|Law Office Management
LOMA : Articles
and Tips from ABA TechShow 2000
By Patricia Yevics
Director, Law Office Management
Maryland State Bar Association, Inc.
Each year in early spring the ABA has its annual Tech Show in
Chicago. I have been attending since 1994 and have seen some amazing
changes in the field of legal technology.
In an effort to share some of the overwhelming amounts of
information that is presented at the Tech Show, I list some brief tips
that I found especially interesting and helpful. In addition this year
I have added some sites that were mentioned in some of the sessions.
Some of these sites provide a huge amount of additional information.
For information from the TechShow, go to www.techshow.com.
There are some materials available as well as information about
ordering the CD ROM of the materials.
1. From the Session: Delivery of Legal Services via the Internet
This was a remarkable, yet disturbing discussing on how the use of
the internet will affect the way we practice law in the future.
Consumers will not go to the law firm first but rather to the web.
These sites as well as many others are turning law into a commodity.
Ignore at your own risk.
(Based in Maryland)
2. From the Session: Technology Makeover of Small Litigation
CaseMap - Very interesting new product especially for small
firms. It is a datbase that allows you to organize and share
information. It allows you to evaluate information on your case.
While not yet perfect, it is worth watching and could be a real help
to small litigation firms. For more information go to www.casemap.com.
3. From the Session: Viruses and Other Things that Go Bump in
attrition.org - get information on what sites are being attacked
sans.org - security site
Least threat: Kiddie Hackers - although there are many of them,
they are young and most are caught. Most are in it for fun and outgrow
it. If they are not caught, they outgrow their hacking.
Real threat are the older and more experienced hackers who are in
it for money/profit. They are rarely caught and they are the reasons
you need security for your systems.
4. From the Session: Tales from the Crypt
Litigation/discovery issue - How long should you save tape backups?
Must establish a backup policy before litigation.
To find out what you are telling sites about your connection when
you surf the net, go to www.privacy.net.
5. From the Session: How To Choose Consultants
Best way to find out about the quality of the service is to ask
Find out if the consultant puts the same solution into all the
firms he/she services. This would indicate a cookie-cutter approach
and not really acceptable unless you want that solution.
Websites: www.icca.org - List of
1500 computer consultants nationwide and locally.
Characteristics: Technical Competence, Knowledge of legal field,
flexibility and ability to communicate in non-techie language
6. From the Session: Webs are Not TV - How to Maximize the Use
of Your Website
You do not want to get the most viewers but the best viewers for
your practice. Quality of hits over quantity of hits.
You want your site to be a "magnet" site. This is a site
everyone links to for information. It is an information portal.
To find out what other sites link to yours go to the search engine
In the search bar box, type in the following information:
link:yourlawfirm.com -host:yourlawfirm.com. Please note that you
will use the name of your URL where I have typed in yourlawfirm.com.
Hit the search button and you will see a list of all sites that list
to your URL
The best way to design a good website is to see other good
7. From the Session: Small Firm Networking, Virtual Lawyers and
Connecting to the Net
Some sites to help you make this work.
www.efax.com - allows you to fax
from your desktop
www.jfax.com - improves the
power of your e-mail by giving you voice mail and fax capabilities
www.grc.com - this site will
allow you to test your system to see if it can be hacked.