This October, the Answering Legal blog will be sharing some of its top recommendations for attorneys. In addition to this post, which features an inside look at 11 Apps Lawyers Need To Be Using, we’ll be releasing lists on 11 Books Every Lawyer Should Read, 11 Legal Conferences Lawyers Need To Attend, and 11 Marketing Tools Lawyers Need To Invest In.
There’s a lot that goes into running a successful law practice these days, and below we’ll be highlighting 11 apps that can make an attorney’s day-to-day life a lot easier. To help you learn more about our featured apps, we’ve included in this piece short interviews with a representative of each app company. We hope you find this list to be of value.
Obtaining information for upcoming cases has never been simpler, thanks to the introduction of next-generation legal research services like Fastcase. There’s no longer a need to spend hours in the library or sorting through your office’s old dusty bookcase. Fastcase gives you the power to do research from anywhere, by putting a comprehensive national law library right on your phone. The Fastcase app has become a favorite amongst modern day lawyers, and we spoke with the company’s Chief Executive Officer Ed Walters to find out why.
Chief Executive Officer
Can you tell us a little bit about the Fastcase product and what attorneys can accomplish with it?
Ed Walters: Fastcase is a comprehensive online legal research service. Lawyers can learn about areas of law, advise clients, prepare memos, or draft pleadings using Fastcase – we offer cases, statutes, regulations, briefs, pleadings, motions, court rules, constitutions, law review articles, public records search, people finder, skip tracing, and legal treatises – so it’s a giant law library at a transparent, fixed price.
What makes Fastcase the top legal research tool available to lawyers today?
Ed: Convenience really helps – our smartphone apps for iOS and Android are free and easy to use. 900,000 lawyers have a subscription to Fastcase on the desktop, and they run more than 1 million searches on Fastcase per week.
You can subscribe month-to-month with no minimum contract, and the price is fixed, so there are no surprises. I can’t believe that’s a differentiator, but the traditional legal research services pioneered surprise charges on bills – they’re great at it.
How has Fastcase evolved in recent years?
Ed: Fastcase started out as case law only, and really a solution for small firms only. But over the last 20 years, our library has grown to cover just about anything you can find on the most expensive services, and as a result, some of the biggest law firms in the world subscribe to Fastcase.
What Fastcase feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Ed: Users are really into our new service Docket Alarm right now. It’s a Swiss Army Knife for litigators. The service tracks existing cases in state and federal courts and manages distribution of new pleadings inside the law firm. It’s a great research library of similar briefs, pleadings, and motions.
Docket Alarm provides beautiful analytics, too – a great resource for competitive intelligence. Subscribers are bananas about this service!
Can you talk a little about the benefits Fastcase offer to bar association members, and why the company feels it’s important to offer such benefits?
Ed: From the very first day of our company, our mission has been to democratize the law and to make research smarter. Working with bar associations has been central to that mission, because it has allowed us to make legal research free to members of 34 state bar associations and more than three dozen metro, county, and specialty bar associations.
That’s a lot of free law for lawyers, which really democratizes the law. We hope that it increases the engagement between lawyers and their bar associations, too.
Life can feel overwhelming for anyone running a business, and that’s especially true for those managing law firms. Having the Todoist app can make work days seem a lot less complicated, as it’s a tool built to keep even the busiest of people organized and on-track. Those who start using Todoist, quickly see how much easier it is to prioritize tasks and stay on top of daily appointments and meetings with a high quality virtual to-do list right on their phone. We spoke with Todoist PR Manager Daniel Garcia to discuss why this app is a great fit for overwhelmed attorneys.
Can you tell us a little bit about Todoist and how it can be a useful tool for overwhelmed business owners?
Daniel Garcia: We all have projects that we have a hard time completing and goals that we struggle to achieve. There are so many tools out there that promise to help us become more productive, yet just end up being one more thing to maintain, distracting us from what’s really important.
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
I think people use Todoist because they want a tool that cuts through the clutter, keeps track of everything they want to achieve (and the information they need to do it), and ultimately makes them feel more empowered and in control. That’s the power of a truly great to-do list.
How can Todoist help lawyers collaborate more efficiently with their staff and colleagues on different projects?
Daniel: The capability to create shared projects and to collaborate is truly a powerhouse for productivity. Sharing and delegation is really essential to peoples’ productivity– which is why this was such an important step for us to make with Todoist.
For example, our team at Todoist is comprised of about 70 people in 25 different countries. Without the possibility to share tasks and projects, the remote working scheme would be compromised.
Tools that allow you to increase your productivity and collaborate with others, even when you’re far away, are essential in today’s mobile workplace.
What Todoist feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Daniel: Smart Schedule, an AI-powered scheduler and Quick Add– natural language task input. Todoist is flexible for anyone to use with sub-tasks, sub-projects, custom labels and custom filters and offers 50+ integrations.
What updates have been made to Todoist over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Daniel: We have an upcoming big launch this month. Stay tuned!
What makes Todoist standout over competing task managing programs?
Daniel: Todoist is available on all the platforms and browsers (plus email clients), more than any other task manager on the market. This means that we can reach an extremely diverse group of users: those who use Chrome, iPhone, those who use a Samsung tablet, those who use a PC, etc. It is also available in 19 languages, more than any other personal productivity tool in the market.
Todoist is an incredibly robust software– all our platforms are synchronized in real-time, our apps are fully native, and we offer many key features that our competitors do not. In addition, we’ve built our software and apps following simplistic, intuitive design principles which provide a very sleek user experience. This is something that people really appreciate– when you want to be productive, you don’t want to deal with unnecessary bells and whistles that can, at the end of the day, decrease your productivity. By the way, we’re also independent and profitable, we never took money from VCs, we’ve always been a bootstrapped company.
There’s no other task manager that’s so ubiquitous as Todoist and this allows us to reach a very diverse audience. We’re the to-do list app that’s available on the highest number of platforms (16) and languages (20). Our open API, which has been available since I launched Todoist in 2007, has given us a very strong advantage in terms of third party integrations. Today, we’re integrated with 50+ different apps and services like Dropbox, IFTTT, Zapier, Cloud Magic, Amazon Echo, and Google Assistant.
Lawyers have a lot to do, and can’t afford to waste much time. If you’re looking to invest in a time tracking app to help you and your staff make the most of your work days, Toggl should be a top choice. Toggl is incredibly simple to use, and will give attorneys valuable insight on how much their time is actually worth and help them make smarter choices with their weekly schedule. To learn about some of Toggl’s more in-depth features, we spoke with the company’s Partnerships Manager Caityln Kari.
Can you tell us a little bit about the Toggl app and how it can be a useful tool for business professionals?
Caitlyn Kari: If you are simply looking to track time, any old stopwatch will do. Toggl goes beyond time-tracking to provide a foundation for gathering and organizing data that helps you manage projects across teams and make better business decisions. From project estimates and team planning, budget projections and profitability analysis, pinpointing scope creep, Toggl’s easy-to-use features let you plan your time, track where it goes, and review your time use for effectiveness and profitability.
With Toggl you can:
- Track time on desktop, laptop, mobile, or from within your favorite online tools (like project management and billing software). Your team’s time will be synced over the cloud.
- Set up automatic tracking reminders for employees if they’ve tracked fewer than their target hours. Prevent incomplete entries by requiring specific details for each Time Entry and ensure that you get proper data from the get-go.
- Break down your hours by projects, clients, and tasks with simple charts to see where your time goes and discover how much your time is worth. Toggl crunches the numbers for you.
- Export reports into any format you need, or use our public API to move your data. Schedule reports to regularly arrive in your email inbox so that you’ll always stay up to date, without even having to log in to Toggl.
- Use time audits to catch incorrect entries that your clients don’t need to see—with just one click—and lock old reports to keep the data accurate, so that you can share the reports with clients or your accountant and know your data will stay reliable.
What Toggl feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Caitlyn: Project time estimates allow you to estimate how long your projects should take and then monitor tracked hours for each project against your initial estimate. Toggl will alert you when total tracked hours for a given project reach a defined percentage of your original estimate.
First come Projects, then come Tasks. Tasks provide an extra level of hierarchy within Projects—think of them as a sub-project. Similar to Projects, Tasks can be allocated to a specific team member and have time estimates assigned to them.
When you add Billable Rates to your logged time entries, you’ll see how much each activity cost (and which were free of charge). You’ll also save time calculating your client fees. Allocate billable rates to specific time entries, by project or by task. Each rate can also be in a different currency. Toggl handles even very complex business cases by offering multiple ways to apply billable rates.
Toggl also allows for Time Rounding, which can be vital if you bill for larger increments of time (5 min, 6 min, 12 min, etc.), or if you just don’t want your reports to show how much time you worked to the second.
What updates have been made to Toggl over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Caitlyn: So far in 2019, we have launched a new Project Dashboard feature for our Premium teams. The dashboard provides an overview of a Project’s lifetime progress and is best used in conjunction with our Time Estimates feature. The dashboard chart provides a visual guide to the time estimate originally assigned to a project, total hours logged to date on the project, a project completion forecast based on hours logged to date, billable hours associated with the project, and the overall value of the project.
The Toggl Desktop app for Mac also received a complete redesign, bringing its user interface in-line with our popular web apps, so that users can seamlessly switch between logging time across different platforms. We also now support Mac’s dark and light theme setups, so the app always feels like a solid part of the MacOS experience. The Linux desktop app has also been updated, and Windows is up next.
In the near future, we’ll be making some improvements to Toggl’s Timeline feature, which allows you to record every website and program that you view on your computer for longer than 10 seconds and then use that data to fill in any gaps in your timesheets. We will be creating a totally new timeline visual view that enables users to get a helicopter overview of their days, making it easier to find time gaps and analyze timeline data.
What makes Toggl the best time tracking app on the market today?
Caitlyn: In addition to the incredibly easy-to-use interface that syncs across your browser, desktop, and phone, time-tracking reminders, project time estimates, billable rates, and time rounding capabilities, Toggl’s best-in-class reporting functionality is what really sets us apart.
Toggl’s flexible and powerful reporting lets you analyze your daily time-use data and use this information to adjust priorities, optimize task allocations, and maximize your productive work time. The reports give you an overview of how much your projects are earning you and how much of your time has been spent on profitable activities, as well as show you if your time spending stays within the limits you’ve set—making it easier to catch runaway activities that could cost you a lot of money in the long run.
You can use different filters to find exactly what you’re looking for, (bulk) edit your data, merge projects, or export everything into PDF, CSV or Excel. The opportunities are endless.
Our calendar integration also lets you turn your calendar events into time entries with just one tap via Toggl’s mobile apps.
Why should lawyers feel confident trusting Toggl to help manage their hectic daily schedules?
Caitlyn: We believe that good software should empower people, not get in their way. We’ve designed Toggl with no learning curve, so that busy legal offices can get their teams onboard quickly and start tracking time with just one click. Our mobile apps allow you to track time from wherever you are with just your phone, and our desktop apps allow you to track time without needing to keep a dedicated browser tab open. Toggl will also integrate with a team calendar, so that everyone can quickly adapt to changes, collaborate, and manage and share tasks intuitively.
Administrative tasks can easily eat up time, taking up a third or more of many a lawyer’s day. By using Toggl to assign tracked time to projects and tasks, you can see exactly where your time goes and make informed decisions about how you allocate team resources. Additionally, precision time-tracking can be of utmost importance to court-appointed lawyers and certain jurisdictions. Toggl Tasks allow you to easily and accurately assign every minute spent on Discovery, Motions, Pre-trial, Trial Preparation, and Trial to the appropriate category, and Toggl Tags can be used to track UTBMS codes. Toggl can also be used in conjunction with legal software via integrations through Zapier or Integromat.
Toggl’s billable hours feature means that not only can you track your billable hours in real time, you can also easily round your time logs, specify custom rates, and handle your billing in a flash. Our robust reports feature will provide the information you need to quote prices to clients with solid historical data to back your rates. And because we know that protecting your client’s data is a top priority, everything in Toggl is hosted by the Google Cloud Platform, which adheres to all major security standards.
Texting has become the preferred method of communication for many consumers these days. Because of this, lawyers looking to better connect with their clients will want to consider downloading an app like Zipwhip. With Zipwhip, attorneys can send text messages to clients, without having to give out their personal phone numbers. To learn more about what Zipwhip has to offer, we spoke with the company’s Senior Account Executive Isaac Andresky.
Senior Account Executive
Can you tell us a little bit about Zipwhip and what business owners can accomplish with it?
Isaac Andresky: Zipwhip empowers businesses to communicate with clients and customers in the most effective and preferred way possible – texting. As the pioneers of texting for business, Zipwhip first enabled text messaging to and from existing landline, VoIP and toll-free phone numbers in 2014.
Zipwhip provides cloud-based software and an enterprise-grade API so businesses can use any computer or mobile device to securely and reliably text customers.
High-efficiency features like dynamic templates, bulk texting, scheduled messages, auto-replies and more enable businesses to reach more customers in less time. Plus with Zipwhip’s integrations with industry specific providers like Clio and its browser extension, firms can implement Zipwhip into their existing workflow with ease. Businesses interested in texting can look here to see more about Zipwhip’s features.
How can the Zipwhip app make an attorney’s life easier?
Isaac: Zipwhip is answering the question of if and how lawyers should text clients. Attorneys are discovering that a large percentage of their clients shy away from answering the phone and don’t have immediate access to email. Since texting is one of the only pre-authenticated applications built into every cell phone, attorneys have discovered texting to be a powerful tool to save time on administrative work.
Texting isn’t the best medium for comprehensive legal discussion. However, law firms save tremendous amounts of time on clerical work by texting clients to remind them of appointments, provide them links to documentation and notify them of important updates regarding their case. Not only is text messaging a powerful in-house tool, it can also be an impactful tool to reach prospective clients post initial contact, or if they text the firm directly through their website.
What would you say to lawyers that are a bit hesitant about the idea of texting their clients?
Isaac: Up until recently, text messaging has implied using a personal cell phone to reach clients. Using your personal cell to text clients is problematic for a number of reasons, including: dealing with clients who text and call after hours, not having the ability to properly archive text conversations for e-discovery and having no way to centralize these business texts to access them for case notes.
Lawyers have legitimate reasons not to text clients using a personal cell phone. However, using texting-for-business cloud-based software will allow lawyers and their staff to easily facilitate and centrally manage text conversations through their primary business phone number. Cloud-based software and certain VoIP services offer lawyers the convenience of texting clients without the ramifications.
What Zipwhip feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Isaac: Scheduled texting has been the biggest time saver for attorneys. The phenomenon of missed appointments is common in all practice areas, in large part because getting appointment confirmations from clients by phone or email are increasingly unsuccessful. In fact, a new study from Zipwhip shows that 97% of consumers reject or ignore phone calls from businesses or unknown numbers.
Texting, on the other hand, yields exceedingly high response rates; Zipwhip’s study showed that 74% of consumers respond to a text from a business within an hour. By scheduling these texts ahead of time, legal practices can save time while virtually guaranteeing a response and eliminating no-shows.
What updates have been made to Zipwhip over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Isaac: This year Zipwhip released the industry’s first texting-for-business desktop app – now customers can utilize Zipwhip conveniently from their browser, mobile device or computer desktop and access improved notification functionality and auto-launch technology.
Another important update from Zipwhip is its successful completion of the SOC 2 Type 1 examination to provide strengthened security across the platform. SOC 2 examinations are recognized as the gold standard for data security.
Zipwhip’s product continues to expand to meet the needs of businesses and law practices everywhere – you can subscribe to Zipwhip updates here on The Zip to get the latest news, product enhancements and announcements.
When your firm has several marketing campaigns going on at one time, it can be easy to mismanage new lead opportunities. Part of what makes LeadOwl such a great tool for lawyers, is that it allows them to manage all of their new leads through a single app. Through LeadOwl, you can view analytics from your websites and sales funnels, get new lead information delivered directly to your app, and receive reminders to call new leads. LeadOwl’s Co-Founder Kitty Kellman provided us with more information about her product.
Can you tell us a little bit about the LeadOwl app and how it can be a useful tool for business owners?
Kitty Kellman: LeadOwl is a smart phone and web app that allows you to completely manage your leads from the palm of your hand. Integrate a website, sales funnel or Facebook Lead Ad in seconds and let LeadOwl handle the lead delivery and reminders. LeadOwl reminds you every 15 minutes, 60 minutes and 24 hours to call your leads.
Keep organized with the LeadOwl CRM. View response time, analytics, follows up and email reports in one-click. Connect email marketing autoresponders for automatic list syncing and triggering email automations. Manage your leads on the go for your sales team or agency.
What updates have been made to LeadOwl over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Kitty: LeadOwl has built out many new features this year. We’ve updated our user interface, enhanced the lead rotator feature, added the ability to add clients in bulk, updated to a more modernized framework to increase speed for load times, added a new autoresponder integration with Infusionsoft/Keap and added the ability to view and download invoices.
We absolutely love hearing from our LeadOwl users and we listen. Our future builds, new features and UI enhancements are based on the feedback our users provide.
What makes LeadOwl the best lead management tool on the market today?
Kitty: LeadOwl is simple and effective. Get better results with a streamlined and productive workflow while getting all your leads instantly delivered to the app and get reminded when you or anyone on your team forgets to call your leads.
Connecting LeadOwl with Facebook Lead Ads and other integrations takes seconds, and allows you to sell smarter and faster. LeadOwl allows you to take real-time action on new leads. Our tool simplifies the lead to sale conversion process. In general, the longer you wait to follow up with a new lead, the less likely that lead is to convert to a customer. Follow up fast!
LeadOwl has a 14 day free trial where you can access all the features and the app. See how it all works for your business during the free trial.
Will lawyers who aren’t exactly tech savvy be able to easily navigate and use the LeadOwl app?
Kitty: You don’t have to be tech savvy or a software ninja to use LeadOwl. Set up is simple, and you’ll be onboarded within minutes. You also have access to the LeadOwl Support Center with tons of how-to articles and videos to teach you how to get started and use features.
If a large portion of your work days aren’t feeling as productive as they could be, downloading the Any.do app is a great way to get things back on track. Any.do makes organizing daily tasks easy, and will make sure busy lawyers remember to actually complete their assignments. With Any.do you’re also able to share lists and tasks with others, making collaborating on firm projects a breeze. Any.do’s founder Omer Perchik told us more about this impressive app.
Founder & CEO
Can you give us a brief overview of what Any.do provides?
Omer: Any.do is an award-winning productivity app used by over 20m people worldwide who want to stay organized and get more done. Our all-in-one solution includes an award-winning to-do list, calendar, time/location/recurring reminders, daily planner, focus mode (Pomodoro timer), shared projects, assigned tasks and much more.
How can overwhelmed lawyers benefit from using Any.do on an everyday basis?
Omer: Our app was designed for busy people who have a lot on their plate and need to get a lot of things done. We made it simple and fast to add items, prioritize them effectively, set due dates and get things done.
What Any.do feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Omer: Any.do’s one of a kind daily planner in addition to our powerful widgets are highly appreciated by our users.
What separates Any.do from some of the other organization apps on the market today?
Omer: Instead of using separate apps for each function, we provide a COMPLETE solution for all your productivity needs.
What updates have been made to Any.do over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Omer: In 2019:
- We rebuilt from scratch the Web app.
- We launched a brand new Mac app.
- We launched a brand new Windows app.
- We launched Any.do for Gmail.
- We launched our premium integration with Zapier on Web, Mac and iOS and Android.
- We launched Focus mode on iOS and Android.
- We launched Color tags on iOS & Android, Web, Mac & Windows)
- We launched a Smart grocery list on iOS and Android.
- We launched Any.do for Slack.
- We launched Any.do for Alexa.
- We launched a super-powerful widget for iOS and Android.
- We launched a Siri & Reminders integration for iOS users.
- We launched an in-app calendar (that syncs with any calendar)
- We recently added 3 new calendar views (day, 3day and week) on iOS and Android.
- We launched Any.do for Teams.
Lawyers are constantly handling and reviewing important documents, and the ability to scan those documents from any location can be a real game-changer. One of the best scanning tools available to attorneys today is Genius Scan. The app allows you to take photos of documents right on your phone, create instant PDFs, and even share new scans through all major cloud providers. Genius Scan was created by the company The Grizzly Labs, and we got to speak with their co-founder Bruno Virlet about the product.
Co-founder of The Grizzly Labs
Can you tell us a little bit about the Genius Scan app and how it can be useful for business professionals?
Bruno Virlet: Professionals (such as lawyers) often have to scan documents on the go, and don’t necessarily have a scanner at hand.
Genius Scan is like a document scanner but right in your pocket. You can place any document in front of your device’s camera: Genius Scan automatically recognizes the paper against the background, crops it, and cleans up the result. You obtain a crisp, legible scan. Batch scanning lets you scan dozens of pages in a matter of seconds. Powerful tools help you organize, share, or archive your documents.
What Genius Scan feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Bruno: Our users love the automatic document detection and the very quick flow from snapping the picture to exporting the PDF. Power users appreciate more advanced features such as the automatic background export, which makes sure that documents are always backed up wherever they want.
What updates have been made to Genius Scan over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Bruno: We’ve made dozens of updates over the past year! Our updates fix bugs, add new features and improve the app in any way we can.
For instance, we just updated the app for iOS 13 with a beautiful new dark mode. Later this year we have improvements to our image processing algorithms coming.
What makes Genius Scan the best scanning app on the market today?
Bruno: It’s simple to use, reliable and you can trust it.
Why should lawyers feel confident using your app to scan, save, and share their important documents?
Bruno: The documents are processed on your phone and they leave the app only when you explicitly choose to, because you want to export them somewhere.
Genius Scan is also developed in Europe where privacy laws are quite strict.
As technology continues to evolve, documents and spreadsheets remain relevant as ever in law office environments. Coda recognizes this, and instead of trying to discard documents and spreadsheets, has created an app that allows lawyers to create more effective versions of them. Today, legal professionals use Coda to run better meetings, build estimates, track time and so much more. We spoke with Coda Solutions Architect Al Chen to gain a better understanding of all Coda has to offer.
Can you tell us a little bit about Coda and how it can be a useful tool for business owners?
Al Chen: Coda is a new type of interactive document that blends the best of docs, spreadsheets and applications in one place. It was born out of two primary observations.
1. In a world full of specialized software and workplace tools, people still spend the majority of their time in documents and spreadsheets.
2. At the same time, documents and spreadsheets haven’t changed fundamentally in more than 40 years, even though the use case has changed. Coda decided to start from scratch with a new type of doc that looks and feels familiar, but can grow with your ideas and your team’s needs.
Business owners, team members and individuals use Coda in myriad ways, from simple meeting notes to a suite of apps that run whole companies. Our template gallery is now filled with examples that our community has submitted to share with others, and there are many inspiring examples. There are examples from running small businesses like Hudson Henry Granola to running projects at large companies like Uber.
Lawyers are always engaged in meetings. How will Coda make their lives easier?
Al: Our template gallery has a slew of meetings-related templates that our users have made to improve their meetings or to put a philosophy into action.
For some of the most common meeting interactions, our in-doc templates are a way to quickly drag-and-drop tools into your doc. For example, if you want to put a topic to a vote, you can add an upvote/downvote table. Or to prevent the meeting from running long, you can use the time tracker to set a limit on each agenda item..
What Coda feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Al: Buttons are a favorite because they are so versatile and, when pressed, can take various actions. They can add, modify and delete a row in any tableーa button can even push another button. When paired with automations, pushing a button can email a weekly agenda to attendees or send a Slack reminder about an overdue action item in a project tracker.
Views are another popular feature to see information from one table in many different ways, without having to update that information in multiple places or constantly copy/paste. For example, if there’s a table of tasks to be done and you only want to see the tasks that are marked “high priority” and assigned to you, you can create a filtered view of that original table containing only the information you want to see. Any updates you make in your view will be reflected in the original table, and vice versa.
How can Coda help lawyers collaborate more efficiently with their staff and colleagues on different projects?
Al: Lawyers can use Coda as a single source of truth, when they no longer wish to toggle between various documents, spreadsheets or many tabs in their Internet browser. This helps them spend more time on the things they need to get done and less time copy/pasting information from one place to the next, since everyone knows where to go for the latest information. Coda also works well when people need a solution that’s too important for a spreadsheet but too unique for a custom, packaged app. Instead of asking IT to implement a specialized solution, people can use Coda to make it themselves.
We’ve seen lawyers use Coda to build estimates, track their time and complete project briefs. Repeating checklists are also used to remind people about recurring tasks. For aspiring attorneys, there’s even a law school admissions checklist.
What updates have been made to Coda over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Al: Coda launched to the general public in February this year. Since then, we’ve made significant changes, like performance enhancements and a visual refresh, as well as ways to make Coda better for teams. We launched “easy filtering” as a way to create filters using simple buildersーno formulas required. We also launched Packs Tables, which enable users to synchronize live data from third-party apps they use every dayーlike Google Calendar, Gmail or Jiraーinto their Coda docs, so data is never stale. For example, you could use the Google Calendar Pack to integrate your weekly schedule with your to-do list for one source of truth that’s always up to date.
Right now, we’re working on features to expand the set of users who can use Coda ー things like multi-browser support and non-Gmail login, and we’re continuing to improve the overall user experience and improve ease of use. We also plan to launch pricing in the near future, but we will always have a generous free tier.
Taking hand-written notes is so last-decade. Today, lawyers have the option to record important conversations using apps like Otter right on their phone. Otter is unique, in that it provides users with real-time streaming transcripts, which can be easily shared or exported to other co-workers and colleagues. This app is incredibly smart, and Seamus McAteer gave us more info on some it’s super-smart features.
General Manager, Revenue and Partnerships
Can you tell us a little bit about Otter?
Seamus McAteer: Otter is a note-taking and collaboration utility for voice meetings. Otter notes combine speech to text, speaker ID, synchronized audio, and keywords delivered via a web and mobile application. Details of voice conversations may be quickly searched and shared with others.
Lawyers tend to be constantly in meetings and will often be working on the go. How do you think the Otter app can make their lives easier?
Seamus: While Otter is used in the enterprise it is designed for the end user. Otter takes away the hassle of taking written notes that may miss salient points or may sometimes be illegible and providing a single utility to organize information from all important voice conversations. Otter notes may be easily shared with colleagues to ensure everyone is on the same page.
What Otter feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Seamus: The first magical moment that gets users hooked is highly accurate real time transcription. Users can see how effective it is immediately. Users love the fact that audio and text is synchronized. They can quickly scan or search the text of a conversation and hit play to hear what was said.
Another unique feature of Otter that users find exciting is custom vocabulary. It is cool to see a hard to pronounce name, a non-common acronym or proper noun rendered by machine as you speak. Integrated photos and highlighting are other features that make Otter a more full featured note-taking utility.
What separates Otter from other voice recording apps?
Seamus: Otter is much more than a voice recording app. Otter creates rich voice meeting notes that may be searched and shared. Its ease of use is deceptive. It enables powerful new capabilities in enterprise knowledge management and collaboration.
What updates have been made to Otter over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Seamus: We added a bunch of new features in the last year. In March we launched Otter for Teams, which supports new collaboration, security and centralized billing. Custom vocabulary was added mid-year and is really popular with our users.
Highlighting, including collaborative highlighting, has proven very popular and is leading us to add additional note-taking features in the near future like comments.
Lawyers usually have a lot on their minds, which makes remembering passwords to all of their different online devices quite the challenge. When using the LastPass app, logging in becomes a whole lot simpler. The password managing tool will save and autofill passwords for your various passwords, while also offering an uncompromising degree of security to keep all your information private. To find out more about how LastPass works, we spoke with product VP Dan DeMichele.
VP Product For LastPass
Can you tell us a little bit about LastPass?
Dan DeMichele: For both consumers and businesses, LastPass helps increase productivity and decrease the likelihood of password-related breaches. LastPass is the leading cloud-based password management solution, trusted by millions of consumers and tens of thousands of companies worldwide to protect their identity, safely store their passwords and grant access to the technology and services they rely on. LastPass relieves the pain of creating and remembering strong passwords for every online account and protects user data at every step, giving users the power to make their passwords impenetrable.
LastPass is the most reliable, secure, feature-rich password manager that provides an easy user experience, for free on all devices. Some of the most popular features include the LastPass password generator, password autosave & autofill, form fill and the LastPass Security Challenge with auto-password change feature. Not only is LastPass the only password manager to provide multi-device access for free, but we are also the only consumer password manager to offer service to every browser, device and platform.
Lawyers tend to have a lot on their minds. How can using LastPass make their day-to-day lives simpler?
Dan: Using an online password manager makes it extremely easy – and practical — to create long, strong passwords for every online account and more. By just installing a free password manager like LastPass and gradually saving passwords into your secure vault is a good first step in better online security. Once you begin to use the password manager as part of the daily workflow, you can start replacing your short and repeated passwords with long and unique ones.
With LastPass, not only can you generate strong and unique passwords, but you can also store all passwords and sensitive information like credit cards and license numbers in a secure vault synced across all devices so you can access whenever and wherever you need them.
Some additional benefits include:
- Generate secure passwords – LastPass has a built-in password generator that creates long, randomized passwords that protect against hacking.
- Autosave & Autofill – As you log in to websites, LastPass will offer to remember those credentials for you. Next time you return to log in, LastPass will fill your username and password. Saving and filling happens naturally as you go about your work, so you don’t have to change the way you do things.
- Multi-device sync – Your LastPass account is backed up and synced across all devices for access to your passwords no matter where you are.
- Form fill – LastPass completes online forms for registrations, checkouts, and more, in seconds. Create profiles for all your address and credit cards. Next time you make a purchase, register for something new, or fill out an application, use the LastPass form fill button on the page to easily and securely complete the form.
- Secure Sharing – LastPass allows users to conveniently store passwords, credit cards, valuable documents and more, and organize them into folders for unlimited, flexible sharing with others.
- Emergency Access – A feature that allows families to plan for the future with emergency access to their LastPass vault to ensure someone always has access to their most important information in unexpected situations.
- LastPass Security Challenge – Audit your vault for weak, duplicate, old, and potentially-breached passwords. LastPass identifies passwords that are subpar, so you can take action to update them with new generated passwords. As you improve your passwords, your Security Challenge score will improve. The Security Challenge gives users a true window into their online security and helps them take action to improve it. LastPass users love it because it helps them evaluate their progress and watch out for old or at-risk passwords that need to be updated.
Why should lawyers use LastPass to manage passwords for their teams, rather than just make a spreadsheet of passwords?
Dan: Passwords play a huge part in one’s overall security, but people continue to neglect basic best practices. Some of the most common ways they are leaving themselves vulnerable online are by using weak, easy to guess passwords, and then re-using those passwords on multiple other online accounts. Storing passwords in an insecure way via spreadsheets, post-it notes etc. is another bad habit.
There are three basic password management rules that we at LastPass recommend:
- Store your passwords in a secure way
- Use long and strong passwords; meaning 20 characters or more, randomly generated passwords that contain lower and uppercase letters, digits and symbols
- Use a unique password for every single online account
People have far too many passwords to remember on their own, and each one of those passwords is an access point to the business that needs to be properly secured. One of the most effective steps a business can take to reduce the risk of breach is to enable employees to get unique, complex passwords that are the most difficult to steal and educate them on the potential risk of sharing or reusing passwords. With an added assist from a password manager, the need to reuse passwords is eliminated and the password manager can create new, randomly generated, stronger passwords as well.
How is LastPass able to guarantee lawyers that their passwords will always be secure?
Dan: Some people may be hesitant to use a password manager because they’re afraid of “putting all their eggs in one basket”. But while this may be true, you are putting all your passwords in one very, very safe basket, definitely safer than using the same password everywhere or storing them in an excel sheet, which are the typical alternatives. With a password manager, there are layers upon layers of protection in place to protect your passwords. And with LastPass, when you store things in your vault, it’s encrypted with a key that’s never sent to us.
The LastPass zero-knowledge security architecture is set up in a way that all sensitive data stored in your LastPass vault is encrypted locally at the user’s device with a key—your master password– that is never shared with us. What that means is that LastPass never has your master password or access to the data within your vault. Additionally, we use firewalls and encryption best practices to protect the servers and service, as well as regular third-party audits.
Although you’re protected by the many layers of encryption and security we put in place to keep your data safe, using a strong, unique master password will not only protect you from a brute-force attack but will also ensure that a breach at another random website won’t affect your LastPass account.
What updates have been made to LastPass over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Dan: Earlier this year we rolled out a new UI for all users that included an updated look and structure to provide easy access to your digital life so you can store, fill, and share a wider variety of information faster than ever. We also launched announced Mobile Account Recovery: a new update enabling users to easily recover their LastPass account with the LastPass iOS and Android mobile apps. In the event a user forgets their Master Password, the password reset process can be initiated directly from the mobile device after successfully authenticating with the phone’s built-in biometric authentication. As a result, the LastPass mobile app provides a simple, end-to-end process to reset the Master Password and regain access to the account.
Additionally, in July we launched an expanded LastPass business suite which includes LastPass Enterprise now with a single sign-on (SSO) app catalog of 1,200+ in addition to password management, LastPass MFA, a multi-factor authentication (MFA) solution leveraging biometric and contextual authentication factors, and LastPass Identity which incorporates password management, SSO and MFA into a unified solution.
New technology continues to make the world feel a lot smaller. Now, thanks to the NotaryCam app, you can have documents legally notarized in a matter of minutes, at any time and from any location. With NotaryCam, all you have to do is upload a document through the app, and you’ll be connected via webcam to a live notary, who will help you complete the notarization process. To learn more about the success of the NotaryCam company, we spoke with product founder Rick Triola.
Can you tell us a little bit about NotaryCam and how it can be useful for business professionals?
Rick Triola: NotaryCam, Inc. is the pioneer and leader in remote online notarization (RON) and identity verification solutions.
NotaryCam’s enterprise-grade platform has helped thousands of companies and individuals in all 50 states and over 146 countries legally get documents notarized online from anywhere in the world, at any time, by a network of certified, licensed notaries.
NotaryCam’s technology provides the highest level of identity verification, security and fraud prevention as well as an unmatched customer convenience. Simply stated, NotaryCam removes the time, pain and hassle of traditional notary services by providing an online and on demand solution for business professionals.
What NotaryCam feature seems to be the favorite of most of your users?
Rick: NotaryCam was built from the ground up with business professionals/enterprises in mind. Businesses can seamlessly enable remote online notarizations for their customers from any device, location, or any time of day.
It’s not a feature, but a big differentiator to NotaryCam is our people. The staff cares deeply about our clients success and our customers have rated us higher than the highest tech brands in the world, including Apple, Amazon, USAA with a 83 Net Promoter Score (NPS-50 is rated Excellent)
What updates have been made to NotaryCam over the past year? Anything new on the horizon?
Rick: NotaryCam uses the agile development methodology to routinely push updates to the platform. These releases contain updates, fixes, and enhancements to the core product about twice a month. We are currently preparing a major release to our core platform that greatly improves the enterprise experience. Many of our internal tools will now be provided to our enterprises to enhance the speed of onboarding, eSigning, and completing transactions.
We are also working on offering eSigning capabilities – eSign routinely and notarize when you need to!
NotaryCam has also completed our first successful eWill product while the attorney, testator, witnesses and notary attended remotely – successfully and conveniently completing the execution in less than 15 minutes. This opportunity will be a game changer for the estate planning space.
What makes NotaryCam the most trustworthy notarization app on the market today?
Rick: NotaryCam was first to market, holds multiple patents, and is a pioneer in the RON space and have successfully notarized documents remotely in all 50 States and now over 146 countries. (I have) tirelessly championed this cause from Wall Street, to Main Street and any legislative body that would take his calls.
Much has changed from the early days of the company- started under Commonwealth of Virginia legislation back in 2012 and there are currently there are 23 additional states with RON legislation that will allow for each of these states notaries to deploy our platform and offer RON capabilities to their state-wide customers as well.
NotaryCam takes security and privacy seriously.
The connection to NotaryCam is secure and encrypted using SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). AES – 256 bit encryption secures every aspect pertaining to NotaryCam’s website, pages, lobby, and ceremony meeting rooms with your notary. The NotaryCam infrastructure utilizes Amazon Virtual Private Cloud secured platform which is housed in Amazon’s highly secure data centers. The data centers utilize state-of-the-art electronic surveillance and multi-factor access control systems that comply with numerous industry standards including SOC 2/SSAE 16/ISAE 3402.
For additional assurance for our customers and partners, NotaryCam has is SOC2 certified.
In addition, all our notaries are licensed state officials and have gone through extensive background checks, successfully completed our NotaryCam Academy, and personally carry their own separate E&O insurance. NotaryCam Inc. carries a $1 million dollar E&O policy plus $5 million dollar Cyber insurance.
What would you say to lawyers who might be hesitant to trust an app for the notarization of their important documents?
Rick: We are actively working with law firms to transition them from the slow standard notarization process to remote online notarizations. As mentioned, we are the pioneering and trusted global leader completing remote online notarizations in all 50 states and 146 countries. Our legal clients are finding our services to be a game changer for their remote and international clients as the convenience and speed of completing a legal notarization remotely goes from weeks or months to minutes.
Our Notaries are commissioned by the Commonwealth of Virginia. Below you will find more information in reference to the Commonwealth of Virginia law, the Federal Electronic Signature Act of the United States, and the Hague Convention Treaty along with Countries. https://www.notarycam.com/legal/ (Commonwealth of Virginia Law)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_Signatures_in_Global_and_National_Commerce_Act (United States Federal Law)
- http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostille_Convention (Apostille_Convention)
- http://adoption.state.gov/hague_convention/countries.php (International Law – Hague Convention Treaty)