Not a fad

Admit it: you’ve been holding out hope that Twitter, Facebook and all the other forms of social media networking are just a fad.  Even as you reluctantly signed up for LinkedIn, you didn’t feel like it was real. Maybe you were thinking that social networking has no place in the legal world. Well, today I found a blog that really made me think, “it’s not a fad. Lawyers will use Twitter and Facebook like we use the phone.”

The website was Social Media Law Student.  And on this blog was a post on How Law Schools are Using Twitter.  Seeing the long list of law schools that have accepted Twitter as a legitimate form of communication with law students — that’s when it really sank in: All these law students are going to be lawyers. There’s no way they are giving up Twitter or Facebook, or any of it.

It is not a fad.

Pet Rock

Fad

Typing in Acrobat

Have you been wondering how to use Adobe Acrobat to complete forms? Many forms are available on government websites for lawyers and the public. What do you do if you find a PDF form you want to use, but the author didn’t enable the right to fill out the blanks using Adobe Reader? First, save it to your computer. Then, open the saved PDF file using the full version of Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional (essential software for all law offices). Go to the file menu across the top and select tools/ typewriter and enable the typewriter tool by clicking on the typewriter symbol. Your curser will change appearance and look like an “A”. Hover over the line you wish to fill in, click once and start typing. Each time you type, you will need to click the typewriter symbol again. For more Adobe tips, see the Acrobat for Legal Professionals blog . typewriter tool

Restoring a file

I reported recently that I started backing up my work files to CoreVault, the online storage company recommended by the SC Bar. Yesterday, I pulled up an old column of mine in Word, meaning to edit it and save it as a new file. Well, you know what happened. I accidentally clicked “save,” not “save as.” (I click “save” every few seconds without even thinking now – one never knows when the power might blink.) The thud feeling in my stomach was quickly replaced by the realization that I could restore the file from CoreVault.  It has been a few weeks since Edward at CoreVault helped me get started and at first I wasn’t sure where to go on my PC to restore a file. I was determined to try to figure it out before I called CoreVault for help.  But I found the CoreVault software in my Windows programs list, and the rest was a breeze. I was able to connect to my online backup and navigate to the file I needed, then restore it to its former location. I also noticed I could search for the file in CoreVault if I didn’t remember where it was. Voila! What could have been a disaster for a practicing lawyer was a mere hiccup in the day.

Recession-Response Tips

Fellow Practice Management Advisor, Linda Oligschlaeger,  of the Missouri Bar, recently published 15 Recession-Response Tips for Small Firm Lawyers in the ABA Law Practice magazine. These tips are now available online.

#6 is “Look at the resources offered by your bar association.” The SC Bar was one of the first nationwide to launch a web resource for lawyers dealing with a down economy. If you haven’t already, visit the Career Counsel pages.

Testing your backup

Ben Schorr, CEO of Roland Schorr in Hawaii and author of one of my favorite new books, The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2007 (which you can check out from our lending library or purchase your own online) has a tip for testing backups that I love. It’s simple and it makes sense.

Most experts agree that if you haven’t tested a backup, you can’t be certain you really have a backup. Ben’s tip is this: An easy way to test backups is to create a small file called “#BackupTest” and put it with your documents.  It can be a Word document or whatever; it doesn’t really matter.  Every now and then, delete it from your system, then try to restore it from your most recent backup.

Throughout the years I’ve talked to lawyers who found out the hard way that their computer backup wasn’t functioning or was corrupted. A test restore of a document could have prevented a lot of expense and anguish (not to mention protecting the lawyers from possible ethics violations).