Archive Monthly Archives: November 2018

What Are the Top Software Programs for Lawyers?

What Are the Top Software Programs for Lawyers?

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Most lawyers realize that their firms would benefit by implementing legal practice management software. Case, contact, and document management tools; accounting, billing, and time tracking features; calendar, schedule, and docket control are all made easier. This allows attorneys to spend their valuable time on clients and cases, rather than on daily paperwork.

There are many benefits to adopting software programs for a law office. They coordinate communication between attorneys and support staff. This helps to properly assign duties and manage deadlines. Additionally, the document management tools allow for a fast, paperless search of files on the go. Generally, practice management software keeps cases organized.

By checking out some of the features that the top law practice management software tools offer, firms can choose the right option for their needs.

How Could Choosing ActionStep Improve the Daily Flow of a Law Office?

This highly flexible, cloud-based practice management solution offers an integrated approach that addresses the basic needs of small to medium-sized firms. ActionStep allows users to design their own workflows to suit their areas of specialty.

Other noteworthy features that ActionStep provides include the following:

  • Calendar management
  •  Client billing 
  • Client conflict and copyright check 
  • Client Portal 
  • Data Security 
  • Email management 
  • MS Office Integration

Additionally, with this software, attorneys can access, search and retrieve billing, documents, emails, and file notes, etc. with merely the click of the button.

Why Should Attorneys Choose Bill4Time?

Bill4Time is exactly what it claims to be; it is a time and billing software for companies that bill based on hourly rates. In addition to its standard office software, it has a legal edition. The industry-specific version has America Bar Association (ABA) Task Codes. It also offers checks for conflict of interest, as well as trust accounting and reporting.

One of the top-rated options for law firms, Bill4Time integrates with a variety of payment gateways. These include PayPal, Quickbooks, and other credit card processors. Clients have plenty of flexibility in payment options.

How Does Clio Benefit a Firm?

Clio might be the perfect management tool for law offices. It is designed to provide an array of benefits. Users can effortlessly organize case details, create workflows, and set schedules. It allows firms to take control of their finances with accounting system integration.

Its multiple features streamline nearly all of a law office’s processes. It enables the performance of accounting, client, case, documentation, and information management, office finance, time-tracking, and scheduling with one dynamic platform. Plus, it is compatible with Android, iOS, Mac, and PCs.

How Would HoudiniEsq. Improve a Law Practice?

A legal practice management solution, HoudiniEsq runs both Windows and MAC operating systems. This software includes client management, customizable workflow automation, email management, invoicing, and trust accounting. It comes in both desktop and cloud-based versions.

What Does MyCase Offer?

MyCase is a comprehensive, web-based practice management option for lawyers. This software offers procedures that are easy to use, as well as online payment, and a secure client portal. It also resolves the generally inefficient communication between clients and their legal counsel by providing a single platform for information sharing.

Since many legal users prefer mobile options, this software provides android and IOS apps for its users. MyCase offers legal practice management assistance to their customers by way of certified consultants. This ensures successful software use.

Why Should Lawyers Choose PracticePanther for Their Firm?

A management and billing software tool, PracticePanther is designed to be easy to use for those in the legal profession. In an all-in-one automated and secure software, it combines time tracking and billing, expense management, and payment processing.

Additionally, PracticePanther offers the following features and functions:

  • API Access 
  • Custom Fields 
  • Daily Agenda Emails
  •  iPhone, iPad, and Android Apps 
  • Money-Finder Report 
  • Online Payment Processing 
  • Quickbooks Accounting Integration 
  • Secure Client Portal 
  • Trust Accounting 
  • Unlimited Data Storage 
  • UTBMS Coding & LEDES Billing 
  • Zapier Integration

This software is designed to help users save many hours per week while managing their practice. This results in a better, more lucrative bottom line.

How Can Tabs3 Be of Service?

This is desktop-based, Windows-only software designed specifically for law firms. Tabs3 is one of the most innovative and intuitive software options. It features advanced compensation formulas, client status reports, customizable billing, and time tracking. Plus, with particular additions, it supports electronic billing formats, such as LEDES. It also seamlessly integrates with Tabs3 accounting, financial, and custom report writing software.

In Conclusion

Many law offices have fewer than five employees. However, they still offer the same services as larger firms do. This means they require software that provides the same comprehensive functions as do bigger practices.

Several of the top practice management software options offer free trials or demos. This allows firms to basically “test-drive” a variety of systems. Then, they can compare the features of each before committing to their favorite.


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What Is Essential Software for Modern Law Firms?

What Is Essential Software for Modern Law Firms?

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Libraries of legal tomes, rooms of cabinets full of case files, dusty desks, and ink-stained fingers—no longer do these images represent the legal profession. Modern law practices continue to evolve to meet current and potential demands. The use of IT is one of the primary ways in which they have adapted to an advancing society.

Legal clients frequently require more intuitive service. They want to ensure that the legal counsel they hire is equipped to protect their data. The legal sector has heard their requests and has scrambled to comply.

 There are many ways in which contemporary law firms can utilize technology to improve their practice. Better, more user-friendly communication platforms ensure that clients can easily reach their attorneys. Security software that is updated as needed keeps their personal information out of the hands of criminals. Plus, there are many different managerial aspects that can be streamlined with the use of technology.

Law practice management software is quickly outdated though. Here are the basic categories of essential software for the modern law practice.

Productivity Software: What Does It Do?

Productivity software handles all of the basic tasks that an office assistant would do. These include—but are not restricted to—the following:

  • Building databasesvand spreadsheets 
  •  Creating digital presentations 
  • Drafting documents 
  • Typing and sending emails

Although Microsoft Office has long reigned supreme as the ultimate—and for a while, the only—productivity software, there are now several to choose from. The top contenders include Corel’s Word Perfect Suite and Google Apps for Work. In a range of price points and capabilities, the right software is available to meet the needs of any law firm.

How Does Customer Relationship Management Software Improve a Law Firm?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) allows firms to collect data about how they convert leads into clients. It tracks phone-calls and social-media interactions. CRM also provides basic contact management tools, as well as the ability to add notes to existing files for better record-keeping.

Additionally, the reporting function presents data in the form of charts and graphs to make it usable at a glance. Lawyers can then use the data collected to analyze their marketing platform and improve their strategies. Investment in this type of software pays off in a larger client base.

What Are the Leading Document Assembly and Management Software Options?

Document assembly software is designed for adding specific details to customize existing templates. It allows for the addition of client information or even non-generic clauses. Some of the premiere standalone or integration options include the following:

  • Draft Once 
  • FileMaker Pro 
  • HotDocs 
  • LEAP 
  • Outlook Signatures 
  • Pathagoras 
  • Smokeball 
  • Turner 
  • XPressDoc

Although many of these offer some level of document management, standalone tools provide more comprehensive control. Some of the top functions for these types of applications are check in and check out features, offline access, matter management, version control, global search capability, integration with related software, and integration with existing folder systems.

What Does Accounting and Billing Software Provide to a Law Practice?

Time and billing/accounting software is vital to the modern law office. Generally, even the most rudimentary options should perform a few basic tasks. It should have a convenient time-capture method and an invoice construction feature. It should also provide reporting tools that either are customizable or able to be integrated with trust account reconciliation management. Being able to track time and export that info to an invoice template that can be sent for billing is also a perk.

More comprehensive software offers more. Computerized spreadsheet tools like Quicken, Intuit, and GnuCash are well-known business accounting management options. These are useful in law firms. Legal-specific time, billing, and accounting tools, however, are more helpful. Tabs3/Practice Manager and PCLaw handle the basic tasks that the others do, but they have trust accounting features and other law-specific tasks as well.

What Are the Leading Case Management Software Options?

Case management software—or practice management software—provides a bit of an all-in-one for law firms. Many are cloud-based systems that require no additional purchases to supplement them.

Most include management features to handle calendars, contacts, documents, time, billing, and accounting features, as well as an email archive. There are a large number to choose from. Some of the top options are Action Step, Case Fox, Clio, Legal Files, Practice Panther, Pro Law, Tabs3/Practice Master, and Zola Suite.

Since many of these are cloud-based, users are able to access any updates or new features as soon as they are released.

In Conclusion

With comprehensive case management, document management, billing and accounting software, among others, a law office runs more smoothly. The monotonous and time-consuming daily tasks are handled effortlessly. The data is compiled for review without human interaction.

Using intuitive software and cloud-based tools, they can continue to adapt to the most advanced technology. By implementing a strong system of office management software, lawyers can focus their efforts on the aspects of the job they are passionate about instead.


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How To Protect Your Legal Firm From Cyber Crime

How To Protect Your Legal Firm From Cyber Crime

Often, law firms contact Parkway Tech and the first thing they say is, “How are you going to protect our law firm? What tools will you use? How successful is your security solution for law firms in Raleigh and Charlotte?”

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Often, law firms contact Parkway Tech and the first thing they say is, “How are you going to protect our law firm? What tools will you use? How successful is your security solution for law firms in Raleigh and Charlotte?”

The reason so many legal practices are searching for a better level of cyber security is pretty simple. These attorneys have read the news online. They’ve seen the stories emblazoned across the TV screen.

“According to a CNA Professional Counsel bulletin, roughly 80 percent of the largest firms in the United States have experienced a malicious breach. In 2016 alone, the IT consultancy Logicforce found that over 10,000 network intrusion attempts were detected per day across just 200 law firms. The same study found that 59 percent of all email directed at the firms was classified as phishing or spam messages resulting in credential theft, ransomware, or CEO fraud attempts.” (From the Barkly Blog

There’s a great article in the National Law Review that talks about how to recover your reputation after a data breach. Even though, businesses all over the world are getting hit with these cyber-attacks, people expect law firms to be better. They expect perfection from the legal world. So it’s hard to tell your clients that one of your employees opened a suspicious email and now your data base has been infected with ransomware. 

And yet, many of the nation’s largest firms have been down that road—they’ve experienced a data breach firsthand and they understand what can happen: the stress, loss of revenue, loss of reputation, the embarrassment. It can take two years to fully recover from a data breach.

Why Are Hackers Trying to Breach Law Firms?

In most breaches, hackers are trying to steal money, passwords, or login info. However, some of the newest breaches were pulled off by pros who were trying to steal information to use for insider trading. The world of corporate espionage is alive and well and that puts a huge burden on every law practice to protect their critical information.

The FBI confirms that hackers are targeting large international law firms and that they’d better be ready. You can easily see why law firms are searching for the very best IT security money can buy. They simply can’t afford to deal with a big security breach where they lose private information on multi-million dollar corporations.

With so much at stake, you have to ask yourself: Are you prepared to handle a cyber event?

Parkway Tech Specializes in Legal IT Services

One of the things that sets Parkway Tech apart is that we specialize in IT security solutions for law firms. That gives us the edge over your ordinary run-of-the-mill managed IT services company. We understand the regulations that law firms must live by. And we know how stressful their work is. Often, they deal with someone’s very life and future. That’s a lot of pressure.

When you work with an IT company that specializes in your field, you can expect more thorough solutions, along with services that are personalized.

What We Tell Clients

We try to be up-front about cybersecurity. It’s a multi-layered process, and it isn’t just about your IT company doing everything. Your employees must be well-trained in how to spot phishing and spear-phishing emails. They can be your best asset in the war on cyber-crime if trained correctly.

Our process for securing your data will evolve as the world of cyber-crime evolves. We stay on top of the latest cyber threats and we adapt our security process to reflect these changes. In addition, we provide these services:

  • Antivirus/Antimalware to protect user’s computers and files from things like ransomware. 
  • Password reports that let you know if someone’s email or computer password is inadequate or hasn’t been changed in awhile.
  •  Two factor authentication on our end for our technicians when accessing any client data. 
  • Security training for your team included as part of your service. Your employees are the most significant vulnerability in your organization. 
  • Warnings about major active scams that your team needs to be aware of. 
  • Quarterly reviews of security best practices and recommendations for improvement in your organization. 
  • Daily offsite encrypted backups of your computer systems.

We also offer optional services like SPAM filtering, email encryption, backup & disaster recovery, and data-loss prevention.

The Proactive Approach

We are constantly looking for new ways to increase our IT efficiency so it boosts your company’s capacity for productivity. This may mean holding a two-hour workshop to show your employees a more efficient way to complete certain tasks. Or it might mean working with your marketing team to launch a successful social media campaign to bring in new clients. Whatever the challenge, we are here to help your firm achieve greater success, while protecting your vital documents and records.

Engage With The Legal Industry’s Top Technology Solutions and Computer Services Company 

Parkway Tech offers technology management, help desk services, and strategic IT consulting to law firms and legal practices across North Carolina.

Let’s get started! Contact us now at (336) 310-9888 or to discover how our team can help your business meet and exceed your objectives by harnessing the power of efficient technology.

 Visit our Law Blog. Here are a few examples of what you’ll find: 

Why Should My Company Upgrade to Windows 10? 

IT Issues Winston Salem Lawyers Would Rather Avoid (Problems and Solutions) 

What Should Law Firm IT Services Include? (Questions/Answers)


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Why Small Law Firms Across The US Need Quality IT Services & Support

Why Small Law Firms Across The US Need Quality IT Services & Support

Lawyers and staff now rely on modern technology, which makes it necessary for law firms to have experienced IT support readily available for troubleshooting and maintenance of equipment, applications and systems when things go sideways.

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Lawyers and staff now rely on modern technology, which makes it necessary for law firms to have experienced IT support readily available for troubleshooting and maintenance of equipment, applications and systems when things go sideways.

State-of-the-art IT services for legal practices specialize in support of software platforms and applications designed for the unique document and processes needs of lawyers and their legal, admin and management staff.

Full-Service IT Management for Law Offices

Managed IT Services for law firms offer adequate network monitoring and support, 24/7Help Desk support for users, cyber-security, virus protection, file backup and recovery, and everything else law practices need in IT support.

Having an IT specialist in law office software platforms and applications means lawyers and staff can focus on their own roles, free from Googling around for solutions over hours or days of lost productivity, in attempt to understand problematic IT features or functions, or resolve more complicated issues.

Leaving IT in the hands of IT specialists increases efficiency of legal case management, time and billing accounting, and other law office functions, and helps maximize profitability of legal practices. Experts can keep systems running smoothly, quickly and effectively address issues, and be accessible to answer questions from attorneys and staff, and provide prompt solutions to any problems. That frees you to stay fully focused on helping your clients and growing your law firm.

Below is a list of some of the most important benefits of outsourcing IT support for small law firms.

Advantages of Having a Managed IT Services for Law Offices

Small firms are less likely to have the resources that large firms may have to hire an IT employee. Outsourcing brings all of the experienced IT support your firm needs, and at only a fraction of the cost for a full-time IT employee.

1. Saves Time for Lawyers and Staff

Keeping up with changing technology standards, software updates, firewall, virus protection, cyber-security, and so on, for a law practice amounts to a full-time job. So, lawyers and office support staff sometimes attempt to maintain IT systems and resolve problems. Of course, small law firms must minimize time wasted on futile efforts to resolve IT issues. After all, when those efforts are unsuccessful, staff must still call for outside IT help. So, their time would, of course, have been much better used for legal work. 

2. Saves on Overall IT Costs

Controlling spending is always a priority for a self-employed professional. However, IT and IT support is not a budget line item on which cutting too deep is likely to save. In fact, it can cost much more than the cost of Managed IT Services fees if an emergency repair or correcting a law office computer networking problem becomes necessary. So, attorneys can do the math to discover that, for smaller practices, outsourced IT support is a very cost-effective solution—instead of a costly one. 

3. Helps Ensure Online and Offline Security

Small professional offices and businesses are often targeted by hackers, because they know that they’re the least likely to have strong internet security. A hacker can disable operation of your law practice for an extended period. Your IT support specialist audits your current security systems and makes necessary improvements to best protect your law firm, including deploying, maintaining, and improving security of servers, networks, computers, and mobile devices. Outsourcing slashed IT expense in critical areas like security, while providing the same level or better service as a top-quality in-house team. 

4. Increases Overall Productivity

Managing all IT issues for nontechnical people is an unrealistic proposition. Your whole law practice operation can be up-ended without an IT professional who is ready with the skills needed to rapidly troubleshoot software or network problems, repair peripherals, and efficiently get your systems back to running properly. Your legal tech expert can also optimize the hardware and processes you’re using, to maximize productivity across your entire law office. 

5. Improves Communications Efficiency

An outsourced IT department sets up your tablets, smartphones and other company devices, as well as video chat, presentation capabilities, etc.. Your IT support manages professional office phone systems and VoIP as well. Experienced IT professionals install your phone system, enable email and fax interfaces, provide toner, ink and other supplies, provide thorough training and support on all user options, and maintain your systems in proper working order. These combined capabilities make communication incomparably easier and more efficient, which facilitates increased productivity.

6. Provides Secure Data Storage and Analytics

Your law firm’s client files, employee records, financial documents contain precisely the kinds of sensitive data that cyber-criminals are continuously searching for. Your IT professionals can establish an internal database for your firm with enough well-secured capacity to store all records, without concerns about hacking. Your data can be backed up to the Cloud, allowing you to access your firm’s records from anywhere in the world. Data analytics services can also be provided, to reveal information that can inform conclusions, support decision-making, improve productivity and support growth efforts.

7. Ensures Prompt and Effective Solutions to Problems

In the many law firms that don’t yet have adequate IT support, everybody from attorneys, to the office manager put in charge of IT, to the tech-oriented receptionist may throw their time at tech problems. Making IT management a lawyer’s or office admin’s responsibility takes away time from their duties in areas of work in which they’re most effective and can be most productive. It also sets up the firm for serious difficulties in the event of a problem.

8. Keeps Law Firms Up to Date in New Technology

Lawyers need to keep up with legal technology, in order to stay competitive. But, there’s so much available that it’s like undertaking a new field of study to process it all. Having your own legal software market expert available to walk you through the key research points to move things along much more quickly and easily. Your legal IT expert can direct you toward new technologies for improving, managing, monitoring, integrating, and even repairing systems. Your IT support staff installs equipment, provides thorough training and continuous user support, and maintains network oversight.

9. Provides Expert Education and User Training

A key service that IT services for lawyers provide is the help to improve IT infrastructure and processes and make recommendations to increase profitability by making your IT work better for your purposes. Having a legal IT professional with continually updated knowledge of today’s technology can significantly increase the efficiency of your systems and processes and show your team how to maximize use of your technology to increase the profitability of your law practice.

When Should a Lawyer Obtain Outsourced Law Office Computer Support?

Ultimately, whatever the size of your law firm, specialized legal IT support should not be viewed as optional, but as a basic operational necessity.

If your answer is yes to any of these questions, it’s probably time to look at outsourcing your IT support.

  • Do discussions about IT issues take too much time at your firm? 
  • Are there any employees who spend a lot of time fielding IT complaints and trying to resolve software issues? 
  • Do lawyers and staff members at your firm spend too much time trying to figure out many of the functions of new software or equipment you’ve added to your system? 
  • Are you unsure whether or not sensitive files are adequately protected? 
  • Are you getting insufficient value from your technology investment?

Choosing the Best IT Support for Law Firms

When you decide to bring in your outsourced legal IT support team, your operations will immediately regain time once spent on administrating your IT and on attempting to resolve issues. Your legal IT specialists will bring the necessary experience to managing all issues that confront law firms. The most effective legal IT support specialists can adapt to your office’s unique needs, address them while maintaining cost-effective support, and scale your IT to accommodate your needs as your law practice grows.

Parkway Tech, IT Support for Law Firms

As a leading provider of Managed IT Services for law practices, Parkway Tech provides complete IT support, software development, project planning, data center services, and IT consulting for small law offices throughout the United States. Our top-level technical skill and deep commitment to the industry’s most responsive and effective customer service is why we’re so well trusted with the IT infrastructure of our long-time client law firms.

For More Information

For information on nationwide IT management and support services, call Parkway Tech at (336) 310-9888 to schedule a no-obligation IT systems assessment by a legal IT specialist.


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