Law Practice Tips

Jim Calloway is the Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association’s Management Assistance Program. I served as co-chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2005 and the first two GPSSF National Solo and Small Firm Conferences in 2006 and 2007. I frequently write and speak on legal technology issues, Internet research, law office management and organization and legal ethics. I make several dozen presentations per year to county bar meetings and other CLE events within Oklahoma.

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Latest from Law Practice Tips

Do you practice People Law? There has long been a perceived difference between large law firm practice and small law firm practice. But, in my view, the major difference is not the size of the law firm, but the type of clients primarily served. Those who study the data of law practice have noted that the practice of People Law, helping individuals with their personal legal matters, is now so different from business and corporate law that it is becoming a completely different legal business. This impacts everything from marketing to operations to the material you share with clients. One…
Known nationwide for her technology and legal management expertise, Natalie Kelly has recently brought her skills to the Southern Poverty Law Center to help them modernize their legal department operations. Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk with Natalie about her new role and the work done by the center to advance civil rights and racial justice. Natalie discusses the technology used to help the center refresh its operations, highlights her focus on promoting collaboration, and gives an overview of how the center’s practice areas work to advance human rights. Check out our Digital Edge podcast The Southern Poverty Law Center:
Sometimes adding a signature to a document before you print it is a big timesaver. Many lawyers have scanned their signature and added it to their email signature as an image so they can “sign” their emails with their own handwriting. But you can also do that with a Microsoft Word document. Even if you do not use it frequently, setting up Word so you can insert your signature as needed is a tool you need to have at your disposal. The instructions to do this are contained in this article, How to add a signature in a Microsoft Word
Ransomware and other online attacks have been in the news recently, from shutting down the Colonial Penn pipeline to schools, hospitals, and a meat processing company. FBI Director Christopher Wray has asked victims not to pay ransoms. But the cybercriminals now have a new threat. If the ransom is not paid, in addition to not decrypting the victim’s files, the new threat is all the stolen data will be posted to the dark web for other bad actors to view and download. That should terrify every lawyer. In addition to client’s phone numbers and email addresses being shared, the idea…
Recently Attorney at Work published my feature Client Portals: A Must-Have Service for Today’s Law Firms. After I covered this subject at virtual ABA TECHSHOW 2021, they reached out to me to write this feature. If you have not yet read it, I strongly encourage you to do so today. The benefits of providing client portals are numerous and I covered many of them in the post. I assume that many of my blog readers have read it as I frequently encourage lawyers to subscribe to AttorneyAtWork. In fact, subscribing to AttorneyAtWork is included in my list of…
During the previous year, many people got more Amazon deliveries than ever before. But on June 8 Amazon stealthily delivered something to you that you should reject. If you use Alexa, Echo or other Amazon devices, Amazon just enrolled you in a bandwidth-sharing service called Amazon Sidewalk. While it theoretically could have some benefits to a few, the potential risk is simply not worth it— in my opinion. Simply put, Amazon will share your bandwidth with your neighbor’s devices when it deems it appropriate. So, Amazon will tout white papers saying Sidewalk is secure and tug at your heartstrings about…
Our latest Digital Edge Podcast is 10 Features of Microsoft 365 That Lawyers Love featuring Ben Schorr, senior technical writer at Microsoft. Ben has been involved with technology for lawyers for years, having previously served on ABA TECHSHOW planning board.  While everyone loves a good Top Ten list, this podcast is really special in that Ben provides a ton of information in a relatively short amount of time. Both Sharon Nelson and I found ourselves taking a few notes during the podcast, including each of us noting that we should have those who work with us listen to this podcast.…
One of the creepiest things about modern technology is shopping for something with your phone and then ads for that product will be displayed on websites you visit and other apps you use for many days following. iPhone users now have a new tool to avoid this type of tracking and many will want to download and install the iOS 14.5 update now, instead of waiting for the automatic update. See iPhone apps are tracking you. Here’s how to stop them in iOS 14.5 from C|Net for more details. Early statistics indicate 95% of users are opting out from being…
Online reviews are growing in importance where legal sector marketing is concerned. In January 2021, I published Responding to a Negative Online Review after an ABA Formal Ethics Opinion on the subject was released. This is a challenging area for lawyers to understand. So if you missed my comments before, here is another opportunity. Today I direct your attention to what I would consider a free advanced course on Google Reviews  posted on YouTube. My counterpart at The State Bar of Wisconsin, Christopher Shattuck, asked me to participate in a virtual program on lawyer networking and marketing. While attending…
Author’s Note: We have, unsurprisingly, heard from more lawyers than usual the previous year about closing a law practice. This post originally appeared as my Law PracticeTips column in the May, 2021 Oklahoma Bar Journal. It will be hosted on our new Closing Your Law Practice page on the OBA Management Assistance Program website, which also includes several related resources, including tips on closing your IOLTA trust account, closing a client’s access to the client portal  and a link to the OBA publication Planning Ahead Guide: Attorney Transition Planning in The Event of Death or Incapacity.. A lawyer’s final duty…
Mary E. Vandenack We enjoyed hosting Mary E. Vandenack,, Founder and Managing Member of Vandenack Weaver LLC, Omaha, Nebraska on the Digital Edge podcast. Her topic was Managing Your Law Firm Through Change. That is something all law firms have dealt with the past year.. But Mary has managed some amazing transitions with her law firm that began far before the pandemic, She has great lessons in bringing an entrepreneurial vision to law firm management and taking advantages of opportunities as they present themselves. Lawyers in smaller law firms that want to grow their practices will be well-served to…
Communication is something we all do every day. Some days we do it better than others. We have all had the experience of making some statement we immediately wish we could take back. Most of us would admit we could invest some time improving our communication skills. Managing your professional communications with clients is a critical skill and business process for lawyers today. We have all heard the truism that the greatest single source of complaints against lawyers is failing to communicate. This used to largely mean failing to return phone calls. But now, as readers are aware, there are…
Would you invest just a few minutes doing something that will save you minutes each workday afterwards? Outlook users can quickly and easily automate several email actions to run sequentially using Quick Steps.. Open an email in Outlook and you see the Quick Steps in the Ribbon at the top. You can use the arrow in the lower right-hand corner to expand the view. There is a Create New command to build new Quick Steps. Here is an example of how this works. There are two other people in my Department, Nickie Day and Julie Bays. I email both frequently.…
So, if your firm wants a better tool for interoffice communication than email should you use Slack or Teams? That was the framework for a presentation “Collaborating: What is the Best Tool?” at ABA TECHSHOW 2021. However, the TECHSHOW planning board asked John E. Grant, the founder of Agile Attorney Consulting and Kenton Brice, Director of Technology Innovation, University of Oklahoma College of Law to do this presentation. These two might have a bit of a reputation for being overachievers. So, they “over-engineered” their paper for the session, in their words. And that benefits you as much…
Many media outlets covered the plight of Stefan Thomas, the man who, as of January 2021, had $250 million worth of bitcoin trapped in his Bitcoin wallet. He secured the keys to the wallet on an IronKey flash drive. I recall in one 60 tips presentation years ago noting the Mission Impossible feature of the IronKey that provides extra security by terminally encrypting the contents of the drive after 10 incorrect password entry attempts. Yes, the data does self-destruct. Mr. Thomas lost the paper with his password written on it and, after a few wrong guesses, now has two password…