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Tech Tools Checklist

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					           FREE PRODUCTS & SERVICES FOR STARTING
                               A LAW FIRM
              Carolyn Elefant (MyShingle.com, Solo by Choice)
                           Pros and Cons of Free

                 Pro                                    Cons

Cost – Nothing is cheaper than free!    Data Security – Free tools may not
                                        offer sufficient data security for your
                                        law practice or provide back up for
                                        files. You must have plan in place
                                        for download and backup.

Low Risk – Sample tools at no cost      Privacy/Confidentiality - Free
and make a decision whether to use      tools may be vulnerable to third
them long term (or purchase a fee       party access and violate attorney
option) based on user-friendliness or   client privilege. Read terms of
compatibility with practice             service carefully before use!

Flexibility – No financial              Inadequate volume – Service may
impediment to selecting a variety of    offer only a limited number of
free tools to meet different clients’   accounts free, which may be
needs                                   insufficient for your practice.

Mobility – Most free tools are cloud    Lower quality or convenience –Free
based and can be accessed               service may not match quality of
anywhere.                               paid or may be less convenient –
                                        (e.g., Fastcase free research limited
                                        to phone apps, free PDF programs
                                        do not have all features of full
                                        AdobePro]


Attached is a work sheet listing free versions of most tools needed to start a
law firm, as well as a box where you can include your choice – whether it’s
free or fee.
Free Products & Services for Starting a Law Firm          © 2010 Carolyn Elefant/MyShingle.com




         Tech Tools Checklist – Free Versions & Your Choice


             Tool                              Free Option                        Your Choice

Law Practice Management             Google, Remember the Milk,

Document Assembly                   N/A

Billing e.g. invoices               Freshbooks

Calendar                            Google

Timekeeping/Expense                 Klok, Toggl
Tracking

Virtual Assistant                   N/A

Phone answering service             Google Voice

Credit Card Payments                PayPal

Contact Management                  Google

Backup Services                     DropBox, Google Docs

Synching                            DropBox

Remote Access                       LogMeIn Free

E-mail                              Gmail

Word Processing                     Open Office, NeoOffice

PDF Conversion/Editing              Nitro PDF, Cute PDF




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Free Products & Services for Starting a Law Firm          © 2010 Carolyn Elefant/MyShingle.com



             Tool                              Free Option                        Your Choice

Scanning                            MyFax, ScanR

Online Postage                      N/A

Legal Research                      Fast Case iPhone App, Google
                                    Legal
Web Hosting Service                 N/A

Blog Platform [can also             Blogger, Wordpress.com
use for website]
RSS Reader                          Feedly, Google

Managing Twitter                    Tweetdeck

Business Cards                      Vistaprint

Law Firm Stationary                 Handmade

Logo Design                         LogoEase

E-mail Newsletters                  MailChimp

Auto Responder                      N/A (aweber, constant
                                    contact have free trials]
Virtual Office Space                N/A (home office is free!)

SEO Service                         Do it yourself [read Google SEO
                                    tips]
Internet Browser                    Google, Chrome, Firefox,
                                    Mozilla
Mobile Wi-Fi Service                Free hotspots

Encryption Software                 TrueCrypt

Electronic Fax Service              MyFax.com

Video Creation and/or               Apple iMovie, Microsoft Movie
editing

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Free Products & Services for Starting a Law Firm         © 2010 Carolyn Elefant/MyShingle.com



             Tool                              Free Option                       Your Choice

Conference Call Service             Freeconference.com

Event Scheduling                    Whenisgood.com, doodle.com

Online Meetings or                  Mikogo.com, DimDim.com
Webinars
Video Conferencing                  Skype, Oovoo.com

Document Collaboration              Google, Adobe Buzz

Transcription/Dictation             N/A
Service
Voice Recognition                   N/A

Payroll Service                     N/A

Check Printing                      N/A

Form Creation                       Google Docs, Wufoo.com

Client Surveys                      Google Docs, Wufoo, Survey
                                    Monkey
Favorite Phone Apps                 Many phone apps are free




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posted:6/9/2010
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