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May 2015 - Webinar Announcement - 8 Things Killing Your Law Firm – Webinar Registration

As benefit of our partnership with Affinity Consulting Group, we will be offering a FREE webinar hosted by Debbie Foster of Affinity and Kevin Harris of Orion. Many of you will remember Debbie Foster from Orion’s 2014 User Group Meeting. She presented on the importance of Process Mapping and received rave reviews from our attendees. This is a great opportunity to enhance your knowledge, make sure you sign up to secure your spot today!

8 Things Killing Your Law Firm
Friday, June 19th at 12 PM EDT
Register Now

This webinar explains how the proven business management concepts of Lean Six Sigma can add value and eliminate waste to help make your firm more productive than ever – helping you answer the question of ‘Is everything you do at your firm adding value?’ It’s a tough question, and one that many law firms cannot always answer for certain. It will provide an understanding of why “going the extra mile” can be a waste of time, how to reduce small mistakes that lead to big problems and how unrecognized potential is bad for business. You will also learn how achievable process improvements can translate to a healthier bottom line.

May 2015 - Press Release - Orion and Affinity Consulting Group Announce Partnership

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. (www.orionlaw.com), a leading provider of financial and practice management software for law firms, announces partnership with Affinity Consulting Group to provide Orion clients with additional options to improve efficiency and optimize operations at their firms. Affinity proudly supports Orion’s efforts to provide a complete, all-in-one, software solution for law firm management nationwide. Orion is available to Affinity clients in search of a powerful, intuitive and proven law practice management solution.

“We seek out partners who provide the best-in-class solutions and service. We are proud to be working together to bring our mutual clients everything they need to succeed and build a profitable practice.”

Orion’s Partnership with Affinity includes the following Consulting Services:

  • Strategic Planning – Firm Structure, Succession Planning, Mission/Vision Statement Creation
  • Business Development – Prospect Tracking, Developing Contact Lists
  • Technology Audits – Assess and Make Recommendations of Technology Needs
  • Document Management & Automation – “Paperless Office” Concept, Workflow Improvements
  • Visual Communications – Branding, Logo Design, Web Development
  • Firm Development – Staff Training, Firm Retreats, Leadership Building
  • Organizational Health – Change Management, Process Mapping, Lawyer Productivity

Affinity understands the challenges facing law firms today and is able to leverage decades of legal experience in order to come up with strategic solutions for law firms of all sizes. Affinity consultants are legal process, management and technology experts who can help Orion clients become more efficient and profitable.

“We are thrilled to partner with Affinity Consulting Group, as they are highly-regarded experts in the legal technology consulting field,” says Paul Yelton, President of Orion Law Management Systems. “Affinity’s knowledge and expertise is an excellent additional resource for our clients. Their forward-thinking attitude and approach to law firm technology, combined with the Orion software package, can help law firms reach a new level of success.”

As veterans of the legal technology market, Affinity and Orion have cultivated an outstanding relationship over the years. Both companies have become known as valuable business partners to their clients by providing top-notch customer service. This partnership will provide their clients the necessary knowledge and reliable technology to increase overall law practice productivity.

”Building relationships with excellent providers such as Orion Law Management Systems means our clients win,” said Debbie Foster, Managing Partner of Affinity Consulting Group. “We seek out partners who provide the best-in-class solutions and service. We are proud to be working together to bring our mutual clients everything they need to succeed and build a profitable practice.”

About Affinity Consulting Group

Affinity Consulting Group was founded by a group of legal IT and management consultants with a collective 135 years of legal experience and specializes in strategic technology and management solutions for law firms of all sizes. Uniquely positioned via decades of experience as attorneys, law firm administrators, paralegals, law firm trainers and legal IT, Affinity consultants have been working with law firm clients since 1998 on technology audits, strategic business and management assessments, technology selection and implementations, traditional and cloud-based financial and practice management, litigation support and trial preparedness, and in-house training and professional development. For information visit www.affinityconsulting.com, call 1.844.676.5492, or follow them on Twitter @AffinityTech.

About Orion Law Management Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1985, Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. is dedicated to providing law firms with proven law practice management software. Utilizing a complete practice management approach, Orion is a fully integrated law management system employing the very latest in reliable technology. Orion centralizes your Financial Management, Firm Management and Practice Management delivering the competitive advantage that law firms need to succeed. Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta. For information visit www.orionlaw.com, call 1.800.305.5867, email info@orionlaw.com or follow us on Twitter @Orion_Law.

To read the entire press release, click here.

March 2015 - Orion Announcement - ALA Annual Conference and Expo – Coming Soon!

As a proud supporter of the ALA, Orion is excited to be attending the 2015 ALA Annual Conference & Exposition, taking place May 17-20, 2015 at the Music City Center in Nashville, TN.  We are located at booth 501.  Make sure to stop by! If you would like to schedule a time to meet with us and discuss our software offerings, please send us an email to request a meeting.

Orion will also be celebrating its 30th year of providing excellence in legal management software.  You won’t want to miss out on the fun, registration for attendees is now open.  For more information, visit the ALA website.

Fill out our contest form below and be entered to win a new Apple Watch!

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February 2015 - Technology Tip - Are You Cross (Platform, that is)? – by Affinity Consulting Group

Most lawyers run their law firms on Windows. Mac is a growing platform, particularly for solos and small firms. And while Android leads in overall smart phone market share, iPhones are more popular with lawyers. And what about tablets? There are compelling offerings in the Apple, Android, and Windows ecosystems. Do you need to stick with one platform across all of your tech devices?

Probably not. Being “cross-platform” has many advantages. Perhaps the most important is that you can pick the best device/platform for the task at hand. If you want the widest choice of hardware and software in your office, go with Windows PC’s. If you want the best tablet for portable use in court or managing your firm, Apple’s iPad is still the best choice (and I say this as the owner of an iPad, a Nexus 7 Android tablet, and a Dell Venue Pro 8 Windows 8.1 tablet, so I’ve had a chance to compare all three platforms in my own solo practice over a long period of time).

On the road, if you want a traditional clamshell style laptop for responding to email, web browsing, or drafting and editing documents, your cheapest and most secure choice will be a Chromebook. Google’s browser-based operating system gets more capable all the time, including new off-line capabilities. Chromebooks can’t get viruses and they are closer to being hack proof than anything running Windows or Mac OS X.

While the purveyors of the major platforms would like you to live your business and personal life entirely within their particular ecosystem, it is surprisingly easy to live cross-platform. Operating systems are becoming more intuitive with each new version (well, Windows 8.1 may be an exception, but that is about to be correction with Windows 10). If you can use a PC, you can very quickly adapt to a Mac. If you use an iPhone, Android 5.0 will be a simple adjustment. And if you can use a web browser (particularly if Google Chrome is already your desktop/laptop choice), you already know how to use a Chromebook. Intuition only takes you part way, of course. If you rely on a platform to run your firm, training on the software and operating system is recommended.

If you keep an open mind, you will discover that just because you are a Mac user, you don’t necessarily need to use an iPhone. If you are a Windows PC user, a traditional Windows laptop may not be your best mobile choice. Microsoft has recently gone a long way to make cross-platform a viable choice for lawyers. MS Office and Outlook apps area available on iOS and Android devices. They work amazingly well. Try out the different platforms, check the available software and apps, and pick what works best for each major function in your professional and personal life. As nice as “one size fits all” might be, in the real world of law office technology it doesn’t yet exist.

About Scott Bassett: Scott Bassett is the Senior Editor for Affinity Publications, which is a fancy title for editor of their monthly email newsletter. He also contributes regularly to the Affinity blog. Scott came to technology via the law and he still maintains a full-time virtual law practice handling Michigan family law appeals. He received his J.D. degree from the University of Michigan Law School in 1981 and his B.A. from Wayne State University in 1978. His interests are technology (“duh”), law (double-”duh”), music, and bicycling.

January 2015 - Technology Tip - Start the New Year Successfully – by Affinity Consulting Group

Our Partners and staff came up with several resolutions that will help you and your law firm get off to a good start in 2015.  Some of these resolutions related to law office technology. Others are applicable to small businesses in general. Finally, there are a handful of personal resolutions that may help you become healthier and happier in 2015.

Here is our list of resolutions for 2015 (in no particular order).

Adhere to ABA Model Rule 1.1 on lawyer competence as it now includes competence in understanding relevant technology as follows; “To maintain the requisite know ledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.

Enter all time into billing system the DAY IT HAPPENS – easiest way to make more money in 2015.

Learn more about Microsoft Word and become a more skillful user (training classes or read a manual), then use that knowledge to start building go-to templates for the complex documents you routinely generate in your practice. Put the best of what you know into those templates and STOP creating new documents from old ones. It’s the easiest way to increase speed and accuracy in your practice.

Manage your general ledger better by consistently posting, doing your bank reconciliations monthly without fail and review financial statements every month to understand firm financial health and/or fix problems in a timely manner. Don’t let success be merely accidental. If you do, failure may be inevitable.

No smartphone/devices while eating – If you are going to engage with your dining partners, constantly looking at your phone, taking calls, or responding to texts impairs that relationship. If you are dining alone, set the phone down and take a little time to relax and collect your thoughts.

Create a better task management system for yourself. Read 1 or 2 of the leading books on task management such as Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen (2002) or Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy (2007). Then consider incorporating a great task management application into your system like Wunderlist or Evernote.

Turn off Push Notifications on all of your devices. Take back control and avoid being distracted by every alert, badge, banner, etc.

Delete Apps on your devices that you no longer use. One hit wonders were cool, but now they are just taking up space and creating distractions.

Use Multiple monitors to improve productivity – and provide them to everyone in the office. We remain surprised at the number of firms we visit where users have only have one monitor. Screen space, like hard drive space and Cloud storage, is becoming cheaper all the time.

If you work from a laptop on the road, get a USB second monitor for traveling. One Affinity Partner and one staffer currently use the very affordable but functional AOC 16 inch USB monitor that works with both Windows and Mac.

Implement a Password Manager. We see far too many lawyers and law firm staff who merely write down their passwords on a piece of paper or store them in an unencrypted document or spreadsheet (we know how that worked out for Sony). Be smarter than a multi-national corporation. Use something like RoboForm, LastPass, or 1Password to securely management your passwords. All of them have mobile apps too.

Be sure you are properly accepting credit card payments. A refresher on the ethical requirements associated with accepting credit cards is worth doing as merchant services like Square and PayPal become popular. Start with this article from Beverly Michaelis at the Oregon Law Practice Management blog.

Better document your work on case/matter files. Doing so could spare a grievance, malpractice claim, or fee battle down the road. There are some great tips in LawPRO’s Avoid-A-Claim blog.

Keep Windows and your application software updated to avoid security breaches. Use a utility like Patch My PC to make the process painless.

We hope these resolutions help you achieve a successful 2015.

December 2014 - Orion Announcement - Schedule Your Firm Upgrade to Orion Version 4.6

Orion Version 4.6 is ready to be launched at your firm.  This update contains many new enhancements to your existing Orion software.  Check out the informative video below highlighting some of the new features, and the link to the notes regarding this release.

 Orion Version 4.6 Highlights Video
Release Notes

Make sure you contact the Support Desk now to schedule the day/time for your upgrade.

October 2014 - Press Release - Orion Announces Extensive Enhancements to Orion Software at 2014 User Group Meeting

ATLANTA–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. (www.orionlaw.com), a leading provider of financial and practice management software for law firms, announces Orion Version 4.6, an extensive update to the current Orion Version 4 Software, at the 2014 User Group Meeting in Atlanta, Georgia. The User Group Meeting is made up of administrators, partners, accountants, IT and other professionals from law firms nationwide.

The User Group Meeting provides clients with a forum to discuss law firm best practices and share expertise, be among the first to learn about Orion’s product updates, and provide constructive feedback to Orion staff. The agenda includes numerous general sessions and breakout sessions covering the latest trends in law firm management and technology. Orion secured noted author and lawyer Ari Kaplan as their keynote speaker, motivating the audience with his message “Recovery, Renewal & Reinvention: Navigating the Next Decade”.

Frances Rausch, Administrator at Boyd & Jenerette, P.A. commented, “Our relationship began with Orion in 1996, as a longtime client and user of Orion I find the User Group Meeting to be a valuable opportunity to continue my education and learn about new features directly from the Orion Staff. These sessions give users an opportunity to share our experiences with the software, as well as a direct line of communication to support and development at Orion.”

Orion Version 4.6 includes updates to features for financial, practice and firm management. These updates are offered to customers as a part of the software maintenance cost.

Orion Version 4.6 Highlights Include:

  • Orion Dashboards
    • Access to key financial information in a visual format
    • Compare your performance to performance firm-wide
  • GL Live Financial Statements Module
    • Design financial statements to print/distribute online with drill-down and charting capabilities
  • AR Collections Manager Module
    • Management of collections at the client/matter level, not only the invoice level
    • Better manage the appeal process when dealing with online e-billing companies
  • Exchange Sync Module
    • Certification with Microsoft Office 365
    • Synchronize contacts, tasks and/or appointments between Orion and Microsoft Exchange in the Cloud

Orion’s President, Paul Yelton, said, “We are excited to announce the release of Version 4.6 at our User Group Meeting. This year, we will experience our highest attendance on record and we are appreciative to have so many clients coming together to participate in this conference. The Orion User Group Meeting serves as an interactive, educational forum for users to discuss their challenges and success stories, while learning how we are enhancing their Orion experience to improve performance at their firm and empower informed business decisions. We are especially enthusiastic to share all of the enhancements that have been included in this release.”

For more information visit www.orionlaw.com or email info@orionlaw.com.

About Orion Law Management Systems, Inc.

Founded in 1985, Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. is dedicated to providing law firms with proven law practice management software. Utilizing a complete practice management approach, Orion is a fully integrated law management system employing the very latest in reliable technology. Orion centralizes your Financial Management, Firm Management and Practice Management delivering the competitive advantage that law firms need to succeed. Orion Law Management Systems, Inc. is headquartered in Atlanta. For information visit www.orionlaw.com, call 1.800.305.5867, email info@orionlaw.com or follow us on Twitter @Orion_Law.

September 2014 - Webinar Announcement - Orion Visual Analytics Webinar Announcement

Orion’s excited to announce another great addition to our software suite. This exciting Webinar hosted by Carl Mack, CEO of IntelliMetrics LLC, will give you the first look at Orion’s new software enhancement, Orion Visual Analytics.

The Orion Visual Analytics platform provides Users easy to understand, concise insight into complex business questions. Orion Visual Analytics will give your Firm quick access to financial performance information at a variety of levels including; Firm Level, Location, Practice Group, Department and Attorney Level Client/Matter level.

This new platform enables Orion Users to gain insight from data more easily and more quickly than they ever have using traditional management reports or Excel spreadsheets. You won’t want to miss this demo, make sure to register today as space is limited!

Orion Visual Analytics Introduction Webinar
Friday, September 26, 2014
2:00 PM-2:45 PM EDT
REGISTER NOW

August 2014 - Technology Tip - How to Fix Word’s Formatting Defaults – by Baron Henley of Affinity Consulting

– Barron K. Henley, Esq., Partner at Affinity Consulting Group

Many people are frustrated with the default formatting Word 2007/10/13 applies to new documents. If you have to change the typeface (Calibri), the size (11 pt) or the justification (left) for every new document, there’s an easy way to make those changes permanent so they will automatically be built into every future document you create. To make all of the following changes to Word’s default Font, Paragraph & Section formatting, just launch Word and open a blank document.

1. Change Your Default Font Formatting: If you don’t like Calibri 11 or Word’s other defaults related to Fonts, simply follow these steps to fix them:

A. Click the Launcher in the Font Group on the Home Ribbon. This will make the Font dialog appear.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

June 2014 - Technology Tip - Less Paper Means More Productivity – by Steve Best of Affinity Consulting

Less Paper Means More Productivity For Your Law Firm
– Steven J. Best, Esq., Partner at Affinity Consulting Group

When lawyers and law firm staff are asked about their biggest frustration, managing volumes of paper is at the top of their list. Paper files have become problematic in today’s technologically driven law firms. People spend hours of unproductive time filing away and then, later, looking for paper.

Reducing the inefficiencies inherent in paper files requires three categories of technology. First, the paper must be converted to digital format, preferably PDF, using a scanner. Second, there must be a way to store, organize, and retrieve the digitized documents using a Document Management System (DMS) such as Worldox. Finally, for portable use, there must be a way to read and annotate PDF documents, such as the new Sony Digital Paper device…

To read the rest of the article, click here.