Category Archives: Andrea C

Taking Charge 2018

 

I’m just back from Atlanta and speaking for the GA State Bar on productivity and the web.  Wanted to post a few pix and say thanks to Natalie Kelly – the Law Practice Management advisor for the GA Bar who asked me to travel down and experience a little Southern hospitality while helping her members figure out ways to do things better, faster …. even be stronger given the awesome wellness track. Bravo to Natalie and her team for putting together such a fabulous event to help GA lawyers (and their staff)!

Fellow headliners included Brett Burney, ediscovery expert and all around geeky Mac guy and Rochelle Washington, a practice management advisor for the Washington DC Bar.  Both brought a lot of energy and a ton of practical information to the event.


Seriously, if you work at a law firm and/or are a solo and are at/in/around Atlanta – get yourself to next year’s GA State Bar Solo and Small Firm Institute (Sept 27-28, 2019) and if you are a service or person who helps law firms – you want to be a part of this dynamic and growing event so get in touch with Natalie and let her know you’re in for 2019!

Least disruptive billing software question

Sometimes I draft a response to a question or item on Solosez for which I believe I will get booted if I post. In the past, I have simply deleted – opting in favor to remain in the good graces of COTE.

Today, however, I decided that I’m going to stop wasting such content and will post here instead and can direct those from Solosez if they wish to see my response. What I will NOT do is post the identity of the person asking the question. If you are on Solosez, you already know who it is (or can easily figure it out) and if you are not, you should join.*

Today’s question is about billing software:

Q: “I am revisiting my billing software. Specifically, I am looking for what is least disruptive to your workflow. I hate the transition from working on a motion or writing an email, and then using my software to enter time. Is there some AI that integrates with email, one that uses verbal commands or other software that you have found less disruptive for capturing time?”

A: Clients of LegalTypist use their voice to capture time. It is entered where it needs to go based on each client’s workflow. All workflows these days are custom.

FWIW, most clients experience a jump in billables when they start to track contemporaneously via voice. I always recommend billing and other notes be taken immediately after every event – call, meeting, court date… anything significant happening on a case should have a note (although not all notes are billing entries).  When you have a human being on the other end that knows what you need to have done simply because you say something, it’s like AI, only add on  the ability to THINK and ACT upon your words vs. just decipher them.  #analogAI LOL

My preferred billing program for “legal” is Time59. Pricing is right and I do my best to support the other small business owners, like Tracy Griffith (of LawCharge fame) who not only offer  great products, but who know their shit as well as I do mine.

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*What’s Solosez?  An email list of about 3,000 legal peeps (mostly attorneys) who banter back and forth.  It is an active list so I recommend you NOT clog up your domain email but rather sign up using a gmail or other public/free option.  To learn more and join, click here

All About the Flow

Below is an excerpt from a book that Emily, my 17 year old daughter, picked up titled: The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie:

Letting Go of Fear

Picture yourself swimming — floating — peacefully down a gentle stream.  All you need to do is breathe, relax and go with the flow.

Suddenly you become conscious of your situation. Frightened, overwhelmed with “what if’s?” your body tenses. You begin to thrash around, frantically looking for something to grab on to.

You panic so hard you start to go under. Then you remember — you’re working too hard at this. You don’t need to panic. All you need to do is breathe, relax, and go with the flow.  You won’t drown.

Panic is our greatest enemy.

We don’t need to become desperate. If overwhelming problems appear in our life, we need to stop struggling.  We can tread water for a bit, until our equilibrium returns.  Then we can go back to floating peacefully down the gentle stream.  It is our stream. It is a safe stream. Our course has been charted. All is well.

Today, I will relax, breathe, and go with the flow.

I am having the above printed and will be mounting it on the wall by my desk – in direct line of site  — just above and behind my monitor.

I have long called the craziness of modern day digital life not a battle to gain balance, but to control the flow.

I am also constantly reminding myself, clients and colleagues to breathe.

We all get so caught up in the flow, we forget that  there are tools to help.

Just as floats, boats and scuba gear help swimmers control a river, DAFT and other tools are available to help service professionals control the flow of work.

Mostly, however, we forget that we are absolutely in control of how much we allow the digital to invade our lives. All. The. Time.

You can turn it all off (and not miss out on a thing).

In fact, rather than missing out on some digital tidbit of some far away “friend” on Facebook, perhaps you’ll seize that moment to sit with your daughter and ask: “Hey!  What cha reading?” … and, in that ever so beautiful voice, be rewarded with the words above.

Pick a day and turn off the digital. You (and those around you) deserve it.

The flow will still be here when you’re ready to dive on back in <-I’ll even save the Swan float for ya!  Oh. Unless it’s a Sunday – then you can save it for me (I’ll be back Monday morning).

Happy Birthday to me….

Today is my birthday and it is a day that I usually have at least one good, solid cry. I do so not because I’m getting older (although the number is starting to cause pause) … I do so because my father, God rest him, passed on my birthday – now 25 years ago.  No matter how much time elapses, that fact alone makes it a hard day for me to be happy, let alone jubilant.

So I try to focus on what makes me happy today and I find when I help others, I feel much better about myself and more positive in general.

I have tried my best as a Virtual Assistant to help people understand how to keep themselves and their information safe, while on line, for a very long time.

In fact, on my VBA bio page are a ton of links available to presentations, articles, reports and such that I have created over the years.  No email address is necessary to review most of it.

Specifically new to that page in honor of my birthday today is a presentation I gave in 2009 for the OIVAC on Digital Security which I just did my best to cut down to under 20 minutes (but ended up leaving it at 53 minutes).  That’s because it was all such good info!

A little back story: The OIVAC hosts a 3 day virtual convention each May and in 2009 mine was the LAST presentation.  To say that our attendees were exhausted/overwhelmed would be an understatement!  Given I am on the Steering Committee, I knew I had to make my talk relevant and easy to understand.

I pondered … how was I going to make “Digital Security” something 100’s of worldwide Virtual Assistants would be able to stay awake and digest … and it hit me — what else?!  FOOD! <g>

So head over to my VBA Bio page click to play or right click to download and have a listen to Digital Security 101.

It’s been a long time since I reviewed this particular talk, and it’s FULL of practical, useful information that may just stop you from doing something that compromises your equipment or the security of the files and information entrusted to you.

If you work at a law firm, while you’re at the  Virtual Bar Association – join! It’s free and that can be your bday gift to me! 😉

P.S. {hugs} to @carolynelefant cuz today is her anniversay

 

Supreme Court Oral Argument: Hall v. Hall (as a cartoon)

Below is fellow Solosezzer, large plant printed shirt wearing, lives and works in the US Virgin Islands, fellow Andy (ok I’m Ande but it’s close enough) … in the matter Hall v. Hall before the US Supreme Court.

I had the pleasure of meeting Andy at my first TechShow in Chicago wayyy back and we’ve remained connected, for the most part, through Solosez.   I don’t think I know anyone who has argued before the Supreme Court before and I think it’s totally cool that I can brag that I do now AND look at how it’s presented by @SCOTUStoons

 

Whoo hoo and congrats to Andy for not only a great argument, but slam dunkin it at the Supreme Court with a 9-0 decision.  Quite a win for not just the Supreme Court, but this particular Supreme Court AND what a win for every solo who’s ever dreamed of really making a difference in the law (while working from a far off tropical isle)!