Want to see us live? Bill & Natalie at State Bar’s Midyear Meeting CLE

Come join us on February 5th, at the State Bar’s Midyear Meeting.  Here are the CLE details and you can register on site!

TECHNOLOGY IN PRACTICE: AVOIDING ETHICAL LANDMINES AND MAXIMIZING TODAY’S TECHNOLOGY SKILLS AND TOOLS

9 A.M. – 12 P.M. | 3 CLE hours

Lawyers have realized they have to understand how to use technology, but knowing what they need to be wary of for ethical compliance and then learning how to best use systems can create concerns. The presenters will discuss hot ethical landmines to steer clear of when using technology; review cutting-edge technologies including an assessment tool geared toward helping lawyers understand their proficiency with commonly used software; and show attendees the new face of Fastcase. Each of the panelists will walk through some of their favorite technology solutions, showing you exactly how they work and explaining the benefits of using them. With the new skills and tools learned in this session, lawyers will be armed to use their current technology better as soon as they leave.

TOPICS:

Ethical Considerations for Today’s Technology:  William J. Cobb, Assistant General Counsel, State Bar of Georgia Office of the General Counsel, Atlanta

The New Face of Fastcase: Presenting Fastcase 7:  mSheila Baldwin, Member Benefits Coordinator, Law Practice Management Program, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta

Legal Tech Tools and Know-How in 7-Minutes:   Sheila Baldwin; William J. Cobb; Natalie R. Kelly, Director, Law Practice Management Program, State Bar of Georgia, Atlanta Co-Sponsors: Law Practice Management Program, Office of the General Counsel, Young Lawyers Division, State Bar of Georgia

State Bar Member Benefits

We’ve had you waiting long enough.  Sorry about that.  We were away attending Bar meetings and the like.  But, we are back, and we want to give you a rundown of the Bar’s member benefits, especially those that folks often tell us they didn’t know we had.

1) Law Practice business and technology consulting – Members can take advantage of free consulting sessions at the State Bar Headquarters and over the Law Practice Management (LPM) Helpline.  If you’d prefer to have a staff member/consultant from the Bar visit your office to check on how you’re doing, this service is a low-cost option and is charged based on the number of attorneys in the office.  The starting rates are $37.50 per hour for solos and $62.50 per hour for firms with 2 to 4 attorneys.  Just give LPM a call at 404-527-8772 to get going.

2) Free Ethics advice – If you ever have a question about whether or not you should or can do something in your practice; or if you need to know that you are not going to violate any Bar rules with something you’re contemplating, then make your first call -or email- go to the Office of General Counsel’s Ethics Hotline.  The number is 404-527-8741 or 800-334-6865  Ext. 8741, and you’ll be able to speak to a staff attorney about any ethics or ethics-related concerns you have.  Because the service is made available to Bar members only, you will need to provide your Bar number, but this information isn’t tracked by your number in any way for other purposes.  This service is one of our greatest member benefits, and you should use it before doing anything  in your practice that seems questionable to you.  The advice isn’t binding, but it’s well worth it to know you are practicing ethically.

3) Practice Management Resources for check out – The Resource Library of LPM has over 1,400 items available for checkout to Bar members, current law students and law office staff.  3 items can be checked out at a time and kept for 2 weeks.  You can find the link to the online checkout system at http://www.gabar.org/committeesprogramssections/programs/lpm/library/index.cfm.  Coming Soon! –  A New Online Checkout System

4) Free Fastcase online legal research service – If you are a Georgia Bar member and haven’t heard of Fastcase, where have you been?  The Bar offers free online legal research service with full access to all State and Federal case law.  The system uses advance search and data relevancy techniques to ensure you’re accessing the very latest and most accurate legal information.  Plus, the LPM staff provides training on the service every month.  Just look for sessions on the Bar’s event calendar from the main Bar website.

5) Membership Management online including checking CLE credits – Speaking of the main Bar’s website.  It’s a treasure trove!  The least you can learn to do on the site, however, is to maintain your membership information.  You can provide address and other contact updates via your member login and also submit Ethics questions (see #2 above – this is where you sumbit questions via email instead of calling in).  Check out the area to make sure your information on file with the Bar is up to date.

6) Dedicated Health Insurance Exchange – With all of the new health insurance changes going on nationally, the Bar wanted to ensure our members were being afforded the best options.  So, via our Bar-recommended broker, Member Benefits, Inc., (formerly BPC Financial), we now provide a dedicated health insurance exchange for Bar members, their families and their staff.  Check out coverage options and get quotes from our private insurance exchange at http://www.gabar.org/attorneyresources/health_exchange.cfm.

Okay, this is definitely not the complete list.  We want to give you a chance to digest these, and we’ll be back with more in our next post.  Just keep in mind that the Bar makes excellent use of your Bar dues in delivering top-notch member benefits, and if you have any questions about any of the Bar’s programs or services, please give us a call or send us an email!

Natalie & Tina

Winter Solo and Small Firm CLE is Here!

Don’t forget that you can get 6 hours of CLE including 1 hour of Professionalism and 1 hour of Ethics at the Winter Solo and Small Firm CLE this Friday, February 15, 2013.  See the program line up and register at http://www.iclega.org/programs/8164.html.
The CLE is live at the State Bar Headquarters in Atlanta and being broadcast via teleconference at the Bar’s South Georgia Office in Tifton.
We hope to see you there!
Natalie & Tina

Fastcase and Its Hot New Stuff!

Georgia lawyers have been able to use Fastcase for free online legal research for several years now.  This service has been enhanced lately by the addition of some new functionality and service options from Fastcase in recent months.  The new Mobile Sync feature allows members to conduct continuous research sessions across their desktop (Bar login)  and their mobile device (iPhone/iPad on commerical service) accounts.  This synching is even more effective now that Fastcase has released an Android app, too!  Keep up with everything going on with Fastcase and Fastcase training for your Bar service online at www.gabar.org or on the company’s website at www.fastcase.com!

– Natalie