Design Your Own Training Program

A nationally recognized speaker and expert in law practice automation, Barron K. Henley has been teaching CLE classes since 1993 throughout the U.S. and Canada, covering a wide variety of topics related to law practice management and legal technology.

Barron offers completely customizable training programs ranging from one-hour webinars to full-day workshops. Barron can also design and deliver a full-day technology track for CLE programs on trusts and estates, family law, bankruptcy, or real estate.

One-Hour Seminars

  • Cloud Computing - Pros, Cons and Ethical Issues

    Cloud computing has been a major breakthrough in the legal profession, and a life-saver in the face of COVID-19 lockdowns. Online file storage, backup systems, and legal case management and accounting systems have made the practice of law more efficient and information more easily accessible – to both attorneys and potential threats. This webinar will teach you: (i) what those threats are; (ii) how to avoid them; (iii) your due diligence obligations under the Rules of Professional Conduct; and (iv) the best cloud services lawyers can use to manage their practices, improve customer service, and stay connected.

  • Champagne Technology on a Beer Budget

    Believe it or not, you can get great technology on a tight budget. However, some things are too important to let cost be your most important decision variable.  Whether you’re ready to start a firm or overhaul your firm’s existing technology, this seminar gives you a legal technology roadmap with a focus on keeping the costs as low as possible. We’ll cover everything from low cost accounting and case management systems, how to lower printing costs, computer configurations, security and encryption options, VoIP phone systems, and more.  We will also help you prioritize your purchases so you’ll know what to focus on.  You literally can’t afford to miss this seminar.

  • 2021’s Best Legal Tech Tips, Tricks, Services, Gadgets and Websites

    The best of legal technology, practice management, electronics, services and incredibly useful websites for lawyers. This rapid-fire hour is full of great ideas you can immediately incorporate into your practice. We’ll cover artificial intelligence legal document editing software, tips for improving your web-meeting game, digital signature platforms (demonstrated), cybersecurity tips and services, home office equipment recommendations, and many other practice management tips, tricks and technologies.

  • Essential Law Firm Technology - The Best Of What's Out There

    Technology advances quickly and it’s not easy to keep up with it while also trying to practice law.  This seminar will define and explain the technologies that can help any lawyer solve problems, improve client service and make life easier.  Learn about the essential software and hardware tools that can help you protect client confidentiality, organize case information, manage your practice more efficiently and improve profitability.

  • Matter Management Software - Why Outlook Isn't Good Enough

    Today’s matter management software can organize your practice, increase your revenue and share information with many of your existing programs. You also get billing, trust accounting and with many of the leading programs, full accounting functionality (accounts receivable, accounts payable, general ledger and financial reporting).  We will discuss the leading matter management programs for small to medium-sized firms and illustrate how these programs manage critical law firm functions such as calendaring, case information tracking, contact/client management, tickler systems, conflict checking, automated document generation and time-billing.

  • Electronic Signature Platforms for Lawyers

    In the year 2000, the U.S. enacted the Electronic Signatures in Global and National Commerce Act (“ESIGN”) which made electronic signatures legal and binding.  Electronic signatures and the advantages they hold over wet signatures which will be explained in detail during this seminar.  Further, there are many electronic signature services for lawyers to consider, almost all of which offer free trials.  We’ll demonstrate several options including DocuSign and Adobe Sign so you can see how they work start-to-finish.  Ultimately, electronic signatures are an essential piece of technology that nearly all law offices would benefit from, particularly considering that the days of everyone sitting around a table to sign documents may become a permanent relic of the past.

  • Electronic Document Management for Lawyers

    Imagine if you could electronically organize and store all documents (including electronic documents created in-house, documents your office has received, faxes, e-mail, and attachments) in a client/matter-centric manner which is accessible at any time, whether they’re in or out of the office. Imagine further that all of those files could be searched by any imaginable criteria and therefore, nothing could be lost. We’ll show you how to make this a reality in your practice.

  • Efficient Billing and Accounting for a Small Firm

    You may not even like to hear the word accounting; but efficient, accurate accounting is essential to the success of your practice. In this seminar, we’ll explain your legal-specific accounting options, why accounting software is important to your practice, and the inadequacies of generic accounting software like QuickBooks.  Many lawyers either use software for billing only, or use one program for billing and another for the rest of the accounting function which do not share information.  If either circumstance describes your firm, we’ll also discuss why it’s imperative that you use software for your entire accounting function and how to avoid using two programs when you only need one.

  • Microsoft 365 – What Does It Include and Is It Worth It?

    Microsoft 365 offers a compelling combination of local software, document/email management and cloud services. In other words, it’s far more than Word, Outlook and Excel.  Even if you already subscribe to Microsoft 365, there are dozens of extra applications that come with it you could be using (which we’ll explain).  Learn how it works, what it does best, and the different plans available.  You’ll soon see why Microsoft 365 is rapidly taking over the legal market.

  • Time for a New Notebook PC? How To Get What You Need and Avoid Mistakes

    It’s the most important tool a lawyer uses and practices literally rely upon them. However, trying to decide what to buy is more than overwhelming given all of the choices you’re faced with.  Whether you want Windows or Mac, this seminar will teach you what you need to know in order to make informed decisions and buy smart.  Further, it’s no longer necessary to buy and notebook and a tablet when there are some many excellent options that combine the two devices.  You’ll get up-to-the-minute advice on configurations, models and options lawyers should consider.

  • Get The Waste Out of Your Practice - How To Apply Lean Six Sigma Principles to a Law Office

    The business of law isn’t what it used to be. Competition is up and margins are flat. Clients demand value from their lawyers and are willing to shop around to find it.  Lawyers face increasing competition from customary rivals as well as emerging online DIY companies that have commoditized many legal services.  These pressures are forcing lawyers to re-examine their practices and processes.  Lean Six Sigma is a managerial approach that improves performance by eliminating the waste of physical resources, time, effort and talent while assuring that the work is done right the first time.  Waste is defined as anything that doesn’t add value in your client’s eyes (your perception is irrelevant).  In this seminar, you’ll learn how to identify and remove the 8 most common types of waste from your practice.

  • Take the Work Out of Your Workflow - A Case Study

    Edwards Deming famously said, “When a good person meets a bad system, the system always wins.” If you know or suspect that there are some inefficient processes in your office, the first step to improvement is to map out the process in question.   In the legal world, lawyers are rarely responsible for every step of a process.  As a result, there’s often a disconnect between what a lawyer thinks is happening and what is actually happening.  In this seminar, we’ll show you how to map processes and walk you through a real-life example where small adjustments made big differences for a law practice.

  • It's Time For an Upgrade - Much Better Methods for Drafting Complex Documents

    Drafting is a bottleneck and pressure point in almost every law office. Most lawyers draft new documents by finding old documents and modifying them to work for the next case or client.  Frankly, this approach has a high margin of error, it’s slow, and there are superior, alternative methods.  In this seminar, you’ll learn how to find and consolidate the best of your firm’s intellectual capital in a way that increases drafting speed and accuracy.  I’ll lay out the roadmap for professional template-building; and show you the spectrum of automation tools from the amazing things your word processor is already capable of to document assembly applications.  For document-intensive and transactional areas of practice, improved drafting methods directly impact the bottom line and improve client satisfaction.  Prepare to be amazed at the possibilities.

  • Microsoft Teams

    Collaborating has never been easier than with Microsoft Teams! In this webinar, learn how employ Teams to reduce email volume and increase your organization’s efficiency. Whether you’re back in the office, working remotely, or some combination of the two, Teams makes it easier to communicate internally from wherever you are.

  • Document Assembly Technology - What It Can Do For Your Practice and How To Evaluate The Players

    Document assembly (DA) has had a huge impact on the legal world, and it is one of the most disruptive technologies of the last 25 years. If you are in the business of producing complex documents, then its benefits are significant. Properly deployed, DA technology can exponentially decrease drafting time and costs, increase accuracy and profitability, be used as a teaching tool, and shared with others. A commonly held belief is that DA is really only suitable for simple documents produced in high volume.  To the contrary, DA platforms really shine (and provide return on investment) when they’re used to generate extremely time-consuming and complex documents. The value and impact of DA increases proportionately with the complexity of the documents being automated.  However, there are many competing platforms, and the options are difficult to compare against one another. This seminar will help you deal with that reality by providing a checklist of functional criteria to consider when evaluating DA platforms. Like most legal tech categories, there’s no single DA product that is the best option for every situation (vendor claims to the contrary notwithstanding).  If you are trying to choose a platform for your practice or understand the benefits, don’t miss this discussion.

  • Harnessing Technology To Be More Efficient and Avoiding the Multitasking Distraction

    Many lawyers feel the stress of being the chief cook and bottle washer. Often adding to that stress is the relentless march of technology and the ongoing need to learn how to use new software and hardware.  This seminar is about making the technology work for you rather than the other way around.  We’ll discuss technological tools designed to make a lawyer’s life easier and strategies for learning how to use new technology.  We’ll also discuss the research regarding multitasking and how staying focused on one thing at a time can make lawyers far more efficient.

  • Supercharge Word and Outlook with Tips and Add-Ins

    An add-in is a program that can be attached or integrated with Word or Outlook to provide additional functionality. If you’ve ever wished that Word or Outlook could do something they cannot, an add-in probably exists that would provide the desired functionality.  In this seminar, we’ll introduce you to a wide array of add-ins that provide additional security and enhance productivity.

  • Microsoft Word Styles - Word’s Most Powerful Feature Explained

    Microsoft Word combines font and paragraph formatting into something called Styles. Styles are applied to all text whether you want them or not; and the feature cannot be turned off.  Unfortunately, using Word teaches you almost nothing about what Styles are, what they do or how to control them.  This seminar will demystify this subject and show you how to control and customize them.  Be prepared for many “a-ha” moments.

  • Microsoft PowerPoint Power Tips for Legal Users

    PowerPoint’s use in the legal profession, both in and out of the courtroom, has become nearly invaluable. The course specifically focuses on presentations that are unique to lawyers.  The topics contrast starkly with every popular PowerPoint manual on the market today, none of which teaches the features used specifically for the presentation of evidence in the courtroom or how to build a flow chart to explain the benefits of an AB Trust. Just a few of the ways in which PowerPoint can help legal professionals include opening statements and closing arguments in trial, presentations at mediation or arbitration, and presenting complicated legal concepts to clients so they can understand the legal issues involved in their matter.  For judges, more and more are using PowerPoint to introduce rules and protocols in the courtroom, and instructions to the jury.

  • The Evolution of Speech Recognition Software – You Won’t Believe How Good It Has Become

    Lawyers have to draft pleadings and documents, capture time entries in accounting software, respond to emails, and enter case-related information into a file (or case management system). All of those things typically involve a keyboard, and unfortunately, many lawyers just aren’t good typists.  Years ago, it was common for support staff to handle such things.  But today, a high percentage of lawyers have limited or no access to support staff simply due to the cost.  As a result, today’s lawyers have to be far more self-reliant in the generation of work product.  Thankfully, speech recognition technology can resolve these issues.  You talk, and the software types exactly what you’re saying.  This technology can be used for automatic transcription, time entries, and any drafting task without ever touching the keyboard.  Speech recognition has definitely arrived, and this seminar shows you how it works and what you need to incorporate it into your practice.  We’ll focus on the popular Dragon Professional software application.

  • ETHICS - How To Discuss Security with Your Clients

    Addressing security within your office is only half the battle! Unfortunately, your clients often don’t know how to protect their own data and security is definitely a team sport. Therefore, it’s important to educate your clients about proper security processes and make sure they are okay with the risks associated with electronic communication and storage (if you intend to use them). Nothing is without risk, but by exercising good practices, you and your client can fully enjoy all the benefits of technology and electronic collaboration. In this session, we’ll discuss your communication and confidentiality duties under Rules of Professional Conduct, security issues you should address in engagement agreements, security measures both you and your clients should employ, client portals, email encryption, virtual private networks and other best practices. Finally, we’ll cover the breach notification laws and how they impact lawyers.

  • ETHICS - Communication Breakdown - It's Always The Same (But It's Avoidable)

    A high percentage of malpractice practice claims and practice management problems are caused by communication breakdowns. Communication problems create dissatisfied clients, decrease productivity, cause conflict internally and externally. The growing number of communication channels only compounds the problem. We’ll explain technologies and techniques that will help you improve communication, lower your stress, improve your service, generate happier clients, and lower your malpractice risk.

  • ETHICS - Security Is Only As Good As the Weakest Link - Legal Tech Security Measures Every Lawyer Must Take

    Rule 1.6 stipulates that a lawyer must make reasonable efforts to prevent the disclosure of confidential client information. The comments to Rule 1.6 require lawyers to act competently to safeguard client information, and use reasonable safety precautions when transmitting a client communication. The exact meanings of “reasonable efforts,” “act competently” and “reasonable precautions” may be subject to debate.  However, doing nothing certainly won’t meet the standard.  The good news is that you don’t have to be a security expert or techie to protect yourself and your office. Learn how to cover all the bases of computer, smartphone, tablet, email, wireless and document encryption.  We’ll also cover the fundamentals of backing up your electronic data.  Half of the battle is simply knowing what questions to ask and it’s not nearly as complicated as it sounds.  Establish best practices in your office and discover the inexpensive or free tools that will make sure your confidential information remains confidential.

  • ETHICS - How To Protect Yourself and Preserve Confidentiality When Negotiating Instruments

    Opposing lawyers routinely email versions of a document back and forth during the negotiation process; and many instruments are never reduced to paper until they’re ready to sign. This approach is unquestionably fast and convenient compared to mailing or faxing paper documents. However, electronic document exchange presents many issues that practitioners need to be aware of and risks to protect against.  In this seminar, you’ll learn when it’s appropriate to use word processor files and when it’s appropriate to use PDFs.  We’ll cover how to track your changes in a document and how to ascertain what changes were made by others (even if there are attempts to conceal those changes).  You’ll also learn how to add comments and annotations to Word or PDF files, how to lock documents down to prevent further changes, and how to avoid including hidden (and potentially damaging) information in the files you’re working with (this hidden information is known as metadata).  Finally, using plain email arguably affords you no reasonable expectation of privacy.  We’ll also discuss your email encryption options which ensure that only the intended recipient can open your emails and/or attachments thereto.

  • ETHICS - Avoiding Malpractice: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Legal Technology

    Legal technology is a double-edged sword in that it can cause malpractice or it can guard against it. Learn how to avoid common mistakes while using technology to your advantage by building malpractice avoidance procedures into your workflow. There is no prerequisite level of technical acumen necessary to understand these concepts, and almost all of them will improve your office’s overall efficiency, level of client service and profitability. Most of the top causes for malpractice and grievance issues are related to organization, communication and law office management. As such, they are largely preventable.

  • ETHICS - Talking To Your Clients About Secure Communication and Protecting Data

    Rule of Professional Conduct 4-1.6 requires lawyers communicate confidentially with clients and maintain their information in the same manner. However, it is much more difficult to keep data and communications confidential when they’re both electronic (instead of analog).  Further, clients often don’t know how to protect their own information and/or may not be comfortable with their data being transmitted through or stored on the Internet.  In this seminar, we’ll explain how to meet your ethical duties in a digital world, and help ensure your client information remains confidential.

Two-Hour Sessions

  • Formatting Appellate Briefs & Microsoft Word Master Class

    One of the most difficult technical tasks one can undertake is formatting a complex brief in Microsoft Word that has a title page, table of contents, table of authorities, multi-level paragraph numbering, and page numbering that starts over in the middle of the document and switches formats (for example, Romanettes to Arabic). It takes 8 hours to learn how to build such a document from scratch, but only an hour to learn how to use a pre-built, customizable template.  In this seminar, you’ll be able to download our customizable template and follow along on your own computer as we demonstrate how to use the built-in formatting tools.  We’ll also show you how to easily customize it for any font, point size or paragraph alignment you may want.  The heavy lifting is already done, and if you use this template as the starting point for your next brief, you’ll shave many hours off the process because the formatting will just work.

  • Inbox Ninja - Using Outlook To Organize & Manage High Volume Email OR Email Is Killing Me

    Lawyers and staff are generally drowning in email and many feel helpless when trying to get it under control. This seminar will show you how to use all of Microsoft Outlook’s feature set to efficiently store, organize email (and attachments), and successfully deal with high email volume. We’ll also show you how to fix Outlook’s default settings for email, calendar, contacts and tasks.  Finally, we’ll explain many amazing and useful Outlook features which most users don’t even know are there.

  • Buried in Paper? Sure-Fire Roadmap For a Paper-Reduced Law Office

    Every law office has a scanner but most are still buried in paper.  That is because the tools for scanning are only part of the solution.  To really solve the problem, you need mobile hardware, collaborative technology for sharing electronic documents outside of email, specialized search software, rules to follow, and an electronic filing system to hold it all.  This seminar lays out the roadmap to follow if you want to unbury yourself, from hardware to software to procedures.  To be clear, we’re not talking about paperless, we’re talking about less paper.  Getting there is neither complicated nor expensive. Learn how to liberate yourself and your office from the paper crush.

  • Using Word's Built-In Features To Create Fillable Forms and Templates

    Forms are the lifeblood of many practice areas, but simply repurposing documents previously drafted for other clients is slow and tedious. However, Microsoft Word contains many features that allow you to create and automate  In this seminar, you’ll learn how to use AutoText, macros, fill-in fields, Mail Merge, Merge fields (without using Mail Merge), and content control fields.  In this seminar, we’re going to focus on plain Merge fields as a means of automating your templates.  Once you know the rules, they’re easy to set up; and it’s one of the tools that works exactly the same in Word for Windows and Word for Mac.  With Merge fields, you can enter data once (like the client’s name) and have it automatically insert it everywhere necessary in a document.  Your templates can automatically calculate and insert pronouns, handle verb conjugation and even include or exclude whole clauses based upon a test or condition.  Best of all, this functionality is free and built into Word.  All you need to do is learn how to take advantage of it!

Three-Hour Programs

  • Microsoft Word Power Tips for Legal Users

    Due to the complex formatting often required with legal documents, most users find Microsoft Word to be a constant source of frustration. It’s the primary tool used to produce work product, yet many feel it works against them.  Adding to the frustration is the fact that most of the techniques and features necessary to control complex formatting are simply concealed.  Using Word and “clicking around” provides little improvement and no insight.  This seminar is specifically designed to address those realities.  We’ll show you exactly how to fix the common legal drafting problems plaguing you now and avoid them in the future.  You’ll learn dozens of tips and techniques you can put into practice immediately.  Even if you feel you have Word under control, we guarantee you will learn new things about Word throughout this class.

  • A Lawyer's Guide to PDF Files

    You probably noticed that PDF files are everywhere. They are the file format of choice when trading documents with other lawyers and clients.  Many courts now require that all pleadings be filed as PDFs; most governmental forms are only available in PDF format; and if you want to reduce paper in your office, then PDFs are front and center.  Because of their prevalence, everyone in your office needs to understand the risks and benefits of PDF files.  Regardless of the PDF program you use, this seminar will show you the appropriate uses of PDFs.  We’ll cover extremely important topics such as redaction, metadata removal and electronic document security, Bates Numbering, splitting/combining PDFs, reducing file-size for electronic case filing, review/comment and PDF collaboration, adding signatures & stamps, routing PDFs for comments/feedback, and more. Finally, we’ll identify the programs you can use for all of these functions (you are not limited to Adobe Acrobat) and explain their relative pros and cons.

  • Microsoft Excel for Legal Users

    If you have Microsoft Office, then you have Excel. However, if you are like most lawyers, you’re either underutilizing Excel or not using it at all.  In this seminar, we start with the basics and work our way up from there.  You’ll learn powerful ways that Excel can improve your work product and make your life easier. Produce flawless fiduciary accountings, amortization schedules, real estate closing statements, disbursement schedules, medical bill summaries, and graphical representations of data (pie charts, bar graphs, etc.).  You’ll also learn how to use Excel as a list manager and data source for mail merge functions (quickly creating hundreds of letters or labels in Word from a list of names and addresses in Excel).  We’ll also cover many useful formulas for use with dates, numbers, text and logic (IF THEN).

  • Starting a New Firm - What You Need To Know

    Launching a new firm can simultaneously be the most thrilling and scary thing you’ve ever done. The scary part is the unknown and that’s exactly what this seminar attempts to eliminate.  You’ll get a prioritized checklist of everything that should be on your radar from hardware to software to services; and recommendations on everything from printers to scanners to backup systems to office phone systems.

  • A Legal Professional’s Guide to Electronic File Management, Paper Reduction and PDF Files

    Nearly every law office has scanners and some means of storing electronic files.  In spite of that, lawyers often complain of being buried in paper and unable to find the documents they’re looking for.  If your office is dealing with those issues, this seminar will explain how to resolve them.  The future of efficient client file management doesn’t involve banker’s boxes and file rooms.  However, we’re not talking about a paperless office; we’re talking about having less paper.  We’ll explain multiple methods for creating electronic filing systems (one size doesn’t fit all); the technology you’ll need; and demonstrate how it all works.  The second half of the seminar deals with PDF files.  As you may have noticed, PDFs are everywhere in legal practices.  They’re used for trading documents with clients and other lawyers, electronic case filing, forms, and paper reduction systems (among other things).  However, there are risks associated with PDFs, and mistakes can be costly.  We’ll cover the skills legal users need regardless of the PDF program used – such as PDF redaction, Bates numbering, and locking PDFs to prevent editing.  Finally, we assume no preexisting knowledge about law office technology or PDFs – so everyone will be able to follow along regardless of where they are on the technology spectrum.

  • Legal Technology for Senior Lawyers

    Part I – In 2012, the American Bar Association amended the Model Rules of Professional Conduct (“ROPC”) to address technology issues. As of today, 38 states have adopted at least some of those changes.  Among other things, the italicized language was added to Rule 1.1, Comment 8: “To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology…”  Further, Rule 1.6(c) was added which states that “[a] lawyer shall make reasonable efforts to prevent the inadvertent or unauthorized disclosure of or unauthorized access to information related to the representation of a client.”  As we all know, digital client data is much harder to protect from unauthorized disclosure than the analog (paper-based) data it is replacing.  The cold reality is that it’s nearly impossible to practice law today without directly using technology.  For many in the generation of lawyers who didn’t grow up with technology, the new tools and procedures being thrust upon us are a constant source of discomfort and irritation.  What does a senior lawyer need to know about the ethics rules changes, and how do we uphold our supervisory obligations under ROPC 5.1 and 5.3?  What (simple and inexpensive) tools are available to help lawyers discharge their duty to use “reasonable efforts” to protect client data?  How can a lawyer (who may not consider him/herself to be tech savvy) learn to be more self-reliant and confident about the technology tools we simply cannot avoid while practicing law?  In this segment, we’ll answer all of those questions and more.

    Part II Don’t expect web meetings (Zoom, GoToMeeting, Microsoft Teams, etc.) to go away any time soon, regardless of whether COVID-19 ever gets under control. More importantly, how does one participate in Zoom meetings without worrying about embarrassment or tech problems?  In this segment, we’ll focus on Zoom and explain how the technology works, what you need to know, and what simple things you can do to upgrade your web meeting game.  We’ll give you very specific recommendations for things you probably never thought you’d need to know in order to practice law such as web cameras, backdrops, microphones and better lighting options.  We’ll explain how virtual backgrounds work, the benefit of a “green screen,” and how to get the “computer audio” options to work for you.

Full-Day Program: Microsoft Word Academy for Legal Professionals

  • Class Description

    For most law offices, Microsoft Word is the core production tool used to create work product.  Further, legal users require more from Word than almost any other profession because the documents we produce are necessarily complex. Unfortunately, most legal users find Word frustrating.  Getting documents to look the way they want is often described as a “wrestling match” where they have to try and “outsmart the program.”  Some advanced features like automatic paragraph numbering, tables of contents, and tables of authority can seem completely inaccessible.

    The good news is that once you understand how Word works, it is completely controllable.  Issues like “how do I fix this mess?” can be avoided before they occur.  The main problem with Word is that using it doesn’t teach you how to control it.  Practice makes perfect in everything except using Word because most of what you need to know is concealed.

    If you’re sick of the struggle, this class is designed by a lawyer for legal users (lawyers or staff) to master and control Word.  Imagine if you spent all of your time creating content and none of it fighting the program!  If it were easy, everyone would already understand it.  If you’re an occasional word processor and don’t deal with formatting more complicated that bold, italic or underline, then this isn’t your class.  If you’ve been through the battles and have experience with Word in the trenches, then this is how to get your Master’s Degree in Word.

  • Who Should Attend

    Any lawyer or support staff who wants to conquer Word.  Even if you feel you’re already a Word expert, you’ll learn a lot.

  • Logistical Details

    Bring Your Notebook Computer:  We’ll make the sample files we use in the exercises available in advance as a download so you can follow along with the exercises in class.

    What Version of Word Will Be Taught:  The class will be taught in Word for Windows 365.  However, the manual you will receive as part of the class materials covers Word 2013, 2016, 2019, 2021, and 365.  Word for Mac 2019/365 manuals are also available for download.

  • Topical Outline
    • Customize and Fix Word’s Defaults for a Law Office: Word’s default settings are annoying and inappropriate for a law office.  Learn to customize Word’s interface, fix its programmatical settings and install your preferred legal formatting as Word’s default formatting.
    • Navigate and Edit Complex Legal Documents: The best tips and techniques for quick and precise editing; copy text into your document without wrecking the formatting; advanced search techniques; producing a redline by comparing documents; tracking changes as you edit; and how to avoid metadata when negotiating documents electronically.
    • Proofing: How to use and customize Word’s spell checker, thesaurus, grammar checker and AutoCorrect features.  We’ll explain how to make proactive use of AutoCorrect and get it to stop annoying things like automatically converting (c) to ©.
    • Automate Legal Drafting With Macros and AutoText Clause Libraries: Rapidly assemble legal documents using clause libraries you can build and share with others in your office.  Condense complicated procedures into single speed-keys or buttons by using Macros.
    • Why Word Does Not Have Reveal Codes and Other Architectural Secrets of Word Formatting: Lawyers often have to work with Word documents which seem to defy attempts to edit them.  We’ll teach you how to deal with those situations.  Word’s three categories of formatting are explained and differentiated; learn to get unruly text under control, and how to easily spread formatting you like to other text or documents.  Importantly, we’ll explain how to identify and alter any document’s default formatting rather than simply layering more direct formatting on top.
    • Font and Typeface Control: The correct way to change the font for an entire document (hint, it’s not the way 99% of users do it); working with symbols; non-breaking spaces and hyphens.
    • Paragraph Formatting Control: How to master paragraph formatting and alignment (tabs and indents); holding paragraphs together and lines of a paragraph together to avoid awkward page breaks; proper way to build signature lines; tab leaders; line and paragraph spacing.
    • Automatic Paragraph Numbering: How to get single and multi-level auto paragraph numbering to do exactly what you want in up to 9-level-deep outlines.  You should never have to waste time manually renumbering paragraph numbers again.
    • Headers, Footers and Page Numbering: Learn to control Word’s header/footer feature.  Plus, how to insert page numbers in any format, turn it on and off, start it over anywhere in the document, and change formats (i.e., from Arabic to Romanettes).
    • Introduction to Styles – The Most Important Feature of Word: Master styles and you master Word, but using Word teaches you nothing about Styles.  You’ll learn how they work, what they do and how you can use them to your advantage to control all font and paragraph formatting, including automatic paragraph numbers and autoupdating cross-references to other paragraph numbers.
    • Fix Any Document No Matter How Bad It Is: Every Word user has been forced to work with a document which cannot be described as anything other than a total mess.  In this segment, we’ll go through the progression of deconstructing and re-building any document from pitiful to perfect.
    • Tables of Contents and Tables of Authority: Neither of these should ever be typed because they can be generated automatically from your documents.  Learn how to set up your documents so that both of these complex tables are two clicks away.