My Shingle

Plug & Play Technology Solutions for Solo and Small Firm Lawyers

by Carolyn Elefant on November 11, 2010 · 2 comments

in Solo Practice Trends, Tech & Web, Tech Resources

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Though I’m fascinated with the idea of technology, the nuts and bolts of what to use and how to choose bore the living daylights out me!  Honestly, I have no interest in all of the bells and whistles of a particular tech tool; I just want to know it works in a law practice like mine.  That’s why I’m most drawn to articles where real lawyers describe the suite of technology tools that they use in their law firms – because they describe solutions that I can simply plug and play.

A round-up of blog posts and articles where real lawyers share their technology solutions follows after the jump.  If you’re a solo, paralegal or legal virtual assistant inspired by these “tech bios”, I invite you to  cut and paste the survey questions below, add your response and a photo (preferably of you, but if not, then your firm logo) and email it to me at elefant@myshingle.com by November 19 and  I’ll publish the responses with a link to your website.Lee Rosen, DivorceDiscourse.com (mostly low cost tech tools used in Lee’s family law practice)

Ernie Svenson, ErnietheAttorney.net (comprehensive article on Ernie’s hardware and software choices for his firm)

Steph Kimbro, Virtual Law Practice (online tech tools that facilitate a virtual law practice)

Mark Dobin, Dobinlaw.com (tech tools used by a recent start-up solo)

Kristopher Nelson, Impropria Persona (top free tech tools for law firms and small businesses)

Lisa Solomon, Question of Law (technology for a contract lawyering practice)

MyShingle.com (tech tools used to support the site)

What Solos are Using to Run Their Practices (23 different technology categories, reflecting results of this reader survey – fill it out!)

As promised, now it’s your turn.  Below are the questions to cut and paste into an email (to elefant@myshingle.com) along with a photo of you or your firm logo.

1.  Name, name of firm, location and practice areas.

2.  Name 3 to 5 of the most important or frequently used software (desktop or cloud) products in your practice and describe, briefly, how you use them?

3.  What’s your favorite tech tool under $100?

4.  Name on favorite app for phone or ipad.

5.  What do you use for legal research?

6.  And…off tech…what’s the neatest and/or most useful piece of non-tech swag that you keep on your desk or in your briefcase?

And just to get you started, here are my responses:

1.  Name, name of firm and location and practice areas.

Carolyn Elefant, Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant, Washington D.C., energy regulatory, emerging renewables, federal siting and eminent domain, appeals and select federal litigation.

2.  Name 3 to 5 of the most important or frequently used tech equipment or software (desktop or cloud) products in your practice and describe, briefly, how you use them?

Adobe Pro (my workhorse, used for court filings and appellate appendices, ebook preparation, editing and marking up everything from book galleys to 1000 page utility filings or reports).

Freshbooks, my favorite for invoices.

Dropbox for synching files between my laptop and ipad; also Box.net for client portal and searchable document storage.

Fujistsu Snapscan (effectively functions as a scanner, fax and copy machine)

3.  What’s your favorite tech product or service under $100?

Google Voice (free), also GoogleMaps and GoogleEarth (I’ve won a couple of siting cases based on information in GoogleMaps and GoogleEarth. They are really leveling the playing field in siting cases, no pun intended).

4.  Name on favorite app for phone or ipad.

I love my New York Times and New Yorker magazine on the ipad, and Fastcase on the iphone, as well as squareup.com, nifty app for accepting credit cards.

5.  What do you use for legal research?

Lexis (energy library + Lexcite) as main service ($165/month) combined with Google Legal and Jenkins Law Library (for HeinOnLine journal access)

6.  And…off tech…what’s the neatest and/or most useful piece of non-tech swag that you keep on your desk or in your briefcase?

An ordinary, multi-outlet extension cord (I’ve made lots of friends with it at Panera; never leave home without it) and my Buckyballs.

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  • http://twitter.com/jiahkim Jiah Kim

    I am also curious what to-do lists lawyers use. I switched from iphone to android, and my favorite to-do list was not available in android market. That has been a big task for me to find the new fave…

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