Archive for » November, 2009 «

I found this fascinating quote today:

For all the media attention (or hype) that it receives, many lawyers remain cautious, if not skeptical, about the value of Twitter.  Utter such unlikely terms as “retweet,” “twitbin,” or “twitpic” among a group of lawyers at a continuing legal education seminar, for example, and you are likely to get a lot of “sideways” glances.  But, should lawyers”twit that” old-fashioned behavior, and jump on the “tweet deck?” (or some other Twitter app)cyberesq.wordpress.com, Cyber-Esq., Nov 2009

You should read the whole article.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share
Category: Family Law  Tags: , , , ,  Comments off

Running a legal business can be stressful and very expensive. Luckily, there are free online software applications that can help you run your office more efficiently. With these tools, communicate better within your company, offer more services to your clients and create a more professional appearance. While there are many software applications online, we decided to highlight our favorites.

1. Google Docs – Have you ever gone home for the night and needed a file that was on your computer at work? With Google Docs, that headache is eradicated. By storing all your data online, you can access your files in Google docs from any computer. Google Docs gives you the opportunity to create a regular word document, a spreadsheet, a presentation or a form. Think of it as the online equivalent to Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint. The other useful thing about Google Docs? You can share your files with anyone. You can invite other people to simply look at your document, or you can allow them to also make changes. Share memos, update spreadsheets and stay in the loop wherever you may be.

2. Google Calendars – In this industry, deadlines and accuracy are everything. The easiest way to keep track of that is with a Google Calendar. Set up multiple calendars in one screen and select which calendars to view at any given time. Like Google Docs, Google allows you to share your calendars with other people. You can also invite people to certain events. How does this help you? Set up a calendar for just employees with business events, such as meetings. Set up a separate calendar for deadlines for your servers. Set email reminders when pressing deadlines are approaching and you’ll find that everyone is more organized and informed.

3. FreshBooks – Keeping track of your billing is made simple with this online application. A “freemium” service, FreshBooks allows you to try it out for free with a minimal number of clients. There is a monthly fee for any substantial volume, but by trying it free you know what to expect. With FreshBooks, clients can view and pay invoices online, set up automatic payments from their credit cards and receive automatic late payment reminders. FreshBooks also helps you track the time your employees work, stay on budget and be reminded of deadlines. In addition, FreshBooks helps you look like a professional – from being able to brand invoices with your company logo to offering services such as paying invoices online. Manage your company’s finances with ease.

4. AVG Free – Anyone with a computer knows how important it is to make sure it is protected from viruses. One wrong click can install harmful viruses and bugs to your hard drive. A simple way to prevent this (besides not opening attachments sent from people you don’t know) is having antivirus software on your computer. As hackers are getting more sneaky and savvy, virus protection is essential. While it is a good idea to invest the money in antivirus software for each work computer, in the meantime you can download a free antivirus software from AVG. This protects your computer from trojans, viruses, worms, spyware and adware. Protect your computer to prevent costly repairs later.

5. ServeManager- Managing your clients, servers and jobs has never been easier with ServeManager. This free online software application allows you to communicate with process servers, track and manage all aspects of a job, upload documents, download affidavits generated by your process servers and more. Keep up-to-date with the status of your jobs with automatic emails and real-time status updates for service attempts 24 hours a day from any Internet connection. This software not only helps you run your business smoothly, but it allows you to streamline the communication process with your process servers. Spend less time on the phone getting status updates and more time managing your legal business.

While none of these applications are going to change your business over night, they all provide useful and free solutions to common issues businesses may have. By taking advantage of these applications, you can run your business more efficiently without having to open your wallet. Even if you are not sure about some of these resources, at the very least take the time to visit the site and test them out – with no financial commitment to try them, you can’t afford not to.

Thank you Kathryn, these are all great ideas for free software. As a Paralegal who just started her own business this year, I can tell you from experience that finding good programs for free is extremely helpful. Adding to item 4, regarding AVG, I would like to recommend that you also add Malwarebytes and Spybot to your anti-virus defenses. These programs were recommended by Tech Republic and as reported in a recent article written by my good friend and colleague, Eric G. Young. You can find the complete article at Mr. Young’s blog, at
Cyberesq.wordpress.com.

I would also like to thank Beth Davis, also with ServeNow.com for getting me Kathryn’s article. You can also learn more about ServeNow.com and their new software, ServeManager, at the following link to the official press release. ServeManager Official Release

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

Well, we knew the economy was affecting the legal world with all of the layoffs of attorneys and staff in large firms. It really comes as no surprise that paralegal salaries would be reduced. The following article from The Estrin Report, written by Chere Estrin explains where this information is coming from and what we paralegals can expect in the coming year regarding our salaries. Click The Estrin Report to see the complete article.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share
Category: Family Law  Tags: , , ,  Comments off

Licensed paralegals in Ontario will mark a major milestone in March 2010 when they take part in the first ever vote to elect five of their colleagues to join the Paralegal Standing Committee of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to regulate paralegals in 2007.

For more information at ParalegalGateway, click the following link.
First Paralegal Election Will Mark Milestone for Profession

Posted using ShareThis

For more information on The Law Society of Upper Canada, click here.

As a Paralegal, this is exciting and interesting news!

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

The Missing Link is not a secret society. It’s simply a group of legal professionals who saw a need to help people who are suffering physical abuse at the hands of the very people who are supposed to love them.

As reported in ParalegalGateway, this group of paralegals and attorneys began assisting victims of domestic violence in 2005.

The Missing Link is currently working to incorporate as a non-profit group so that it can begin collecting donations to try to help offset the financial burdens faced by many of its clients. In Duval County, it costs $409 just to file for dissolution of marriage. Even the payment option the county offers is often too much for many of these victims.

I applaud these paralegals and the attorneys for giving back to their community in Jacksonville, Florida. Domestic violence continues to be a serious problem in all walks of life, as evidenced by the recent Rhianna and Chris Brown incident. For more information on The Missing Link, please click here.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

For those of you interested, don’t forget that Legal Secretaries, Incorporated is holding their quarterly conference in Sacramento, California, November 13-15, 2009. For more information, please click here.

If you miss this conference, their next conference is February 26-28, 2010 in San Diego. For more information on Legal Secretaries, Incorporated and this upcoming conference in February, please click here.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

There are several judicial council forms that will change effective January 1, 2010. There are new forms in Appellate, Domestic Violence, Electronic Filing and Service, Family Law, Name Change, Subpoena and Miscellaneous forms as well. There are many revised in these areas of law as well as in Civil and Elder Law. To see the complete list, click here.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

If you are a California Notary like I am, you should make sure that you are aware of this new bill passed on October 11, 2009 regarding accepting advance fees for services related to foreclosure rescue or loan modification services. It is important for us notaries to stay on top of all the changes that affect us.

BILL: Senate Bill 94
EFFECTIVE: October 11, 2009
SIGNED: October 11, 2009

Senate Bill 94 prohibits any person — including a real estate licensee or California attorney — from offering or negotiating “foreclosure rescue” or “loan modification” services where an advance fee is charged before performing all services provided in the contract. The law also requires written notification be included in the contract to inform homeowners that the services of these intermediaries are not required.

California Notaries and Signing Agents have been asked to accept assignments from foreclosure rescue and loan modification companies seeking to intervene between a homeowner and lender by providing services to renegotiate a mortgage or to postpone or preclude foreclosure. Because the new law prohibits the collection of any type of advance fee by a foreclosure rescue company, California Notaries and Signing Agents should not agree to perform an assignment that asks the Notary or Signing Agent to obtain a check for advance fees.

Foreclosure rescue companies are also prohibited from taking a power of attorney from a client.

Attorneys General across the nation are warning Notaries not to accept work from “Mortgage Rescue” firms. Get important information and news here

View the text of the law, details about the changes and an NNA analysis here here

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

House passes health care reform bill – CNN.com

Posted using ShareThis

The House of Representatives has passed the health care reform bill. Check it out at CNN.com.

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share

Cyber-Esq.

Posted using ShareThis

Another great article written by Eric G. Young on his Cyber-Esq. blog regarding legal research for virtual legal offices! Be sure and check it out!!

GD Star Rating
loading...
GD Star Rating
loading...
Share