In my last column, I reviewed ten top practice management blogs. In this installment,
I’m going to take a look at some low cost law practice management ideas I picked up from these blogs.
Firefox ‘add-ons’ for attorneys
The 2009 American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Survey found that about one-quarter of attorneys use Firefox for Web browsing.
One reason Firefox is growing in popularity may be the availability of 5,000-plus “add-ons.” Add-ons are third-party applications designed to complement Firefox and give it additional capabilities, according to the ABA blog Site-tation.
If you loathe the Bluebook as much as I do, I heartily echo Site-tation’s recommendation to download CiteGenie (http://www.citegenie.com/). It allows you to copy and paste text with correctly formatted Bluebook citations from Westlaw, Lexis and the Internet.
Yet another helpful Firefox add-on is ICyte. As noted on the Futurelawyer blog, it’s a fast download that lets you highlight the text or information you want to save from a Web page, click the ICyte icon and give it a title. You can group Cytes in folders and get back to them whenever you like.
If you’re in the habit of bookmarking Web sites endlessly, as am I, finding what you need among dozens of bookmarks can become difficult. Then there’s the problem of bookmarking a site, only to find the information gone when you return. ICyte takes care of both issues.
Iterasi (https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/8039) appears to perform a similar function. It’s just one of about 60 Firefox add-ons for lawyers identified by University of Wisconsin law librarian Bonnie Shucha on WisBlawg. It’s definitely worth a peek in her archives to see the full list.
Shucha also highlights another extremely “nifty” add-on, Jureeka! (http://jureeka.blogspot.com/). It creates hyperlinks to cases, statutes, etc. in ordinary Web pages that lead to a free version of the source.
Michael Morse’s Blog recently asked, “Are you tired of paying $2 or more to call 411 from your cell?” My response is an enthusiastic yes; it’s right up there with bank service charges.
He suggests three numbers to program into your mobile:
1) 1-800-BING-411, Microsoft’s number, which will also give driving directions and weather information;
2) 1-800-YELLOWPAGES, a free service for business and residential listings; and,
3) 1-800-GOOG-411, Google’s number for business and residential numbers. You can use it via text as well.
Done, done and done.
Also of interest was Andrew Flusche’s recent discussion on Legal Andrew of NameCheap (http://www.namecheap.com/) versus GoDaddy. Flusche did a side-by-side breakdown of their costs for .com domains and concluded that NameCheap is the better deal.
Finally, Carolyn Elefant’s My Shingle makes a strong case for the use of multiple iterations of your business card. She suggests getting a cheapie version for dropping in fish bowls at trade shows and recommended Vista Print (http://www.vistaprint.com/). You can get 250 cards for free, plus $6 shipping and handling, if you’ll accept their advertising on the back. I didn’t, so I paid an additional $4, for a total of a little over $10 for very basic cards.
Elefant also suggests Logo Ease (http://www.logoease.com/), which allows you to design your own logo for free. Elefant said it’s “fun and simple to use … though it doesn’t offer a huge variety of options.”
This is true — there are just a couple of scales of justice from which to choose, or an arch that could resemble what’s propping up your local courthouse.
Check out my new logo. The font’s called “coolvetica.” Clearly, Wisconsin Law Journal’s art director doesn’t have to worry about me replacing her anytime soon. But, especially if you’re a new lawyer with no startup money to speak of, why complain when it’s free?