What is a LegalBoard?

Has this happened to you?

You’re deep in thought, writing a legal document on your PC, when you have to stop what you’re doing to remember how to insert a section symbol. Or maybe it’s the paragraph symbol, or the abbreviation for the court.

Lawyer Brian H. Potts has developed a keyboard for lawyers, called the LegalBoard.

LegalBoard puts symbols, track changes, common legal terms and more–right on your keyboard! If you are interested in learning more about this time and aggravation-saving device, read reviews on LawSites and Lawyerist.com.

Do You Know What Ransomware Is?

How does it affect law firms? What can my firm do to protect itself?

Ransomware is malicious software that holds files hostage until someone pays the ransom. It does not discriminate on the size of the firm, the industry, or the victim(s). It is known to attack solo, small, and big law firms; hospitals; financial institutions; and everyday individuals.

Take a moment to listen to “The Ransomware Epidemic in Law Firms”, presented by three leading legal cybersecurity professionals: John Simek and Sharon Nelson of Sensei Enterprises, and Sherri Davidoff of LMG Security.

For more information on the ransomware epidemic, contact pmap@scbar.org.

Does Your Firm Have a Website?

Did you know that having no website is like handing out blank business cards? Scary, right? But, it does not have to be!

If you are truly interested in growing your practice, you need to launch a great website! But HOW? Let’s explore six tips to get you started on your journey to build your first website:

What is your purpose?

First, determine who you are marketing to. Yes, you want to market to new clients but what type of practice do you have and what type of practice areas do you want potential clients to know you specialize in?

Who is your competition?

Ask yourself: Who are my competitors in those practice areas? Do if they have a strong or weak website? Does their website answer the basic questions any potential client would want to know about their firm? Be sure to do this as this will help you (or your webmaster) build your own website.

What makes you/your practice unique?

Make a list of what sets your firm apart from all the rest (including your competitors). This is called your firm’s unique selling proposition. Ask yourself: “what would be meaningful for my potential clients/guests to see?” Use this to establish your goals, expectations, and measures of success.

What guidelines should you consider?

Take a moment to review these important rules regarding your duties to prospective clients: Rule 1.18 and lawyer advertising: Rule 7.1-7.5 of the South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct. You can also e-mail or speak with a Risk Management Advisor here at the South Carolina Bar.

Who will help build your website?

Decide if you have the skills to build your website yourself or if you need to hire a webmaster. If you decide to hire someone to help you, don’t worry. The decisions you make now will help your webmaster know what direction you want to take.

Have you reserved a domain?

Decide what you want your domain to be. Your domain name should be focused around your practice. What do you think most prospects would type in on their internet browser to find your law practice? If you’re not sure, poll your staff, colleagues, friends, and family to see what their response might be. Check out these tips from Attorney at Work on how to design the best law firm website (and from GoDaddy on how to choose the best domain).

Look for additional tips in the March edition of SC Lawyer magazine. In the meantime, contact pmap@scbar.org or eworley@scbar.org if need further assistance.

How to Stay Current with so many Technology Changes

Have you upgraded your Windows operating system yet from Windows 7?

Have you heard about the latest Gmail phishing scam tricking everyone?

Whether you have or haven’t, it’s important to stay up to date with the latest technology news and plug holes that might affect your practice.

Here are a few easy ways to accomplish that:

1) Follow @SCBar_PMAP and @pmaptechie on Twitter

2) Participate in free webinars sponsored by various practice management and legal technology vendors

3) Follow the SC Small Firm Blog and visit the PMAP website for important updates.

Of course, don’t forget to email pmap@scbar.org if the Practice Management Assistance Program can help!

Cybersecurity Tech Tip: Heed the Warnings!

According to a report from Radware, 49% of businesses fell victim to cyber ransom attacks in 2016. Many internet attacks, including ransomware, happened to solo practitioners and small firms!

If you’ve neglected to heed the warnings this past year, now is the perfect time to educate yourself and others in your firm!

Start by checking out this free internet safety tutorial from the Goodwill Community Foundation website. The tutorial covers all the basics including introduction to internet safety, creating strong passwords, browser security features, how to avoid spam and phishing, how to handle malware,  the importance of social media safety, plus much more! This tutorial is a great way to educate yourself on some of the basic guidelines you haven’t implemented in your home or practice yet.

Take a moment to read these 7 Cybersecurity Tips (written specifically) for Lawyers by David Lat of Above the Law and ask , “is there any I’m not doing?” If there is, make a list and act as soon as possible to patch any security holes that may be vulnerable to attacks. Also, check out Dark Reading’s What to Watch with Ransomware in 2017 to stay up to date on what ransomware is and how it could affect your firm. Additionally, be sure to review CNA’s Cyber Security Practices for Law Firms.  If you’re still not sure why you should be serious about cybersecurity in your solo or small practice, check out this article from Joseph M. Burton.

While there is so much more to learn about internet safety and cybersecurity, this is a good start. (You have to start somewhere.) Just remember to stay in school and keep heeding the warnings!

Stay up to date with all the latest cyber security information by following SC Bar PMAP on Twitter, the SC Small Firm blog and our website! Email pmap@scbar.org if you need help.

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