148 FREE Tools & Resources to Start, Operate and Grow Your Law Firm

HOW CAN I START  A LAW FIRM WITH NO MONEY?

Back when I first considered starting my law firm nearly 25 years ago, I attended a bar-sponsored event where the speaker advised us that we’d need at least $30,000 on hand to get a law firm up and running, what with the need to find office space, hire a paralegal and receptionist and cover the cost of legal research  That price tag nearly dashed my plan to start a firm. Fast forward to today - and technology has either substantially reduced many of the startup costs that once existed (such as legal research, word processing tools and marketing) or replaced the need for staff with automation, online scheduling tools, and more.  Moreover, many of the tools available today - AI applications, graphic design, online video and more, far exceed the capability of what was available even a decade ago.

In short, there’s never been a time in the history of the legal profession to start a law firm.

All you need is a law degree and a vision for what you want to build.  Most of the tools you need to implement that vision for your law firm won’t cost a penny and are all conveniently curated here, courtesy of MyShingle.com.

Tech changes in a heartbeat.

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Make A Plan

Business Plans

Create A Website

Website Plug-ins & Add-Ons

IntroBar  - craft offers to people based on where they came from

Hello Bar - a navigation bar to help convert traffic

Share This  - Share social media posts

Click to Tweet - tweet links to posts

Tawk.io  - Monitor & chat with customers  on a website

Zoho Sales IQ  - free live chat

 

Website Privacy Policies

Termly.com -  free terms of service generator

Privacy Policy & GDPR terms

Terms Feed - generates privacy policy & contract terms

 TOSDR.com - a quick mechanism to review TOS for websites

Terms & Conditions Sample - generates sample TOS

 

Web Insight & Quality Control

Deadlink Checker - checks websites for deadlinks

Google Analytics - reports on site analytics

 Google Page Speed - learn how quickly your page loads web speed

Readable.io - tests the readability of content (free initially, then $4.00/month)

Graphics & Design

Logos, Graphics & Editors

Logo Makr - design your own logo

Wix Logo Maker

PicMonkey.com - create logos + edit photos

Canva.com - create logos, graphics for business cards & stationary and other DIY design

Keep Calm & Carry On Creator - a fun tool

Wordle.net - create colorful word clouds from text

Luna Pic - quick photo editor - customize colors, crop, change size and apply a range of editing tools

Pablo  - image editor

 

Fonts

Canva Font Combos - test how fonts get along together

Font Squirrel

Google Fonts

What the Font - discover what fonts a website is using

 

Photos & Icons

Flat Icon - thousands of free icons

Icon Finder - search for free social media icons

FreePik  - free graphic images for everyone

Giphy.com - search for free GIFs

FreeNatureStock.com - free nature photos

PixaBay - stunning free images

 StreetWill.co - high resolution images and vintage photos

Unsplash.com -10 free photos/day

Client Intake

Surveys & Forms

Typeform.com  - beautiful and customizable  forms

Wufoo.com - variety of free forms and surveys

Google Forms - basic, customizable forms and surveys

 

Scheduling

Appointy.com

Calendly.com - schedule meetings or calls with clients or colleagues

Acuity Scheduling - supports scheduling, including paid consults and meetings

 

Signing Engagement Agreements

Hello Sign

Docusign - ($10/month)

Digisigner.com

 

Client Welcome Package

Template for Client Welcome Pack  - create a client welcome kit

Law Office Operations

Billing & Invoicing

Clockify Me - time tracker and timesheet app for teams

Toggl.com - Basic timekeeping plan free

Time Tracker - free timekeeping; additional fee for invoices

Time Camp - free timekeeping with fee for billing

Wave - (free accounting & invoicing

Get Harvest - billing & invoicing

Expensify - prepare expense reports free

 

Payment Systems  

Tools for accepting online payments

Paypal.com

Square Up

Stripe.com

 

 Word Processing/Document Creation

Google Docs - Google’s word processing program

MSWord online - limited version of Microsoft Word online

Open Office - oldest open source word processing programs

Libre Office

PDF Escape - free PDF editor and converter

 

 Communications

Free Conference Call - free conference calls and webinars

Zoom - conference calling and webinars

Google Voice - free phone number and voicemail

 

Scanning Apps

CamScanner - Turn your phone into a scanner

Tiny Scanner - free scanning app

 

Efax

Believe it or not, some courts and banks will only accept documents via fax.

Got Free Fax

Fax Zero

 

Document & Note Storage

Box.net  - up to 10 GB storage free

Dropbox - up to 2 GB storage free

Evernote - store notes, website links and more

Google Keep  - store reminders, notes and voice memos

 

 Document Assembly

FormTool - basic version of Word-based form creation tool

DocAssemble.com - free open-source expert system for client interviews and document assembly

FormSwift  - create and edit documents

 

Project & Practice Management

G Suite  - suite of tools to run an office, including calendaring, email domains, shared documents and storage

Airtable.com -Free spreadsheet and data table management tool

FreedCamp </A> Free project management tool

Trello - Online collaboration and management tool

Slack  - interoffice work projects and communications.

 

AI Assistants

Evie.ai - AI-based scheduling assistant

X.AI - ($8/mont) AI for scheduling meetings

 

Email Management

Boomerang  - email scheduling

 Mailtrack.com - email tracker

 

Chatbots

Snatchbot

Engati

Hub Spot Chatbot - free chatbot builder

 

Policies & Procedures

FormSwift - free employee handbooks

Process.St - Manage team tools & procedures

 

Security

1 Password - remembers all passwords starting at $2.99/month

LastPass.com -  password storage & digital vault with free basic plan

HotShield.com - VPN (virtual private network)

Tunnel Bear – VPN

Veracrypt - data encryption for all operating systems

File Vault  - encryption built into Mac

Bitlocker  - encryption for windows

SendInc.com  - free email encryption

Hushmail.com  - free secure email

Research Resources

Cases, Laws & Regulations

 Fastcase App - free research app (full service often free through most bar associations)

Google Scholar - caselaw and law review articles

Casetext - caselaw and statutes (CARA AI research not part of free service)

Justia.com - caselaw and federal and state statutes; also free PACER search

SSRN - law review articles, paper & other scholarship

Lex Blog  - searchable legal blogpost database

e-CFR - Code of Federal Regulations, up to date

Federal Register

GovTrack.com -track federal legislation & bills

MuniCode  - municipal codes online

 

 Form Contracts

LawInsider - extensive and searchable database of contracts culled from SEC filings

ContractStandards.com - large library of contract clauses with explanations

DocTailor  - create smart contracts on blockchain

Stripe Atlas - suite of free forms to start internet business

 Orrick Term Sheet -Term Sheets and StartUp Forms  term sheet and statup forms

WSGR Forms

 

Marketing Tools

CRM (Customer Relations Management)

Zoho  - basic CRM suite

Hubspost CRM - robust CRM suite

Streak  - plugin for CRM to manage leads from Gmail

CRM for law firms

 

Business Cards

 4 Over 4 -Free business cards

VistaPrint - 500 cards for $9.99

 

Newsletters

Mailchimp.com  - up to 500 subscribers free

Tiny Letter.com  -  short email newsletter

GetRevue.com  - curated newsletter

 

Webinars

Facebook Live  - live & recorded presentations

Zoom  - free webinar platform

Join Me - screen sharing and small web meetings

 

Video

OBS Project  - free software for video recording and live-streaming

Soapbox - record and edit video presentations through the Chrome browswer

Biteable.com  - free explainer videos

 

Online Teaching

Create mini-courses for clients or DIY CLE

Thinkific  - basic teaching platform

Udemy - create and upload courses

 

Free Publishing Platforms

Medium.com - free blogging

JD Supra - post articles and other content

Slideshare - upload, share and embed slide presentations

 

 Online Indexes & Directories

Google My Business - post updates and showcase information about firm

Avvo  - lawyer listing directory and reviews

Justia.com - lawyer directory

 

Free ebook creators

Beacon.by  - create ebooks

Canva - use Canva for ebook templates

 

Press

PR.com

 Issue Wire  - press releases

PR Log  - press releases

Help A Reporter - respond to inquiries from journalists

© 2018 Carolyn Elefant and MyShingle.com