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Future Tech: Looking ahead at the technology changing law practice

Twenty-five years ago, law practice looked very different from today. Consider the accoutrements that a lawyer in 1986 did not have: • A laptop computer • A tablet computer such as an iPad • A cell phone • The Internet • Online research (although the firm might have a new Westlaw or Lexis terminal in the firm library) . • Email. What the 1986 lawyer did to work with clients and solve legal problems wasn't too different from what the 2011 lawyer does today. It just requires different tools.

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Medicare ACO regulations designed to deliver care efficiently

One of the most eagerly anticipated provisions of the Affordable Care Act is the Medicare accountable care organization (ACO) program, Section 3022 of the Act, which is now known as the Medicare Shared Savings Program. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) released long-awaited proposed rules surrounding ACOs on March 31. The proposed rules were published in the Federal Register on April 7, and CMS is accepting comments on them until June 6. The program will be effective on Jan. 1, 2012.

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Legal Currents: Useful iPad apps for the tech-savvy lawyer

A friend of mine from my Public Defender days who still works at the PD's office recently emailed me and asked to write an article about iPad apps for lawyers. I was happy to oblige - especially since I regularly write about topics like this at my blog, the Legal iPad ( First off, before you purchase any apps, spend some time with your iPad, think about your workflow and decide whether you plan to create content, consume content or both. This decision will necessarily affect which apps you choose to purchase.

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Coach’s Corner: Your lease is a strategic planning tool, make use of it

I received a call from a lawyer wanting to know what percentage of his gross revenue should be allocated to rent and whether his percentage was in line with other law firms. I cited one study that put the average at 9 percent, but his comeback was that another consultant said the average was 12 percent. Such generic numbers totally miss the point on two levels. First, they allow lawyers to think that they need not try to do better than the average. And second, they obscure the point that the cost of office space is a statement about the law firm itself, raising issues that should be addressed in a strategic plan.

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Coach’s Corner: What makes a law firm a good place to work?

Every law firm is, or should be, a team, with lawyers, staff and support personnel committed to a team effort for providing the best possible service and work product for the benefit of clients. Involving everyone in the office so that they feel a sense of inclusiveness, understanding their roles and looking forward to exercising them, creates a better and more successful firm. At too many law firms, unfortunately, this does not exist.

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Guest Column: The greatest practice management tool ever … possibly

I am generally an early adopter of technology, and, admittedly, a bit of a gadget snob. I can't believe this little gem escaped my radar for almost two years. I've just purchased my first Livescribe Pulse Digital Smartpen. As a compulsive note-taker, this pen changed my life (sounds ridiculous, I know) and it will change the way you practice law. Professional note-takers like lawyers and paralegals know that organizing notes can be an insurmountable task. Not anymore.

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