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!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Should Be Reading Law Technology News

For my techie friends, even those with just a passing fancy, Law Technology News is a must read! This magazine is flush with product reviews, product release news, interviews with tech savvy lawyers and law firm technologists, and feature articles on technology trends and techniques. This really is a great publication, and I look forward to every issue. The publisher also maintains a snazzy website that includes re-prints of the the magazine's articles, and subscription information for the paper magazine. Click here to visit the LTN website.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Creating More Traffice For Your Website

Websites are great, provided people are reading them. You have invested a lot of time, energy, and money into your on-line presence. To expect a return, people have to read what you have created. John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing provides a great article on getting the search engines to steer traffic your way. Included are summary instructions for submitting to Google (and its new Submit Center), Yahoo. You Tube, etc., etc. This is a must read! Click here for the entire article.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Frustrated With How Long It Takes Your Computer to Boot?

Anyone running a computer on the Windows platform knows ow horribly long it takes their machine to start up. In his FutureLawyer blog lawyer/techie Rick Georges gives some tips of tweaking your msconfig to speed things up. Click here to read his tips.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Are You Headed For A Lawyer Meltdown?

Lawyer and practice consultant Allison Shields offers a good article tuning you in to the signs of burn out and stress in law practice. She also gives practical tips on how to turn things around. Click here for a good read.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Should Lawyers Be Making Investments in Technology During These Tough Economic Times?

Times are tough, no doubt about it. With the sour economy many of us are sitting on the fence regarding the purchase of new technology for our practices. Is it right to stay in hold mold? Tech guru Dennis Kennedy shares his thoughts, which may help sway you to yea or nay. Check out his article by clicking here.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Webinars

John Jantsch is someone I will mention often. He runs Duct Tape Marketing, which is targeted at small business owners. I am in the middle of reading his book, and will eventually have a review. John also publishes the Duct Tape Marketing Blog, which is well known and highly regarded.

Today on his blog John discusses webinars. With webcams and the internet, the technology allows face to face meetings via the internet. As John argues, with the price of gas going up, and the time that is required to travel, this emerging technology is gaining in value. Click here to read the entire post.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

To All My Apple Mac Friends

My office operates on the Windows platform. Not saying that is good or bad, just saying that's how it is. I do have an abundance of friends who do use the Mac in their offices. So as not to ignore all my Appleish colleagues, I will try to add content relevant to the Mac when I run across it. Case in point, by chance today I found a web page Apple has dedicated to the legal trade. Click here to take a look.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Monday, September 22, 2008

More on the Tablet

Two days of off and on work, and I have the new Fujitsu T5010 tablet computer just about ready to go. I am going with the OpenOffice suite of software rather than Microsoft Office. The big reason is because OpenOffice is free! It is also just about fully compatible with MO. I don't plan on doing any heavy word processing or number crunching. For the most part I will be doing on the fly modifications to Word or Excel documents, and for that OpenOffice is more than suitable.

In my office we pursue the idea of the paperless office. More on that in another post. Every piece of paper in or out is converted to an electronic .pdf file. That, in turn, is a big reason for the tablet. Whenever I go to court, a deposition, a client meeting out of the office, I copy all of the documents for the matter onto the tablet. Instead of wheeling boxes of files to and fro, everything is just a click away. I have always loved Adobe Acrobat Professional, and it is still the default product in our office for creating and viewing pdf files. With the new tablet though I am trying a new piece of pdf software. It is called Bluebeam PDF Revu. The cool thing about this software is that it is written for tablet computers. Not only does it create pdfs, and allow you to view pdf files, it also lets you mark them up. Use your tablet pen to highlight here, circle there, write a note, draw an arrow. Really cool stuff that you cannot do in Acrobat (or at least I don't know how to do easily in Acrobat). And at $149 it is much more affordable than Acrobat Pro.

I let you know how things go.


Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

New Marketing Magazine for Lawyers

Just received my second issue of The Rainmaker Advisor. It is a new magazine published by Stephen Fairley, who also runs The Rainmaker Institute, a marketing firm that targets lawyers. I do enjoy the magazine. It delivers good articles, in a convenient, easy to read format. This month's issue includes the following articles: Discover the Power of a Mastermind Group, 7 Powerful Tools for Following Up with Prospects and Referral Sources, How to Position Yourself as a Leading Expert in Your Area.... This month's issue also includes an interview with famous personal injury lawyer John Bisnar.

I like The Rainmaker Advisor, I really do. At the same time, the magazine is ridiculously expensive. $39.95 per issue issue! The articles that I have read have not provided me with any information that I could not have found for free elsewhere on the internet. That is an important qualification. I am always surfing the internet, mining articles on marketing. I can find the articles without the magazine. Others may not be so inclined?

I am going to pay for a third issue, and then likely save the money. If the cost sits right with you, the magazine can do miles of leg work for you. Like so many products sold to lawyers (books, CLE classes, dues in professional organizations such as the American Bar Association), the magazine is way over priced. That is just part of being in a captive audience; and it makes the expense relative. Cost aside, I will say that The Rainmaker Advisor is a great resource.

Click here to check out the magazine's slick webfomercial.


Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Great Family Law Firm Book!

While the ABA is hot on my mind, I wanted to mention one of the best books that I have ever read concerning the creation and operation of a family law firm. How to Build and Manage a Family Law Practice is written by Mississippi family law lawyer Mark Chinn, and published by the ABA (Family Law Section). I have read this book cover to cover more than once. It is a jewel! You can get more information by following this link to the ABA store. I endorse it whole heartedly.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

ABA Law Practice Management Section

The American Bar Association is a wealth of family law, practice management, and technology resources. I have found it's Law Practice Management Section to be a real find. The section's Law Practice magazine is on my list of invaluable reads. The section sponsors the ABA's highly touted Techshow. The section's website is a harvest of information on practice management and technology. Consider some of the topics on the web site right now: Clearing Up Software Myths for Attorneys, Capturing More Time ... And Keeping Your Clients Happy While Doing It, Effective Law Firm Administrations Depends Upon Connecting With Others . . . . It goes on and on.

I will admit that everything about the ABA is expensive (membership for lawyers in practice 10 years or more is $399 per year) ! Then again, everything marketed to lawyers is over priced. Relatively speaking, the investment in the ABA's LPM section is about as good a value as you are going to find, with annual dues at . Annual section dues are $50. Right now the ABA has a $40 section membership discount promotion going on.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tablet PC's

A Tablet PC is a notebook or slate-shaped mobile computer, equipped with a touchscreen or graphics tablet/screen hybrid technology which allows the user to operate the computer with a stylus or digital pen, or a fingertip, instead of a keyboard or mouse.

The form factor offers a more mobile way to interact with a computer. Tablet PCs are often used where normal notebooks are impractical or unwieldy, or do not provide the needed functionality.

The term "Tablet PC" was coined by Microsoft in a Keynote Address by Bill Gates at the 2001 Comdex conference. The more general term is Pen computer or Pen computing. Tablet PC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Tablet_PC&oldid=238063852 (last visited Sep. 17, 2008).

I am on my second tablet pc. I love the concept. Portability. Being able to take notes electronically. Using a touch screen to navigate rather than a mouse. All great stuff. Plus a very high "wow" factor. What I am learning though, is that manufacturers make a difference. My first tablet was made by Motion Computing. Nothing but problems. Big delivery delay. Terrible customer support. A slow running machine that came at a very high price! Will never buy another motion.

Recently I took delivery on my second tablet. This beauty is a Fujitsu Lifebook T5010. Awesome. Runs fast, looks great. My motion tablet is a pure tablet. In other words if you want to use a mechanical keyboard, you have to attach it as an external device. The cd-rom, another external device. The Fujitsu is a "convertible." It looks like a notebook computer, but the screen hinges and swivels so that it morphes into a tablet.

With time, prices are coming down. The Fujitsu didn't even cost me half as much as the Motion.

All keep posting as I get to know Fuji.

Please be sure to visit www.hardinglaw.com, the website for the law firm of Harding & Associates, for more information on California family law.