HP Smart Print.
Okay, road warrior. You now have a cheap Chromebook in your hands. You are tethered to your smartphone, and happily computing away in Chrome. You have installed RollUp and are creating and saving documents with OpenOffice, LibreOffice, or Google Drive. What now? How are you going to print your documents on paper? Well, if you are a Florida lawyer, you don't have to anymore. You serve your pleadings online direct to the courthouse, and you serve them on opposing counsel via email. You never have to smudge your fingers with ink again. However, you still want a paper copy for your file, or there are unrepresented persons in your case, and you still have to serve them with paper. What to do? Well, it occurred to me that I have the Chrome extension for HP EPrint installed. I am using a ChromeBook, right? Just call up EPrint, and print directly to the web connected HP printer in the office. Very cool. Very FutureLawyer.
I am having breakfast at my favorite restaurant, and it is getting cold. A question by friend and talented legal cartoonist, Charlie Fincher, whose work is in the Royal Library in Great Britain, about online word processing on the Chromebook, piqued my curiosity. Searching in the Chrome Store, I discovered RollApp, which is a free site that provides online access to many apps, including, OpenOffice, Libre Office, Libre Office Draw, OpenOffice Draw, OpenOffice Calc, and many more. Very cool. And, you can link the apps to Dropbox and Google Drive, so you have access to all your documents anywhere. I sync many documents to Google Drive, and I pay a few dollars a month for 100 Gigs of storage. I may be able to practice law on this cheap little computer yet.
Stuff Dave Likes: The Google Chromebook: The ultimate traveling companion.
Apparently, the FutureLawyer isn't the only lawyer who is finding that the cheap Acer Chromebook is a great traveling companion. It is inexpensive, RAM upgradable (I have 8 gigs in mine), is light and easy to use, has a near instant start up routine, and gives access to plenty of web based apps. It has a full complement of ports if you want to connect peripherals, and goes 4 hours on a charge. I am now using it instead of my tablets for on the go computing. Admit it, you spend more than $199 on dinner and a movie. This belongs in every lawyer's travel bag. The only drawback is that your She Who Must Be Obeyed or your He Who Obeys You will want one. I had to buy a second one last night for SWMBO, because she kept grabbing mine. Oh well.
Fastcase Flags Negative Case History.
One of the benefits of Florida Bar membership is free access to the Florida cases and search engine of FastCase. While I use Google Scholar for case finding in the first instance, I often check my work against the FastCase search engine available at Florida Bar's website. Now, FastCase has introduced a search algorithm that finds case citations that negatively affect a found case. In effect, this is comparable to Shepard's editors that will tell you with a glance whether a case has been reversed or otherwise negatively treated. FastCase calls this Bad Law Bot, which I like for its whimsical treatment of a serious subject; but, I still prefer reading citing cases, and deciding for myself. Having a red flag, however, will highlight cases that need to be looked at closely before being cited. 23 state bars now provide FastCase to their members. You are paying for FastCase through your Bar dues...now you have no excuse not to use it. FastCase even has Android and IPhone apps for on the go research. I still have a set of Florida cases in my library; but, I can't remember the last time I took a book off the shelf.
The PDF Solution & Technology Innovator - Unidocs Inc..
There are a lot of ways to read pdf files in Android. My favorite is a 99cent app, EZPDF Reader, which is fast, easy to use, and conforms to phone or tablet with ease. As electronic filing becomes mandatory in Florida, and as most documents are converted to pdf before attaching to email, a competent pdf reader is an essential part of the mobile lawyer's app arsenal. This is the one to get. Pry that dollar out of your wallet, and download and install it.
Interest calculation and Loan Management software - Margill.
Let's face it. We are lawyers, not mathematicians nor are we accountants. Well, some of us are, but not most of us. I love Margill Law Edition software. It keeps me up to date on Florida's ever changing post judgment interest rates, which change quarterly. It also has the pre and post judgment rates from the Federal Government, along with Loan amortization and management software that can perform any calculation you might desire. It has all the IRS interest rate tables, and much more. You may not need Margill every day. But, when you do need it, it will save a ton of time and money. The company provides me with a free copy of the software; but, I would buy it if I had to. Now, I hope they aren't reading this. You can try it out, and check it out for yourself.
Chrome Web Store - Google Scholar Legal Content Star Paginator.
This free little tool is handy for legal researchers who are used to seeing page numbers inline in Westlaw or Lexis. If you use the free Google Scholar service for basic legal research (why are you paying for legal research?), this will put star pagination into your Scholar results. The first place I go for case finding is Scholar; and, often I need not go anywhere else. I particularly like the "Cited by" command, which works like a poor man's Shepard's Citations. It lists all cases citing your case, and gives a one line reference to the citing case. Very handy.
PDF Converter Professional - PDF Converter Professional | PDF Converter Solutions Create PDF - Nuance.
I have been using PDF Converter Professional from Nuance for a couple of years now, and, at under $100, it is cheaper, faster and better than Adobe Acrobat. I initially got it because I use PaperPort for all my document imaging, scanning, and storage needs, and, since Nuance finally got PaperPort right, I wanted to stay in the family. However, Converter Pro has become such a part of my daily lawyering that I can't imagine doing without it. In fact, now that PDF efiling is mandatory with the Florida Court system, it is absolutely the most used software, with PaperPort, on my machine, other than document creation stuff. Yes, you can efile Word documents; but, I use WordPerfect, and it is a kludge to convert to Word before filing. By scanning my work, or saving it, into a PDF, I store and send it to the Court and other lawyers simply and securely. You can find this software for as little as $79 online, and I assure you that you will be amazed at what it can do. It even includes a FormTool that makes instant fill in the blank forms out of your scans.
Be Enthusiastic - Attorney at Work.
This post at Attorney At Work is intended to help attorneys market themselves and their practices. I confess that I have never given much thought to marketing. However, my guiding light, Dale Carnegie, taught me a lot about selling myself and my ideas. In fact, he also believed in enthusiasm as a key ingredient in business success. It applies across all endeavors in life as well. However, it is not something that you can plug in to your life like a new computer. It has to be real, and must be sincere. Just as Mr. Carnegie advised that interest in the other guy will help create a connection, he also advised that it isn't hard to distinguish between sincerity and phoniness. So, be enthusiastic; but, let your enthusiasm be real, not forced, and genuine, not phony. Phony can be smelled from long distances. Be yourself, and find stuff you are enthusiastic about, and it will attract success. You won't make it if you fake it.
Secrets of Success - Android Apps on Google Play.
I have never been one who liked to spend money on success coaches, or self improvement books and the like. However, I have always found myself going back to the best of the business, Dale Carnegie, and his seminal book, "How to Win Friends and Influence People". I spent a whole dollar on this Dale Carnegie Training app, Secrets of Success, and I find myself clicking on it every morning. Each day there is a new quote from the master himself, and they are always filled with good advice to carry me during the day. The app has a lot of good information; and, while it is admittedly a sales tool for Carnegie training, you don't need to get the training to gain a benefit from the app. Be successful. An example: today's quote: "Success is not final and failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts". Now, go face the day.