by Brian Focht | Oct 16, 2013 | Lawyers, Law Firms, Courts & Technology, Reviews
Among the most powerful tech tools available to the mobile attorney is the electronic signature. All an attorney needs is their tablet and an internet connection, and documents that formerly needed to be printed and signed at the office can now be signed and sent without ever taking paper form. Among the most popular apps on the market for electronic signatures is eSign by Landtech. And it’s popular for a reason.
This fantastic app allows you to electronically sign any PDF document and email it to its recipient, right from your iPad. What’s the big deal, a lot of apps do that? See for yourself… (more…)
by Brian Focht | Oct 10, 2013 | Law Firm Websites
Part V in a continuing series on improving your firm’s website
Part I: 7 Tips to Improve Your Bio Page
Part II: 5 Best Practices for your Practice Areas
Part III: Video is a Game Changer
Part IV: 4 Reasons You Should Blog
Part V: 3 Videos You Need to Have
Part VI: 4 Reasons to Ignore SEO
Part VII: 4 Steps to Know (and Track) Your Audience
Recently, I wrote a post on improving your firm’s website about how video in a website is becoming a game changer for law firms looking to stand out in a crowded field. Videos offer a sense of engagement with the potential client that a bio, or even a blog, just cannot offer. Moreover, videos personalize you and allow the user develop a level of comfort and trust that increases the likelihood they will hire you. Always a winner, right?
I recently ran across this article by the ABA’s Law Technology Section taking that suggestion a step further, offering their suggestion of the 3 videos every lawyer should have. The article focuses on three videos for potential client engagement, with a focus on making a good first impression. While keeping your clients informed through video may be helpful, I agree with the article that the real strength of video on your firm’s website is the effect it has on potential clients.
Here are the three videos you need to have on your firm’s website:
by Brian Focht | Oct 9, 2013 | Security
Doing my daily research for this blog, I stumbled upon an interesting looking article by PC World about seven of the top tactics that hackers use to get data off of your computer. Many of us think about hackers as people aggressively attacking systems, like medieval soldiers attempting to breach castle walls. However, as was learned by the hacker Kevin Mitnick, sometimes it’s a whole lot easier to just call up your target and ask them for their password!
The PC World article listed seven ways that hackers essentially get you to hand over the information they need to get access to all of your important data. So many articles and posts talk about what you can do to your equipment to make it safer, while other articles remind you that it’s all nonsense. The real trick is knowing when NOT to be the guy whose only question when Kevin Mitnick asks for secure source code from Motorola is “[w]hat version do you want?”
So for you and your clients’ security, here are PC World’s 7 Top Tactics Hackers Use:
Photo credit: Wikipedia (more…)
by Brian Focht | Oct 7, 2013 | Ethical Use of Technology, Social Media
“… rotten kids.”
Ok, so I’m paraphrasing, but I couldn’t actually get anyone to go on the record! Seriously, anyone who has paid any attention to the ethics rulings coming from the Florida Bar recently must either be scratching their heads, shaking their heads, or just pointing and laughing… unless you’re an attorney in Florida!
There’s no question that legal ethics experts and advisors everywhere have had a really tough time dealing with the march of technology at use in law firms in the 21st century. Among the most vexing issues has been how to apply existing ethical standards to new types of media, particularly social media. The ABA, for its part, has recommended that states add new rules requiring attorneys to keep up with technology to meet competence requirements. Many states, addressing specific examples, have done impressive work making existing rules applicable to new media. And Florida’s reaction?
“LALALALA I CAN’T HEAR YOU!” (more…)
by Brian Focht | Oct 3, 2013 | Lawyers, Law Firms, Courts & Technology, Security
Part II in a continuing series on adoption of cloud-based systems by law firms.
Part I: 5 Things to Consider
Whether your firm is going to be fully automated, with cloud-based practice management software and full paperless implementation, or if you’re just checking out the option of storing your electronic documents with a third-party service such as Dropbox, the VERY first thing you need to do is make sure that your office’s internet infrastructure can handle it.
Most people know that they need to have WiFi routers or sufficient ethernet connections to plug in to. However, neither will matter much without sufficient internet service from your ISP. If you don’t check your internet connection, your transition to the cloud could bring the operation of your firm to a screeching halt. (more…)
by Brian Focht | Oct 1, 2013 | Social Media
Yesterday, I happened to come upon an article in Forbes by Christine Comaford titled “Become a Social Media Rock Star in Four Easy Steps.” Intrigued by the title, which was worded perfectly to catch the eyes of people like me, I read it. Essentially, the article discusses a four-step process, as described by social media guru Vala Afshar, to get the most out of prospective social media.
The steps, which can apply to all types of social media – from Twitter user to full-time blogger, are designed to help anyone make their social media presence into a powerhouse tool of influence and client recruitment. However, after reading them, I wondered whether the tools could really help law firms, particularly those firms who tend to be averse to social media engagement. After some deliberation, here are 4 steps to becoming a social media rock star… for law firms! (more…)
by Brian Focht | Sep 27, 2013 | Ethical Use of Technology
If you’re anything like me, whenever you buy or research a product online, you automatically disregard any review that gives the product/service the top available rating. I always look for the lowest reviews for two reasons. First, I’d like to know if there are people who are complaining about flaws in something that might bother me in a similar way. Second, and more importantly, I expect that at least a few of the highest ratings were written by, or on behalf of, the person selling the product.
Given the opportunity, who wouldn’t endorse themselves, particularly when it improves the chances that someone will buy whatever you’re selling? Well, there is a name for posting false reviews to make a product or service look better: “astroturfing.” The Urban Dictionary defines astroturfing as “the act of trying to boost one’s image online with fake comments, paid-for reviews, made-up claims and testimonials.”
Well, recently, the pervasive nature of astroturfing for law firms has drawn the attention of the authorities (most notably the New York Attorney General’s office), and the results aren’t pretty! (more…)