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Over the past decade, following the great recession, client demands for predictability, certainty and efficiency are on the rise.  No longer does the billable hour reign nor do invoices pass through with little to no scrutiny. The new reality revolves around the pressure to reduce legal spend, gain predictability and promote efficiencies. In response, most large law firms have developed pricing and legal project management (LPM) roles or programs.  Through every point in the matter life cyle, there is an opportunity for pricing or LPM professionals to add value and support to the client and attorney team. The goal of these roles should be to marry the needs ...
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What is phishing? Phishing scams are generally email messages appearing to come from legitimate sources (your credit card company, your Internet service provider or your bank). These messages usually direct you to a fake (spoofed) website or otherwise get you to enter private information (secret password answers, credit card #, passwords etc.). The criminals then use this information to commit identity theft. An example of a common method used is an email message stating that you are receiving it due to fraudulent activity on your account, and asking you to "click here" to verify your information.  Phishing scams are social engineering tools ...
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This past week members discussed document management system (DMS) tools, leadership and mentoring and more. Jump to the “Something Extra” section for some analysis of the new ABA Ethics Opinion and content from the Legal Innovation and Tech Fest held in Melbourne, Australia earlier this month. Explore curated sources on these topics including some from ILTA’s treasure chest. Document Management Systems – Finding the Right Fit Finding the right DMS has its challenges. Then there’s testing, implementing, training, maintenance, etc. Get started on this project by watching the ILTA Video recording, “Love It or List It: Can You Love Your DMS Again ...
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Blockchain technology has the potential to disrupt every institution in some way. Blockchain is an open, distributed ledger that can record transactions between two parties efficiently and in a verifiable and permanent way. Initial blockchain development is occurring within the financial services, healthcare, music industry and logistics sector to name only a few. In the diamond industry, gems are being traced from mines to consumers. There is a good likelihood you’ll see the impact in the legal space in the not so distance future. Fortunately there are many resources available through ILTA and other outside sources to help you learn about this fascinating ...
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Splitting a PDF by Bookmark Levels in Nuance Power PDF Advanced If you have bookmarked a PDF files, you can then split the file into separate documents based on the bookmarks.   Open the PDF and click Advanced Processing , Split .  The following screen will appear:   Select Current Document and Split by bookmark level . Enter the bookmark level at which you want to split the document.  (For example, if you want to split your document at the first level bookmarks, you would type 1.  If you want to split at the third level bookmarks, you would type 2.) Click OK . The following screen will appear:   Select a ...
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How to Find a Mentor

No two ways about it: Building a career without a mentor is just plain hard.  But finding a mentor can be just as hard…. Or at least it can feel that way.  Fortunately, we have provided some tips below that can help. General Guidelines Guideline 1:  Before considering becoming involved with a mentoring program, you need to have a good sense of what you want to gain from the experience.  If your goal is to be more effective in your current position, be upfront about that.  We often earn opportunities for future advancement by giving all we have today.  Similarly, if you want to advance to a position with more responsibility or you want to consider ...
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This past week members discussed improving workflow, double-duty as a trainer and user support and more. Jump to the “Something Extra” section for information state data breach laws. Explore curated sources on these topics including some from ILTA’s treasure chest. Law Firm Profitability In today’s law firm environment, considering efficiency and profitability is an imperative. Rebecca Holdredge takes us deeper into the finance and profitability models in law firms in her must-read blog series “How is Law Firm Profitability Measured? Part I: Background ,” “Part II: Cost Allocation” and “Part III: Allocation.” Besides understanding profitability, ...
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How is Law Firm Profitability Measured? PART III - Implementation Once the cost allocation methodology is implemented ( as described in Part II ) profitability metrics can be calculated.  In order for profitability information to be actionable and useful to partners and management, it needs to be implemented so profitability can be seen at any level in the law firm, including down to an individual matter level.  Why is Cost per Hour Needed?  The benefit of calculating cost on an hourly basis is that it enables profitability metrics to also be calculated on an hourly basis.  Simply take the revenue generated for that hour and subtract ...
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How to Use the Spike to Copy and Paste Text in Microsoft Word Word contains a little known feature, called the Spike, that allows you to gather blocks of text and/or images from different locations in a Word document and then paste all of that content to another location in that document or into another Word file or other program. The Spike in Word is named after the old-fashioned paper holder onto which people poked papers as they were done with them. You may still see the original version of the Spike in use in some businesses. The Spike is different from the Clipboard, which allows you work with only one copied block of text at a time. The Spike ...
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This past week members discussed enterprise search and more. Jump to the “Something Extra” section for information on this year’s SharePoint Symposium and food. Explore curated sources on these topics including some from ILTA’s treasure chest. Enterprise Search – Finding Something to Love A member recently asked for recommendations on the what , why and where of enterprise search. If you joined the recent Knowledge Management virtual roundtable, you heard about the big and very positive impact enterprise search had at one panelist’s firm. (See the takeaways document from the roundtable.) Is it worth it for you and if so where do you start ...
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In part 5 of this series , the wonderful world of user acceptance testing (UAT) was explored. Ed. Now, you have tested your platform and you are satisfied that you have a product ready to release to your users. How do you manage the launch? Get the message right An old adage of marketing, the Rule of Seven, proclaims that prospective buyers need to see or hear the product’s marketing message at least seven times before they will be persuaded to buy it. While some argue that the rule is outdated in today’s digital world, the message behind it remains unarguably valid: to succeed, a marketing effort must be repetitive and consistent. This maxim ...
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Ever want to get an inside look at ILTA programming coming down the road? The Technical Operations Content Coordinating Team, along with the magicians from ILTA marketing, have put together a “roadmap” of 2017 programming.  Check it out here : bit.ly/TORoadMap   Q1 in the rear view mirror and we have prepared some great programming. Q2 is gearing up to be just as good. Keep and eye out for these exciting topics just to name a few!   ·         Two-Factor Authentication (2FA) In today's world , passwords are not enough .  If you're not using or considering 2FA you probably deserve an ...
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As collaboration across multiple teams within firms becomes the norm, it is often very helpful to have at least a functional knowledge of how other groups work to add value to the organization. But given the challenges of individual learning styles, remote workforces and time pressures from daily work responsibilities, how can one develop cross-functional skills? As a cross-functional professional in the fields of law, process and technology, I believe that the answer lies in both the individual learner and in company learning environments.   The Individual Learner: Commitment to Lifetime Learning   Technology, skillsets and organizational functions ...
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Change Your Default Search Engine in Edge To change your search provider, click or tap the menu button — that's the button with three dots at the top-right corner of the Microsoft Edge Select “Settings” in the menu. Scroll down in the Settings panel and tap or click the “View advanced settings” button near the bottom. You’ll see a list of available search providers. Select the search engine you want to use and click or tap “Add as default.” If the search engine you want to use doesn’t appear here, be sure you’ve visited the search engine’s homepage first. If you have and it still doesn’t appear, that search engine doesn’t support ...
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This past week members discussed data analytics and more. Jump to the “Something Extra” section for a strategy to align your department with your organization’s business initiatives. Explore curated sources on these topics including some from ILTA’s treasure chest. The Data of Our (Work) Lives Whether you want it or not, you have the data. The real challenge lies in the analysis of the data. To begin, watch Tim Golden’s ILTA Video called Legal Data Analytics 101 . He provides the background on data analytics with use cases, pitfalls to avoid, methods, tools and more. Next, read a blog post. Will Pett, Conan Hines and Justin Tullo offer pointers ...
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Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake | Deb Dobson | Pulse | LinkedIn I've previously written about some blockchain use cases, along with a blockchain 101 article for those who are just learning about the technology. This article will focus on two consensus algorithms - Proof of Work vs Proof of Stake . First a little background, blockchain is a shared ledger distributed across a network and can be either permissioned or permissionless. Permissionless networks are open to any participant, and transactions are verified against the pre-existing rules of the network. Any participant can view transactions on the ledger, even if participants are anonymous. ...
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How is Law Firm Profitability Measured?  PART II - Cost Allocation In professional services industries, such as legal, the revenue side of the profitability equation is usually easy enough – multiply billable hours for the practice, office, employee etc. by the applicable billable hour rate to determine revenue.  This can be measured by fees worked, fees billed, or fees collected [ See Part I for more details ].  But, how do you allocate costs to a practice, office, or employee to determine if they are profitable?  An important part of calculating profitability is determining how to allocate organizational expenses to fee earners and which ...
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Beware of Auto Save in Microsoft Project! By Tony Zink You may initially think that Microsoft Project’s auto save feature can be a great life saver… but beware! When you save a project schedule in Microsoft Project — either manually or automatically — all of your ‘undo’ operations are removed. Prior to the save:  After the save (notice the ‘Undo’ button on the Quick Access Toolbar is greyed out
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This past week members discussed new business intake, quality assurance and more. Jump to the “Something Extra” section for insight into change management. Explore curated sources on these topics including some from ILTA’s treasure chest. New Business Intake (NBI) Questions come in regularly to the ILTA communities about how best practices for new business intake workflows. We want efficient NBI process without losing quality or exposing a firm to unnecessary risk. The most recent Peer to Peer has a best practices article to assist with your workflows and data management, “ Raise Your Conflicts Technology Game.” Also read ILTA’s Business and Financial ...
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In part 4 of this series , the authors guided us through implementation and development. Ed. Once your platform has been implemented and handed over to your team, you will need to make sure that everything works the way you want it to work. After all of the effort and time you have put in, the last thing you want is to fail now. This is where testing comes into play. What is User Acceptance Testing? Unfortunately, we know from experience that if KM does not conduct the testing, you can never be certain the product you hand over to your users will work as they expect it to. This is true regardless of how comprehensive the IT department’s quality ...
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