When you go to heaven…

… will your practice look like this?

File Storage?

Actual office of a deceased lawyer. An attorney was appointed by the Court to protect the clients’ interests and close the office permanently.

If you are a solo practitioner and you don’t have a succession plan — an agreement with another lawyer, a letter of instructions to family, or some indication of how to take over your practice at a moment’s notice — you could be leaving behind a messy, even tragic, situation. Many lawyers don’t realize that if they die, the burden of closing their practice could fall on their family’s shoulders. For a clearer picture of what actually happens when a lawyer dies, read When You Go to Heaven, Will Your Practice Go to Hell? an article I wrote with Reid Trautz in the January 2009 issue of the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Law Practice Today.

Messy

The entire office was in a state of total disarray.

If you are ready to take action to protect your clients and loved ones, contact your practice management advisor at your state Bar for assistance.  South Carolina Bar members can contact me at pmap@scbar.org and visit the PMAP pages on Winding Down for more succession planning advice.

Another bridge

Today I spoke a few words to a group of law students, recent law grads and lawyers from other states attending the South Carolina tradition known as “Bridge the Gap.” If you are a member of the SC Bar, I don’t have to tell you what that is. But if you’re new in town, it’s the program held semi-annually to help bridge the gap between law school and law practice.  My topic: law office technology. Given the time constraints (10 minutes), I tried to boil the topic down to two things they should know: www.scbar.org/pmap and Casemaker. If they can get to the PMAP pages at the Bar, they can find all kinds of technology info and links. And Casemaker is the great free legal research product that all Bar members automatically have access to, simply by being Bar members. Furthermore, the law students in the group can sign up for a full blown account through Casemaker X, their law student site. All in all, two tips every lawyer in S.C. should know.

Bargain shopping for technology

Friday seems like a good day to tell you about my favorite bargain alerts.  I subscribe to email alerts, which I receive on a nearly daily basis. Usually, I just glance at the subject line and delete the email if it isn’t something I want. While I will admit that I subscribe to a number of online retailer’s email alerts, lawyers hunting for technology or law office deals might be interested in these two: eCost.com HotSheet and NewEgg.com Super-saver edition. Both offer fabulously discounted deals on everything from new computers to vacuum cleaners — basically, electronics in general. Recent deals from eCost included a 250 GB portable hard drive (I think all lawyers should have one), an 8 GB USB flash drive (ditto), and a 4 GB microSD card for cameras and whatnot for only $5.99.  On NewEgg, recertified routers, all-in-one color printers, digital cameras and a Nintendo Wii enticed buyers. As with all online retailers, take heed of shipping charges and try to shop when they are offering free shipping.

Online backup storage

CrevaultI did it. I backed up files from my PC at work to the CoreVault “vault” in the sky (well, really it’s two secure locations a mid-west state).  Last week, I decided to find out first hand how easy or difficult it would be to backup some of the critical folders of data on my PC using CoreVault’s services.  Turns out it’s easy. A CoreVault representative (Edward) called me at an appointed time to assist me in the process. In a matter of thirty minutes, I was ready to backup. Continue reading