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The dreaded spinning circle on your browser tab. That sudden notification that you've been disconnected from your chat program. It can only mean one thing: The Internet is out. Few phrases spawn more fear into a member of the 21st century bourgeoisie than that (other candidates include "Your credit card's been declined" and "Target is closed").

As a solo or small firm, your law office runs on the Internet. Is there anything you can do during an Internet outage? As it turns out, there is. So if you're reading this on your phone (or if you've printed this out just in case), here are five things you can do when the Internet goes down:

This week is Thanksgiving, and you're going to be out of the office, but you're not really going to be out of the office, are you? Let's face it: Come Friday, you're going to be back on your computer, billing furiously.

Even so, you'll still be at home, trying desperately to overcome the meat sweats induced by the previous night's overindulgence. If you can't be in the office, here are some apps you can use to connect to your stuff remotely.

You know what was vastly underrated? The Smith-Corona typewriter. Typewriters didn't distract you with celebrity gossip. They didn't have email alerts popping up in the corner of your screen, ready to interrupt your work every few minutes. And eye fatigue? Not so much, not when you're not staring at an artificially lit computer screen for 8 to 10 hours straight.

Sadly, the typewriter is no more. Research, brief writing, and even filing is done using these damned computers and the "information superhighway." According to the 2014 Digital Eye Strain Report, Americans on average are now spending nine hours per day in front of a digital screen. Nearly 70 percent of adults report eye strain, more so among younger adults (18 to 34) than older adults with presumably higher rates of actual eye issues.

What can you do to relieve the pain? Here are a few tips:

There was once a time where nobody used Google. Yeah, it existed. We used things like Lycos and AOL. But that all ended decades ago, right?

Seriously, Google is the Internet. This should not surprise you. If you wanted to look up orange monkeys right now, you'd probably go to Google. Nearly everybody has a Gmail account. Google's offerings dominate most of their respective markets because they are so damn good and simple.

Google is where your clients are. And it is where you need to be. Check out these five ways your firm can get the most out of Google:

A complaint is a complaint is a complaint. Most have captions, parties listed, and many have that line numbering along the side of the page that Word just loves to tinker with if you shift away from double-spacing. Some courts mandate certain fonts, font-sizing, spacing, and margin size.

Let's hope the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania doesn't, because this complaint is a freaking work of art: font choices, formatting, bright red signature at the end -- it's all just so dang perfect. Take a look for yourself:

Have you embraced WestlawNext, in all its modern, orange-laced glory yet? First introduced on February 8, 2010, the far less complicated, far more modern version of Westlaw will become the one and only version for users on August 31, 2015.

That's T-minus one year for all of you holdouts. But don't worry: Thomson Reuters will walk you through the migration process with online, in-person, or telephone support.

Here's what legal practitioners need to know:

It's the week after Labor Day. Summer vacation is officially over; it's time to go back to work, desperately trying to concentrate while thinking about all the fun you had at Disneyland, snorkeling, or watching that "Simpsons" marathon.

Your return is, of course, accompanied by a mountain of email that you've been ignoring while you were busy petting dolphins in Hawaii. How can you sift through 1,000 messages in a human amount of time?

Here are five suggestions:

You wouldn't walk into court wearing a T-shirt and jeans, would you? Then why are you filing documents written in a 12-point monospace font with tiny margins? And if you don't know the difference between monospace and sans serif, that's a problem, too.

Enter Matthew Butterick, a graphic designer-turned-lawyer whose book and accompanying website "Typography for Lawyers" instructs the font-challenged of us on the finer points of desktop publishing.

As you may recall, this blog talked about Butterick several years ago, but on recent reflection, there are still things we can learn about good page layout. Here are three rules every lawyer should be familiar with:

I once had a car, a 1986 Nissan Pulsar NX, that had no keys. The ignition was started with a screwdriver, and the doors were always unlocked. I had this car for more than two years before it was towed away by the city.

Imagine an estimated two-thirds of your Internet accounts being that car. This, my friends, is Heartbleed, which has left the doors open since 2011. And the locksmiths are taking their time going around and changing the locks.

Here are a few tips for managing this minor crisis:

What Is Reputation Management?

In our profession, reputation can make or break a practice. That's why it's paramount to being a competent and successful legal practitioner to manage your reputation.

Here are some basic principles of reputation management that every lawyer should know.