Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Outsourcing Those Little Jobs

Ever find yourself needing help with odd jobs and tiresome tasks like translating documents, getting help with search engine optimization, tackling some typing projects.  Want to find an assistant you can hire for a couple of hours at a ridiculously affordable rate. Think your office is not big enough to outsource? Think again.  There is a resource out their called freelancing, that gives you the opportunity to hire professionals from around the world.

oDesk.com is a freelancer website.  It is a global job marketplace with a series of tools targeted at businesses that intend to hire and manage remote workers.  oDesk allows clients to create online work teams coordinated and paid through the company's proprietary software and website. (thanks Wikipedia).  Let me give you a couple of examples.  

I had a 20 page pdf discovery document that I wanted converted to Word so I could cut and paste pieces of it into a meet and confer letter.  It would have taken me or my paralegal all day to type that pdf into Word.  There are also software programs I could have bought to do the conversion for me, but I was not interested in making that investment, nor in spending the time doing the conversion with that software.

I went to oDesk and posted the job:  Need typist to convert pdf document into Word document. Within a few minutes experts in such work from around the world had posted responses that they were interested in doing the job.  I ended up hiring a talented professional from Egypt who completed the assignment in two hours at the stunning rate of $2 per hour.

I also had a template document in my forms library that needed to be updated to ensure the cited statutes and case law were still accurate.  I could have spent a few hours doing the work myself, but I was too busy.  I could have had my paralegal do it, but she was too busy.  I could have spent half a day posting to craigslist to get a law student to do it -- but that would have taken too much time, and the cost could have ended up being more than I wanted to pay.

I went to oDesk and posted Lawyer needed to update California legal memo.  This time I let the post stay up for a couple of hours before I checked for responses.  When I did check I had a half dozen expressions of interest.  Three of the lawyers were from India.  One was from the Philippines.  One was from Pakistan.  One was a retired U.S. lawyer living oversees.  All of the lawyers were law school graduates licensed to practice law in their respective countries.  All had at least six years of experience as practicing lawyers.  All had experience doing outsourcing legal work that focused on California law.  The price bids ranged from a low of $11.11 per hour to $20 per hour (for the U.S. lawyer).  I actually hired one of the lawyers from India (at $11.11 per hour).  To my surprise the work product was surprisingly impressive, and done to my satisfaction.

Some folks might argue that hiring workers at such low rates is exploitation.  I disagree.  These professionals are looking for, and need the work.  I presume the pay is comparable to what they can get at home, or else they would not be racing to bid on these jobs.  Also, if I did not have such affordable options, I might not get the projects done.  I see it as a win-win for everybody.

Other sites providing similar services include freelancer.comGuru.com, vWorker.com, and Elance.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, November 15, 2013

Hope For The Mac Lawyer

I love Apple computers.  I have an iPad, an iMac, and and a MacBook Pro.  The iMac is at home, and the MacBook Pro is for road warrioring.  I love them all.  They work so much simpler and better than the Windows computers that we have at the office. Unfortunately we are slaves to Windows at the office because all of the law practice management software that we use only works with Windows.  Therein lies the problem for a lot of Mac lawyers -- software availability.

Slowly but surely that seems to be changing, particularly with the growth of cloud computing.  Lawtechnologytoday.org has an article detailing the increasing availability of law practice management software.  While there is still a long, long, long way to go for the Mac lawyer, any hope springs eternal.  Click here for the read.

If you are a Mac lawyer with a software resource to share, please leave a comment.

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creating Real Signatures With Adobe Acrobat Pro XI

The bulk of my communications are dispatched over the internet.  Our utilization of services from the U.S. Postal Service is way down  (really only for service of pleadings that require a proof of service by U.S. Mail).  Almost all of the letters that I write are transmitted to the sender via email as pdf documents.  The only shortcoming I have with this method is the lack of ability to affix a handwritten signature.

What I have been doing is affixing the Adobe authentication signature to my docs.  However that is simply my name in typed text with the adobe security text next to it.  Alternatively I can print out the document, color scan it, and then send it as an email attachment.  That alternative adds two extra steps that are inconsistent with our paperless office.  1.  Printing out the document.  2.  Scanning the document.

Thanks to the new Adobe Acrobat Pro XI and Rob Borstein and his always awesome Acrobat For Legal Professionals blog there is now a solution to my problem.  In XI you can take a webcam picture of your handwritten signature and then incorporate it into your XI settings where it will live permanently, waiting for you to affix it to all of your documents. This is a new feature that I have been waiting for for a long, long time.

An installation tip:  If you download Version XI you will get version 11.0.0.  The Use a webcam option to create your signature is a feature of Version 11.0.5 (and later).  Make sure your install/update to the latest version.

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

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

Friday, November 8, 2013

Are You PPC'ing?

You’re not doing PPC?

Lawyers seem to be creatures of habit. They often have difficulty integrating new technology effectively, or taking advantage of the incredible number of useful tools available online today. But the biggest thing I see attorneys losing out on when it comes to technology is advertising.

Television advertising is too expensive and the ROI is difficult to measure. Magazines and newspapers have the same two caveats as TV, and their readership is dying out. So what’s the solution?

Pay-per-click advertising. Whether with Google, Bing, Yahoo, Facebook, or LinkedIn, PPC advertising is one of the most powerful tools your firm can use to bring in new clients.

Basically, you can target people who are searching specifically for the legal services your firm offers, and then show those people ads. The best part? You only pay when someone clicks on your ad. It’s easy to set up a system that turns a click into a paying client.

The biggest issues that divorce lawyers face when looking to get started with PPC are time and money. Learning how to effectively manage PPC ads can be time consuming and expensive, and often discourages lawyers from pursuing it further.

So here’s the solution. My firm has worked to build up a group of divorce and family law firms participating in PPC advertising. By specializing, we are able to make your advertising profitable much faster than any other PPC firm. We use your account so that you can keep all of your data and have as much access as possible. We only accept one firm per market which eliminates any conflict of interest, and we operate on performance-based fees.

If you’re not doing PPC, you’re losing out on lots of high-value clients. If you are doing PPC, but you’re not working with someone who knows divorce law, you’re still probably missing out on the best of what PPC has to offer.

This article written by guest author Toby Rosen.  If you’re interested in getting started with PPC advertising, you can check out his website at RosenAdvertising.com or email him directly at toby@rosen.com

Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law #payperclick #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Best Internet Invention Since The Internet

Are you frustrated with those annoying pop-up ads that compromise your internet surfing?  Tired of waiting out those thirty second commercials on CNN.com so that you can see the video you clicked on. Want to view the internet they way you used to be able to view it -- before it was infected with the plague of paid advertising.  Guess what, you can have the internet the way it was!

Ad Trap is a miracle to behold.  Plug this little device in between your modem and your router and it removes ads from your Internet connection before they reach any of your home devices. Video, music streams and mobile apps and websites, all ad free. AdTrap works with any browser and any device. AdTrap protects your privacy by preventing  websites from tracking and gathering your personal information as you browse.

This thing works!  I bought one.  I am using it.  It is awesome!  I don't know how it works.  I don't care how it works.  All I know is that it works, and I am happy, happy, happy because of it.  At $139 it is a steal. I love it!  What more can I say?  You gotta get one (and no, I am not being compensated for this endorsement).  Click here to get yours.

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

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

Solo nets Supreme Court win!

I know this has nothing to do with technology, but I think it is pretty cool. Andrew Simpson is a sole practitioner in the U.S. Virgin Is...