Wednesday, May 23, 2018

PCLaw: Even Better in the Cloud


Even Better in the Cloud

What better way to manage your law firm than with the comprehensive practice management solution that is trusted by top firms. Managing your firm is now even more convenient with cloud-based hosting of PCLaw®. With cloud hosting, PCLaw customers can access their practice management functions anytime, anywhere with a secure online connection. This isn’t a web-based application—it’s hosting of your firm’s entire practice in the cloud, so you’ll have your software applications, documents, invoices, contacts, and email whenever and wherever you need them.

Managing Your Firm Just Got More Convenient

Recently, LexisNexis® developed its new Authorized Hosting Program. We’ve partnered with companies to provide hosting services for PCLaw that meet the highest standards of reliability, security, ethics, and support. So, what are the advantages of leaving your server behind and moving to the cloud? Here are some of the key benefits:

  • Backup and Disaster Recovery: Ransomware, viruses, weather, and even software and hardware updates can lead to lost information. With cloud hosting, your data is stored on an off-site server, without the expensive internal hardware and administrative overhead. The data centers are constantly maintaining and monitoring your systems, ensuring optimal reliability and security.
  • Remote Flexibility: With private cloud hosting, law firm staff can work anytime, anywhere with a secure Wi-Fi connection. This makes it possible to manage your entire firm from outside the office. Identifying client matter, comprehensive reporting, managing cash flows, integrating billing and accounting, and everything else is a lot more efficient when you team up with our Authorized Hosting Providers.
  • Security and Compliance: Because LexisNexis understands the unique nuances of law firm management, we’ve partnered with cloud hosting companies that offer secure and compliant access to the tools you need. Offering bank-grade encrypted security, our partners offer multi-factor authentication, onsite cloud backup, and restricted access so you know your information is safe. Also, all of your practice management, legal and compliance needs are readily available when you need it.
  • Support and Upgrades: With a hosted solution, firms can now upgrade their software faster than ever. Plus, LexisNexis Authorized Hosting Program Providers’ virtual environments have been fully vetted, ensuring the environmental issues with upgrades will become a thing of the past. Law firms also appreciate our partners as a complete resource option for network, computer, or onboarding support. Instead of juggling multiple vendors when you have an issue, our hosting partners can help you with all your technical and PCLaw speed bumps.
  • Legal-Specific Hosting: Many cloud providers offer services that span across multiple industries. Not our hosting partners: They recognize the specific challenges faced by law firms when handling their matter management, billing, and accounting. Their extensive experience in the legal industry means that their understanding of your security and compliance are of high priority.

Experience Counts

PCLaw offers a complete firm management solution, and we’ve partnered with the best in the business to help you get set up in the cloud. Our Authorized Hosting Program Provider, Uptime Legal™ is a legal-specific cloud service provider that has successfully moved hundreds of law firms across North America to the cloud. Recognized by the American Bar Association, Uptime Practice includes hosting of legal software, integration amongst leading office applications, dedicated cloud servers, unlimited support, constant antivirus and security monitoring, and much more.

More and more successful firms are moving to the cloud. If you’re still struggling with the hassles of an on-site server, why not consider making the switch? Contact us for more information.


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Monday, May 14, 2018

The Intersection of AI and End-User Adoption


Earlier this year, I wrote about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it’s transforming both traditional and corporate education programs. With the support of AI, programs can be designed to support the learning styles of students, enhancing their comprehension and retention. As exciting as these advances may be, law firms aren’t always in a rush to adopt new technology. Even with the prospect of better efficiency and improved business performance, it can be tough to get employees engaged and sell the incredible value of AI. So how can your firm overcome resistance and encourage end-user adoption?

From Data to Knowledge to Insights

Let’s face it: the promise of a constant stream of new, fresh data isn’t what’s going to be what encourages user adoption. Employees are busy and they aren’t going to want anything new on their plate unless it’s going to make their life easier in the long run. So how can you make the sell? It’s vital to understand how data translates to knowledge, which leads to the insight that will help your firm excel. Insight gained must fulfill a need that your employees have. That means that end-user adoption must be the ultimate goal and any data collected should support this objective.

It can be difficult to express the journey from data to insights. One way to start is by evaluating the needs of those who will eventually be the end users. What challenges are they facing and what insights could help them better perform their jobs? The answer to this question should frame the foundation on which any data collection and analysis programs should be built. The path to efficiency starts at raw data, which is transformed by AI into the knowledge that is used to develop actionable insights.

The Path to Insights

Getting to insight sometimes requires turning the process on its head and then back over again. Large amounts of data, without context can lead to overwhelm, which is exactly what you are trying to prevent by adopting AI. This means that before the design even begins, you’ll need to consider what the ideal user practice will look like and how this will be developed. Then the cycle of design, development, delivery, and implementation can begin.

As I’ve mentioned previously, it’s vital to resist that nagging feeling that you have to add AI to your programs in order to increase employee productivity. The tools that you choose should always support rather than drive the design. If the understanding and embracing of your new programs is the ultimate goal of the design from the very beginning, user adoption won’t be an insurmountable obstacle.

I hope you’ll join me at 11:00 am on June 27th at the 2018 Accelerate Business Development Summit, hosted by LexisNexis® InterAction® for a panel session on end-user adoption. Together with Maggie Hepburn, Anna Hedgepeth, and Myles Ahearn, I’ll be discussing some of the challenges of end-user adoption and solutions for positive change.


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Thursday, May 10, 2018

How to make a case for CRM: Four key benefits and a guidebook


Have you researched customer relationship management (CRM) systems? Do you know that having one would save hours of managing client information? Are you struggling to get buy-in from firm management and decision-makers? In order to successfully sell the need for a CRM system, you need a good presentation strategy that illustrates a return on investment (ROI). Get their attention by positioning the CRM system as a business tool that will give them information quickly and will contribute to more efficient use of developing client relationships, which creates more time for billable work.

Your strategy for presenting a case to adopt a CRM system could include answers to questions such as: Who are the stakeholders that can be advocates? What tactics or key firm strategies are we trying to accomplish? Who will champion the CRM system? How do we measure success?

Essential to the success of your pitch is to involve stakeholders across the firm in the process of evaluating and defending the selection of a system. Involve them at an early stage: this initiative will help you to identify those who will support your business case and those who might need more convincing.

Conducting some due diligence before the pitch is made will ensure your selection criteria focuses on what is required to address different concerns and what will deliver the best return on investment. Without this insight, decision-makers may be swayed by the latest bells and whistles that don’t necessarily address the real needs of the business.

Here are four key benefits you can make when pitching a CRM system for your firm. These are geared toward benefits to the attorneys and partners who are concerned about generating billable hours and who don’t want to spend time entering data.

Less Data Management

MidMarket Blog Post 2 icons-1Much of the doubt raised by the suggestion of a CRM system centers around stepping away from billable hours to input data. Focus on the process of developing client relationships and the importance of rapid access to the right relationships. Does this contact currently give you work? Is there potential for future work or do they refer work? Attorneys will be thankful for the time savings incurred by a system that keeps track of their most important contacts. Explaining these benefits will also encourage firm-wide adoption and participation. Information will be accessible, accurate, and centralized for the entire practice.

CRM managers can maintain buy-in with ongoing progress reports and client activity logs delivered to attorneys at critical intervals and milestones. With many CRM systems, including LexisNexis® InterAction® software, there are opportunities to integrate many of your current systems. This key benefit would alleviate multiple entries of the same data, saving even more time. A CRM system can reveal hidden relationships that can help decide whether to pursue a certain opportunity or organization.

Better Client Service

MidMarket Blog Post 2 icons-2Consider your stakeholder discussions and include a question on how this would benefit the client. Building a client base is most successful when the long-term potential of the relationships are considered. In a presentation for the LMA New England Chapter’s Annual Conference, Robert Algeri with Great Jakes Legal Marketing illustrated that “four marketing tools are essential for developing a lead nurturing ecosystem: marketing automation technology, CRM, email, and thought leadership. A marketing automation platform needs to be integrated into the firm website and is the key component to engaging and tracking prospects by name and identifying which prospects to pursue.”

In a follow-up interview, Mr. Algeri stated, “Lead generation assumes instant gratification, [whereas] the benefits of lead nurturing are assumed over time.” Having a tool that will keep all of the data about each specific client for the long term will be integral to your firm’s success and continued growth potential.

Another way to illustrate benefits to the client is by delivering ROI reports to attorneys when possible. Show them how clients are engaging with the firm based on attorney activities and marketing campaign efforts. This benefit is twofold: it will keep attorneys and partners engaged in supplying and inputting data from their efforts, and it will maintain client communication activities, leading to better outcomes and helping to generate business. Once attorneys and partners see the wins illustrated by a CRM report, they will be more inclined to get in on the process—so their efforts show up in the next reports.

Always Be Informed

MidMarket Blog Post 2 icons-3Keeping up with numerous clients is overwhelming, so illustrate how a CRM system can alleviate a lot of this extra work. LexisNexis® InterAction® software sends you automatic updates when people in your organization communicate with one of your prospects, including details of the communication. The CRM system enables active review and management of relationships, allowing users to work smarter and save time. Added time-savers included with certain CRM systems include: Outlook client and calendar sync and calculation of relationship scores that make generating detailed activity reports easy.

Develop stronger relationships with clients, prospects, and referral sources by understanding their motivations and interests. In today’s market, you need to constantly reinforce your relationships with each one. The CRM system provides a one-source reference to anyone you interact with, even if months have passed since your last encounter.

Streamlined Marketing and Communications Campaigns

MidMarket Blog Post 2 icons-4Alleviate the task of recreating a mailing, invitation, or email list every time you schedule a communication to clients. With a CRM system, the list is already there from the last time those clients were targeted. Simply and quickly make additions and dramatically cut development time of these campaigns. The automated system ensures inactive clients are not included and new mailing addresses are updated to keep the list current.

CRM enables strategy. Ultimately, the goal is to present the CRM system as a tool to improve the quality and results of marketing communications and campaigns to achieve more wins—while keeping data management requirements to a minimum. Find out how a CRM could improve your firm’s win rate by successfully prioritizing marketing initiatives. Download the Guidebook for more information: Making a Case for CRM: A Guide for Mid-Sized Firms.

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Monday, May 7, 2018

PRESS RELEASE – Personal Injury Lawsuit Filed Against Uber and El Paso Uber Driver

El Paso, Texas – The law firm of Glasheen, Valles & Inderman filed a personal injury lawsuit Monday on behalf of Jimena Martinez. Martinez was a passenger in an Uber vehicle when the driver ran a red light. The Uber vehicle was then T-boned by another vehicle on the Uber vehicle’s passenger side. A copy... Read More

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Friday, May 4, 2018

The CLOC 2018 Institute: A Fresh Take on Corporate Legal Services


This year’s Corporate Legal Operations Institute (CLOC) was hailed as the largest global gathering of corporate legal professionals. The CLOC 2018 conference offered many opportunities for long-time industry pros and newcomers to the field to network, share, and learn. The conference provided valuable tools for development, best practices, and technology adoption of legal operations departments. The CounselLink® team gained three valuable insights from CLOC 2018 for helping corporate legal departments become an indispensable resource to their organizations:

From Startup to Mature Legal Ops

One of the overriding themes of this year’s conference was the importance of strategic planning. Developing a comprehensive strategy is a must for startups, and this plan can serve as a foundation for even well-established departments. One important aspect to consider when developing your plan is stakeholder feedback. From the very beginning, encouraging staff and vendors to share their ideas and expectations via consistent surveying was encouraged. This information can be used to build a solid strategic plan that will help your legal department to establish itself as a key player for many years to come.

As your legal department matures, it is vital to keep employees engaged through consistent training and employee development. From day one, it is important for legal departments to pick their battles, invest wisely, and resist the urge to stray from the strategic plan when the going gets tough. Though a strategic plan may need periodic review and revision, it can serve as the roadmap to successful growth.

Building Operational Excellence

While discussing the importance of operational excellence, the value of strategic planning and employee engagement remained a consistent theme. When developing a strategy for change, start by building out a three-year plan that addresses funding for initiatives and demonstrating the value of your department to your business.


The lead change agent in a legal department is often the legal operations director, who must have a mandate from the general counsel for change to truly be effective. Consistent change and engagement is vital for developing operational excellence. Change agents and positive influencers should be supported, rewarded, and encouraged to continue their efforts to make the department excel.

Getting results from the law firms that you work with can be an obstacle to achieving the operational goals. Even legal departments that share generously with outside counsel struggle to get the data that they need in return. One best practice involves using a “carrot and stick” approach along with sharing the use and value of the metrics that you’re attempting to obtain.

Emerging Technology

As technology advances, it can be difficult for legal departments to keep up. The most successful legal departments are embracing emerging technology, which is helping them to gain insights and demonstrate their value to their business. Preparing for the rollout of new technology should be a topic addressed in a strategic plan.

As a leader in legal operations solutions, CounselLink consistently stays on top of trends and developments. We are honored to be a key developer of the technology that supports the change-makers across the corporate legal operations world. CounselLink is helping corporate legal departments to achieve maximum operational efficiency. Reach out to our experts to learn more about CounselLink and how we can help you control legal spend, manage risk, and provide unparalleled operational excellence that advances your performance.



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