Two Great ISBA Member Benefits Sponsored by
A Value of $1,344, Included with Membership

Legal Tech


Twenty years ago, law firm document management revolved around meticulously organized manila files, metal drawers, and bankers boxes, with instructions not to fold, spindle, or mutilate them as they were being physically transported to another attorney or a courtroom.

While those physical manifestations still remain to varying degrees in law offices, document management today is more likely to focus on electronic files that need to be created and managed on a server or in the cloud, with instructions to ensure they're adequately encrypted before being electronically transported to one of the aforementioned destinations.

Paul Unger, a partner with Affinity Consulting Group who works with attorneys and law firms, recommends that legal offices use a top-shelf, sophisticated electronic document management system to handle the creation and storage of most types of documents.

"If we're talking about transactional attorneys - or even if it's litigation, but it's your own work product, your own correspondence and responses - anything we would draft ourselves, pleadings, motions, I would recommend in today's age that a firm have a document management system," he says. Unger recommends four primary choices: Worldox, NetDocuments, iManage (formerly Interwoven Worksite), and Open Text (formerly Hummingbird). Find out more in the May IBJ.

Discover how cloud storage and document assembly can help you and your staff run your office more efficiently and profitably with this half-day seminar on Thursday, Sept. 24, 2015. Practitioners with all levels of practice experience who attend this seminar will gain a better understanding of: the current state of cloud storage for electronic documents; the differences between do-it-yourself cloud storage (such as Dropbox) and document management systems (such as NetDocuments); how to use various document assembly programs to produce documents more efficiently by automating repetitive tasks; what “going paperless” really means and how you can get started; the State’s ethics opinions surrounding the management and storage of electronic data and the professional responsibility requirements for practitioners who use this technology; and much more!

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 4.0 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

When it comes to sharing digital files -- whether documents, music, or almost anything else -- the ubiquitous Dropbox is sure to come to mind. But lawyers have to meet a high security standard, and "[a]lthough Dropbox encrypts the files on its server, Dropbox has had at least one security incident in the past, and Dropbox maintains a master key to the files," writes Chicago lawyer and tech expert Todd Flaming in the latest ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology newsletter.

What if you want more security for the files you're sharing on Dropbox? "[C]onsider using an add-on product called Boxcryptor," Flaming writes. "It creates a virtual drive on your computer that allows you to encrypt your files locally before uploading them to the cloud."

How? "Boxcryptor uses your own personal encryption key to encrypt every file before the file is saved into Dropbox and decrypt the file before you open it," Flaming writes "Thus, when the file is uploaded to Dropbox, it is already encrypted, and no one has the key."

Find out more in Flaming's article, where he also discusses the pros and cons of Boxcryptor and gives a remarkably short but clear explanation of cloud computing and how it works.

Two tech-savvy ISBA members, one a litigator and the other a transactional lawyer, describe some of their favorite iPad apps in the April Illinois Bar Journal. One top pick is TranscriptPad.

True to its name, TranscriptPad is designed to enable a litigator like Naperville lawyer Bryan Sims -- or anyone else, for that matter -- to work with transcripts. "I love this app," Sims says. "I use it all the time."

Because many apps are free and few cost more than $10, "people are going to think it's outrageously expensive at $90," says Sims, a member of the ISBA's Committee on Legal Technology. "But for what it does, that's a great price."

It's perfect for reading, annotating, and coding transcripts, he says. "If you just want to read your transcript, it's got a little play button, and you can let your transcript scroll by if you like. You can speed it up or slow it down."

Attorney Nerino Petro shows how to secure online document storage for popular Cloud services like Dropbox, iCloud, and Google Drive. Popular cloud tools such as boxcryptor, cloudfogger, and sookasa are also explained in this instructional video.

Illinois attorneys who use computers or represent HIPAA-covered entities or business associates won’t want to miss this half-day seminar in Chicago or via live webcast on November 21, 2014 that discusses the important issues an attorney must consider when using cloud-based services, such as DropBox and Google Drive, to store business and client information. Those joining us on-site in Chicago or via the Internet for the live webcast will gain a better understanding of: contract, regulatory, and professional responsibility issues regarding cloud storage and other cloud services; the contracting challenges associated with protected health information and electronic records being stored in the cloud; the responsibilities of attorneys acting as HIPAA business associates; popular cloud-based services designed for attorneys; and much more.

The seminar is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology and co-sponsored by the ISBA Health Care Law Section. It qualifies for 3.75 hours MCLE credit, including 1.75 hours Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.

Learn how to admit social media into evidence with this half-day seminar! The social media landscape is dynamic and complex – and is often accompanied by privacy concerns and ethical issues. Join us in Chicago or via live webcast on Friday, April 4th for the opportunity to update your knowledge on social media and the law! Attorneys with all levels of practice experience attending this seminar will gain a better understanding of: What social media is and how to use it; how social media differs from other forms of communication; privacy and security settings; how to use social media as a news outlet; how to preserve social media evidence; the ethical issues that emerge with the use of social media; and how to argue for (or against!) allowing social media into evidence during litigation.

The program is presented by the ISBA Standing Committee on Legal Technology and qualifies for 4.0 hours MCLE credit, including 3.0 hour Professional Responsibility MCLE credit (subject to approval).

Click here for more information and to register.


Over the summer, stunning new tablets from Google, Amazon and others have hit the market with prices as low as $200. However, lawyers may want to wait a few weeks before actually making a purchase, argues Jason Gilbert in his article in the Huffington Post, The iPad Mini and Why Now is a Bad Time to Buy a Seven Inch Tablet. That's because Apple is scheduled to announce the iPad Mini on October 23; and Microsoft is scheduled to release its Surface tablet on October 26. He predicts that the reaction of other manufacturers to these new products will be a price reduction. The iPad mini will offer users a reduced footprint and price for a tablet that has the backing of the world's most successful company. The Surface will offer competitive tablet pricing for a device that includes the Microsoft Office software with which the legal community is comfortable.

Did you know that, according to Kashmir Hill at Forbes, Facebook is Tracking What Users Buy in Stores to See Whether its Ads Work? How? It has partnered with Datalogix, a Colorado based company that gathers information generated by loyalty cards. You know, those cards that you give the cashier at places like Jewel and Walgreens in order to get special discounts or rebates. So, by comparing e-mail and home address information, Facebook can now tell its advertisers how many of its users who viewed their ad actually purchased the product. It claims that it does not gather an individual's purchase history; but only product data, however. The Electronic Freedom Foundation has delved deeper into the data collection from loyalty cards and provides instructions for opting out of the collection process in its blog: A Deep Dive into Facebook and Datalogix: What's Actually Getting Shared and How You Can Opt Out.

Many lawyers, particularly young parents, have fantasized about being able to sit at a computer at home and answer clients' legal questions over the internet.  It is therefore, no surprise to learn that those internet-based law practices already exist. Stephanie Kimbro, for example, maintains a web page which identifies her as a member of Burton Law Firm, LLC, "A virtual law firm offering online unbundling and traditional full service representation in North Carolina and Ohio." She has even named her blog, Virtual Lawyering. Similarly, Richard Granat, who publishes the e-Lawyering blog, operates MDFAMILYLAWYER.com, a Maryland virtual law firm, from his home in Florida. One big challenge for these and other lawyers who use the internet, with its global reach, as their primary method of practicing law, is satisfying the ethical requirements of local authorities. Both of these lawyers clearly identify themselves as the provider of legal services and the nature and limits of the legal services that they offer. At least one well known legal media consultant, Robert Ambrogi, considers them to be ethical users of the internet.