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!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Great Tools to Broadcast your Windows Computer to a Big Screen TV

I have had a large, flat panel television hanging from my office wall for years. I use it to draft and
review documents with clients, to show DissoMaster to clients, etc., etc. It is an incredibly useful tool, and can really add to the efficacy of client meetings and settlement meetings.

My original set-up for the system was a big job.  It required hard wiring because wireless technology for such a system was not around yet. The wiring for the project was two ethernet cables pulled up and down walls, and across ceiling crawl spaces, with USB adapters plugged into my PC and the television. This original technology worked adequately, but not perfectly. There would be a latency as the images moved to the TV, that could result in choppiness. Also, there was some kind of memory glitch that would necessitate rebooting my computer to clean things up after using the TV. The clarity the of the images was good, but not up to the full high resolution (HD) capabilities of the television.

I tucked the dreams of a better way to do it into the back of my mind... I got to thinking this week: How can I make it better? Then I had an epiphany.  How about Apple TV?

I brought my Apple TV from home and connected it to the TV. Of course I immediately had mirroring with my Mac Book Pro -- that has long been a standard feature of Apple operating systems. I needed a system for Windows....

Next I went to the internet and did a search for Apple TV with Windows. A slew of listings came up.  I spent about an hour clicking and viewing. Eventually I came across a website for a product called Air Parrot 2. Created by a company called Air Squirrels (you gotta love the names!), it is awesome! For $12.99 you get a piece of software that allows your Windows PC to wireless share content with other devices. In my case it allows my Windows PC to connect via our office wi-fi with the Apple TV plugged into my big screen TV. It also works with Macs and Chrome.

Set up could not have been simpler. My Windows PC screen fills the entirety of the television's screen (no black bars along the sides of the TV screen). There is no latency or chopping. And I get HD resolution! Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!

Utilizing big screens really ads to the practice. Now the technology makes it easier to do. Combined with the ever dropping prices for really nice, really big, flat panel TVs, there is little reason not to do it.

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

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

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Office365 is Micrososoft's Future

Jeff Bennion is a lucid law practice technologist. The writing on his virtual wall says Office365 in Big Letters. This week he posted a great article on Above The Law. In the article Jeff makes the following observation:
For years now, Microsoft has been acquiring companies and integrating them with Office 365 and Windows 10 to let you do more from places other than your desk. For example, the new Timeline feature takes advantage of the artificial intelligence working in the background of Windows, and lets you start a document at work, and when you pick up your cell phone or go to another computer it will ask you if you want to pick up where you left off, regardless of whether that file is on your computer. If it’s not on your computer, it downloads it and you can get to work seamlessly.
Jeff also notes the upcoming release of new Surface computers from Microsoft:
So, today [May 23, 2017] Microsoft is having its conference in Shanghai to announce new Surface computers. What does that mean for lawyers though, whose Outlook calendars and pleading templates work just as well on a fourth-generation Intel i5 than on a seventh-generation i7? Does it really matter what the new computers are and how fast they can do things?
The answer is yes, but not because we need faster, better computers. It’s because between the hardware changes that are coming and the software changes, manufacturers are rapidly trying to change work culture to encourage mobility and remote working. We are right in the middle of a huge work culture change, which includes law practices, and it’s being driven in part by these new things coming out.
Jeff is giving us lawyers a heads up that we have to start getting ready now for the inevitable transformation of computing to the cloud. His big statement:  We are going mobile.
The Death of the DesktopIt is my prediction that desktop computers in the office will be gone in five years. As we’ve seen in big law firms, more law firms will rely on employees working from home. That will be hastened by the technology that is allowing that transition to happen more smoothly. 
This message does not come as a shock to me. As someone who has been telecommunting for three decades, the pattern makes sense. People are mobile. Why shouldn't our computing platforms be able to follow us, rather than tying us down. Mobile technology equals convenience. Convenience equals efficiency. Efficiency makes for better performance, be it sales, writing, practicing law, anything!

Get ready folks, the transformation will be a lot easier if you go with it rather than fighting it. If you are not already there, you need to start looking to the cloud. If you are a Microsoft Word of Excel addict, you better start learning more about Office365.
Please visit hardinglaw.com for more information about Harding & Associates Family Law 
Please click here to read the entirety of Jeff's brilliant article.

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

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.

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

Tech Tips from the Tech Show

I have never had the good fortune of attending the ABA's Tech Show. I hear it is awesome. The calendaring of the event just never seems to synch with my schedule -- although I will keep trying to make it happen...

Over at attorneyatwork.com there is a great post featuring tips and takeaways from this year's Tech Show. Sharon Nelson, John Simek, Jim Calloway, Deborah Savadra, Natalie Kelly, Darla Jackson, Tom Lambotte, Reid Traut, and Nora Regis share their favorite tips gleaned from the program. Apps, tricks, shortcuts, and program reviews are all mentioned.

Please click here for this very informative read.

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

#abatechshow2017 #attorneyatwork #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Tips For Accepting Credit Cards In Your Practice

Accepting credit card payments from clients can be a huge benefit to your bottom line. However, there is a learning curve. When you accept payments your processor is going to collect a fee, and depending on who you are using that fee can be quite expensive. To help you understand better I direct your attention to a post from the ABA's Law Technology Section.
Accepting credit cards—namely Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express—  helps a company in many ways. However, it is important to avoid the pitfalls associated with taking a credit card for payment. Just like we need to maintain our health by exercising regularly, law firms must exercise their financial acumen when analyzing whether or not they have the best credit card program for their practice. . . 
Credit card fees are confusing. Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express maintain different rate structures depending on the type of card and on how a transaction is processed. The associations that manage the interchange fees present rates in different forms such as qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified. Credit card companies also have other fees such as batch fees, debit fees, annual fees, voice verification fees, and address confirmation fees.  I think you understand the point: This can get really tricky and confusing!
This article goes a long way to resolving the confusion. If you are accepting credit cards, you need to understand what it is costing you. If you are considering credit card payments you need to know what to expect. Click here to read the entire article, with answers to these questions.

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

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

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Specialty Blogs Work The Best

If you are going to take the time to publish a blog, it may as well generate some business for you, right? Well, the key to that success would appear to be a very tight focus. Thanks to our friend Kevin O'Keefe for letting us re-post his recent article on niche law blogs. Yours truly is a St. Mary's College alum, and thus wise in the ways of college basketball. Kevin cheers for Gonzaga, so we must hold that against him. Nonetheless, he does know blogs, which almost evens out his character score. Here is what Kevin writes on niche blogs:

Most large law firms publish law blogs by traditional practice groups. There are over 130 employment-law blogs being published by Am Law 200 firms, alone. 

The 2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market from Georgetown Law and Thomson Reuters Legal Executive Institute, widely labeled as the “Georgetown Report,” signals that publishing blogs focused on general practice areas is misguided. 

Niche-focused publications demonstrating subject matter expertise are key. 

Why? The erosion of the traditional law firm franchise over the last ten years. Clients are disaggregating work and allocating work to different law firms based on subject matter expertise established, in part, through niche blog publishing. 

From the Georgetown Report: 
One significant result of this disaggregated approach is that the client’s relationship with its outside counsel may – and often does – shift from a traditional client/trusted advisor relationship to more of an ad hoc, transactional relationship. In the latter model, the outside lawyer becomes less of a counselor with respect to the overall matter and more of a provider of specialized services that the client is unable to provide internally or acquire more effectively elsewhere.  
Fox Rothschild, which publishes thirty-seven law blogs, is one law firm that recognizes the disaggregation concept in its approach to blogging. 

Mark L. Silow, firmwide managing partner for Fox Rothschild, recently told Bloomberg Law that he’s amazed both by the amount of traffic that the firm’s blogs attract and by the amount of business that they generate. According to Silow, a niche focus is key: 
The thing that we encourage, and actually insist on in our bloggers is that they be very focused, that they be very specific. We would never approve of someone who says I am going to write a litigation blog. It has to be much narrower, much more focused. 
Why does Silow insist on niche blog publications?
Clients are hiring experts. They are not hiring law firms, they are not hiring generic lawyers, they are hiring experts. If you can blog today on a decision that came out this morning involving a really specific technical aspect of the law, you have now portrayed yourself as a current expert. 
Silow’s thinking closing parallels the findings of the Georgetown Report:
The buzz word is disaggregation, where clients, especially the larger and more sophisticated clients, are no longer saying “Fox Rothschild is my law firm, whatever legal issues I have pick up the phone and call Fox Rothschild.” They have now have litigation counsel for this, they have litigation counsel for that kind of issue. They have tax counsel, real estate counsel, securities counsel, and all kinds of counsel.” 
Those who can project and have the real specific expertise are getting more and more work.
There’s little doubt Fox Rothschild is outperforming the majority of large law firms on the blog front. The reason is a proactive and strategic focus. Rather than the tired and old marketing and business development by practice groups with a large number of lawyer bloggers, Fox Rothschild looks to opportunities for growth.

Fox Rothschild’s blogs can have as many as six or eight bloggers, but a good number have two to three bloggers, with some as few as one. The firm is tapping into the interests and passions of its lawyers in order to establish firm niche expertise.

Fox Rothschild’s business success is in line with the findings of the Georgetown Report:
There are, of course, many reasons that some law firms outperform others – including historic location, practices, and client base – but there are two characteristics that seem to have emerged over the past several years as particularly important in marking firms as likely winners: strategic focus and proactive response to the needs and expectations of clients.
Though there are exceptions, general practice oriented blogs struggle, especially to start. The blogs do not become must-have publications for clients, including in-house counsel. The blogs do not get shared on social media. The blogs do not get cited by reporters, bloggers, or the courts.

As a result, the lawyers’ interest in blogging wanes, and the blog shows it. The firm has wasted an opportunity (and often hundreds of thousands of dollars in collective lawyer time).

Legal blogs present an opportunity for lawyers and law firms to make a name for themselves as subject matter experts. But follow the wisdom of the Georgetown Report and Fox Rothschild. Go niche law blogs.

2017 Report on the State of the Legal Market [Thomson Reuters]

Kevin O’Keefe (@kevinokeefe) is the CEO and founder of LexBlog, which empowers lawyers to increase their visibility and accelerate business relationships online. With LexBlog’s help, legal professionals use their subject matter expertise to drive powerful business development through blogging and social media. Visit LexBlog.com.

LexBlog also hosts LXBN, the world’s largest network of professional blogs. With more than 8,000 authors, LXBN is the only media source featuring the latest lawyer-generated commentary on news and issues from around the globe. Visit lxbn.com now.

Please click here for the original of Kevin's article.

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

#kevinokeefe #blogs #nicheblogs #lawblogs #marketing #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

An Update On The Cloud

Not only is cloud computing the wave of the future, it is the crashing surf of today. Rather than trying to reinvent the wheel, I want to steer you all to a great update article from Above The Law.com. There Jeff Bennion give you his latest, greatest information about the most celebrated cloud providers: Google Drive, Microsoft One Drive, and Dropbox.

Did you know that "Google Drive has added several new features, including the ability to preserve your data when you get an ediscovery hold (lawyers don’t usually get ediscovery holds for their own files, but it’s important to know about this if your clients get an ediscovery hold and they are using Google Docs), and built-in voice typing into documents."? Were you aware that "Dropbox has been working on a project called Paper, which is a collaborative note-taking application like Evernote and OneNote. So, it’s a shared virtual whiteboard to jot down notes and sketches."?

All this information, and more, is available by clicking here!

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

#cloud #cloudcomputing #cloudplatforms #googledrive #onedrive #dropbox #Harding&AssociatesFamilyLaw #californiafamilylaw #divorce #family law #superlawyers #americanacademyofmatrimoniallawyers #Pleasantondivorce #AlamedaCountyDivorce #ContraCostaCountyDivorce #lawyers

Friday, January 20, 2017

Our Family Wizard

I am a huge fan of the website, app and co-parenting tools from Our Family Wizard. I recommend OFW to anyone and everyone who will listen. Recently my OFW account rep, Matthew Havrevold, stopped by the office to catch up. As I am want to do, I exploited the opportunity and asked Matt to send me some content for the blog. Of course, he was happy to comply!  Here is what Matt would like you to consider:

Since 2001, the OurFamilyWizard® web and mobile applications have helped co-parents to reduce conflict and attain more accurate and organized communication records. The platform was expressly designed to get co-parents to communicate clearly without being sidetracked by conflict. It does so by providing a variety of features for organizing information while making it all accessible from one central location. While some co-parent communication tools only facilitate messaging, the OurFamilyWizard® website offers a full suite of tools to help parents create parenting schedules, log expenses, send reimbursements, and share important family information.  
Family courts in all 50 states and across Canada recognize the benefits to parents using these tools and consistently order their use in contested cases. More than just benefitting parents, the OurFamilyWizard® toolset also makes it easy for professionals to work with clients. OFW® Professional Access provides a way to oversee parent activity and access court-ready reports at no cost. All entries are recorded indefinitely, and every message is time stamped when sent and first read. Unlike email or text messages, there is no risk of losing parent activity or questioning whether something was received. Counsel can quickly access client information straight from a computer or iPad using the free OFW® app built for professionals. 
With both web and mobile access to these tools, parents and professionals can access and share information at home, at the office, or on the go. This makes it easier to handle family-related matters in real time. For instance, a parent doesn't have to wait to get home from the pediatrician's office to share details about the appointment. While waiting for the appointment to wrap up, a parent can use the OFW® mobile app to quickly upload a photo of the receipt to request reimbursement from the other parent. The other parent can access that request, view the receipt, then transfer the funds to the other parent via OFWpay™ in just the click of a button. For professionals using OFW®, there is no longer a need for clients to forward loads of emails to their attorneys and other professionals. When all client communication is accessible in one central location, a professional can find the important details they need to help their client without wasting time weeding through frivolous correspondence.
The website's features are built for parents to intuitively convey information without the need for back and forth messaging. Even so, the OFW® message board provides a space for parents to send secure messages while also providing feedback to parents about the tone of the message. Developed to go against eight levels of connotative feeling, Tonemeter™ will analyze a new message while a parent composes it and flag any emotionally charged phrases it detects. This gives the parent a chance to reframe the tone of their message before sending.   

While other web-based tools only offer a messaging feature for parents and no access to professionals, the OurFamilyWizard® features not only improve clarity between co-parents but also makes it easier for counsel to work with clients effectively. An OurFamilyWizard® subscription gives a parent complete access to all these tools plus mobile apps and detailed reports. Discounted or free subscriptions are offered to those who quality. Additionally, OFW® Professional Access is always free and includes access to link with clients, create new families, create clear reports, iPad app access, and more. 

If you are not utilizing OFW in your practice, or failing to recommend it to your clients, you are really shorting your practice. Check it out. Give Matt a call and request more information. You will be impressed.

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

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