In the past few years there have been a number of entrants into the area of Cloud-based practice management. These companies offer the promise of practice management Nirvana — run your practice on any device, from anywhere with no software installation, no server, and even no network. ActionStep, which has an installed base in New Zealand and Australia, has adapted its practice management system for the U.S. law market. I am going through their training curriculum this summer and will be releasing a formal review on TechnoLawyer’s SmallLaw newsletter in September. For now, here are a few highlights.
At the last Amicus Consultant’s Conference I demonstrated some innovative ways of improving the way HotDocs and Amicus interact. A recent post on the LinkedIn user’s group, Amicus Wizards, has prompted me to post some pictures from that demo. The question was asked why is the HotDocs interview generated automatically by Amicus so long with so many dialogs. The answer is that the automatically generated interview DOES NOT HAVE any dialogs, it is merely a list of variables that are used in the template in the order that they appear in the document.
If you have ever wondered who Basha was, there is a story to tell. In 1996, when I was packing up my office then at Kalkines, Arky & Bernstein LLP, and leaving for the “great unknown”, I knew I wanted to do something with “software”. I didn’t know what. And so I wanted a name that met two criteria: (1) Flexibility, and (2) Near the top of the Alphabet, but not so obvious. I also wanted something unique.
The answer to the question is “MatterInfoSpareLong2”. After several hours of searching, calls to former PCLaw product managers and tech support directors, I got the answer I was searching for. My odyssey had started with a simple request: “Produce a report that combines File details in Amicus Attorney with billing and receivables details in PCLaw. Having presented a seminar on integrating Amicus Attorney and HotDocs, I thought it a simple matter to integrate HotDocs and PCLaw.
On the surface, it was easy. In PCLaw there is a MattInf table that stores the Matter information. You can use the MatterID from within HotDocs to query the SQL database and get file information. On the MattInf table there is a ClientID that links to information on the primary client, allowing you to pull in client data. For current statistics, there is a MattBal that contains data on each file regarding account balance, receivables, billings etc.
Would you believe this; someone wanted to dine in the clouds. If you really want to, there is a restaurant that caters to this. Check out Yahoo!!.
Law Firm Practice Management in the Cloud is certainly a goal. For that, there are programs like Advologix, FirmManager, ActionStep, Houdini, Clio and Rockmatter, and coming soon Amicus Cloud. If you are moving your servers to the cloud, why not move yourself and have a good meal while you are at it.