Tag Archives: Tips and Tricks

Fastcase as a Supplement to Westlaw

In these strange new times, lawyers in firms of all sizes are seeking ways to reduce costs while remaining effective advocates. While many small firm lawyers in South Carolina rely heavily on Fastcase free legal research through the South Carolina Bar, larger firms with Westlaw subscriptions can also benefit. As a librarian, I am privileged to use Fastcase, Westlaw, Lexis, Casetext, ROSS Intelligence, Bloomberg Law, and other research platforms. Part of my job is to assess strengths and weaknesses of each platform, so I can better help anyone who contacts the law library with their research.  

Since Fastcase is provided free to all South Carolina Bar members, there are some good reasons to use it even if you are satisfied with Westlaw. Here are five examples: 

  1. No-Stone-Unturned Searches. Most lawyers who are unsure about a research result will get a second opinion from a colleague or a librarian. After all, two heads are better than one.  

By the same token, two platforms are better than one. We can’t see the proprietary algorithms each platform uses to interpret search terms and generate a list of relevant results. But we know these algorithms differ.  

When you need to doublecheck Westlaw search results, try running the same search on Fastcase to see if anything different pops up. Fastcase also lets you customize your Relevance Algorithm to ensure the results you’re seeking rise to the top. 

  1. Cost-Effectiveness. Lawyers must balance the requirement to perform competent research against the pressure to minimize both the cost of the resource and the cost of their time. Current trends favor flat-rate Westlaw contracts and treating research costs as overhead rather than passing them on to clients. Still, depending on how a firm allocates research costs internally, cost concerns continue to incentivize self-imposed limitations on Westlaw usage. 

Searching. If your preferred Westlaw search strategies are hemmed-in by cost concerns, unlimited Fastcase use can be a boon. For example, you can run as many searches as you want in Fastcase—wide-net searches, highly specific searches, searches within searches—it doesn’t matter. Searches are free, which removes the worry about costs and saves time by letting you focus on resolving the issue you’re researching. After trying out as many search queries as you want in Fastcase, you can always doublecheck a search in Westlaw. 

Analyzing Results. Westlaw lets you read a case excerpt before you decide whether to click the link to read the full text of that case and possibly incur a charge. Each case has to be in a different tab or window than your results list, complicating your workflow and leading to duplicate charges if you click on the same case twice. 

By contrast, Fastcase lets you freely view the full text of as many cases as you want, not just excerpts, and you can open each case side-by-side with your search results—in the same tab. Especially for a lengthy list of possibly-helpful results, the speed of the back-and-forth between your results list and the full text of the cases can save significant research time. 

  1. Cloud Linking. If you’re citing case law for someone who doesn’t have Westlaw, try Fastcase’s cloud linking feature. Drag and drop a blog post or white paper written for a general audience into Fastcase’s cloud linking drop box, and links to the full text of the cited cases will be added automatically. Anyone can click the links and read the cases for free online. 

Suppose your co-counsel uses Lexis or Casemaker, or that users of your firm’s brief bank want to limit their Westlaw usage. Cloud-link your shared research using Fastcase. Then, links to the cited cases will work for all lawyers with whom you share research, without their needing to log in anywhere or incur charges. 

  1. Additional Jurisdictions. It can make financial sense to limit a Westlaw contract to South Carolina law or Fourth Circuit law if that’s where your practice is focused. However, sometimes persuasive authority from other jurisdictions is needed.  
     
    Free resources (like Google Scholar, Findlaw, or Justia) will usually retrieve the full text of a case. However, those resources don’t let you check whether the case is good law, and they don’t make it easy to find other relevant cases from that jurisdiction.  

If you pull up a case in Fastcase instead, Authority Check will alert you to cases that cite it, positively or negatively. If you run a search, the Interactive Timeline points out additional relevant and frequently cited cases from that jurisdiction. You can retrieve those other cases on Fastcase for free, while avoiding charges for going outside your Westlaw contract. 

  1. Beyond the Basics. Upgrades from standard Westlaw packages cost extra, and the same is true of add-ons from Fastcase and its partners. Particularly for lawyers who rarely need premium research products, it is worth evaluating Fastcase partner options to assess resource quality and potential savings for occasional use of secondary sources, public records searching, case tracking alerts, and more. 

My hope is that SC Bar members—whether or not they use Westlaw—will get their dues’ worth from Fastcase. For more help doing so, the Fastcase support number is 866-773-2782, option 2, available Monday-Friday 8 am to 9 pm. 

By the way, the University of South Carolina Law Library can also act as a supplement to Westlaw. For example, we regularly fill email requests for PDFs of law journal articles that do not appear on Westlaw. A lawyer must provide the citation and agree to a $5 handling fee. See https://guides.law.sc.edu/remoteservicesbenchbar.  

By: Eve Ross
Reference Librarian
University of South Carolina School of Law Library
SC Bar Technology Committee

Lessons in “Work from Home”

As I write this column, many lawyers have left their offices to work from home (WFH) and more may follow. If, like me, your experience with working from home was using your work laptop or home PC to check emails and do a little work, the transition was a bit bumpy. As is true for many things in life, with office technology we often don’t appreciate what we have until we no longer have it.   

In March 2020, Bar members began a major exodus from the law office. If you already used a laptop as your primary work computer, you were one step ahead of the game. I used a desktop PC at the office, so I ordered a 14” Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon from Lenovo (go to www.lenovo.com/statebar for the same price Lenovo employees get). It’s a thin, lightweight business laptop. My advice has always been to purchase business or professional grade laptops direct from the manufacturer. I was fortunate to order when I did. Lenovo has a shipping facility near Charlotte and I received the laptop the next day. Lenovo, Dell, and HP are reliable brands. (I am not anti-Mac – if that’s what you want, get one – but if you’ve always used PCs, maybe a pandemic isn’t the time to try something new.) With shortages on computers, one can’t be too choosy, but be aware of significant disadvantages when buying from a retailer versus a manufacturer, including changes in the warranty.  

Don’t obsess over RAM, disk space and other specs (most business machines are more than adequate for most lawyers) but make sure it has Windows 10 Pro 64-bit. I recommend purchasing an on-site warranty for the first 2-3 years – someone will come to you if you have a problem instead of having to ship the computer off. Whether you get accident insurance is your call. 

Many lawyers now use multiple wide-screen monitors in the office, so it won’t take long before you feel frustrated doing everything on a laptop. I lasted one day before going to Office Depot to purchase a docking station. It was a J5Create Boomerang and it would not have been my first choice. Lesson learned: when Lenovo suggested adding a docking station to my online basket, I should have bought it instead of fretting about the extra money. Once I added the Boomerang to my laptop with the included micro USB cable, I was able to add peripherals from the office and home: an external monitor, keyboard, mouse, speakers and headset with mic. When I need to, I can connect a Fujitsu ScanSnap scanner or small HP printer. 

Accessing your work computer or server remotely requires a VPN (virtual private network), remote control solutions, or Remote Desktop Protocol. You can find more information about these at www.scbar.org/pmap or look at reviews on PCmag.com. Remote control products include LogMeIn and Splashtop. I don’t recommend using Remote Desktop Protocol, which is disabled by default on Windows computers as it is vulnerable to breaches.   

If you only need to access your files, not software programs, there are alternatives if you plan ahead. Before we decamped our office, the PMAP Assistant and I moved files we thought we would need to Microsoft SharePoint. SharePoint comes with Microsoft 365 Business. (In case you missed it, Microsoft 365 is how you get Word, Outlook, Excel and the rest. There are 3 different plans, but as of April 21 most lawyers can choose Microsoft 365 Business Standard.) Working from home, we could go to Office.com, login and access files in SharePoint much as we would on our office’s server. In SharePoint, we work on the same files without worrying about different versions. If the files had all been in OneDrive, this step might not have been necessary, but SharePoint makes it easy to share files and collaborate. 

For phone calls, we signed up for free Google Voice numbers so we wouldn’t have to give out our personal numbers. Google Voice calls are forwarded to personal phones or you can make and receive calls from voice.google.com on your computer with a headset/mic or Bluetooth earbuds. It also works with texts – clients can text you and you’ll receive it in your Gmail. WhatsApp is another alternative for calls. These are temporary options during an emergency, not something I recommend lawyers using instead of regular phone service. Please conduct your own research before signing up with one. Lawyers with VOIP phone service at the office can take their physical IP phone home with them and receive their calls as they normally would.  

If inner office emails are crowding your inbox, ask coworkers to use Microsoft Teams (included in 365) to send chat messages, share files and links, schedule meetings, and even video chat. Video calls on Teams tends to be clunky compared to Zoom, but it’s as easy as clicking on the phone icon in Chat to call a coworker’s computer. There are options for guest access for people outside your organization, but it needs to be configured properly, so at this time I don’t recommend it. Client portals, included in many practice management software products, remain a more secure means of collaborating and communicating with clients. For non-confidential collaboration with non-clients, try Slack https://slack.com/.    

If there’s a “Tech Word of the Year” 2020’s might be “videoconferencing.” At this writing, Signal and WhatsApp are popular options to use for one on one calls, which are easier to secure. Videoconferencing with larger groups, such as mediations, require more sophisticated software, such as Zoom and GoToMeeting. Educate yourself on how to properly use all products (not just videoconferencing) for better security. There is no such thing as perfect security and privacy on the Internet.  

***Due to the rapid rate of change, please research all products mentioned in this column thoroughly before using  

By: Courtney Troutman, Director
Practice Management Assistance Program
South Carolina Bar

Personalized Recommendations for Reducing Tech Distraction

When people are overwhelmed and distracted by technology, it can feel like too much effort to sort through all the available tech tips out there, looking for workable solutions. Screentime Genie can help.

If you go to screentime.stanford.edu, a free chatbot called Screentime Genie will walk you through a short series of questions. Based on your answers and on behavioral research, the chatbot will provide a few links to tech tips that are likely relevant to helping you reduce your screentime.

For example, when the chatbot asked my goals, I responded: managing email, managing distraction, and mindfulness. When asked what systems I use, I said Windows and Chrome. Finally, when asked how much time I have, I requested tips that will take five minutes just once—not longer than that, and not requiring daily habits to be rebuilt.

Based on these answers, the chatbot showed me a short list of six tech tips to choose from. If I had responded differently about my goals or systems or available time, I would have been shown a different set of tips.

I selected three solutions that looked helpful (I could have chosen as many as I wanted), and I clicked “I’m done.” The chatbot then sent me a single email with links only to the three solutions I chose. When I have five minutes, I can click a link in that email message, read one of the tips more closely, and implement it if I want.

Screentime Genie was created by B.J. Fogg, and I learned about Screentime Genie from Beth Kantor’s blog.

Screenshot of screentime.stanford.edu

By: Eve Ross, Reference Librarian
University of South Carolina School of Law Library
SC Bar Technology Committee

Four Tip Friday

Here are four time-saving Microsoft Office tips:

  1. In Word, keyboard shortcuts save time. The time-consuming option is to move your hand off the keyboard over to the mouse, then use the mouse to move the arrow up to the ribbon, click the “U” button on the ribbon, then move back down into your document, click to put the cursor back where you left off, then put your mouse hand back on the keyboard to keep typing. If you had memorized that holding down the “Ctrl” button and typing “u” would have the same effect, you wouldn’t have to move your hands away from the keyboard at all; you could hit two keyboard keys and keep drafting your document. If you underline frequently, imagine how quickly seconds could add up to minutes and hours saved. More keyboard shortcuts for Word functions lawyers frequently use: guides.law.sc.edu/wordfundamentals/essential
  2. In Outlook, text blocks save time. If there is language that you frequently use in emails, such as explaining what services you do or don’t offer, or asking clients to bring certain things with them, don’t type it out from scratch every time. The next time you type that language in an email message, select it (no matter how long it may be), click Insert, click Quick Parts, and click Save Selection to Gallery. Then, every time you need that language in future emails, you can simply click Insert, click Quick Parts, select the text block, and click Insert and the language will appear in your (no matter how long it may be). Of course, you can then go in and customize the language as needed before sending the message. More on Quick Parts in Outlook: support.office.com/en-us/article/…
  3. In Excel, pasting formatting saves time. Suppose your Excel worksheet contains some cells that are formatted the way you want them (shading or not, dollar sign or not, correct number of decimal points, and so on) and other cells that are not formatted correctly. Click on a correctly formatted cell, type Ctrl+C to copy, then click on a cell that needs to be formatted, and type Ctrl+V to paste. You will see a clipboard with (Ctrl) in parentheses. If you type Ctrl, it will open up various Paste options under the clipboard. If you type R, the option to Paste Formatting will be selected. This means you’re not copy-pasting any formulas or numbers; you’re only copy-pasting the appearance and style. More keyboard shortcuts in Excel: support.office.com/en-us/article/…
  4. In PowerPoint, Slide Master View saves time. Maybe you have created all your slides for a CLE presentation, and you realize that you would like to make all the text a bit larger, and add your law firm name on every slide. There is no need to go through every slide enlarging the text in each text box and inserting the law firm name. Click View, click Slide Master, and make the changes on the master slide. More on Slide Master View in an 8-minute instructional video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=h6ARCTypPTg

By: Eve Ross
Reference Librarian
University of South Carolina School of Law Library
SC Bar Technology Committee

Phishing Update: A Whale of a Tale

Bar Bytes has previously addressed the dangers posed by “phishing” emails: messages that seek to trick recipients into revealing secrets and clicking on links or attached files that contain malware.1 The points raised then remain valid today, and this update seeks to offer additional information and strategies for combating phishing attempts. Detecting and avoiding this threat requires constant vigilance; it only takes one mistake to compromise your data. 

Know the Threat 

Phishing attempts take many forms, crafted with varying degrees of deception by scammers. While basic phishing attempts can be relatively easy to spot, targeted phishing attempts – known as “spear-phishing” – are much more troublesome. A spear-phishing email will attempt to trick you or others at your firm by masquerading as a message from a trusted sender. The message may appear to be from a co-worker, a client, or a third party such as a financial institution. Indeed, some scammers have used targeted emails to redirect wire transfers.2 The scammer may include publicly available information, such as details gleaned from an online directory, or even your own website to make the attempt look more convincing. A related tactic, known as “whaling,” is used to prey on an employee’s eagerness to please an employer and occurs when scammers impersonate the management or leadership of an organization. Instead of currying favor with a supervisor, the employee then unknowingly does the bidding of a scammer. 

If you believe that an email is a phishing attempt, delete it and do not interact with the message in any way. Once the recipient of a phishing email has taken the bait and clicked on a malicious link or infected attachment, there is no going back. The recipient of the message may be tricked into revealing confidential information or the email account may be hijacked and used for further phishing attacks. The affected computer may be stricken with “ransomware,” a type of malware that will encrypt your files and make them inaccessible unless you pay a fee to the scammers. A new risk, dubbed “cryptojacking,” allows scammers to syphon processing power from your computer for their own projects – such as mining for cryptocurrencies like BitCoin.3 The best way to avoid these outcomes is to practice a balanced approach of detection and preparation.  

Know Your Contacts 

To defend against all forms of phishing it is helpful for everyone in a firm who is using a computer to be well-versed in recognizing the hallmarks of a phishing email, including: typos, an unfamiliar domain name in the sender’s email address, and demands for an immediate response. The increasingly sophisticated nature of spear-phishing and whaling attempts has made it imperative that suspicious emails be given additional scrutiny. If a dubious email appears to be from an acquaintance or co-worker, it is much better to call that person for verification than take the chance of being hoodwinked. 

A recently reported example of a whaling scheme was directed at academia; scammers posing as deans or department heads attempted to trick faculty at multiple institutions into purchasing gift card codes for them as a favor (promising reimbursement, of course).4 Those who responded to the phishing messages often found the requests odd, unprofessional, or otherwise unlike the individual the scammers were attempting to emulate. However, for newer faculty members – or those unfamiliar with the writing style of a new administrator – these messages can be harder to detect. 

This scenario could easily play out in a law firm setting. Let’s suppose a newly hired employee receives such an email that appears to be from a supervisor, or even a partner. The email could ask the employee to perform any number of tasks: authorize a purchase, provide log-in credentials, or review an attached document that is infected with malware. Newer hires are especially at risk since they may not yet be familiar with the conversation style or writing habits of others in the firm. 

Know Your Plan 

Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Here are a few steps that you can take right now to shore up your defenses: 

  • Prepare a plan that details how your firm will respond to a successful cyberattack. Include procedures for isolating infected machines, responding to client inquiries, and for minimizing chaos in the wake of the attack. Consult an IT security professional for addressing additional concerns and consider your insurance options to ensure you have adequate coverage. 
  • Offer cybersecurity training for all employees, and especially new employees. 
  • Ensure that your computers and software are updated and have the latest security patches. 
  • Make routine back-ups of your files and keep at least one copy saved off-site. If your security is compromised, you may be able to restore your operations using one of these recent backups. 

Despite the best efforts at detecting phishing attempts, one may still slip past your defenses. If that happens, your preparation will be vital to preserving not only your data, but your reputation as well; how will your clients respond if your firm suffers a breach and you are caught completely off guard? 

For more information and helpful resources, please visit the University of South Carolina Law Library’s cybersecurity resource guide: https://guides.law.sc.edu/cybersecurity. 

Additional information on protecting your data also can be found on the South Carolina Bar Technology Committee’s page at http://www.scbar.org/tech. 

By: Aaron Glenn, JD, MLIS
Reference Librarian
University of South Carolina Law Library. 

Endnotes: 

  1. Courtney Kennaday & Emily Worley, Protection from Phishing, SC Lawyer, July 2016, at 10. 
  1. Mark Bassingthwaighte, How to Minimize the Risk of Becoming a Victim of Wire Fraud, South Carolina Bar (Jan. 18, 2017), https://www.scbar.org/bar-news/article/how-minimize-risk-becoming-victim-wire-fraud/. 
  1. James M. McCauley et al., Is It Ethical for Lawyers to Accept Bitcoins and Other Cryptocurrencies?, N.C. St. B.J., Fall 2018, at 36. 
  1. Lindsay Ellis, Gift-Card Phishing Scheme Targets Professors’ Zeal to Please the Dean, The Chronicle of Higher Education, February 1, 2019, at A21. 

Let’s Be Careful Out There

One of my favorite television shows growing up was Hill Street Blues. Sergeant Esterhaus (played by Michael Conrad) would conduct roll call, and he would always close with the same words of advice. “Let’s be careful out there.” In keeping with that theme, the now revived South Carolina Bar Technology Committee focused its entry at the bar convention on People, Processes, and Technology: Practical Information Security for Attorneys. Here are some highlights from Mary Lucas, Jacqueline Pavlicek, and Jack Pringle, members of the committee and presenters. 

  1. You need to be constantly vigilant. Unfortunately, information security is not a one time fix. Just like the rest of our practice (and life), everything changes — the threats, the responses, the software, and the other tools required to keep information safe. 
  1. You don’t need to be a superhero to master the basics. Criminals look for easy targets. Regardless of where you are on the computer savvy scale, there are simple steps you can take to dissuade someone looking for an easy score, such as; 
  • Using strong, unique passwords for your online accounts (bonus points for using a password manager.) 
  • Patching and updating all of your software, applications, and operating systems. (You would be surprised at how much protection this affords.) 
  • Using dual factor authentication. 
  • Avoiding public computers or WiFi. If you are going to work at Starbucks, a hotel, or an airport, for example, use a virtual private network (VPN). 
  • Avoiding clicking on links in emails supposedly from your financial institution or other online account. (Your password manager might help you here because it shouldn’t log you in to a strange website.) 
  • Backing up your data. In this day and age, there is no reason not to have at least two backups. 
  • Testing your backups. In the words of Stan Lee, “”nuff said”. 
  • Password protect your cell phone and other mobile devices. 
  • Being skeptical. Part of being a lawyer is to plan for the worst and, to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, trust but verify. Applying that same skepticism to your digital interactions will make you a hard target. 
  1. You don’t need to run your organization like Fort Knox. Once again, merely doing the basics may keep your organization out of harm’s way by; 
  • Controlling access to your offices, computers, and computer networks. 
  • Protecting and security your computer networks (including wireless networks) . 
  • Installing updates and patches to all software. 
  • Backing up the data of the whole organization. 
  • Training all members of the organization. Anything helps. If you see something on the morning news about a new virus, pass it on. If you read an article from a bar journal of your choice about the importance of security, pass it on. Repetition is the key. A byproduct of this awareness may be more open communication, so if someone gets an email claiming to have nude pictures of the recipient and, to prove it, provides an old password, that person might be more apt to ask someone ahead of time before clicking on a link. (Note: If you haven’t heard, this is a real scam making the rounds.) 
  1. If you send or receive wires, 2019 is the year to tighten up your procedures. Here are some tips the speakers shared: 
  • Consider having two authorized people to send a wire — one to initiate and one to approve. 
  • Validate all payment instructions even if they appear to be internal, particularly if the instructions are marked urgent or confidential. It is worth picking up the phone or walking down to visit (imagine that—talking to someone face to face!) 
  • The best practice is to make and confirm payment methods or instructions by phone. Do not use the contact information in the suspicious email!!! 
  • Guard and monitor your bank accounts. 
  • Consider using encrypted email communications or client portal. (Don’t be surprised if in five or ten years encryption is the rule, not the exception.) 
  1. Consider calling in some professional help, or asking questions of the help you have. Everyone knows that person who you can rely on to fix your document formatting, to get the printer working, to install new software, to generally squash your tech bugs. However smart your neice or nephew is, or your friend’s cousin’s son in law, or whoever, make sure that they know the security end of things. Most people I know have a “break fix” mentality, that is, if it ain’t broke, don’t worry about fixing it. As discussed above and at the bar convention, that will not keep you safe. So,whoever you get to help you, check out the SC Bar website for some tips on the right questions them.  

So, on behalf of the SC Bar Technology Committee, let’s be careful out there. 

By: Mike Polk, Chair
SC Bar Technology Committee
Belser & Belser, PA
Columbia, SC

Books Help Lawyers Learn Technology

Some of us prefer good, old-fashioned paper and ink. When adopting new (or new-to-us) technology, it may be easier to grasp if we can read up on the technology before we dive into using it. Studies show there are real benefits to reading from paper rather than a screen, including increased speed and recall.

Here are a few paper-and-ink books that can help any lawyer increase their comfort level with technology that is relevant to their law practice. SC Bar members can check out any of these books by mail from the SC Bar Lending Library, or in person from the law library at the University of South Carolina School of Law.

The 2018 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide: Critical Decisions Made Simple by Nelson, Simek, and Maschke offers current recommendations of what technology to buy and use. The authors explain what technology they believe the average lawyer needs and why; when a free or low-cost product is sufficient; and why it is advisable to upgrade specific features.

The ABA Cybersecurity Handbook: A Resource for Attorneys, Law Firms, and Business Professionals, Second Edition by Rhodes and Litt focuses on information security. Authors explain how hackers are updating their means of attack, and offer ideas for protective measures that are tailored to suit lawyers in private practice, in-house, non-profit, or government settings.

Cloud Computing for Lawyers by Nicole Black defines cloud computing and lays out the risks and benefits of using cloud-based billing systems and/or practice management systems. Ethics, privacy, and security are all addressed, along with practical tips on incorporating cloud-based services into your law practice. The sample terms, policies, and agreements in the appendices appeal to the lawyer in all of us.

Electronic Discovery for Small Cases: Managing Digital Evidence and ESI by Olson and O’Connor recognizes that e-discovery is not just for large cases handled by large law firms anymore. Litigators at smaller firms or who may be dealing with smaller quantities of electronically stored information (ESI) will benefit from the authors’ guidance on budget-friendly solutions for producing, searching, and managing ESI at every stage of litigation.

Fastcase: The Definitive Guide by Brian Huddleston introduces lawyers to the free—that’s right, free—legal research platform available to SC Bar members. The author walks the reader through the basics of using Fastcase to search cases, statutes, regulations, and more. The book also includes lesser known tips and tricks. For example, if you have a document on your computer that contains case citations, you can drop that document into Fastcase Cloud Linking to turn those case citations into links that a judge, a client, or anyone else—with or without a Fastcase subscription of their own—can click on to view the cases themselves.

Find Info Like a Pro: Mining the Internet’s Public Records for Investigative Research by Levitt and Rosch puts a wealth of publicly available information at a lawyer’s fingertips. Factual research can be as important as legal research when lawyers need to discover addresses for service of process; names of potential heirs; real and personal assets; liens, judgments, and UCCs; professional licenses; and more.

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers by Kennedy and Shields introduces this online professional networking tool to those who aren’t familiar with using social media for business connections and referrals. The authors use layman’s terms to explain what LinkedIn is, how it works, and how to get started. Note that there are many other titles in the “…In One Hour for Lawyers” series. The ABA Law Practice Management Section’s goal in publishing these is to help busy lawyers get up to speed on a particular platform or software, with a focus on understanding whether and how it can help their practice.

Social Media as Evidence: Cases, Practice Pointers, and Techniques by Briones and Tagvoryan guides lawyers through social media issues that come up in practice. The authors carefully demonstrate what happens when legal concepts that have always applied to documents (authentication, discovery, litigation hold, preservation, records retention policy) are now applied in the social media realm.

Check Out a Book on Legal Technology
All the books described above are available for checkout from SC Bar’s PMAP Lending Library (by mail) and the law library at USC School of Law (in person). These are only a small sampling of the current guides to technology available in print from booksellers and libraries. It’s worth asking your local community college or university library, or your local public library, whether they can loan you these and other legal technology books. Even if such books are not on the shelves, you may be able to request to borrow them for free through an interlibrary loan.

Eve Ross, Reference Librarian
Univeristy of South Carolina School of Law Library
SC Bar Technology Committee