Legal Technology for Small Law Firms - Strategist
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There's no need to pore through newspapers for the day's best news. You don't even have to scour the web or check your bookmarks. Newsletters -- that's right, newsletters -- save you time and effort by bringing a curated collection of the best, most relevant news right to your inbox.

There's no place better to get your newsletters than from the Internet's #1 site for free legal information. FindLaw has 41 different newsletters for legal professionals. There's a newsletter for your every need, from "Cool Jobs" -- no lame ones! -- to immigration case summaries, to developments in environmental law. Out of all those, here's a handful we think all legal professionals could use:

Conflicts of interest can be a major roadblock in your legal practice. Sure, they limit the amount of clients you can represent (a generally good idea), but they also can create major ethics headaches. Which is, of course, why you have screening procedures -- and screening software.

But not all conflicts screening programs are a fit for every firm. Whether you use legal management software or a simple spreadsheet depends on a host of factors, from the size of your practice to the types of clients you handle. With a little work, though, you can find the perfect Goldilocks software -- one that's not too complicated, not too cheap, but just right for your firm.

The federal Judiciary Conference is looking to bring the Federal Rules of Evidence into the 21st century. The Ancient Documents Rule is on the chopping block and likely to get the axe.

At the same time, the Conference is looking to make the introduction of electronic documents even easier, adding them to the list of self-authenticating documents under Rule 902. If the changes are adopted, you would no longer need to bring a witness in to court in order to authenticate electronic documents.

As webpages are becoming increasingly important evidence in litigation, so too are the standards for capturing and preserving that evidence. For years, we've seen Internet evidence used to contest disability claims, to prove a spouse's cheating ways, to support claims of trademark infringement. Heck -- even Google Earth is being marshaled in courts as evidence.

Lawyers who want to make use of webpage or electronic evidence might be surprised that simply printing out that incriminating Facebook post, defamatory tweet, or infringing email might not be sufficient anymore. Instead, attorneys need to follow best practices for capturing webpage and electronic evidence in order to ensure its admissibility in court.

Sharks swim, weasels burrow, lawyers argue -- it's simply the natural order of things. Yet some abominations, "disruptive innovators" they call themselves, would seek to abandon this system that's worked so well for at least several hundred years.

Indeed, these innovative monsters think it's time lawyers focus on collaborating with, instead of crushing, others. Particularly, they want lawyers to cooperate with, or at least stop opposing, non-lawyer direct-to-consumer legal service companies. Do they have a point?

Law firms aren't known for their effective use of office space. This is a problem because office expenses directly affect the bottom line: if you're wasting office space, you're wasting money.

Office occupancy expenses are second only to a firm's lawyer compensation, according to the 2015 Client Advisory by Citi Private Bank. This isn't an inherent problem, but many firms are still struggling since the recession, so every penny counts.

Need to maximize the value of your square footage? These office trends can help:

It can be hard to convey your intentions online. Without the context of a face to look at or voice to hear, the plain words of a text, tweet or email can easily be interpreted, and misinterpreted, in many different ways.

While the Internet has stubbornly refused to adopt context clues like the interrobang or irony punctuation, tools like emojis and emoticons can help visual express the intent behind words. But not always.

There's no question that Microsoft Word is the standard when it comes to computer word processing. The program, which was first released over 32 years ago, is installed on over 1 billion machines and used for just about all non-specialized word processing needs. But it's starting to see its dominance challenged, as consumers move to online word processors and tablets, where Word's reign is much less established.

If you're looking to break free from Bill Gates or simply want to explore other options for your firm, there are alternatives out there. Here's five quality alternatives to MS Word that are functional, affordable and, most importantly, compatible with the Microsoft documents everyone else still uses.

How Can Boutiques Compete With BigLaw? Technology!

As BigLaw firms fall, "boutique" firms rise in their place. "Boutique" is just a fancy name for a small law firm that emphasizes a few practice areas. It's not just the increased cost of BigLaw firms that has enabled boutiques to become popular, though.

As Bloomberg reports, it's technology that has allowed the little guys to finally catch up to the big guys.

LinkedIn endorsements aren't the hardest kinds of endorsements to get. Your mother, your neighbor, even total strangers can endorse you for all sorts of skills, from complex civil litigation to organizing company softball teams.

While colleagues can provide detailed recommendations, also featured prominently on your LinkedIn profile, endorsements are a simple thumbs up -- a sign that someone stands behind your skills. But, do they matter?