Later this morning I’m heading over to Seattle to talk to the folks at the Military Spouse J.D. Network about technology tools for working remotely. Pleased to be sharing the podium with co-presenters Bill Hayden and Forrest Carlson. Since email is a scourge upon the earth, I figured that I’d post presentation materials here rather than fill up attendees’ inboxes.
Our talk is a 101-level overview of about the tools needed to divorce lawyer productivity from a physical office. Rather than talk about the particular tools we use at Puget Sound Legal, I thought it would be more helpful to share the resources I use to educate myself about remote working. All of the websites below are ones that I monitor regularly daily using Feedly.
Headed by Sam Glover, this is the top general lawyer tech site out there, primarily directed at folks in smaller practice. The blog covers a wide variety of tech topics and Sam put together a nice (free) guide to law firm security. Some other good white papers are available (free) from practice management company Clio.
(2) Divorce Discourses
Lee Rosen runs a family law firm – currently from the road as he travels the world. Lee has the best blog for learning about the business side of remote lawyering, though also covering tech aspects of remote work. Short, easy to digest posts. Lee curses a lot.
(3) Virtual Law Practice
Stephanie Kimbro basically invented the idea of the virtual law firm and wrote the definitive book on the topic (which I read before opening my firm). The book is now in second edition and must be read if you’re a small practice attorney thinking about remote work. The blog provide great long-form posts.
(4) 4-Hour Workweek
Sometimes cheesy and often helpful, Tim Ferris has long been the guru on running a business without being tied down in space and time. The definitive book and blog are both worthy reads. Broader point: if you want to be like ever other lawyer, read what every other lawyer reads; if you want to do innovate look to how other industries are solving problems.
Bonus resources from Forrest
My co-presenter Forrest put together the following examples of tools that lawyers might want to take a look at (prose below is his). I’ve *bolded those that I’m either currently using or otherwise recommend. If you want to see what true innovation looks like, check out the tool Forrest built for helping people create their own Washington State wills for free.
File Management & Document Collaboration Tools in the Cloud
- Relatively simple cloud storage & document collaboration (off the shelf solutions)
- Using a hosted server, virtual private/dedicated servers (VPS/VDS) for cloud storage (way more technical to set up and maintain, but also more versatile)
- Amazon Web Services.
- Connecting to your server over FTP/FTPS/SFTP
- Using a private repository on your server via SVN (https://subversion.apache.org/ and http://tortoisesvn.net/).
- Encryption of client data at rest in the cloud
- VPNs (for encryption of client data in transit)
“All-in-One” Law Office Management in the Cloud (billing, accounting, time tracking, calendaring/reminders, task management, databases of client data, document automation, client communication/document portals, KPI analysis).
- Rocket Matter.
Task/Project Management Tools for Desktop & Mobile (cloud-based kanban boards and to-do lists).
- *Fujitsu ScanSnap iX500 (comes with Adobe Acrobat for PC).
- a flatbed scanner (if you plan to scan books or other larger items that won’t feed one sheet at a time.
- PDF Manipulation
- Adobe Acrobat Pro
- Receipt of Mail & Messenger Documents
Meetings & Meeting Locations
- Examples of coworking spaces
- Office Nomads.
- Impact Hub.
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