Welcome

Thank you for visiting the Family Law Lawyer Tech & Practice blog. My name is John Harding. I am a family law lawyer practicing in Northern California. Long ago I realized that I could practice law more effectively and more efficiently (i.e., better and easier) by availing myself of the technological tools that are out there. I also learned that a successful law practice requires successful marketing. Hardware and software working together make me a better lawyer, and make my life easier. Marketing helps to bring in the business necessary for professional survival. By this blog I hope to share the tips, tricks, and technology that I have learned about so that others may benefit!

Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Small Firm Legal Marketing Blog

I am always on the look out for new sources of information to help make the practice of law more efficient, more pleasant, more profitable. To that end I recently find a new blog that I think is pretty good: The Small Firm Legal Marketing blog. Produced by a Washington DC personal injury lawyer who only gives us his first name, Maxwell (sort of a lost marketing opportunity on his part), the blog includes tips into search engine optimization, product reviews, and social media plans.

The blog is pretty new, but I think it has a lot of potential. While not grand in scope or content (kind of matches this blog in that respect) it is worth a click, so click here to visit smallfirmlegalmarketing.com.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Office 365 Report

Well, it has been a couple of weeks since we implemented Microsoft's Office 365 Business Premium. On the whole I would say I am most enthused. Having all Microsoft Office products (Outlook, Word, Excel, etc.) on all of my hardware is great! Likewise, being able to go live with Outlook regardless of device or location is a huge convenience. And for $12.50 per user per month, you cannot beat the cost!

Remember we made the switch after Rocket Matter -- our Great practice management software -- released its Office 365 integration features. Those new tools are also proving to be a great addition to our practice, particularly the new email integration tools.

Of course, we are talking about Microsoft here, so I am not going to say everything has been problem free. Office 365 requires a new way of thinking, and it has been mind numbing at times. I have bought books and reviewed dozens of blogs and chat groups as part of the learning curve. Of course, there are also hiccups. We have not completely moved all of our files to the cloud because we are still struggling with some Sharepoint and OneDrive formatting requirements. We are still getting used to finding those cloud based files and documents. While in court yesterday I tried to review some pleadings on my iPad. It did not go as smooth as glass. With time there will come familiarity. I am not worried.

I have been a proponent of maintaining a mobile practice for decades. Office 365 is a major development in that regard. It was the right move to make.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Microsoft #office365 #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mindfulness and Balance

Today I write to you about meditation. What does meditation have to do with technology and law practice? Quite a bit thank you. Let me elaborate.

About a year ago I was having dinner with another family law lawyer as part of a dine around program at a CLE conference. He is a long time friend, and as friends do we talked about law, our lives, our families, etc. Eventually we got to the topic of stress, and how much of it there is in a family law practice. As we were talking about stress, my mood went down. My buddy's mood stayed high. I asked him how he was able to keep his spirits up even though we were each sharing some real stress stories with one another? He explained that he had begun meditating...

Meditation, really? I responded. Here is where the technology comes in. He explained that he had downloaded an app to his phone, and that everyday he was dong his app-based meditation. That it was really helping him to manage the stress in his life, and that I should give it a go.

Stress, stress, stress!  Anxiety, anxiety, anxiety! Frustration, frustration, frustration! As family law lawyers it is there.

My curiosity piqued, I began researching the topic of mediation, and methods of doing it. Here is the family law practice part. The virtues of meditation have been extolled for thousands of years. I had just never given it much thought. But the more I researched, the more impressed I became with the asserted physical and mental health benefits. Wouldn't we all be better family law practitioners if we could manage our stress and anxiety more effectively?

I tried a slew of different iPhone apps. Glenn Harrold has become a favorite. The really life changer for me though is an app/website called Headspace. A subscription service, Headspace has an app for smart phones, and a very nice website. Now I am going to pirate from that website.

www.headspace.com
On your mobile and tablet, you can listen to Headspace on the go and download sessions to use offline. On your computer, you can play any session, any time. The techniques used within the Headspace app have been refined and developed over many centuries, passed down from teacher to student. The intention of these techniques is to cultivate awareness and compassion so that we might better understand the mind, as well as our relationship with the world around us. With this as our focus, we view any kind of health benefit beyond the development of awareness and compassion as a helpful byproduct or positive side-effect of regular meditation.

Headspace has single sessions and series sessions focusing on sleep, stress, anxiety, sports, health, relationships, performance, and on and on. You get comfortable, put your headphones on, and listen to the guided meditation sessions. You set the length of the session you want at 10, 15, 30 minutes, and go through it work-free.

For me this stuff absolutely works! The programs are guided programs. Andy Puddicombe, one of the founders of Headspace and the person who narrates the programs, does all of the work for you. I don't have to struggle to learn mediation. It is fed to me by the app. That I love. I also love feeling better, having more energy, and having a clearer mind. I am definitely a believer.

I get it. It is easy to be a skeptic. I was. Then I gave it a try. I am better off for it. If it works for me, I am sure it can work for you. Give it a try. What have you got to lose other than stress and anxiety!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

News From Lisbon

The European Chapter Meeting for the International Academy of Family Lawyers was held in March in beautiful Lisbon, Portugal. As always the IAFL put on a fantastic meeting.

On the unofficial agenda this year the hot topic was The UK's exit from the European Union (i.e,, "Brexit"). How family law practice in Europe will be affected is still open to speculation. Second on the lively debate forum was new President Trump...

On the formal agenda topics discussed included international relocation and the evolving areas of same sex families and also transgender law. These topics are equally relevant here in the U.S., and given the amount of time invested in them at the Lisbon meeting, there is every indication that these areas of practice that will have increasing impact on our family law practices.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#IAFL #Lisbon #Portugal #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 2 of the Office 365 Migration

OK, where are we at?

Migrating data over to Office 365 is not a task for novices. I learned that from reading reviews online, and was advised of same when I was on the phone with Microsoft sales for the purchase of our Office 365 subscriptions. My friends at Rocket Matter referred me to Lisa Hendrickson. She Rocks!

Lisa runs a consulting service called CallThatGirl. She is a remote service provider. By that I mean she does not do a personal, physical site visit. Instead she logs into your machines remotely, and does her thing over the internet. Quite handy.


Lisa has been busy copying data, backing up data, posting data, and setting things up. The migration is done, but took hours time as gigabytes of data were moved. It is a time consuming process. So much so that Lisa had the migration run overnight. That gets us here to Day 2. Witing for all the data to transfer....

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law

#Office365 #Office365migration #callthatgirl #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Monday, April 10, 2017

Migrating to Office 365

Regular readers will remember that about a year ago we made a major shift to our case management when we migrated from AbacusLaw to Rocket Matter. The move was not without its hiccups, but we are thrilled with Rocket Matter. It is a cloud based system. Updates come often. It is reliable and innovative. They are still ironing out their credit card interface, but that too is impressive as it improves. I have become a huge Rocket Matter booster!  The latest major innovation from Rocket Matter is its ability to integrate with Microsoft Office 365.


Microsoft has been pushing 365 for about a decade as it has determinedly pushed cloud based computing. For a decade I have resisted because of internet security concerns, and because it usually takes Microsoft a decade before its product(s) evolve to a point of reliability and efficient usefulness. I started researching 365 on my own about a year ago. I did not make the switch because I was still nervous. However, 365's security now gets endorsements from all the major bar associations and legal techies. It has evolved to be a pretty good Mac application. A lot of the customary Microsoft bugs and wrinkles have been ironed out.


With the new Rocket Matter 365 integration I have decided to make the switch. If all goes as planned the technology side of my practice will be entirely cloud based. All case management. All document handling. All file storage. All libraries. With Rocket Matter and 365 I will be able to access my entire office from my desk at the office, from my Mac Book Pro when on the road, and from my Mac at home. The idea of remote computing by logging into my office computer with a connection like LogMeIn or GoToMyPC will be unnecessary. I will have the full slate of Microsoft applications (Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote . . . .). All of the programs will feature the latest version. There will be no software maintenance for me, I will have 1 Terabyte of cloud storage. All of my files will be available to me anywhere and everywhere. And I get it all for $12.50 per month per user! WOW!

If things go as planned, I will be able to track and add time to my Outlook emails, sync contacts and calendars automatically on all my devices, upload documents and files, leverage full document versioning, and so much more. The prospects make me giddy!

Of course, the dreams rarely correspond with the reality. The transition is underway. I have installed the Office 365 apps on all my devices. Today we migrate our data and email. I am working with a consultant recommended by Rocket Matter. I will let you know how that goes. Stay tuned!

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#office365 #rocketmatter #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

21st Century Lawyer



Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 

#Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers