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Use Quick Parts to Increase Your Microsoft Word and Outlook Efficiency

Posted By Tammy King, 12 hours ago

Do you use Microsoft Outlook and Word and find yourself repeatedly copying and pasting the same boilerplate language from email to email or brief to brief? If you have sentences or whole paragraphs that you regularly use, consider adding them to your Quick Parts gallery. Quick Parts allows you to quickly and easily insert saved language into Outlook messages or Word documents.

 

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Step One – Save Boilerplate Text to the Quick Parts Gallery

  • The next time you have a draft email or document on your screen and you see text that you use regularly, click on the “Insert” tab on the toolbar. Note: if you are using an Outlook reading pane, you will have to expand the message by clicking on “Pop Out”.
  • Highlight the block of text with your mouse and click on “Quick Parts” on the toolbar.  Depending on your version of Word, Quick Parts may be identified only by an icon in the “Text” portion of the toolbar.
  • Click “Save Selection to Quick Parts Gallery” to create your new building block of text.  Select a Name for the text building block (e.g., Summary Judgment Standard of Review).  In addition to naming the text building block, you can also assign it to a particular category for easy organization of your building blocks.

Step Two – Insert Previously Saved Language Into Your Next Email or Document

  • When you are ready to reuse previously saved language, click on the “Insert” tab on the toolbar.  Note: if you are using an Outlook reading pane, you will have to expand the message by clicking on “Pop Out”.
  • Click on “Quick Parts” on the toolbar.
  • Click on the building block you want to add, and the text will be automatically inserted into your email or document.

It’s as easy as that! In no time, you’ll have a gallery of text building blocks created that you can reuse in future documents or messages. 

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Tags:  Author: Tammy King  Insert Saved Text  Microsoft Word  Outlook  Quick Parts  Save Text to Quick Parts Gallery 

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Keeping Your Eyes on the Road: Hovering Over a Link BEFORE You Click

Posted By Jacob E. Peterson, Tuesday, October 15, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 15, 2019

As you can see from clicking on the link below, whenever you encounter a link in an email, Google search, or anywhere else, the link does not necessarily have to lead where it says it’s taking you: 

            winningestcollegefootballprogram2009-2019.com

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Because links can be disguised, there is always a potential they could lead to virus or malware infections. Thankfully, the risks posed by links can be significantly reduced by hovering over a link before you click. Most programs that allow for the use of links have the capability to show where the link is going.

As an example, when moving a cursor over a link without clicking (i.e., hovering) in Firefox—a web browser—the link location shows up in the bottom left-hand corner: 

Or, when hovering over a link in Microsoft Outlook, it shows up as shown below:

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If the address shown when you hover seems odd or is overly long and complicated, rethink whether you really want to click. You can also consider other ways to get the information you want, like doing a Google search for the content on your own or calling the purported sender to verify that the link is taking you where you are supposed to go.

The next time you click on a link, keep your eyes on the road and be sure to hover over the link so that you can see where you’re going.

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Tags:  Author: Jacob E. Peterson  before you click  computer links  Firefox  malware  Outlook  virus 

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Cybersecurity Awareness Month – Now is the Time to Look at Your Cybersecurity Policies and Plans

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, October 8, 2019

In honor of October being Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I suggest now is a good time to look at your cybersecurity policies and plans to see if they need updating. It is recommended that you update your policies and plans on a yearly basis, especially if you have made any changes or upgrades to your systems or bought any new products that may need to be addressed. Since we are approaching the end of 2019, what better time to review your policies and plans than during Cybersecurity Awareness Month. If you don’t have a plan or policies in place, now is a good time to create them.

There are great resources available that can help you create a plan for prevention, detection and response. For instance, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have readily available resources on their website including their Cybersecurity Framework – based upon existing standards, guidelines and practices—for reducing cyber risks.

Another great resource specifically for law firms are the resources available from the ABA Cybersecurity Legal Task Force. You can find items such as a third-party vendor cybersecurity checklist, podcasts and articles related to law firm cybersecurity policies, and much more.  I also encourage you to read ABA Opinion 483, which discusses a lawyer’s obligation after an electronic data breach, and ABA Opinion 477R, which discusses securing communication of protected client information.

If you are a government lawyer and are looking for resources on cybersecurity, I highly suggest you look at the International City/County Management Association’s website. They have a whole section devoted to cybersecurity resources in relation to local governments.

Stay tuned for more cybersecurity tips coming throughout this month on the blog.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Cybersecurity  Cybersecurity Awareness Month 

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Protected Activity—Discussing Wages, Benefits and Working Conditions

Posted By John R. Dietrick, Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Many companies at one point or another have experienced the negative impacts of “water cooler talk” on staff morale and productivity. To alleviate the effects of employees discussing their wages, many companies enforce a policy prohibiting discussion of wages. However, if you are a private sector employer in America, a policy prohibiting discussion of wages is a violation of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), which provides employees the right to discuss the “terms and conditions of employment” with one another, including their wages, benefits, etc. This right applies in both union and non-union settings, as well as on social media platforms.

Per the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB):

In its decision in The Boeing Company, 365 NLRB No. 154 (Dec. 14, 2017), the Board reassessed the standard for when the mere maintenance of a work rule violates Section 8(a)(1) of the NLRA. The Board then established a new standard that focused on the balance between the rule’s negative impact on employees’ ability to exercise their Section 7 rights and the rule’s connection to employers’ rights to maintain discipline and productivity in the workplace.

With respect to confidentiality rules specifically regarding wages, benefits or working conditions, the Board held that these rules are generally unlawful because they could prohibit or limit NLRA-protected conduct, and the adverse impact on the rights guaranteed by the NLRA outweighs any justifications associated with the rule.

In summary, most discussion of wages and benefits will likely be protected and concerted. There are few legitimate interests in banning employees from discussing wages or working conditions that are sufficient to overcome Section 7 rights.

Per the Texas Workforce Commission:

“Employees discussing their own information are protected, as are employees discussing the pay and benefits of others if they obtained that information through ordinary conversations with others”, the Commission noted. “However, if in order to get the pay and benefits information they discuss with others they access offices or files known to be off-limits to them, or cause others to break access restrictions and give them confidential information, and the company has clearly taken steps to restrict the information and uphold its confidentiality, then they may well find themselves unprotected by the NLRA.”

What can an employer do to avoid the downfalls of these problematic conversations? Prohibiting employees from discussing compensation generally remains unlawful. The best way to alleviate these problems is to maintain a strong culture of equitable and transparent compensation practices. Encourage employees to approach management or the Human Resources (HR) Department with questions or observations about salaries and/or working conditions. HR can assist employees with understanding salary ranges and job potential, provide resources and training for management, and develop and maintain a grievance procedure for the company to ensure employees are heard. If appropriate, an employer may consider conducting an Employee Engagement Survey to monitor the company’s culture, employee engagement and the overall perception of compensation and benefits.

 

Sources:

Memorandum GC18-04, Office of the General Counsel, National Labor Relations Board (June 6, 2018)

           Unfair Labor Practices: Can an employer in a nonunion facility prohibit employees from discussing their salaries? (September 27, 2017). Retrieved June 4, 2019, from https://www.shrm.org/resourcesandtools/tools-and-samples/hr-qa/pages/prohibitdiscussingsalaries.aspx

Tags:  Author: John R. Dietrick  benefits  wages  working conditions 

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LPM Quick Tip: Support Staff

Posted By Danielle M. Atchison, Tuesday, September 24, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Giving legal staff the credit they are due is important. It is easy for us lawyers to dive into our casework and client communications without realizing all the work our support staff handles in the background. We are trained to see legal issues and resolve problems. Most of the time, though, we are not trained on how to manage people. A quick tip for ensuring your staff knows you’re grateful is to put their birthdays and big life events on your outlook calendars alongside your client deadlines. By doing this, you are scheduling time for the humanity that keeps your office running.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Atchison  managing staff  outlook calendars  support staff 

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Privacy Starts with Your Browser: Firefox's New Privacy Features

Posted By Jacob E. Peterson, Monday, September 16, 2019
Updated: Monday, September 16, 2019

Many websites install files on your computer—commonly referred to as “cookies”—that provide a number of potentially useful functions: keeping track of online purchases, remembering entries in website fields, and authenticating purchases. While browsing, your computer can also gather more malicious cookies and programs that can use your computer’s hardware without your knowledge or build a profile about your activity across websites, among other things. Mozilla’s Firefox browser has recently incorporated a robust set of tools to help manage the cookies your computer picks up. 

Simply install Firefox at https://www.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/, then click on the three-lined, hamburger logo in the top right-hand corner.

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Then, click on content-blocking, as shown below. 

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You can select from the “standard” or “strict” options, which block trackers based upon whether a regular or “private” browser window is open, or you can customize your options based upon the types of content you wish to block. 

While those options are great, they may cause some websites to not function properly. If a website does not seem to be working, simply click on the circle “i” logo next to the URL at the top of the browser window, and select “Turn off Blocking for This Site.”

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Tags:  Author: Jacob E. Peterson  computer security  cookies  Firefox  privacy 

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Mandatory Technology CLE—Yes or No?

Posted By Larry N. Zimmerman, Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Florida and North Carolina now require lawyers to complete mandatory technology CLE each reporting period. Florida requires three hours per three-year reporting period and North Carolina requires one hour per year. More states are expected to join over the coming years, and the idea is even circulating in Kansas.

There is no debate that technology plays a significant role in the practice of law. Further, there is no reasonable debate that technological competence is important to advancing and protecting client interests and firm profitability and longevity. There is, however, some rational debate over whether mandating one or more CLE hours will serve to increase technological competence. Following are some arguments culled from that debate:

Proponent—Mandatory Technology CLE

The Rules Require Competence

In 2014, the Kansas Supreme Court adopted changes to the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct which incorporated clarified and expanded duties of lawyers to develop and maintain technological competence. The broadest of these changes is in Comment 8 to Rule 1.1 requiring lawyers to “…keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology….”

Because the Rules require technological competence, mandating technology CLE would be a logical next step. Just as mandatory ethics CLE exposes lawyers to cases, hypotheticals, and opinions they might not willingly investigate on their own, mandatory technology CLE would help drag the Luddites into the digital era and expose them to coursework they might not choose voluntarily. Mandating ethics CLE is, in fact, something we have done before.

Competence Helps Clients

There is legitimate concern about the prevalence of self-represented litigants and unassisted parties in our legal system. Those individuals are usually overwhelmed and often make decisions that impair the full realization of their rights. Additionally, other actors in the legal system—and tax-payers, more broadly—often have to underwrite those individuals’ on-the-job learning of the law.

This self-represented issue is often linked to the costs of legal representation. One theory asserts that technological competence helps lawyers cut the cost of providing legal services and, therefore, reduces the lawyers’ costs to clients. If this theory is correct, then technological competence from lawyers would be one low-cost means of addressing the self-represented party issue.

Technology Helps Lawyers

There is growing understanding that lawyers are not the healthiest people. The pressures of the profession, dogged competition, and the financial demands of practice combine to expose lawyers to a range of professional dangers including burnout, depression, substance abuse and even suicide. The hopeful suggest that technological competence can help.

If a lawyer is required to attend technology CLE, two potential benefits are suggested: first, the overall fear of technology may be mitigated. Lawyers forced into a CLE may see that technology is not the dark art they feared and find their existing legal skills make them well-suited to understanding technology. Second, learning even a few technology tricks and skills here and there may be enough to take a burden off and provide a lawyer with some much need breathing room.

Opponent—Mandatory Technology CLE

Tail Wags the Dog

The technological competence requirement is a small subset of the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct. (Technological competence is also a small subset of another small subset of the Rules—law practice management.)It is problematic from a substantive and a messaging perspective to place one small subset of the Rules on an equal compliance footing with the Rules themselves.

Technological competence may certainly arise as a component of issues of confidentiality, safekeeping, diligence, or communication, but technology is merely a backdrop to those primary duties. Keeping technological competence closely integrated with the Rules focuses the attention where it belongs—on the duty itself and not on some app or service only tangentially relevant to the Rule.

Because technological competence is a subset of the Rules, we can have technology CLE for ethics credit already. Some examples which could be taught now:

  • training on encryption to protect data transmitted in email, on removable drives, and on laptops or phones (Rules 1.6 and 1.15);
  • email training on creating folders, configuring rules, and implementing notifications to address client and court communications (Rules 1.4 and 1.3); and
  • training in accounting software to maintain trust and operating accounts (Rule 1.15).

The opportunities for actual technology training specifically targeted to primary duties under the existing ethics rules is possible now. Additionally, technology training can be approved under the Law Practice Management programming category already in place.

Placebo

A one-hour CLE credit requirement for technology training underestimates the difficulty of obtaining technological competence. I once took formal classroom training in Microsoft Word. It was an all-day course for Level 1 proficiency that barely scratched the surface of what I would need to configure and use Word for the office. (And some of my knowledge “expired” with the next-released version of Word.)

Suggesting that just one hour of CLE training per year in technology will put a dent in either client access to legal services or in lawyer well-being is grossly over-optimistic. It is more likely that mandated technology training would be used to show that the profession is doing something serious without being serious at all about doing something.

The discussion about mandatory technology training is refreshing because it evidences a growing understanding that technological competence is important for overall legal competence—too important to address unmoored from our broader duties.

Originally published in the July/August 2019 Journal of the Kansas Bar Association.

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Tags:  8807  Author: Larry N. Zimmerman  competence  technology  training  Vol. 88 

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Quick Tip: Searching Internet Archives with the Wayback Machine

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, September 3, 2019

The Wayback Machine is a digital archive of information found on the Internet. The information is collected by a process called web crawling, which is similar to how search engines, like Google, collect data for searching. The Wayback Machine was first launched in 2001 by non-profit organization, the Internet Archive.

The service allows users to see archived versions of web pages across time. In fact, the Wayback Machine has catalogued more than 370 billion web pages according to a recent article on Lifewire. If it is a password protected website or includes information populated by databases, then the information cannot be collected by the crawlers and will not be found on the service. If the website is publicly available, however, chances are high that is has been archived by the Wayback Machine.

I recently ran a search of the Kansas Judicial Branch website. You can see in the screenshot what the website looked like on February 29, 2000.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  internet archives  Kansas Judicial Branch website  Wayback Machine 

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What to Do When It's Time to Hire a New Attorney

Posted By Tammy King, Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Updated: Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Is it time for your firm to add talent and hire a new attorney? NALP and the ABA Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Section have an excellent resource designed to help you in navigating this time-consuming and potentially expensive process. It takes time and money to train new hires and to acclimate the new attorney to your firm’s atmosphere, procedures and practices. All employers want to hire smart in order to see a return on their investment, and this resource will aid you in making smart, meaningful hiring decisions. 

Advice includes: how to identify an applicant pool, how to make the offer, tips for salary and benefits negotiations, and an all-important hiring checklist.

Click the link to download What To Do When It’s Time to Hire a New Attorney

 

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Tags:  Author: Tammy King  hiring checklist  hiring new attorney  negotiations  new hires 

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Lending Library Book Review: Women Rainmakers' Best Marketing Tips

Posted By Danielle M. Atchison, Tuesday, August 20, 2019
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Theda Snyder’s Women Rainmakers’ Best Marketing Tips is a great introduction to marketing for all women lawyers, including those who don’t currently believe they are on the “rainmaker” path. Women need to know about business and how to stand confident in their competence. The book is especially great at identifying those areas of the legal profession that aren’t exciting and presenting them as marketing opportunities. For instance, the author tells women rainmakers to use the legal community’s gossip to your advantage! If you hear about your competitor is making changes, maybe it is an opportunity for you in the wake of their restructuring.

The author also presents a unique way of using Lexis and Westlaw, which are sites normally used for dry legal research. She says spending time on these platforms doing keyword searches for legal issues in your area of practice may show current litigation emerging or growing in your area that you didn’t already know about—i.e. new avenues of revenue. The book also has standard business marketing advice, including articles about watching your competition, discovering your target customer, and drafting a business plan. Yes, draft, it needs to be in writing! She also talks about rainmakers considering focusing their practice so they are the experts in their field—having a niche automatically sets you apart from others in law. This is not always easy to do as a new solo practitioner, but is something to consider.

I think this book is useful for new people learning about marketing themselves. I think some of the material is a little dated, but probably still true. For instance, on page 21 the author gets into the detail of how women rainmakers should dress. She says, “[s]ome men can adopt far-out fashions with success: ponytails, cowboy regalia in northern climates, and feminine-looking fur coats. Regrettably, though, women are still best advised to adopt a conservative look. Since a good rainmaker attracts business everywhere she goes, plan on keeping the conservative appearance for a long, long time.” While I have trouble with this viewpoint, the author is getting at the larger issue— which is women and men are treated differently in business, and this is not going away for a long, long time.

This book is a great start for any woman lawyer ready to awaken her inner rainmaker!

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Atchison  Book Review  lending library  Lexis  marketing  Theda Snyder  Weekly20190820  Westlaw  Women Rainmaker' Best Marketing Tips 

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FSLA Frequently Asked Questions

Posted By John R. Dietrick, Tuesday, August 13, 2019

FLSA Frequently Asked Questions

John R. Dietrick, P.A. frequently has inquiries regarding exempt employees and managing their schedules. See below for a few of the most common questions and answers.

Can an employer create a specified schedule for exempt employees?

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not specifically prohibit employers from requiring exempt employees to work a particular schedule or to track the hours they work. The Department of Labor (DOL) has stated that employers may require exempt employees to work a specific schedule and to record and track hours without affecting their exempt status. 29 CFR Part 541. However, it is important to note that if you require exempt employees to work a certain number of hours and account for their work time on an hourly basis, you may jeopardize the exempt status of these employees if the accounting has the effect of treating them like hourly workers. This will likely create liability for overtime payment for the employer.

Will tracking time with a specified schedule risk an employees exemption status?

The DOL has allowed for hourly tracking of time for exempt employees. (See 29 CFR Part 541, employersmay require exempt employees to record and track hours.) However, this may only be done for purposes unrelated to employee pay (i.e., tracking to monitor performance, productivity, or billing to clients). The hours should be tied to job duties rather than strictly connected to starting and ending work times. Conversely, tracking hours and then adjusting the base salary compensation to match work hours would likely cause a loss of the exemption. If the exemption is lost, the employee becomes nonexempt and the employer will be liable to pay any earned overtime.

What options are available for an employer when an employee fails to meet the minimum hours of the employee specified work week?

An exempt employee must receive the full salary for any week in which the employee performs any work without regard to the number of days or hours worked. If the employee is ready, willing and able to work, deductions may not be made for time when work is not available (i.e., inclement weather). 29 CFR Part 541.602.

The relevant exceptions to this rule are as follows:

  1. Deductions from pay may be made when an exempt employee is absent from work for one or more full days for personal reasons other than sickness or disability;
  2. Deductions from pay may be made for absences of one or more full days occasioned by sickness or disability if the deduction is made in accordance with a bona fide plan, policy or practice of providing compensation for loss of salary due to sickness or disability;
  3. Employers may offset any amounts received by an employee as jury fees, witness fees or military pay for a particular week against the salary due for that particular week without loss of the exemption if the employee is absent to fulfill those duties; and
  4. An employer is not required to pay the full salary for weeks in which an exempt employee takes unpaid leave under the FMLA. 29 CFR Part 541.602.

Other potential options for employers include a salary cut (not below the minimum exempt requirement), voluntary loss of exemption (this would require a balancing test), and as a last resort, termination.

Note: It may be beneficial to speak with the employee to determine why he or she is not meeting the minimum hours. If an employer has over fifteen (15) employees, the employer is subject to the Americans with Disabilities Act. If there is a situation that falls under this act preventing the employee from working the minimum hours, the employee may be entitled to reasonable accommodations. 

Tags:  29 CFR Part 541  29 CFR Part 541.602  ADA  Author: John R. Dietrick  exempt status  Fair Labor Standards Act  FLSA 

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Scam Alert: Vishing Threats on the Rise

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, August 6, 2019
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In the last week or so, there has been an increase in reported vishing attempts targeting law firms and legal departments in Kansas. In fact, not only have I received some of these reports, I recently took one of these scam phone calls at my own office. The phone call appeared to come from a technology company, and the caller indicated there was a problem with my computer. The caller wanted my login credentials and remote access to my computer to “fix the problem.”  Of course, I immediately recognized this was a vishing attempt, and I did not give any information to the caller. The caller was more than likely using spoofing software to make the call appear as if it were coming from a legitimate company.

Vishing is the term used for these types of scam calls. Similar to email phishing, vishing uses social engineering to gain access to private and/or financial information. Instead of using a computer, however, this type of scam takes place over the telephone.

 

To avoid falling victim to vishing scams:

Do NOT
  • Participate in surveys over the phone.
  • Share personal information to an unknown caller. Banks and government entities, for instance, should never ask for personal information over the phone.
  • Give out computer systems or network information over the phone.
Things to DO
  • Document the situation. Verify the caller’s identity, obtain as much information as possible, if caller ID is available write down the caller’s information, and take detailed notes about the call.
  • Designate someone responsible for tracking, notifying, and educating staff on recent vishing attempts.

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  law firms  phone scam  protect private information  vishing 

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Keyboard Shortcuts for Windows: Let’s Talk about Ctrl

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, July 30, 2019

In several recent blog posts, I have highlighted the usefulness of using keyboard shortcuts into your everyday typing. It is no secret using shortcuts can make you more efficient at doing certain computer tasks. So given the benefits, I have listed below a few more shortcuts that you can add to your cheat sheet. All of them involve using the Ctrl key on your keyboard.

 

 Ctrl + a  select an entire document or a window 
 Ctrl + c  copy a selected item
 Ctrl + v   paste what you have copied
 Ctrl + x   delete the selected text
 Ctrl + z  undo an action
 Ctrl + y  redo an action
 Ctrl + d   delete a selected item or file and move it to the recycle bin on your computer
 Ctrl + r   refresh and active a window

 

There are many more keyboard shortcuts you can use when working in Windows. For a complete list, click here.  If you are a Mac user, you can still use most of these same shortcuts by using the Command key on your keyboard in place of the Ctrl key. Click here to view Mac shortcuts.

 

Do you have a favorite shortcut or maybe a shortcut you created specifically for law-related work? If so, let me know, and I can share it with our readers!

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Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Control key  keyboard shortcuts  Mac users  Windows users 

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Marketing Quick Tip: How Did You Hear About Us?

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, July 23, 2019

This past week, I attended the Kansas Women Attorneys Association Annual Conference in Lindsborg, Kansas. During one of the CLE presentations, a discussion took place regarding marketing efforts. One of the audience members had an excellent suggestion, and I want to share it with you. The suggestion was to take the opportunity to collect information about your marketing efforts from potential clients that call seeking representation. Asking one simple question prior to concluding the call can tell you a lot. That question? “How did you hear about us?” The answer should give you some insight into your marketing efforts. Track the answer to this question, and over the course of time you will have collected data that should show the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns. From there, my recommendation is to then make more data based driven decisions about where you plan to spend time and money in your marketing efforts.

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Tags:  advertising  Author: Danielle M. Hall  marketing 

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Casemaker Tip: Search Operators in Casemaker4

Posted By Danielle M. Hall, Tuesday, July 16, 2019

If you were not aware, Casemaker recently introduced a redesign of its legal research platform called Casemaker4. Currently, upon log-in to your member benefit, the platform will continue to default to the prior version. You can, however, select to switch to the new version. Eventually this default will change to Casemaker4 for everyone upon log-in. In the meantime, I suggest taking a look at the new version prior to this switch.

While there are somethings that have changed in Casemaker4 quite a few things have not. For example, you can use the same search operators in Casemaker4 that you used in previous versions of Casemaker. Let’s review them!

Search Operators

"AND" searching

Example: Contract Binding

To perform the AND search, simply leave a space. Casemaker sees the space as the AND operator. Our example will give us documents that have the word contract as well as the word binding.


"OR" searching

Example: alimony OR support

Using OR as the operator will find documents that use either word in the query. In our example, this query will pull up documents mentioning either alimony or support anywhere in them.


"NOT" searching

Example: property NOT commercial

Using the NOT operator will tell the system to find the documents that mention the first term but do not mention the second. In our example, the query will pull up documents that refer to property but do not mention the term commercial


"Phrase" searching

Example: “right of way”

This search type tells the system to treat everything in the quotations as if it were one search term. In our example, this means it will only pull cases that mention right of way but not cases that mention the words right, of and way by themselves.


"Thesaurus" searching

Example: ~parole

The thesaurus search not only locates your search term but also words with the same meaning. In our example query, the search will pull up documents that mention the word parole as well documents that mention any synonyms of the word parole.


"Asterisk" searching

Example: run*

This search will pull up documents that mention terms that begin with the letters prior to the asterisk. In our example, the query will find documents that mention not only run but also any words that start with run such as runner, runs, running and so on.


"Proximity" searching

Example: Tax w/10 property

This search will pull up documents that mention your first term within the number of words you specify of the other term. In our example, this will bring us documents where tax is mentioned within ten words of the term property.


"Grouping" searching

Example: (alimony OR support) AND divorce 

This would be the one case where you should use the word AND in Casemaker. Using the parentheses tells the system we want to group these queries. In this example, the system will return documents that mention alimony or support but also mention divorce.

 

When creating searches, if you run into trouble or need a few tips Casemakers highly recommends contacting their customer support department. They have a live chat feature which will allow you to instant message the customer support team during their regular hours. You will find a link to livechat in the upper right of the Casemaker4 screen. Live chat is especially useful when you are looking for search query assistance. Casemaker’s support team can give you a sample query and you can copy and paste the search suggestions they have to offer.

Tags:  Author: Danielle M. Hall  Casemaker  Casemaker4  operators  search operators  search tips 

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