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.

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Recent Issues
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ABBYY FineReader 14 Includes OCR, PDF, and Document Comparison Tools in One Product

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a Windows application designed to handle your OCR, PDF, and document comparison needs in one product (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of practice management software with a growing library of forms and templates, and built-in document assembly and e-filing, an Outlook add-in that addresses attachment headaches and reduces the risk of career-threatening errors, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Every field has "professional" tools designed to improve overall performance. Golfers use "pro" clubs, musicians "pro" instruments, doctors "pro" diagnostic equipment, etc. Because lawyers create and review documents, many of which exist on paper, they need "pro" OCR, PDF, and document comparison tools — ideally in one product.

ABBYY FineReader 14 … in One Sentence

Launched recently, ABBYY FineReader 14 is all-in-one software for OCR, PDF, and document comparison.

The Killer Feature

A longtime leader in OCR — software that makes scans editable and searchable — ABBYY identified several inefficiencies in law firms. For example, because accurate OCR is essential for redlines, many firms use FineReader for OCR and then switch to a different product for the comparison. Also, up to 30% of PDF documents are effectively invisible because they don't undergo OCR when scanned.

The new version of FineReader addresses these problems by adding PDF and comparison tools alongside its popular OCR tools. "With the latest version of ABBYY FineReader, we help legal professionals easily manage and accomplish all kinds of daily tasks — editing, converting, commenting, and comparing documents, as well as making them searchable for easier access to information — using one, intuitive application," says Kristin Wagener, Director Business Unit Application Software.

Other Notable Features

FineReader prevents documents from falling through the cracks. The Hot Folder technology monitors folders connected to your scanners, performing OCR and naming documents in accordance with your rules. Also, Background Recognition automatically makes image PDF documents you open searchable.

FineReader includes what used to be sold separately as PDF Transformer, which means the PDF tools are mature. You can combine PDF files, reorganize pages, straighten and rotate pages, add bookmarks, apply stamps, and add or edit text. Annotation and commenting tools include the ability to accept/reject changes or reply. Other tools include digital signatures, redaction, and document security settings.

When accuracy is essential such as a document you want to edit, FineReader's OCR environment displays the original image on the left and the recognized document on the right with text in green, tables in blue, and images in red. Thanks to text recognition support for 192 languages plus dictionary support for 48 of them, the Verification tool enables you to review words FineReader is uncertain about and make corrections. When finished, you can export to Microsoft Word and other popular formats.

Rounding out the trio of technologies, FineReader's Comparator technology compares documents in any format (e.g., PDF to Word). The documents appear side by side with their differences highlighted. A hyperlinked index along the right side lists each change and its location. You can share a redline by exporting it as a PDF with the changes displayed as comments.

"ABBYY FineReader has enabled our department to achieve greater efficiencies in our day to day work, and helps us to better support our lawyers and their clients," says Tim Connop, IT Manager, Eversheds. "We have been impressed with the accuracy and reliability of this forward thinking product."

What Else Should You Know?

FineReader requires Windows 7 or later. The Corporate Edition ($399.99) includes all functionality and Hot Folder processing of 5,000 scanned pages per month. The Enterprise Edition ($599.99) doubles Hot Folder processing to 10,000 pages per month. The Standard Edition ($199.99) doesn't include the Hot Folder or redlining tools. ABBYY offers volume discounts. Learn more about ABBYY FineReader 14.

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.

LEAP Brings Document Automation and Forms to Practice Management Software

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers cloud practice management software with a growing library of forms and templates, and built-in document assembly and e-filing (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of an Outlook add-in that addresses attachment headaches and reduces the risk of career-threatening errors, a due diligence and business intelligence research service with a new approach to presenting data from public filings, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Once a luxury, document automation has become essential in law firms. Consumers of legal services want to pay for your expertise, not for you to noodle around in Microsoft Word formatting a scanned form and manually entering data.

LEAP … in One Sentence

LEAP is a cloud practice management system with built-in document assembly and a growing library of forms and document templates.

The Killer Feature

The creators of LEAP identified an unmet need in the legal industry several years ago. Law firms store client and matter information in a practice management system, but cannot use this data to create documents without a significant investment in document assembly software. And even after such an investment, law firms still need to download forms from various courts and agencies, and buy templates from various providers.

LEAP provides all three of these components in one product — practice management, forms and templates ("forms"), and document assembly. LEAP currently contains more than 2,000 forms in more than a dozen practice areas ranging from bankruptcy to estate planning to family to real estate. "Since the start of 2017, LEAP Content has added over 600 new forms across the various states and areas of law," says Kelly Clifford, President of Content. The LEAP Forms Blog, to which you can subscribe, keeps you apprised of new additions by practice area and by jurisdiction.

In addition, LEAP recently unveiled built-in e-filing. You enter your court login credentials, choose the case file, and select the documents you want to e-file. LEAP currently supports e-filing in bankruptcy courts, USCIS (immigration), and New York and New Jersey state courts.

Other Notable Features

You can search LEAP for a form or browse by jurisdiction and practice area. Forms run in Microsoft Word, both the Windows and Online versions. Fields within forms auto-populate with data from LEAP. The form wizard identifies missing data. Once you add missing data to a case file, you can rerun the form with one click.

Customize LEAP's forms and create your own document templates using more than 25,000 fields. LEAP stores your custom templates so that you need not reinvent the wheel in the future. Without any programming, your templates can include questionnaires, calculations, Ask/Result (multiple-choice answers), and If/Then/Else statements (e.g., if a female, use female pronouns throughout the document). LEAP's content team can assist you in creating your first five templates at no charge.

You can save completed documents in Word or PDF format. If you're creating several documents, LEAP can combine them into a single PDF file. LEAP saves all versions of the documents you generate in the corresponding matter. The History of Changes provides an audit trail, while the Compare tool generates a redline of two versions.

LEAP automatically captures the time you spend creating a document for billing purposes. As we've reported previously, LEAP includes billing, document management, and practice management in addition to the document automation tools discussed above. LEAP also includes a modern, mobile-friendly website and blog for your firm.

What Else Should You Know?

LEAP runs in a dedicated native app for Windows, iOS, and Android, as well as in a web browser. The monthly subscription includes technical support and software updates. Learn more about LEAP.

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.

Litéra Smart Send Adds Attachment and Security Tools to Outlook

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an Outlook add-in that addresses attachment headaches and reduces the risk of career-threatening errors (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a due diligence and business intelligence research service with a new approach to presenting data from public filings, a cloud software platform that automates entity formation and compliance tasks, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

For years you've heard about so-called email killers but nothing has come of all the hype. Email reigns supreme for internal and external law firm communications. Instead of trying to kill email, how about improving it?

Litéra Smart Send … in One Sentence

Litéra Smart Send is an Outlook add-in that offers tools for managing attachments and preventing email mishaps.

The Killer Feature

Many of your email messages don't say much. All the action is in the attachments, which can slow you down. For example, your document management system (DMS) may use naming conventions you don't want to disclose or which may cause confusion. Also, instead of sending many attachments, you may want to send a single PDF or ZIP file. "Experts have shown that there are up to 27 disjointed steps in the process of managing email attachments," Litéra President Paul Domnick tells me. "With Litéra Smart Send there is one."

Domnick's talking about Litéra Smart Send's recently enhanced Attachment Manager. It enables you to attach documents from any repository — local hard drive, network share, DMS, etc. Add entire folders with a click. Instead of sending attachments using their original name, you can rename them. These name changes only affect the copies you send, not the originals.

Perfection isn't required. If you forget a document, you can return to the Attachment Manager and add it. You can also change the order of attachments. When you finalize the order, Litéra Smart Send can enter the name of each document into the body of your email message to provide the recipient with a table of contents.

The Attachment Manager provides a number of document handling options. You can send selected documents in PDF format instead of the original format, combine selected documents into a PDF binder with a cover page and table of contents, or compress selected documents into a ZIP archive.

Litéra Smart Send applies all these settings when you send the message. If you need to send the same message over and over again, Litéra Smart Send can save everything locally or in your DMS for one-click reuse. This obviates having to redo the settings each time

Other Notable Features

In addition to easing your workflow, Litéra Smart Send also prevents career-ending errors. Examples of such faux pas include replying to all (especially when you're a BCC recipient), exposing an internal thread to an outsider, and misaddressing a message.

Litéra Smart Send gives you three options for restricting Reply-All — warn users who click the Reply-All button, disable the button when the number of recipients reaches a certain threshold, or disable it completely. When disabled, you can give advanced users a keyboard shortcut for Reply-All.

To prevent revealing internal discussions, Litéra Smart Send can warn you when the number of replies in a thread reaches a certain threshold. Other security settings enable you to disable Outlook's autocomplete, alert BCC recipients when they click Forward or Reply-All, and append a stamp when sending privileged email.

What Else Should You Know?

Litéra Smart Send integrates with the Litéra Metadact-e utility to remove metadata from the attachments you send. DMS integrations include iManage, NetDocuments, and Worldox. An API enables you to create your own custom integrations. Pricing for Litéra Smart Send starts at $33 per user with volume discounts available. Learn more about Litéra Smart Send.

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.

Clarion Delivers Due Diligence Insights in Minutes, Not Hours

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a due diligence and business intelligence research service with a new approach to presenting data from public filings (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of a cloud software platform that automates entity formation and compliance tasks, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand, do-it-yourself ediscovery collection software at a price point far below the industry average, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Due diligence for M&A and other securities deals is a necessary evil. Lawyers like you are best equipped to assess materiality so you cannot completely delegate it. However, if you could significantly reduce the time it takes to find material data, it would no longer seem so evil, just critically important. You might even use this data for business development opportunities too.

Clarion … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Wolters Kluwer's Clarion is an online due diligence and business intelligence research tool with a new approach to organizing and presenting data.

The Killer Feature

Clarion encompasses more than 22,000 public companies world wide as well as 60,000 private companies. But it's not a mere collection of public filings, requiring you to comb through 10-Ks and the like. Instead, the relevant data from public filings has been categorized and organized in a series of dashboards that match the attorney's workflow. The goal is to present targeted information in public data so that you can get answers in minutes, not hours or days.

For example, one important aspect of due diligence involves identifying a company's revenue by region within specific industries. With just a few clicks, Clarion displays this data for any public company. Bar charts for each region compare the company's total revenue with its revenue for a specific industry and the average for that industry. A trends graph indicates the sales trajectory over the last three years in each region. A map to the right offers a visual of the company's operational regions.

"Clarion was developed exclusively for legal practitioners," says Dean Sonderegger, Vice President & General Manager, Legal Markets & Innovation. "With unique, actionable data points and an intuitive point and click dashboard, Clarion efficiently gives attorneys greater control over research to enhance their ability to provide strategic counsel."

Other Notable Features

You begin using Clarion by either searching for a company or an industry. The latter is useful for finding new clients and new business among existing clients. When you find the company you want to analyze, a dashboard gives you a snapshot of revenue by industry and region as well as its customers, suppliers, competitors, and partners. You can then drill down into any of these categories to display an ever more focused series of dashboards.

Because SIC codes don't provide sufficient granularity, Clarion offers more precision. For example, instead of stopping at "Jewelry Apparel," Clarion goes further with smaller categories such as "Sunglasses and Prescription Frames." This granular taxonomy of industries exists throughout Clarion, enabling you to more thoroughly analyze a company's revenue, customers, competitors, suppliers, and partners.

When viewing a list of related companies, you can filter the list by industry as noted above. Other contextual filters also exist. For customers and suppliers, you can filter by relationship duration. For partners, you can filter by relationship type such as In-Licensing, Investors, and Joint Ventures. You can also search for a specific company to see if a relationship exists with the company you're analyzing. For each relationship, Clarion tells you whether it was mutually or unilaterally disclosed and by whom.

What Else Should You Know?

Every page in Clarion contains a Download button at the top right. Clicking this button generates an Excel file containing the corresponding data for use in a report. Learn more about Clarion.

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.

Legalinc Modernizes Entity Formation and Compliance Through Practice Automation

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a cloud software platform that automates entity formation and compliance tasks, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand (see article below). In addition, you'll find links to the previous 11 TL NewsWire features, including our coverage of do-it-yourself ediscovery collection software at a price point far below the industry average, cloud practice management software for law firms that crave the billing and automation features of legacy software, and much more. Don't miss the next issue.

Entity formation and ongoing management can seem like Dante's Inferno with each secretary of state a figurative Circle of Hell thanks to archaic websites, inconsistent compliance notifications, and manual, paper-based processes. How about some modernization and uniformity?

Legalinc … in One Sentence

Launched recently, Legalinc automates tasks related to business formation, entity management, and registered agent services, and enables you to offer these services under your own brand.

The Killer Feature

You can use Legalinc's services directly from its website. Alternatively, you can incorporate LINC, a private-label (white-label) version of Legalinc, into your own website. LINC is free, including complete integration assistance.

With LINC powering your website, you can offer do-it-yourself business formation services. Prospects can choose from several packages. For example, you could charge extra for registered agent services, an online entity management dashboard, etc. Also, these new businesses may need additional legal services that your firm can provide — trademark filings, lease negotiations, private placements, etc.

"Legalinc is an incredible partner for us, says Kevin Vela, co-founder of Vela Wood P.C. in Texas. "We leverage their LINC technology platform to better and more efficiently service our clients. I can't imagine using anyone else for state filing matters."

Other Notable Features

Legalinc CEO and Founder Erik Treutlein describes Legalinc as a "practice automation software company." "By leveraging the power of software to navigate thorny requirements across all U.S. jurisdictions, Legalinc outshines the clunky, antiquated processes offered today," says Treutlein. "We are committed to automating mission-critical legal services through secure, scalable software."

When forming a new entity, Legalinc displays all state fees, including options for expedited processing. Legalinc can create C and S corporations, LLCs, nonprofits, DBAs, and more in all 50 states. Legalinc can serve as the entity's registered agent.

Legalinc's Compliance Calendar lists deadlines for the entities you manage, enabling you to identify and address compliance challenges. Legalinc can send you and your clients email alerts (on your behalf) for upcoming filing deadlines, status changes, and so forth. If you need a document such as Good Standing that's not available online, Legalinc can retrieve it quickly from the state and upload it to your account.

The Entity Dashboard lists the formation and all subsequent orders as well as the accompanying documents — incorporation, annual reports, state advices, and tax filings. Not all states have gone digital so Legalinc scans and uploads mail received from such states. Similarly, you can upload documents created outside of Legalinc's purview such as board minutes. Accordingly, every compliance document associated with the entity resides in Legalinc. If you're using LINC, you can provide access to this dashboard under your own brand to your clients.

What Else Should You Know?

Legalinc can transfer all the entities your firm currently manages to its platform for free. Legalinc charges an annual fee per entity plus any applicable state filing fees. Treutlein tells me that Legalinc charges significantly less than industry giants like CT Corporation. This gives you more latitude when pricing the services powered by Legalinc that you offer clients. Learn more about Legalinc.

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
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