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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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.

Smart Writing Set Lavishes Attention on the Paper, Not Just the Smart Pen

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers a smart pen and accompanying app that captures the notes you take in a tablet-shaped paper notebook (see article below), a case management app for litigators, a folding Bluetooth portable keyboard, and a task management app. Don't miss the next issue.

Digital note-taking takes three forms — writing on paper and then scanning what you write, writing on a tablet using a stylus, and writing on paper using a smart pen that captures what you write. Technology companies have dominated all three types, but the latter seems ripe for participation by companies renowned for their paper notebooks.

Smart Writing Set … in One Sentence

Launched earlier this month, Moleskine's Smart Writing Set consists of a smart pen, special Moleskine notebook, and a mobile app.

The Killer Feature

Moleskine calls its paper notebook the Paper Tablet not because it's a tablet, but because it's about the same size and shape as a tablet, including rounded corners. The Paper Tablet consists of 176 pages of thick paper. You can write on both sides. An email symbol at the top of each page enables you to email that page to someone with a tap of the smart pen (you then need to use your Android or iOS device to finish sending the message).

Other Notable Features

Called the Moleskine Pen+, the smart pen is made by Neo, the company behind the N2 smart pen. A camera on the Pen+ captures what you write. This eliminates the need for a transmitter that competing products use. The paper in the Paper Tablet contains small dots that enable the Pen+ to identify its location on the page.

The Pen+ stores up to 1,000 pages of notes for offline use. Whether live or after the fact, your notes eventually end up in the free Moleskine Notes app for iOS (Android version coming soon). The app's built-in OCR makes your notes searchable.

The app automatically tags notes by date, location, and page. You can apply custom tags such as a client/matter name, and then view a list of all notes with that tag. An optional recording feature enables you to playback your notes along with the audio.

What Else Should You Know?

Moleskine Notes syncs with Evernote and Google Drive. You can export notes in PDF, JPG, PNG, or SVG formats. The Smart Writing Set costs $199, including one Paper Tablet and one Pen+. Additional Paper Tablets cost $29.95 each. Learn more about Smart Writing Set.

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.

Ulysses Combines Word Processing With Document Managament

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an integrated app for writing and storing all your documents (see article below), a task management add-in for Outlook, a clipping and annotation utility, and a black and white laser printer with a small footprint. Don't miss the next issue.

Email is so important (or at least voluminous) that email apps offer both a writing environment and document management tools such as folders and search. Given how much time lawyers spend writing documents — most of it alone in their office — a similar unified system makes sense for word processing.

Ulysses 2.5 … in One Sentence

Launched last month, The Soulmen GbR's Ulysses 2.5 is an integrated writing environment for Macs and iOS devices.

The Killer Feature

Ulysses looks like an email app with customizable folders (called Lists) along the left that contain your documents. Smart Lists also exist such as "All," "Last 7 Days," and "Trash." You can create your own Smart Lists using Smart Tags. Filters and full-text searching also help you find documents.

Ulysses automatically saves your work in your iCloud account, enabling you to access the same documents on a Mac, iPad, and iPhone without having to worry about file management. A conflict resolution tool exists if a sync error occurs or you work on the same document on two devices without an Internet connection.

You write in plain text using an easy-to-learn markup syntax for headings, bullets, numbering, etc. Customizable paragraph styles map to this syntax for previews and when you export. Speaking of which, you can export documents in Word and PDF formats, including the styles. Ulysses also outputs to plain text, ePub, and HTML, and integrates with the blogging platform Medium.

Other Notable Features

Ulysses seeks to offer distraction-free writing. The optional Typewriter Scrolling feature always keeps the line you're typing at the center of the screen. Every function in Ulysses has a keyboard equivalent to keep your hands in place, including adding footnotes, hyperlinks, and images. Other features designed to get you in the zone include full-screen, dark (light text on a black background), and minimal (tools disappear) modes.

You can set goals for a document such as word count. Even without a goal, Ulysses offers live statistics. In complex documents, you can group different sections and collapse the groups you're not working on, attach notes, add bookmarks, annotate and comment, search and replace, and create a glossary of keywords. Ulysses keeps all versions of a document, enabling you to revert back anytime.

Ulysses takes advantage of services built into Apple's operating system such as dictation, text-to-speech, special characters, spell check, grammar check, auto-correction, dictionary, and thesaurus.

What Else Should You Know?

You can import Word and other documents into Ulysses using several methods, including Dropbox. You can also export documents to Dropbox. The Ulysses Mac app costs $44.99. The iOS app costs $24.99. Learn more about Ulysses.

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.

Lexis DiscoveryIQ Helps Lawyers Assess Cases Before Embarking on Expensive Document Review Projects

Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers an all-in-one ediscovery suite with advanced technologies for early case assessment (see article below), a service for tracking telephone calls from prospective clients, an email virtual assistant service, and a password manager with its own authenticator. Don't miss the next issue.

Cases that are winnable on the law and facts can end up being lost because of discovery costs. Fortunately, new ediscovery technologies can give you key insights into a case before you conduct an expensive linear document review. In some instances, these technologies can even obviate such a review.

Lexis DiscoveryIQ … in One Sentence

Launching this week, Lexis DiscoveryIQ is an all-in-one ediscovery platform with an emphasis on early case assessment.

The Killer Feature

Using several new technologies, DiscoveryIQ seeks to reduce litigation costs by enabling you to find relevant documents and develop insights about a case faster.

For example, DiscoveryIQ's statistical sampling technology tells you the percentage of likely relevant documents among those you've collected. You can take this analysis further with DiscoveryIQ's proprietary predictive coding technology. A form of machine learning, predictive coding involves training DiscoveryIQ to find relevant documents on its own. You can select a confidence level negotiated with opposing counsel or ordered by a judge.

DiscoveryIQ also features Brainspace's Discovery 5 via an exclusive licensing relationship. Discovery 5 adds concept searching and data visualizations to DiscoveryIQ. For example, when you enter a search term, you can view related terms that also exist in the documents you're searching. Using simple sliders, you can adjust the importance of each related term. The Focus Wheel enables you to visualize your search so that you can get a handle on how many relevant documents exist for each key issue in the case.

Other Notable Features

After creating a new case in DiscoveryIQ, you use the built-in processing tools to ingest the data collected from custodians. These tools automatically de-duplicate documents and email messages, perform any necessary OCR, and create near-native versions of documents for improved reading comprehension (e.g., spreadsheets look like they would in Excel). Unlike traditional processing tools, you can begin reviewing processed data immediately.

In addition to the advanced technologies discussed above, DiscoveryIQ also offers traditional ad-hoc searching via the Explore tab. Powered by dtSearch, you can search by date range and Boolean operators, and apply filters such as custodian, file type, etc. No matter how you find documents, the Review environment in DiscoveryIQ enables you to apply customizable tags such as Confidential, Privileged, and Hot Document.

The DiscoveryIQ Dashboard helps you stay on top of your cases. The Document Timeline visualizes your team's progress, and provides key metrics such as total documents and total custodians. The Dashboard also displays the number of searches, filters, and Brainspace tags used to date.

What Else Should You Know?

You can perform a traditional linear review in DiscoveryIQ or export documents for use in any ediscovery review product. DiscoveryIQ sports a clean, modern interface that runs in all desktop and mobile web browsers, including Chrome and Safari on the iPad. Learn more about Lexis DiscoveryIQ.

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.

Concordance Desktop Seeks to Make Ediscovery More Accessible

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Today's issue of TL NewsWire covers ediscovery software for small-to-medium size litigation matters (see article below), a multifunction monochrome inkjet printer, speech recognition software for lawyers, and an email app that can send push notifications for even non-push accounts. Don't miss the next issue.

Discovery documents used to arrive with a thud — the sound of bankers boxes being unloaded from a hand truck. Today they're more likely to arrive via the dulcet tone of a Dropbox notification. Of course, this notification may not sound so sweet if you don't have ediscovery software.

Concordance Desktop … in One Sentence

Launched last month at LegalTech New York, LexisNexis' Concordance Desktop is an all-in-one ediscovery software suite for small-to-medium size litigation matters.

The Killer Feature

Concordance Desktop has a new input engine designed for do-it-yourself processing. The software can run on a relatively modest Windows PC, but thanks to its multicore, hyperthreaded architecture, you can increase processing speed with beefier hardware. Product manager Wil Cummings tells us that Concordance Desktop can process up to 60,000 pages per hour.

Processing requires just a few clicks. You create a new database, and then point Concordance Desktop to a data source such as an Outlook PST file or a folder of scanned documents. Concordance Desktop de-duplicates documents in the dataset, applies OCR technology to make scanned documents searchable, and performs a near-native conversion to make the documents look like they would in their native application. You can customize the processing workflow, including adding Bates stamps.

Other Notable Features

LexisNexis has also improved the tools for document review and production. Among the highlights, you can structure searches in new ways such as focusing only on email attachments. The new Persistent Search feature enables you to search a subset of a database (e.g., the key custodians in a case). The core review tools include redaction, notes, and issue tagging.

When producing documents, you can choose from native format or a traditional PDF- or TIFF-based load file, and apply a watermark and Bates numbers in the header or footer of each page. Concordance Desktop tracks all work performed from processing to review to production, providing you with an audit trail.

Concordance Desktop now works directly over the Internet so there's no need for remote desktop software. Remote users just download and install Concordance Desktop, enter their credentials, and work as if they're in the office. In the office, you can centrally install Concordance Desktop throughout your firm.

The new Admin Console enables you to manage databases of processed documents such as assigning them to Groups and Matters, and reindexing databases so that newly added documents become available to reviewers (reindexing can occur automatically by setting up a recurring Job). The SmartPath tool locates all Concordance Desktop databases on a volume.

What Else Should You Know?

LexisNexis sells concurrent licenses for Concordance Desktop. This approach saves you money because you only need enough licenses to cover the number of people working in Concordance Desktop simultaneously. Using the Admin Console, you can end the session of an idle user to free up a license for another user. Also, LexisNexis offers Burst licenses for short-term projects that temporarily require more simultaneous users. Learn more about Concordance Desktop.

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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