Dropbox is software that links all of your computers together via a single folder. It’s an easy way to back up and sync files between computers.

The Dropbox Desktop Application is software that watches a folder on your desktop computer and syncs any changes to the web and to your other computers.

The Dropbox Website allows you to access your files on any computer from a web browser. You can also use the Dropbox website to share your files or folders with others.

The Dropbox mobile website and Dropbox for mobile devices allow you to connect to your Dropbox from your pocket, so you can take your files with you wherever you go.

Transferring data between computers usually requires uploading via web forms, connecting to network drives, carrying around thumb drives, or sending emails with attachments to yourself and others. Dropbox makes all of these methods obsolete.

The free download provides 2 GB of usable space. Additional space is available for $9.99 (50GB) and $19.99 (100GB) per month.

Windows, Mac and Linux compatible.

All files stored on Dropbox servers are encrypted (AES-256) and are inaccessible without your account password. Public files are only viewable by people who have a link to the file(s). Public folders are not browsable or searchable

Legal Clips-School Law

Legal Clips

Legal Clips, a service of the National School Boards Association Office of General Counsel has a new home. You may now subscribe to Legal Clips in a variety of ways:

1. Simply visit the new Legal Clips website: legalclips.nsba.org/
2. Subscribe to the new Legal Clips RSS feed: legalclips.nsba.org/?feed=rss2
3. Subscribe to their new e-newsletter. (Legal Clips is switching to a new e-newsletter service next week. New subscriptions have been suspended until then. Check back in June!)

This free service provides thousands of subscribers with weekly updates on important and interesting school law issues, as well as helpful resources. Anyone may subscribe. Your input is both welcome and encouraged. They hope this new website will become an interactive community generating vibrant and meaningful discussions on school law issues. You can post comments on the new website, or simply follow them on Twitter@legalclips.

GroupEsq Beta-Group Buying Power for Attorneys

GroupESQ – Group Buying Power For Attorneys. Find great deals for attorneys offered by companies that want to sell to large groups of attorneys.

GroupESQ groups individual lawyer purchases to get a volume discount. The website went live last Tuesday, its CEO, Steven Choi, tells the ABA Journal. Six days later, six deals were offered by vendors ranging from a CLE provider to an alternative dispute resolution service to a litigation support company.

The the GroupESQ service is offered by legal social networking site LawLink, Robert Ambrogi’s LawSites reports. “Anyone who has ever shopped at a warehouse discount store knows that buying in bulk can save you money,” the LawSites story says. “A new website extends that concept to lawyers.”

Kennedy-Mighell Report: Outsourcing Your Office Suite

Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about the merits of
moving your productivity applications to the cloud, and whether Google Docs
is the right tool, in the latest episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report.
Titled “Outsourcing Your Office Suite”, They discuss whether online office
suites might play a bigger role in the future of law firm technology. Give
it a listen.


NYSBA Blogging Policy Statement of IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman on the Filing Deadline for Small Charities

Solo/Small Firm Resource Center

As a solo/small firm attorney it can feel like it is you against the world – but the NYSBA Web site offers a robust collection of resources to help you level the playing field.

You might be a David in a world of Goliaths but the Solo/Small Firm Resource Center will surely be more than just a pebble in your slingshot.

Among the resources available are:

Checklist for Purchase of Professional Liability Insurance (PDF)

Sample Intake Sheet (PDF)

Statements of Client’s Rights and Responsibilities

Sample E-Mail Policy (PDF)

Sample Engagement Letters

Sample Non-Engagement Letter (PDF)

Sample Termination Letter (PDF)

In addition, there are free downloads of computer help guides, business continuity plans, and chapters of Carolyn Elefant’s Solo By Choice. Don’t miss opportunities to connect electronically with others in your practice setting, comprehensive legal links, marketing tips and more.

Visit www.nysba.org/SSF.

Courtesy of Gary Munneke, Chair, Law Practice Management Committee, NYSBA T-News

Review: Travels with my iPad

Deborah Ausburn <ozzielaw@gmail.com>

Well, I am finally back home after my 10-day trip with my iPad, and thought I would report to the group. There are some things I missed not having, but overall, losing the weight of the laptop in my briefcase outweighed all of that.

I left home two weekends ago, and decided to go cold turkey and leave my laptop at home. I did bring my wireless keyboard, just in case, and I bought a $2 business card stand at Office Depot that works fine to hold the iPad. I haven’t decided what sort of permanent set-up I want, so decided to go cheap on this trip. Also, I packed the keyboard & stand in my rolling bag, so I don’t count them as weight in my briefcase.

I also had to bring my iPod, since I didn’t get my music library transferred to my work computer (which I am using to the sync the iPad) before I left. Or, as my paralegal said, “Debbie, you are taking a iPhone, an iPad, AND an iPod? Isn’t there a support group somewhere for that addiction?”

Going through TSA was a breeze (comparatively speaking) as I was able to leave the iPad in my briefcase. I am glad that I waited for the 3G model, because the $30 AT&T charge was less than the cumulative total of WiFi at the 3 airports and 3 hotels I was in during this trip. I did notice that the AT&T TOS require me to go back and cancel my subscription before the end of the 30 days, or it will automatically renew.

In transit, I thoroughly enjoyed using the iPad to answer emails and review documents. It was much easier to pull out of my briefcase and use than my laptop. Many times, I have found myself reaching for a magazine than dealing with the hassle of setting up my laptop, particularly on airplanes. The iPad, on the other hand, was extremely easy. The keyboard (see discussion below) is limited, but I still was more productive than I have been recently with my laptop.

Early in the week, I got a call from one of my partners, who had been talking to me for a couple of weeks about a pending dispute. Well, as soon as I got out of town, of course, everything started heating up & I had to draft a complaint & motion for TRO for him to file. He’s not a litigator, so I needed to draft everything, and email it to him and my paralegal for filing. Pages worked fine, although it’s so stripped-down that I cannot recommend it for much beyond basic text. It couldn’t handle our firm stationery, for example, and screwed up the automatic numbering in the go-by complaint that I pulled off the cloud. But, it did the job that I needed in a pinch.

Fortunately, I make it a habit to keep documents on my MobileMe iDisk, and was able to use the iDisk app to pull down the contract & other documents at issue. The iDisk app is not yet optimized for iPad, but the iPhone 2x is not too terrible. Most important, it worked, in conjunction with GoodReader. I used GoodReader a lot to pull down documents from my iDisk that I needed to review, both on that and other cases.

iAnnotate was useless for documents that I had forgotten (or didn’t know) to sync before I left. I was able to open stuff from my DropBox in iAnnotate, but only GoodReader could pull directly from my iDisk. I also like GoodReader’s ability to create folders to organize the PDFs.

Docs to Go was not helpful, mainly because of its inability to pull stuff from my iDisk. I could email something from my iDisk to myself, and then pull it into Docs to Go or Pages, but Docs to Go just isn’t yet flexible enough on the iPad to make is useful. Pages works better, at least so far.

Neither Pages nor Docs to Go can handle the new docx format reliably. A couple of times, I had to get my paralegal to convert something to PDF & email it to me so I could review it. If I had needed to revise it, I guess I would have had to get her to drop it back a version to the doc format. That docx problem was a real pain.

In the seminar at the end of the week, I discovered the iPad version of OmniGraffle. We were doing some mind-mapping, and were supposed to be using their proprietary Windows-only software. Of course, since I didn’t have my laptop, I didn’t have the software. But, with OmniGraffle, I was able to do essentially the same thing and keep up with the class. Eventually, I will have to buy their software, if I want to continue to use the protocol, but for now OmniGraffle will fill the void while I decide if I want to invest more $$ in the proprietary technique.

And, let me say again, I am glad that I had my keyboard with me. The iPad keyboard works fine, but it’s impossible to work on it as fast as a full-size keyboard. Also, I need the keyboard flat, but the screen upright, in order to be fully efficient. When I was in transit (ie., airplane & Amtrak), the iPad keyboard was fine. When I was stationary, however, in hotels and conference rooms, the keyboard/biz card stand was essential.

I will be watching the reviews on the clamshell case, and scrutinizing the weight. The main advantage of carrying my keyboard & biz card stand is that I don’t have to put those in my briefcase. A clamshell, on the other hand, would neutralize much of the weight advantage that I like. So I may end up with the McAlly case & separate keyboard.

I also experienced the same thing that several of you have mentioned — being approached by strangers wanting to look at the iPad. It’s a better ice-breaker than walking a cute puppy.

All in all, I’m happy with my iPad. I’m much more productive on transit, simply because it’s so easy to pull out and use. If I had a brief to write while on the road, I would bring my laptop. But for everything else, my iPad has done all I needed it to do.


Debbie Ausburn
Attorney at Law, Atlanta, GA

P.S.: The iPad also salvaged the very end of my trip. Somewhere between standing up to get off the airplane and stopping in the airport restroom, my iPhone fell out of my pocket. While the very nice maintenance person checked the plane for me, I used the iPad to activate the “find my iPhone” feature. It showed up as not on the network, and the maintenance guy didn’t see it on the plane, so I never was able to find the phone. But I triggered a “wipe all data,” in case it ever was activated. I then turned my attention to communicating with my husband (a) that I had gotten an earlier flight, and (b) where I would be waiting. Using the App Store on my iPad, I foundTextPlus, a free app that allowed me to text him with all the details he needed to know. I guess I could have done that if I had had only my laptop, but it certainly was far easier with the iPad.
Sent from my iPad

Skype: Screen Sharing

Screen sharing – share your desktop using Skype

Share your desktop with friends – for free.

Sometimes trying to explain what you are seeing on your screen to someone on a call just doesn’t work. With screen sharing you can easily show exactly what you are looking at by simply calling your Skype contact and sharing all or part of your desktop.

How screen sharing works:

To share your screen simply call a contact and in the conversations window click Share > Share Your Screen in the IM toolbar (in Windows) or Share > Share Screen (on a Mac). You can even select if you want to share your full screen or just a part of it.

The person you are sharing your screen with can see your screen in full screen mode. And best of all, you can continue talking via Skype whilst you share your screen.

You’ll need the latest versions of Skype for Windows and Skype for Mac OS X to use screen sharing.

MASHABLE: Skype Group Video Calling Now Available for PCs

Skype Group Video Calling Now Available for PCs

Skype group video calling is here. The company has just released a new version of their desktop software that supports five-way video calls.

At launch, this beta version of Skype is free to download and use for PC users. Later in the year the company will release a Mac-friendly version. Once the kinks are all worked out — and the company admits that there will be bugs — Skype will also release the official updated version.

Hat Tip to Mashable–
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Google Scholar Adds E-mail Alerts

The email alerts feature looks like an excellent addition to Google Scholar.

Click the “Legal Opinions…” radio button) for one of the best free sources online for searching case law.
See: Netforlawyers: Google Scholar Adds E-mail Alerts