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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It is now a cliché to note that we have more computing power in our mobile phones than NASA had at its disposal during the moon missions. Today we’ll discuss harnessing one bit of that power with scanning apps. Suppose you are visiting with a client outside of your office and the client shows you an important document. You need the document for the client file, but you hate to take the only document with you when you don’t have the physical client file to keep it in. Hopefully this example points out how every lawyer should be able to…
The Oklahoma Bar Association has a new digital publication called Courts & More. It is sent to OBA members and features links to the recent Oklahoma appellate court opinions and other Oklahoma legal news. I write a practice management feature for that publication and will republish it here the week after it goes out to OBA members. Every law firm needs the ability to securely share information electronically with clients. Email is not a secure communication tool. Every law firm also should have a goal of providing superior client service. Providing your clients a secure location to log-in to review…
I added a new category of posts to my blog for occasionally called Words of Wisdom. After doing daily tips since the pandemic began in March 2020, it’s time to focus on  longer blog posts and directing readers to some longer essays in 2021. The first one was Clio CEO Jack Newton’s essay on The Future of Law: A New Vision for Legal. Now I’m directing readers to an essay on building trust written by George P. Shultz on the occasion of his 100th birthday. Lawyers are in the trust business. If our clients do not trust our judgment,…
For the next few weeks, I’ll be passing along what I am calling Words of Wisdom. Some of these will be longer reads, although not this one. We at the Oklahoma Bar Association were so thrilled that Clio was a sponsor of our 2020 OBA virtual Annual Meeting last month and Jack Newton gave a presentation based on his book The Client-Centered Law Firm: How to Succeed in an Experience-Driven World. His presentation was very well-attended. Jack’s observations are important and useful. So for today’s wisdom, read his short post The Future of Law: A New Vision for Legal.…
I haven’t promoted many of the traditional 2020 “year in review” roundups. Perhaps it is because we have all disliked 2020 so much and I just want to have 2020 over and done. But some of my favorite legal tech journalists have been hosting regular video roundups this year and the discussions have been very interesting. If you haven’t seen any of these, then Legaltech Journalists Pick the Top Stories of 2020 is a great one for you to watch. I’ve known some of these participants for decades. For those in my field of work, the need for objective legal…
As regular readers of this blog know know, Sharon Nelson and OBA MAP Director Jim Calloway host a monthly podcast, The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology. For our final podcast of 2020, we decided to forgo having a guest and instead have a discussion of the many changes occurring in our profession, both Covid and non-Covid-related. From changing ideas about how many square feet a law firm needs to occupy to the future of lawyer-client video conferencing to technology tools that actually deliver legal services, there is a lot to discuss and frequent listeners will know Sharon and I never…
The idea that Google would run out of storage for its many premium services is unbelievable. Google did not run out of storage, but a misconfiguration which limited storage access did knock out many services from the Gmail app to YouTube offline for about 45 minutes. My colleague Sharon Nelson covered all of the important facts in her Ride the Lightning Blog post Google Global Outage Caused by Critical System Running Out of Storage. A 45-minute outage can seem like an eternity when you are working on a deadline. But you know what might have been even worse than…
For an end-of-year feature the ABA Law Practice Division Legal Technology Resource Center (LTRC) asked several panelists from the editorial team to reflect on their 2020 technology experience and what changes they have experienced. The group included Oklahoma Bar Association Practice Management Advisor Julie Bays, Dennis Kennedy, Alexander Paykin, Lance Johnson and Sofia Lingos. The feature is called LTRC Roundtable: The 2020 Technology Experience.…
Unfortunately, few people see an advertisement on a website and click on the ad to see more about the product or service. And by “few” I mean not enough to make that online advertising effective. So advertisers soon began to rely on popup ads that site visitors could not ignore because they at least had to click on the little X in the upper corner to close the ad. Of course, some didn’t like that and soon there were popup ad blockers. Usually these were added as a browser extension. Websites fought back with anti-popup blocker technology. These came in…
For many lawyers, 2020 upended their marketing plans, with industry conferences, customer events and other marketing opportunities cancelled. Who would have predicted that even offering to buy a prospect lunch would become impossible this year? Micah Buchdahl is an attorney whose company HTMLawyers works with law firms on marketing and business development. He is also past chair of the ABA Law Practice Division, the only past chair who came from a legal marketing background if memory serves. I note his credentials because his recent post What Does Your 2021 Marketing Plan & Budget Look Like? contains a wealth of great…
Making predictions about the future can be useful and entertaining. Although I certainly hope no one in 2019 making predictions about 2020 made any large wagers on being correct. Law Practice Today is an ezine published by the ABA Law Practice Division. Anyone can subscribe for free. This set of predictions, , is really top notch because of the talented group of people the ezine has assembled who have very different perspectives on the legal professional and work in many different settings. They include several people I have worked with on various ABA projects like former Law Practice Magazine Editor-in-Chief…
Working from home was a big pandemic-related development this year. But the American Bar Association has previously noted that: “Lawyers who continue to provide legal services in the area affected by a disaster have the same ethical obligations to their clients as before the disaster, although they may be able to provide advice outside their normal area of expertise.” ABA Formal Opinion 482 (Although I do note that language was drafted pre-pandemic and assumed an area or region would be impacted rather than the entire planet.) This week the ABA issued Formal Opinion 495 on Lawyers Working Remotely. However,…
Office 365 users can develop automation tools with Power Automate. This tool used to be called Microsoft Flow and the training materials still reference flows. But this is not a beginner level exercise. Microsoft has provided some videos to help you get started and is hosting a user forum at Microsoft’s Power Automate Desktop getting started videos and community forum. Even if you are not ready to attempt this just yet, the first two videos on basics and creating your first flow may be instructive just so you know what is available.…
Ah, the Windows Update! The magical time in our lives when we get more features at the price of familiar things being moved around, if not eliminated. So, the most recent update moved my Outlook search bar. This likely happened to most of us. At first there was a moment of panic because, let’s face it; unless you regularly stay within 50 emails of Inbox Zero, using search in your Outlook Inbox is something you do more than once a day. But Outlook search was not killed, it was just moved to the very top of the screen in that…
I am not judging, but I see a lot of lawyers making some elementary videoconferencing mistakes. If you are talking with a client or on behalf of a client, you want to look your best. How to Look Better on Zoom (and Other Video-Calling Apps) is really a nice basic training on videoconferencing. Recently I was in a Zoom meeting with a few dozen people. One was a colleague from another state I’ve been in several such conferences with recently. Afterwards, I texted her “OK, don’t take this the wrong way, but you really looked nice today.” She quickly texted…