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Announcing 2015’s Top 50 Law Firms Australia

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Well, this is the moment many of you have been waiting for after a year of nominations and votes – drum roll please!

We are excited to announce the winners of the 2015 Top 50 Law Firms Australia competition. With hundreds of Australian firms battling it out for the last 4 years to win the top spot it’s been a heated competition and the results again were almost too close to call! We were surprised this year to see just how committed our nominees were to showcasing their law firms. Many of this year’s winners used social media, email campaigns and website advertising to help their firm win the top spot.

Because Top 50 Law Firms is open to any law firm of any size, location or specialisation there is again a huge mix of successful law firms in this year’s Top 50 ranking and it’s a competition we are all proud to be a part of.

So without further ado.. Who is the Top 50 Law Firm for 2015…?

Congratulations Madison Marcus! Madison Marcus are a Sydney and Melbourne based law firm specialising in commercial law. Bechara Shamieh and the team worked hard to gain the most votes and pick up the coveted #1 position.

Tresscox picked up the 2nd place prize this year after winning Top 50 Law Firms previously in 2013.

Oxford Lawyers made a surprise entrance taking out 3rd place in this year’s competition.

Our Canberra based 2014 Winner, Goodman Law picked up fourth place this year. The firm works tirelessly to promote their firm and the Top 50 competition and we wish them the very best for 2016.

In fifth place – Aubrey Brown Lawyers made their debut in to the top 5 this year which is an amazing result for this NSW Central Coast firm.

Congratulations to the first five winners – well done! To find out the full Top 50 Law Firms Results check out the winners at http://top50lawfirms.com.au/tag/2015_Winners/

The only question left with so much competition in 2015? Who will win in 2016..

James Vickery and the Top 50 Law Firms / LegalTech team.

Top 50 Law Firm 2015 Winners to be announced soon..

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Stay Tuned!

Hi All

We know that you have been eagerly awaiting the announcement of the 2015 Top 50 Law Firms Australia competition. The folks from Top 50 and LegalTech are busy tallying the votes ready for the big announcement in the coming days.

Stay tuned to our blog for the results!

James Vickery and the Top 50 Law Firms / LegalTech team.

PS. It’s a great time to get in early and nominate who you believe should win the 2016 Top 50 Law Firms Australia competition. Visit top50lawfirms.com.au to learn more.

Top LinkedIn Tips for Lawyers

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LinkedIn is one of the most popular social media platforms with more than 200 million users. Lawyers based in Australia have not been left behind in utilising this great platform to earn value and benefit in their area of practice. It’s actually rare to hear of an Australian lawyer who is not on LinkedIn.

For any lawyer to succeed, they must convey to prospects and clients that they are the best in their area of practice and LinkedIn is one of the platforms that can help to achieve better results.

However, some lawyers have not sufficiently explored the features or the potential of LinkedIn. Interestingly, LinkedIn has steadily added more features that have improved the functionality of this platform.

Here are top LinkedIn tips for lawyers

#Focus on a strong profile

Australian lawyers who want to increase their client base in their area of practice ought to ensure their LinkedIn profile are optimised and completely filled out. Just like in other social media channels, lawyers with complete profiles get more attention unlike those with incomplete profiles. Furthermore, attorneys with complete profiles rank higher in search results. Therefore, it’s a good idea for lawyers to take time and complete their profiles and get to rank higher.

A complete profile entails various things:

1. Since people respond well to photos, it’s a good idea to upload an up-to-date professional photo onto the profile.

2. Add an eye catching background image.

3. Write the profile summary in a tone that would draw the attention of prospects.

4. Ensure the background and work experience is relevant to the current practice.

5. Share specific links or documents that will help clients make direct contact.

The most crucial 120 characters on the LinkedIn profile should come out unique by including the important keywords that specifically points out the area of practice making people eager to learn about the services being offered. Besides, the name and the title should be consistent with the website.

#Join LinkedIn groups

There are many Australian law-related groups on LinkedIn lawyers can join. These groups have potential clients or referral sources such as bar associations and alumni groups which help lawyers to increase their relevancy, connect with new people and send direct messages to many other people who are not in the network. In these groups, one can start discussions, make contributions that are relevant to their field of practice. Lawyers should strive to portray themselves as experts as opposed to marketing themselves. Apart from giving a good name in the niche, this will also drive people to a lawyer’s website.

#Share relevant updates every day

Posting updates on a daily basis gives an opportunity to share relevant information, demonstrate experience and stay prominent on LinkedIn. The updates could be on upcoming events, professional achievements, relevant articles, speaking engagements. Desist from controversial or negative posts and over posting.

#Personalise your invitations

LinkedIn allows users to personalise invitations in order to connect with prospects as opposed to relying on the default invitation language. Sending personalised invitations make it easy for people to remember a particular lawyer and be encouraged to accept his/her invitations. They actually enhance the chances the people will connect with a specific lawyer.

Make a connections plan.

LinkedIn has great tools that can assist lawyers find fellow alumni, former colleagues and many other relevant contacts. Besides, LinkedIn does a great job of suggesting connections. Prospects will from time to time receive invitations to connect and that is why it very important to have a general plan for adding connections. It’s not important accepting requests from everyone, but accept potential clients only.

Make LinkedIn mobile

The LinkedIn mobile app is excellent for lawyers. The app is free and can be downloaded, installed and used on smartphones or tablet devices. Having the app helps to have access to information anywhere, anytime.

Customise the website links on the profile to convince prospects to visit a particular legal website.

To avoid negative experiences, lawyers should work with their firms’ ethics departments to develop guidelines.

By incorporating these tips and strategies into the marketing mix, lawyers and other legal experts are able to rank in LinkedIn search results. These tips will help every lawyer move to the next level or even beyond and most importantly, attract clients from all over Australia and the world.

iOS Tips for Lawyers: How Lawyers Can Make Better Use of iOS9 on Their iPhone and iPad

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Introduction

The iOS 9 is Apple’s 9th iOS mobile operating system release. The iOS 9 was announced on 8th June 2015 and released on 16th September 2015. The operating system comes with great enhancements and capabilities. The adoption rate has also been the fastest for a new OS. As of 30th November 2015, the iOS 9 had been installed on approximately 70% of all compatible Apples devices globally.

Although the iOS 9 has received praise across many professions, lawyers stand to enjoy the most benefits from using the OS. The operating system has plenty of incredible tools/features and capabilities for lawyers to utilise and make their work easier. Lawyers must however be aware of these new benefits and how to utilise them as well as compatible apps for them to get the most of the newest iOS. Below is a more detailed discussion on how lawyers can make better use of their iPads and iPhones running on the iOS 9.

iOS Tips for Lawyers

1. Get Microsoft office with the Microsoft Office 365 for the iPad and iPhone
You can now get Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel applications among many other great Microsoft office apps on your iPad and iPhone with the Microsoft Office 365 for the iPad and iPhone with iOS 9. Microsoft Office 365 has very intriguing options and benefits to lawyers ranging from office document creation to lightweight browser based editing, online collaboration and file storage that were previously accessible to large firms only with expensive IT infrastructure and support.

2. Multitask on your iPhone or iPad
The iOS 9 has also made it extremely easy to multitask. It’s extremely easy to work on your cases and presentations while chatting and performing many other tasks. The iOS 9 has superior multitasking features such as Split View, Slide Over and Picture in Picture features that give you many new ways to multitask on your Apple mobile devices. Features such as Quick Type make text selection and formatting extremely easy. The Slide Over feature allows you to open a 2nd app without leaving your current one. This feature makes it easy to respond to text messages, browse the web, take quick notes etc. before getting back to your earlier task. The iOS 9 takes multitasking on another level making your work as a lawyer easier.

3. Take advantage of the superior mapping features
It’s also easier to get around using the iOS 9 maps. Lawyers need to move around constantly to meet clients, witnesses, fellow lawyers etc. The iOS 9 makes it extremely easy to move around (even using public transportation) with your iPad or iPhone in hand. The iOS features a brand new transit view in numerous cities around the world showing subway, train, bus and ferry stations right on your map. The mapping feature, lays out every single step of your trip when you plan routes. The nearby feature helps you decide where you’ll eat, shop etc.

4. Transcribe using Dragon Dictation app
Transcription is a huge part of every lawyers work. Lawyers need to transcribe court proceedings, witness statements, legal arguments etc. Dragon Dictation is the perfect iOS app for this job. This cloud-based app transcribes with unmatched accuracy. You don’t need to train the app or worry about accessing your transcriptions from anywhere. All you need is to tap and dictate. If a word is transcribed wrongly, you simply need to double tap on that word to edit.

Summary

From the above information, its clear that the new iOS 9 undoubtedly offers many benefits that lawyers can utilise to get the best out their iPads and iPhones. The above information summarises some of the main ways lawyers stand to make better use of the OS on their Apple mobile devices. The iOS 9 has better mapping, transcription, multitasking and office features/capabilities than any mobile OS out there offering unique benefits to lawyers with iPads and iPhones.

ITS NEVER TOO LATE TO BE A TOP 50 LAW FIRM!

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So you’ve made your list and no doubt checked it twice, but have you remembered to vote or register for the 2015 Top 50 Law Firms Australia competition?

Last year boutique Canberra’n firm Goodman Law picked up the #1 spot while Tresscox took out first place in 2013.

Any law firm, any size and any practice area can win in 2015!

Voting closes on December 31st at midnight so it’s not too late to have your nomination accepted and your votes tallied.

Check it out at www.top50lawfirms.com.au

Who Is Top 50 Law Firms?

Top 50 Law Firms is Australia’s Premier site for determining the best of the best firms in Australia. Nominees are voted on by their colleagues, peers and clients who ultimately decide who will win the competition.

Top 50 Law Firms is free to enter and is a great way to promote your law firm.

Visit top50lawfirms.com.au/about for more information.

Good luck!

5 Top Benefits of Office 365 For Law Firms

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For many years, lawyers in Australia and the world at large have been using Microsoft Office software which includes; Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Access among other office suite applications. Although Microsoft Office has served lawyers and many other professionals perfectly, Microsoft’s new Office 365 has come with some very intriguing options like lightweight browser based editing, online collaboration, online file storage and subscription-based pricing.

Individual, small and medium-sized organisations stand to gain the most since Office 365 adds numerous functionalities that were only unique to server-based apps like SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange and Lync. Law firms are uniquely positioned to enjoy more office 365 benefits than any other group of professionals. If you’re keen on discovering exactly what these benefits are, look no further. Below are 5 benefits of Office 365 in regards to lawyers.

Microsoft office 365 law benefits

1. Better document collaboration

This is undoubtedly one of the most notable benefits lawyers stand to enjoy by using Microsoft office 365. The new software has integrated numerous tools perfectly which allows law firms to enhance collaboration and sharing within and outside the firm. Previously (before Microsoft Office 365), this kind of functionality was only unique via server apps like Exchange, Lync and SharePoint which required a significant IT infrastructure and support investment.

Although Microsoft Office allowed sharing of documents via email or a network, the new Microsoft Office 365 expands these options creating a better/more collaborative environment. For example, Office 365 allows users to create word documents and then save those documents in the online Team Site to enable sharing with outside counsel as well as co-workers. This functionality is made possible thanks to the SharePoint Document Workspace.

It’s also possible to edit documents online simultaneously or asynchronously even if one doesn’t have word. Another major collaboration benefit revolves around the granular usage rights extended to specific users. If complex formatting is utilised to create new legal documents, formatting isn’t altered when the document is opened from different devices or via different methods in Microsoft Office 365.

2. Hosted Exchange benefits

Microsoft Office Outlook didn’t offer truly useful group features without MS Exchange Server. The New Office 365 offers lawyers and law firms the opportunity to take full advantage of the MS Exchange Server minus the cost and hassle via subscription with MS Hosted Exchange. In simpler terms, Office 365 will allow users to enjoy similar benefits enjoyed by big organisations via onsite Microsoft Exchange servers. Lawyers will enjoy group functions like shared contacts and calendars as well as delegation and appointments. Furthermore, the Exchange Server will also provide Outlook to all users online via Outlook Web Access in addition to features like ActiveSync, POP and IMAP protocols (for other accounts), antivirus and anti-spam, retention settings, bigger mailboxes and many other add-ons & integration with business apps.

3. Superior video conferencing

Office 365 also comes with unmatched video conferencing capabilities offering numerous benefits to legal professionals. Microsoft bought the most popular, beloved and free web-based social and video-based apps (Skype and Yammer) and incorporated them into Ms Office 365. Skype has been synced with Lync Web to allow subscribers to automatically link to Skype users allowing instant messaging, audio and video calls. Microsoft is rolling out Yammer (a social media platform) in the Office 365 enterprise edition to offer even more extensive conferencing. Lawyers clearly stand to enjoy this benefit considering the importance of constant consultations in discharging their duties.

4. Enhanced security

Microsoft has taken many important steps to enhance Office 365 security. First and foremost, information about Ms Office 365 security & privacy is readily available at trustoffice365.com. Some of the most important things to note include; Office 365 meets ISO 27001, FISMA, HIPAA BAA and EU model clauses requirements. For instance, users own as well as retain all rights to hosted data. You can view maps of where your data resides at any time. Office 365 also gives Microsoft database administrators as well as certain Microsoft support employees limited access to user data. Data is also encrypted in transit and storage. Office 365 clearly offers the kind of data security/confidentiality required by lawyers and law firms.

5. Flexible purchasing and integration options

Office 365 also comes with great purchasing options for lawyers and law firms. For instance, there are both home use and business versions that come with flexible monthly and yearly purchasing options. Office 365 also allows flexible integrations options. The software can work perfectly for both small and medium-sized law firms (with current Ms Office software suites) in need of adding cloud functionality among other functionalities.

Conclusion
Microsoft has really done an exemplary job with Office 365 making the new software intriguing especially for law firms lacking dedicated IT infrastructure and support. Microsoft Office 365 blends desktop office suite perfectly with online services for document creation, communication, sharing, storage, mobile access as well as teamwork. Although there is more to Office 365 law benefits than what is discussed above, the above information summarises the main benefits lawyers and law firms stand to enjoy.

I Know IT is a Microsoft Partner and specialist in legal technology. For more information give us a call on 1800 456 694.

LegalTech Launch Time!

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We’re excited to announce the launch of the new Legal Tech website by I Know IT.  Our aim is to provide law firms with tools and techniques to stay ahead of technology.  All of our unique content is customised for lawyers and law firms.

The new LegalTech.com.au website builds upon our blog which contains articles we have written to help our legal clients grow and includes our recent video series on law firm innovation, the 3 Pillars for Law Firm Growth tool and more.

I Know IT is a specialist IT consultancy with 14 years experience.  Our expertise in Legal Cloud, Legal Internet, Legal Managed IT and Legal Practice Management Solutions has inspired us to dedicate this new website to you!

We look forward to seeing you around the blog, and of course if you have any questions about Legal Tech and I Know ITs services do feel free to contact us!

 

James and the Legal Tech / I Know IT Team