TechnoLawyer NewsWire
So many products, so little time. TL NewsWire is a weekly newsletter that discusses and links to hot new products and services of interest to legal professionals.
Concise, fun to read, informative, and jargon-free, TL NewsWire enables you to stay on top of more than 225 new products and services every year. We structure each article so that you can quickly understand the function of each product, and zero in on its most important features.

Periodically, we publish special roundup issues of TL NewsWire that focus on a single product category (e.g., ergonomic desks, personalized iPad news apps, etc.). Every December, we publish a special issue listing the most popular new products of the year according to TL NewsWire subscribers.

TL NewsWire is free. Subscribe now to TL NewsWire and any of our other newsletters by using the form on this page.


Read a recent issue
Join TechnoLawyer Now
CURRENT MEMBERSHIP: 14,316
Your First Name: 
Your Last Name: 
Email Address: 
Create Password: 
Retype Password: 
Alternate Email 
(optional)
Recent Issues
Return to List of Recent Issues

Find Hidden Trends in the Media Coverage You Care About Plus Other Hot Products

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a business intelligence tool for monitoring news and social media about your clients, competitors, practice areas, and more (see article below), a cloud accounting and practice management app with features for midsize law firms, and two marketing automation apps. Don't miss the next issue.

Media coverage has exploded. In theory, you now have greater insight into your clients, competitors, practice areas, key industries, and other news related to your work. In practice, finding this information would consume all your time, leaving you no time to work. This is a job for a media analysis tool.

LexisNexis Newsdesk … in One Sentence

LexisNexis Newsdesk is a business intelligence solution for monitoring and analyzing news and social media.

The Killer Feature

LexisNexis Newsdesk enables you to stay on top of relevant news through a web dashboard, email alerts, email newsletters, and SharePoint. The service gives you access to more than four million articles and posts daily, including LexisNexis exclusive sources such as Law360, The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, and The Wall Street Journal.

In addition, LexisNexis Newsdesk includes prominent blogs such as Above the Law, social media services such as Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit, and popular website forums. You can add any RSS feed for personal blogs and other publications not in LexisNexis Newsdesk but which nevertheless publish important information.

"Current awareness and deep insights into facts and trends are essential as practitioners weigh risks and make decisions for their clients," LexisNexis Managing Director of the North American Research Solutions Sean Fitzpatrick tells us. "LexisNexis Newsdesk harnesses the power of big data analytics to create the most conclusive picture of your topic by delivering vital intelligence drawn from millions of news and social media sources, including top-tier legal media such as Law360."

Other Notable Features

Everyone in your firm can have their own customizable dashboard. Users can access multiple dashboards such as their own and one for their department. In addition to article links, a dashboard can also contain charts for analyzing media coverage. For example, you can show coverage of your firm by journalist and publication. In articles that mention your firm, LexisNexis Newsdesk can show you the "share of voice" — how much prominence your firm received in media coverage. Templates enable you to quickly create new charts.

You begin putting together your dashboard using LexisNexis Newsdesk's Smart Indexing technology, which enables you to drill down to a specific topic by entering terms of interest to you — a client, industry practice area, regulation, etc. This tool shows you related topics to help you pinpoint the exact topic of interest.

Along the right side of the screen, filters or "facets" enable you to fine-tune your dashboard feed. For example, you can include only articles that contain the terms of interest to you in the headline and lead paragraph or contain a minimum number of mentions, and exclude specific sources, industries, etc. You can adjust these settings anytime. For important news, you can create email alerts for instant notification.

LexisNexis Newsdesk has become popular among law librarians who use the Email Manager to create and send customized email newsletters to lawyers in the firm. You can add people to a newsletter one by one or create a group and then add everyone in the group to the newsletter. A newsletter can contain the same feeds as a dashboard. Alternatively, you can add Curated Feeds with handpicked articles. Any articles you choose will automatically be included in the next issue of the newsletter. You can schedule how often to send new issues of the newsletter.

What Else Should You Know?

The Android and iOS apps for LexisNexis Newsdesk enables you to access your dashboard on the go. Learn more about LexisNexis Newsdesk.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

WordPerfect Office X8 Aims to Help Law Firms Streamline Their Software Portfolios

Friday, May 20, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a word processing suite with legal and PDF tools (see article below), an iPad Pro case that may reduce the risk of theft, a gadget to help you sleep better by reducing external noise, and an email app designed to save you time. Don't miss the next issue.

It's fun to learn about new software products, but implementation? Not so much fun. Accordingly, the more each application can do, the fewer applications you need, the less money you spend, and the less training is required. Call it Suite's Law since such multifunction products often reside in a suite.

WordPerfect Office X8 … in One Sentence

Launched earlier this month, WordPerfect Office X8 (X8) is the latest edition of the most popular legal-specific word processing suite.

The Killer Feature

Corel relied heavily on feedback from legal users during the development of X8. The end result is a word processor with legal-specific features that obviates additional products.

For example, X8 contains advanced PDF tools. In addition to creating PDF documents, you can convert PDF scans to editable WPD documents thanks to built-in OCR. Reveal Codes enable you to clean up any odd formatting. You can also create PDF forms with X8, including drop-down menus, tool tips, and electronic signatures. Other PDF features include support for PDF/A and document security.

X8 also includes a number of built-in legal tools such as Bates Numbers and Pleading Paper (you can design your own). AfterShot 2 is a nondestructive photo organizer and editor with a $40 value that Corel now includes at no charge. The only extra that costs extra is Perfect Authority for automating the creation of tables authorities in briefs ($164.99).

"There may be more productivity apps around than ever, but lawyers quickly find that most simply aren't powerful enough to rely on," Senior Product Manager Cindy Howard tells us. "We asked our power users to tell us the most important improvements we could make in X8 for their workflows — and then we delivered."

Other Notable Features

Corel also set out to deliver some crowd pleasers for longtime fans. For example, you can now display Reveal Codes on the left or ride side of your monitor as there tends to be more unused space there than below your document. Additionally, you can adjust the color and other Reveal Codes settings, and save the Reveal Codes of a particular document in a separate document for review. X8 now includes a Reveal Codes glossary for any shorthand you don't understand.

The many law firms that use their own templates will welcome the new Template Viewer. You can create as many custom templates as needed and store them in a nested hierarchy. X8 automatically creates thumbnails of each template to make it easier for your staff to find the one they need.

Back in the early days of computing, lawyers and staff would often place an official WordPerfect Keyboard Template over their function keys for one stroke access to key features such as macros. With the ability to customize function keys, this one-size-fits all overlay became a relic. But now it's back — you can print a customized Keyboard Template that maps to your function keys.

Other features include an improved Macro Manager, the ability to hide any menu item and lock toolbars to reduce helpdesk calls, the option to include spaces in word and character counts, increased levels of Undo, short form citations in Perfect Authority, and support for high resolution monitors.

What Else Should You Know?

WordPerfect Office X8 Standard Edition sells for $249.99 (Full) or $159.99 (Upgrade). However, Bar Association members can purchase the full suite for $124.99. WordPerfect Office X8 runs on Windows 7 and later. Learn more about WordPerfect Office X8.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

TrialPad Seeks to Shift the Balance of Power in Trial Presentation Technology

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an iPad app for trial presentations with special support for the iPad Pro (see article below), a free virtual private network for iOS, an intelligent email assistant, and a multi-platform database. Don't miss the next issue.

Tech savvy lawyers have debated for years whether the iPad can replace a laptop. It turns out that real life is not mutually exclusive. The iPad performs certain tasks better than a PC and vice versa. Many lawyers now own multiple devices, and use the best tool for a given job. For trial presentations, many lawyers swear by the iPad.

TrialPad 4.5 … in One Sentence

Launching today, LIT SOFTWARE's TrialPad 4.5 is a popular trial presentation app for the iPad.

The Killer Feature

The new version of TrialPad leverages the size and resolution of the 12.9-inch iPad Pro, enabling you to preview and annotate documents more easily, and view longer file names without truncation. TrialPad also supports the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil. For example, you can use the Command-F key combination on the Smart Keyboard to start a search, and use the Apple Pencil to more precisely create callouts and annotations.

TrialPad creator Ian O'Flaherty also runs a trial presentation company. When he first launched TrialPad in 2010, O'Flaherty targeted smaller, less document intensive trials. "This is no longer the case," he tells us. "TrialPad 4.5 on an iPad Pro is faster and more versatile than Windows software even in complex trials. And it also remains the best choice for do-it-yourself trials without a consultant like me."

Other Notable Features

TrialPad's new Snapshot tool enables you to capture annotations and callouts exactly the way you want to present them. TrialPad saves Snapshots as PDFs in their own folder for quick access. You can email, print, or upload them to cloud storage. The Snapshot tool works whether you're displaying just one document or two documents side by side in Split Screen mode.

To go along with the new Snapshot tool, TrialPad offers improved annotation tools. The Pen tool snaps to 90-degree angles when using the straight line option. When a highlight overlaps an earlier highlight, the intersecting highlights don't get darker but instead remain transparent and readable. A long press on any tool reveals additional options.

The new version of TrialPad also makes it easier to prep exhibits. You can add exhibit stickers in bulk, and even replace previous exhibit stickers if necessary. If you use LIT SOFTWARE's DocReviewPad for document review and production, you can move selected documents into TrialPad organized by issue code.

When it's time to go live, TrialPad tries to prevent human error. When Output is switched off, the Blank, Freeze, and Present buttons remain visible but grayed out. Similarly, Apple's Split View is disabled to prevent accidentally showing another app such as your email or an outline.

What Else Should You Know?

LIT SOFTWARE has taken advantage of new Apple technologies, resulting in an improved full-screen mode, faster PDF rendering, smoother zooming, and use of iTunes for backup and transferring cases between iPads. A new training mode shows your fingers as round dots on an external display. TrialPad 4.5 costs $129.99 (it's a free update for users of TrialPad 4 and later). Learn more about TrialPad 4.5.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

BlueStylus Seeks to Offer the Best Value in Cloud Billing Software

Friday, May 06, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud billing software that might have the lowest price in its category (see article below), a service that enables you to connect cloud apps to create automated workflows, a social media scheduling app, and an iOS calendar app. Don't miss the next issue.

When law firms look at their credit card statements, they see an increasing number of software subscriptions, one of which never comes under scrutiny — their Exchange email service. For this reason, when law firms consider adding another app to their workflow, they ask, "How much will it cost, and will it integrate with my email?"

BlueStylus … in One Sentence

Launched recently, BlueStylus is cloud billing software that also offers document sharing and email integration at a comparatively low price of $7 per user per month without an annual contract commitment.

The Killer Feature

BlueStylus connects directly to your inbox or any other folder in your Exchange email account. Once connected, it can automatically file your incoming and outgoing email and attachments in the corresponding matter.

This works by placing the matter number in the subject line or anywhere else in an email message. BlueStylus recognizes this matter number and files your message and any attachments. It then captures all future replies related to this initial message. You can also manually file email messages that don't have an embedded matter number.

Other Notable Features

Upon logging into your account, the main Dashboard lists key performance indicators such as revenue, matter distribution, a summary of billings per timekeeper, etc. You can drill down into any of these items.

The intake process for new matters automatically checks for conflicts and saves a report if needed someday. Along with your email, BlueStylus stores documents. You can see who uploaded a document and when. Other practice management features include automated workflows for sequential tasks that notify the next person in line, a calendar for matter-related events, and a client portal for securely sharing documents with clients.

Matters and timekeepers can have default billing rates. You enter time by using the timer or the quick entry form at the top of the Time dashboard. Either way, you can add a note to your time entries in addition to a billing code. The Time dashboard also lists your unbilled time such as events on the calendar, completed tasks, etc.

In accordance with your internal controls, invoices can require several approvals before they're printed or emailed. An interactive Aging Report enables you to email delinquent clients. When you get paid, you apply the payment so that BlueStylus matches your accounting system.

What Else Should You Know?

BlueStylus has an on-boarding process that walks you through all the key settings such as your firm name and logo, users and their billing rates, the invoice template you want to use, billing codes (UTBMS is an option), email credentials for sending invoices (works with any email address), active matters, etc. BlueStylus works in all desktop browsers. A mobile app for iOS and Android enables you to use BlueStylus on the go. Learn more about BlueStylus.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

Nutshell Aims to Automate Law Firm Marketing on the Cheap

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a marketing automation app that costs less than most apps in this genre (see article below), a new legal research tool, a powered iPad Pro stand, and a VPN that works on all major platforms. Don't miss the next issue.

In the beginning, lawyer rainmakers spent significant time keeping their Rolodex up-to-date. Then personal information managers (PIMs) moved these contacts into software. This century gave us client relationship management software and then marketing automation software, often with high price tags.

Nutshell … in One Sentence

Nutshell is cloud marketing automation software priced significantly lower than most such products.

The Killer Feature

Nutshell enables you to create a sales process for your firm. For example, if your firm spans several practice areas you can assign leads for each practice area to a different partner. Nutshell can ingest contacts from the forms on your website to trigger these assignment rules. Email templates enable you to send elaborate messages to leads with one click. Nutshell can automatically create a set of tasks for each new lead and assign them. You can also manually add tasks such as creating a proposal.

Other Notable Features

In addition to its web form capabilities, Nutshell can import contacts from any source, including Outlook. Nutshell can also extract contact information from scanned business cards. You can categorize contacts with tags. Thanks to an integration with Zapier (sold separately), you can send contacts from Nutshell to a practice management system such as Clio, and also to Office 365 and Google Contacts.

Nutshell offers click-to-call functionality. After verifying your identity and telephone number, you can click the Call button for any contact to place a call from your computer that looks like it's coming from your phone. Nutshell logs the call in that contact's activity timeline. You can optionally record calls too. Click-to-call also supports several VoIP services, enabling you to place calls through apps such as Skype, RingCental, and Kixie.

As noted above, Nutshell contains basic email marketing tools. It also integrates with MailChimp (sold separately) if you need more functionality and reporting. Other features include threaded discussions, integration with Gmail and Outlook for capturing email conversations, and extensive reporting to help you analyze your sales process and forecasts.

What Else Should You Know?

In addition to using Nutshell in a web browser, you can also use it in the Android and iPhone app. Nutshell costs $20 per user per month for the Starter version. The Pro version, which you'll need for sales process automation, click-to-call, and implementation assistance, costs $35 per user per month. Learn more about Nutshell.

How to Receive TL NewsWire
So many products, so little time. In each issue of TL NewsWire, you'll learn about five new products for the legal profession. Pressed for time? The newsletter's innovative articles enable lawyers and law office administrators to quickly understand the function of a product, and zero in on its most important features. The TL NewsWire newsletter is free so don't miss the next issue. Please subscribe now.

As a fairly unsophisticated technophile, I find the TechnoLawyer Newswire helps explain new software, gadgets, and other products in language I can understand. Plus, it always provides links to a fuller explanation of the product or service. All in all, a very helpful read for an old lawyer trying to keep up.
- Jack P. Doran, Esq., Law Office of Jack Doran
Advertise With Us


Powered by PeerViews About Us | Advertise With Us | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
TechnoLawyer • PeerViews Inc., 100 Church Street, Eighth Floor, New York, NY 10007
Copyright © 2015 PeerViews Inc. All rights reserved.