Maybe you’ve seen this term bandied about lately: SaaS. As close as anyone can tell, it’s come to mean “software as a service,” which is clear as mud to most people. Instead of getting hung up on “SaaS” or “cloud computing,” I think it’s better we just talk about law office applications that we can access through the Internet. Two products have come to the forefront for case management, time and billing that you use via an Internet connection: Rocket Matter and Clio. Why would you want to work this way? Simplicity is one reason. Instead of having to deal with software installations and hardware upgrades to work with the software, you pay a monthly subscription fee and login through the Internet – as easily as you would use Westlaw, for instance. If the idea of SaaS appeals to you, read a new review of Rocket Matter online, here. You will also learn more about software as a service.
At the Bar, we are hearing more and more stories about lawyers falling victim to fraudulent schemes – from money laundering to phony debt collection. To better educate yourself, read the Fraud Info Sheet by LawPRO of Canada. This info sheet contains red flags to beware of in both clients and transactions. For example: beware the new client from outside of the U.S. who needs you to complete a monetary transaction in a big rush.
In addition, you might want to read Internet Check Scams that Target Attorneys and Law Firms by Don Coker.
The theme of the July issue of the ABA LPM’s Webzine, Law Practice Today, is “Suddenly Solo.” If you are a solo or are about to become one, be sure to read this issue.You’ll find a list of 50 resources and links that solos can use to help get their bearings; marketing advice such as Fast Tips for Marketing When Suddenly Solo by Mark Robertson; branding and making a name for yourself and your firm by Jared Correia; Grant Griffiths’ advice on blogging is a solid marketing choice for new solos; and management articles for coping with the economy, such as Twenty Strategies for an Economic Slowdown by Michael J. Anderson. There are also great articles on finance and technology.
Computerworld.com is reporting that a hacker was able to gain access to a Twitter employee’s documents after hacking the employee’s email account. Many confidential company documents were leaked. It seems if you post enough personal information on the Web – via social networking sites, for example – the bad guys can then pose as you asking for a new password. By learning about you online – your pet’s name, where you’re from, etc. – they can then guess the correct answers to your reset password security questions and gain access to your email. This is how Governor Sarah Palin’s Yahoo email account was breached during the campaign in 2008.
What’s the lesson? Create tougher passwords. Stop being so lazy – have a different password for all your accounts. Change it occasionally. And if you can’t remember passwords, use a product like Roboform to generate and store passwords for you.
When it comes to starting your own firm, how much money do you need? While I don’t think there’s a magic number, or even a magic “rule of thumb,” Erik Mazzone’s feature in Law Practice Today has some practical advice and tips for capitalizing a new practice.