected to the server.

4. Click the Browse button and browse to the folder you just created

- Change the number from 20 to a higher number (we would recommend a few months of invoices depending on the number of invoices you create each month). Note: the size of these PDF and EDI files is small so on a server, space should not be an issue, but if you are a standalone installation, keep in mind the number and the capacity of the hard drive.

- Select the Automatically Generate PDF Output. Note: EDI formats are created when you are on the Create Bill screen and select the Editor output option.

- Click ok to save.

Here is an example of the changed location and settings:

One more thing to know…If you upgrade PCLaw, or perform a new workstation installation, this path in System Settings REVERTS BACK to the default DYNDATA folder, so review this at every workstation after the upgrade or new installation.

As always, you can call or email our Client Services Team for assistance, at 877-676-5492 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Your law firm is Your Business.

As a business, a law firm is really no different than most other closely held companies. You sell your prospective services, you perform your service and your firm is paid. Your business takes in revenue, meets its expenses and hopefully has something left over for the owners of the business to enjoy.

Over the years, your firm’s financial health has probably improved, but do you know why? The better question is will that trend continue? Or, are you finding that your firm’s financial health is in jeopardy? Are the people you’ve charged with expense management, billing, accounting and financial management doing an efficient and productive job to ensure that your law firm, your business, will maintain its financial health?

Collaboration is one of the great benefits of using Microsoft Word in your law practice. Whether you are working on documents with attorneys or staff within your firm, co-counsel outside your firm, or opposing counsel, the too-little-used feature of replying to comments within Word can streamline the editing process.

1. Click the Reply button.

2. Type your reply.

Or click the comment and click Review > New Comment.

If you see a comment balloon instead of the comment, here’s how to reply:

1. Click the comment balloon.

2. In the comment, click the Reply button.

3. Type your reply.

In less than a year, Tabs3/PracticeMaster versions 15.1 and 15.2 will no longer be supported. Support for those versions ends on June 1, 2015. Support for version 15.3 will continue until June 1, 2016.

Simple is better. As lawyers, we often write for a sophisticated audience. However, that does not mean that our writing should be overly complex. Any barrier our writing erects between us and our readers can inhibit persuasion. That is not good.

We write to inform and persuade. This month's tip will show you how to enable and find Word's readability statistics. You can use these statistics to measure the readability of your document.

PCLaw 13, and the soon to be released version 14, make billing by email easier than ever! They vastly improve the functionality of sending bills and statements via email. Billing by email saves your firm, time, resources and lowers the cost of maintenance on printers, toner and postage. In 2014, very few clients should have issue with receiving bills from your firm via E-Mail. In fact, if you ask your clients, this writer surmises that many would prefer to receive bills in PDF format by email alleviating the task of receiving traditional “snail mail” from your firm only to have to scan the paper in upon receipt by the client. Emailing a PDF is efficient, time-saving, and cost effective.

Many Microsoft Office users save their Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations only to the local hard drive on their computer. While this may create the illusion of safety and security, it can put your files at risk, particularly if your local hard drive is, like many, not adequately backed-up. In many law firm settings, MS Office is configured to save your files to a drive on the firm's server. While that may be more secure that the local hard drive on your PC, a flood, fire, or theft at the office could also destroy those files.

Whether you are the victim of a hurricane or a busted water pipe in the office suite above your server room, having a plan for protecting your business assets, and for recovery from the disaster, is critical to your business.

This month, we will highlight products and services that don't just put you back in business after a disaster, but keep you IN business! From Cloud based network infrastructure and Cloud based software, to full service recovery solutions that include power, office space, computer and communication systems, you will learn what to consider as you put together your firm's disaster recovery plan.

When lawyers and law firm staff are asked about their biggest frustrations as it relates to productivity and job efficiency, managing volumes of paper is often at the top. Paper files have become problematic in today’s technologically driven law firms. People often spend hours of unproductive time filing away and then, later, looking for paper. Paper files can only be in one place at a time; there is no sharing or collaborating on a paper file; you cannot search a paper file, you can only flip paper, one page at a time.

Filing is also one of the most dreaded tasks in a law firm – and it often gets put off. So, even if you have found the file, there is a good chance the paper you need isn’t there. And then finally…what do we do with all those files once we are done with them? Space is not cheap – at your own office or at a storage facility.

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