Follow Delia on Twitter @deliavenables and keep up with her “New” page on a regular basis.
New Law Society practice note on the use of social media by legal professionals
The Law Society has issued an updated practice note on the use of social media by legal professionals. It includes guidance on ethical considerations, online social networking, benefits/risks and setting a social media policy. As it says on the site “Social media is increasingly popular and the legal profession must keep up to date with developments, which can present real opportunities if harnessed effectively. In particular, clients may expect that the profession should also embrace it as part of its working practices. The updated guidance brings you a clearer definition of social media, more information on the benefits and risks of using social media and new case studies on how social media is being used within the profession.”
Justis blog is not like other blogs
Justis blog is not like other blogs. The Justis editorial team are immersed in the law every day and whilst they are working they spot developments in the courts & changes to legislation that are of particular importance to practitioners and add them to this blog. Items cover everything from the latest case digests and legal commentaries to helpdesk articles on product-related issues. Content is well presented and “easy to read”. You can subscribe to receive a bulletin, either weekly or monthly, of the latest items (you sign up on the blog homepage).
Have you thought of setting up an apprenticeship in your firm?
Gateway Training Consortium is an organisation which works with employers to set up Apprenticeships. Apprenticeships are work-based training programmes designed around the needs of employers but also providing an excellent way for young people (who may, or may not, already be an employee of the organisation) to gain a nationally recognised qualification. There are 190 different Apprenticeships available under the current scheme, including for the legal profession, and the organisation has asked me to let people know about the scheme.
Celia Powell (contact details below) tells me: “The Apprentice is employed by the Solicitors for 12 months whilst they complete their Apprenticeship qualification. The Apprentice would then hopefully progress to roles such as Office Manager, Paralegal or Legal Secretary. An Apprentice should be given the same employee rights as other members of staff and would need to work between 30 and 40 hours a week. The minimum payment rate is an hourly rate of £2.73, though we find Employers offering four pounds an hour or more receive higher calibre candidates. Currently there is a Government Grant of £1,500 paid to the business, once the Apprentice has been with the firm for thirteen weeks. The grant is not guaranteed and eligibility is worked out on an Individual basis. We organise their Apprenticeship training, this is completed whilst the Apprentice is at work with an Assessor who would visit the Apprentice in the work place for two hours once a month. Our service is free and we operate nationally, however our resources are limited with regard to being able to contact Law Firms and I am hoping that you could encourage people to contact us.”
Eclipse wins “job creator of the year” award in Bradford
Eclipse Legal Systems has won the “Job Creator of the Year” award at the Telegraph and Argus “Bradford Means Business” event, beating several much larger organisations. Founded in 1987, Eclipse Legal Systems now employs over 160 staff many and many of these jobs have been created in the last few years – 40 in 2013, 30 in 2014 and a further 10 so far this year.
Free demos of the new mobile app from DPS Software designed for criminal law firms
iAttend is the new mobile app from DPS Software designed for criminal law firms. This product allows users to record time and fill in a set of pre-designed forms (Police Station Attendance, Crown Court, Magistrates Court Attendance etc.) on any mobile device, from any location with or without Internet access. Being mobile compatible, the app can be downloaded on any Apple or Android mobile device and is integrated with DPS’s case management system. Demonstrations of iAttend will be held on 7th July at the Nottinghamshire Law Society, 8th July at the Manchester Law Society and 9th July at the Bristol Law Society. The demonstrations are free and there is no obligation implied by attending. You can register and select a convenient location and time slot here.
Conscious are offering free half day workshops in Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and London
Conscious Solutions are putting on what they call M+E+M=P workshops – Marketing, Efficiency, Money and Profit – to help a law firm maximise profits. The workshops are designed for Marketing and Finance managers and there will be leading legal industry specialists to talk on these topics. The workshops are in Bristol on 23 June, Birmingham on 1 July, Manchester on 2 July and London on 7 July, from 1.15pm till 5.00pm in each case. More details and a booking form are here.
Datalaw meet new SRA training requirements head on with a new “bundle” of 16 hours CPD.
Datalaw is one of the leading suppliers of training to solicitors, providing a wide variety of online courses. Now they are responding to the SRA’s new requirements with a “bundle” of 19 Regulatory and Compliance courses for fixed prices starting at £250 for an individual purchase (although presumably an individual solicitor will only want 16 hours!). There is a list of the courses and more details here.
Is your cashier going on maternity leave or taking an extended holiday? Quill Pinpoint can fill the gap.
Quill Pinpoint is the UK’s largest outsourced legal cashiering provider with over 35 years of experience supplying software and outsourcing services to law firms. Any legal accounts department needs a constant cashier presence to manage inbound and outbound finances according to the governance of the SRA Accounts Rules. While it can be very difficult to cover for sudden unexpected staff absenteeism, other scheduled non-attendance, such as holidays or maternity leave, can be catered for by arranging to use the Quill Pinpoint service for a particular period. Rachael Fisher, Practice Manager at Richard Griffiths & Co Solicitors, dscribes how it worked for her firm in a case study here.
Veyo announces that it has begun to roll out its services across England and Wales
Veyo is the joint venture between the Law Society and Mastek (UK) Ltd which brings together electronically all the processes, checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties. The first users will be those firms who have already placed orders, thereafter the firms who have registered interest and then the remainder of the market. The full Veyo service includes the ability to upload search results, to transmit and receive key documents, to exchange contracts online via the ”˜Deal Room’, to see the progress of a chain of transactions for homebuyers, estate agents and conveyancers, and to upload HMRC information and interface with Land Registry. The system provides an audit trail, free AML searches and conveyancing forms and a fully functioning case management system (CMS). Firms with existing CMS will, subject to the collaboration of their provider, be able to integrate their existing system into the required elements of Veyo’s services.
Are you struggling to make your web site mobile-friendly? Mobiletest.me is a big help!
Mobiletest.me is a wonderful site for testing your site to see how it looks in different types of mobile device. It is amazingly easy to use and, best of all, you can scroll down the page to see how the “lower” sections of the page look and you can also check the links. You cannot do either of these things with the Google mobile-friendly test. You can try mobiletest.me for free and, at the moment, it is still free to use even if you use it intensively; take the “beta” link. (There will be a charge eventually but I reckon it will be worth it – the service is invaluable.)
DPS launch new cloud-based case and practice management system, called dpscloud
dpscloud is the latest product to be launched by DPS Software. DPS is one of the longest established and most innovative software suppliers for lawyers in the UK and they have had a cloud-based system for some time. However, this new version has been built from the ground up to get the best out of the modern online world: it allows fee earners to record time, create attendance notes, dictate against a file, create emails from tasks and view their file history from any location with Internet access.
See the article by Osman Ismail of DPS in the Internet Newsletter for Lawyers.
Hoowla users can now request Land Registry documents from their case management systems
Hoowla is an online conveyancing case management for solicitors or other conveyancers, estate agents and the clients, using the latest cloud based technology. Now users can link up their Land Registry Business Gateway Account from the conveyancing case management software and can request Official Copies of Documents. There is no software to install; the user can access Hoowla through any internet-connected device. Hoowla have also recently partnered with Signable, the key UK provider Electronic Signatures, to deliver digital document signing.
See Hoowla Features for more.
ICLR is 150 years old and is asking readers “Which cases have made the greatest contribution to legal history?”
The Incorporated Council of Law Reporting (ICLR), is marking its 150th birthday by inviting readers to vote for the most significant cases reported in The Law Reports since 1865. Which cases have made the greatest contribution to legal history? There will be a special Anniversary Edition of the Law Reports, which will include the 15 top cases voted for by readers. ICLR will make the judgments of all of the cases nominated available for publication on BAILII. More details here.
Conscious Solutions and Law League will merge on 1 June 2015
Law League was formed in 2011 by Andrew Roberts and provides client satisfaction surveys to law firms throughout the UK. Their benchmarking database currently has over 600,000 data points. Conscious Solutions, led by David Gilroy, is a large and successful marketing agency focused exclusively on the UK legal sector. It has 27 staff operating from offices in central Bristol and delivers a wide range of services to over 230 law firms in the UK including designing new responsive websites, improving search engine rankings and implementing a firm’s PPC campaign. Law League will be merged into Conscious Solutions on 1st June.
Probate Plus can help with filling up IHT forms!
Law Systems’ Software Probate Plus can help fill out IHT forms, in particular IHT205 and IHT400 (integrated). To do this, the user needs to be using Acrobat Standard, Acrobat Professional, Oyez or Iris forms. The completion of these forms requires an extra piece of software to be downloaded from the Law Systems site but it is free of charge for registered users.
Eclipse and Veyo announce their plans for integration
Eclipse Legal Systems, the Law Society Endorsed provider of legal software solutions, has announced its plans for integration with Veyo, the soon-to-be-launched conveyancing portal. Eclipse’s conveyancing clients range from new start-ups through major high-street practices to volume conveyancing firms and their Proclaim Conveyancing Case Management Solution is highly regarded in the marketplace. Veyo, the joint venture between The Law Society and Mastek (UK) Ltd, a global IT Solutions company, will bring together electronically all the processes, checks and documentation prepared and undertaken by solicitors and licensed conveyancers in the sale and purchase of residential properties. By integrating with Veyo, Eclipse’s clients will benefit from unique features such as the chain view and deal room, sharing information between the Proclaim Case Management Solution and Veyo’s system, removing the need for duplication and increasing transparency. See more on Veyo here.
DPS launches secure, cloud-based Case & Practice Management System
DPS Spitfire is a new web-based practice management system designed for mobile devices – and for the mobile practitioner. The system allows fee earners to record time, create attendance notes, dictate against a file, create emails from tasks and view their file history from any location with Internet access. The system is set up with top level security similar to the one used by banks.
Personal Injury site with a difference
Optimal Solicitors specialize in legal services, including personal injury, flight delay, PPI & financial mis-selling claims for native Eastern & Northern European language speakers. The site has the subheading “because we speak your language” and they actually mean it! The site is published in Polish, Romanian, Lithuanian & Russian (and English) and there are topical articles on the various services they provide. The lawyers share these languages between them so there are specialists in each.