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!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

EMail Hosting

Email is vital to today's law practice. It has become the default channel for lawyer to client communications, lawyer to lawyer communications, and even lawyer to court clerk communications. You simply have to have email in your practice if you want to survive. That necessity being a fact, as our own law practice managers we must have some basic email IT knowledge.

If you are a smallish shop (i.e., a sole proprietorship) you can get away with the one email box that you have in life with @aol.com (yes they still exist), or @comcast.net, or @yahoo.com. As your practice grows and becomes more sophisticated you are probably going to want to get away from those fun addresses and get a more sophisticated and professional email address (like jharding@hardinglaw.com).

That means you are going to have to create a domain name. This is easily done, and usually a part of the backbone for even the most rudimentary of websites. You go to Domain.com or Go Daddy or any of the other innumerable domain name services, pay your $5 and get a domain. As part of the package that those companies provide you can also get them to host your email.

The road maps and traffic controllers of the internet need to know where to zap emails that are addressed to you. That is where email hosting comes in. Those emails addressed to you are received by the servers of your email hosting company. You then set up your Outlook, or Yahoo, or Airmail, or any other email program or app to send and receive emails through that host. Just like your website lives on a server somewhere out there, so to do your emails.

Another nice option provided by some email hosting services is spam filtering. These hosts maintain sophisticated algorithms on their servers that scrub your incoming emails, reroute ads to your spam folder, and send the legit stuff on to you.

For years we had been using Fusemail as our email host, and paying $30 a month for the privilege. With the passage of time a few new developments came along. Fusemail grew, and got sloppy.  If its service went down we could not send and receive emails.  That's a BIG problem  More and more their service did go down, handicapping us!  Along with the reliability of the service going down, the wait times for technical support went way up. Another problem.  Also competition in the market place was bringing competitor's prices way down.

Last week we moved our email host to Rackspace.  Love the technical support. Short waits times and very friendly. They have a track record of close to 100% up time. And we are paying less than $10 per month total for all of our mailboxes at the firm. That is a 66% savings! Yippee! Free market economics win again.

Don't be afraid to grow your technology. Most of the companies want your money, and are willing to work for it. Most email hosts strive for 100% up time, and are happy to patiently teach you how things works and how you set it up. Go for it. Look like a big shot and lost the AOL address.

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

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