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    Archive for January, 2011
    Microsoft Office 2011 for the Mac Blues…
    Sunday, January 30th, 2011

    ♬  Modern technology
    unleashed upon mankind…♬

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Cause For Effect.

    Microsoft Office for the Mac

    Microsoft Office for the Mac

    Well I thought it was about time to try the latest version of Microsoft’s Office for the Mac, version 2011.  2011 was released in Oct, 2010 and has been followed by ‘bug fixes’ and the usual series of updates (one major one shortly after release), so I thought it would be safe to download this latest version by now.

    I had been using the 2008 version with Word, PowerPoint, Excel and Entourage.

    One of the major differences in the 2011 version is the incorporation of Outlook onto the Mac to replace Entourage.   I won’t go into an extensive review of the differences between the 2008 and 2011 version since PCMag did such a great job, giving the 2011 version of Microsoft Office for the Mac a Best of the Year 2010 Award.

    Now I have to say that while I learned to adjust to Entourage, I use Outlook on a PC daily (I work concurrently on a PC and a Mac).  I learned to like (and know) Entourage, I knew Outlook from years of use and experience.  So yes, I was actually looking forward to seeing Outlook on the Mac. (more…)

    Posted in I'm a Mac, Law Firm Strategy, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 5 Comments »
    BC Courthouses and Libraries Now Offering Wi-Fi!!
    Friday, January 28th, 2011

    ♬  It’s more than a feeling (more than a feeling)…♬

    Lyrics and Music by Tom Scholz, recorded by Boston.

    Courthouse Library Logo

    Wireless Internet at the BC Courthouse Libraries and Courts

    Nate Russell over at the BC Courthouse Library Society has advised of the launch of Wireless Internet for lawyers in libraries and courthouses across BC on a pilot basis.  This is a long-overdue initiative and one which should be met with applause by lawyers!  However use of the Wi-Fi network has considerations both from a technical as well as a legal and ethical standpoint.  Accordingly I am grateful to Nate for writing this overview of the Wi-Fi network which should be read by every lawyer before they log on and start using the service.

    Accordingly, here is Nate’s memo (in full) summarizing the Courthouse Wi-Fi service:


    The Courthouse Library Society of BC (“CLBC”)  is in the process of implementing wireless (“Wi-Fi”) networks throughout its regional branches, and in a handful of smaller branches. Presently (January 18, 2011), Wi-Fi is available to library clients on a pilot basis at Victoria and North Vancouver branches.

    Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George and Vancouver branches will soon also have Wi-Fi networks open to library users on a pilot basis. We have yet to confirm which smaller branches other than North Vancouver will be included in the pilot. (more…)

    Posted in Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | 8 Comments »
    Slaw Tips
    Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

    ♬ Work it; make it; do it; makes us.
    Harder, better, faster, stronger.
    More than, hour, our, never.
    Ever, after, work is, over…♬

    Lyrics and Music by: Thomas BangalterGuy-Manuel de Homem-ChristoEdwin Birdsong, recorded by Daft Punk.

    SlawTips is now live!   Of course you all know, the multiple award-winning Canadian legal blog on all things legal.  Slaw has now created SlawTips – a separate blog that whose mandate is to publish useful tips three times each week — on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. These tips are for lawyers and those working with the law. Since I am one of the contributors, I can stated that our aim is to keep them short and sweet: tips you can put to work without a lot of fuss and bother.

    We publish tips in three broad areas: technology, practice, and research.

    The editor for the technology tips is my friend and colleague Dan Pinnington. As the Director of practicePRO at the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO), Dan helps lawyers avoid malpractice claims. He is passionate about legal technology and wrote the just-published Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success: Essential Tips to Power Your Practice.

    Laura Calloway and I are the joint editors of the practice tips. Laura is a lawyer and the Program Director of the Alabama State Bar Practice Management Assistance Program. Laura is a member of the American Bar Association, and has served on the Law Practice Management Section’s governing council since September of 2006. She was a member of the planning board of ABA TECHSHOW® 2006, 2007 and 2008, and served as Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2009. In September of 2009 she was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management. Her blog on issues of interest to members of the Alabama State Bar can be found at The Last Word.

    Of course, I am a lawyer and Practice Management Consultant and advisor for The Law Society of British Columbia. My area of expertise is enhancing a law firm’s profitability, developing strategic business planning and applying technology to the practice of law. My mission in life is to empower lawyers to apply practice management concepts to the practice of law in innovative ways that provide service excellence. I am also the founder and current Chair of the Pacific Legal Technology Conference.

    Tips on research are edited by Shaunna Mireau. Shaunna is the Director of Knowledge Management and Libraries at Field Law, a firm with offices in Calgary and Edmonton, Alberta as well as Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She manages the firm libraries, legal research, and the mentoring of students; as well, she coordinates knowledge management projects, and collaborates closely with the firm’s technology team and practice groups. Shaunna blogs at Shaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research.

    SlawTips is an initiative of Slaw, where Shaunna, Laura, Dan and others are all regular contributors. Of course, behind the scenes is Simon Fodden, Professor Emeritus, Osgoode Hall Law School, York University, Toronto, ON, founder of and part of the brain trust of Slaw!

    All of us are going to be pulling out all the stops to find tips that will help you work harder, better, faster, stronger – hour after hour!

    Posted in Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Make it Work!, Technology, Tips, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Squares are Cool
    Monday, January 17th, 2011

    ♬ But there is no denying that
    It’s hip to be square…♬

    Lyrics and music by: Bill Gibson, Sean Hopper, and Huey Lewis, “Hip to be Square”

    Square for phone or iPad

    Square is a revolutionary service and device that turns a smart phone or iPad into a credit card point-of-sale terminal. Imagine being able to take credit card payments – anywhere, anytime – such as at the courthouse, at the client’s home, at the client’s office etc.

    Launched by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey and Jim McKelvey, this little device stands to change how lawyers get paid.

    Currently, there is no contract, no rental cost, no extra equipment aside from the reader (pictured above) and the associated software, no monthly ‘fees’ or merchant account required. Receipts are sent electronically.

    The fees? 2.75% + $0.15 to swipe a card; 3.5% + $0.15 if you have to key-in the card. The reader is free.

    Contrast this with existing merchant account contracts where you have to pay a monthly cost for the card reader equipment, enter into a contract, incur setup fees as well as possibly face monthly minimum usage requirements (and pay a penalty fee if you don’t meet the minimum usage amount). There may be other fees and charges levied based on the type of credit card being processed as well as “customer service fees” and such.

    It even provides management reports that tracks your top clients, taxes, payments by location and more.

    All transactions are stated to meet all standard industry security practices (detailed on their website here).

    There is only one tiny problem with Square – it is only available in the USA (as detailed in their Terms of Service). So unfortunately – for now – Canadian lawyers can’t be hip to be square – unlike our American cousins.

    (Hat tip to Bill Andrew for pointing this out to me!).

    Posted in Make it Work!, Technology, Tips | Permalink | 1 Comment »
    A Relational Rule of Life
    Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

    ♬ All of these lines across my face
    Tell you the story of who I am
    So many stories of where I’ve been
    And how I got to where I am
    But these stories don’t mean anything
    When you’ve got no one to tell them to…♬

    Lyrics and Music by: Phillip John Hanseroth, recorded by Brandi Carlile.

    This is another wonderful guest post by Beth Flynn of the OSU Leadership Center on leadership and relationships. This post speaks to developing leadership by cultivating relationships.

    1. Process situations relationally. Develop the habit of evaluating situations from a relational perspective.

    2. Practice presence in your conversations. Be totally present in your conversations. Avoid thinking forward to the next task or next conversation.

    3. Develop a story with everyone you meet. Every relationship has its own special history. Make sure you review this and plan constructively.

    4. Cultivate relational intelligence. Be aware of what others are thinking and feeling.

    5. Find ways of closing the parity gap. Subtle power of differentials – physical, financial, reputational- can be at place and make a powerful impact on a relationship without you being aware of it.

    6. Gather information about others and retain it. Deliberately broaden your knowledge of other people or organizations.

    7. Think from the other side. Ensure that your conversations with others are mutually beneficial and that both sides have incentive to continue the relationship and profit from it.

    8. Take time to plan your day relationally. Take a few minutes every morning to think over who you are going to meet and how that meeting will build that relationship.

    9. Do a relational evaluation. At the end of the day, take a few moments to review what’s happened in your relationships.

    10. Value relationships above everything else. The reality is that we do value relationships above everything. The challenge for most of us is to keep it in mind in the crucible of commercial competition.

    From: Schluter, M. & Lee, D.J. (2009). The relational manager: transform your workplace and your life. Oxford, England: Lion Books. p. 176-178.

    The Relational Manager is available on loan from the Ohio State University Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource. Then click on the Spectrum icon.

    Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world.

    Thanks Beth for reminding us that to be effective leaders, we need to stop talking, take a moment and listen to the stories of those who are meaningful to us.

    Posted in Change Management, Leadership and Strategic Planning, personal focus and renewal, Tips, Trends | Permalink | 1 Comment »