Here are some links to introductory information and downloadable trial/demo versions of certain software programs that I find useful in the law office environment and will be referring to in future posts:
- CaseMap, by DecisionQuest, is a powerful and flexible litigation support/case management tool. To learn more about CaseMap, download several articles about it here, and download a 30-day trial copy of the program here.
- Adobe Acrobat 5.0. No doubt, you're familiar with the Acrobat Reader, Adobe's free software for viewing and printing PDF files. But in order to make your own PDF files, you'll need a program like Acrobat 5.0. To learn more about Acrobat 5.0 and how it's being used in the law office environment, check out the new site PDF for Lawyers, conceived, created, and hosted by Ernie the Attorney.
- ActiveWords PLUS! adds on to Windows and uses words that you designate to launch programs, jump to websites, send e-mail, substitute text, and more. I'm just getting started with this product, but it's one of those that you won't know how you ever managed without. Download a 60-day trial version here.
- ClipTrakker is another can't-live-without program that automatically maintains a history of every item copied to your clipboard, allowing you to make the most of every keystroke. You can download a fully-functioning evaluation copy here.
- E-Transcript Binder, by RealLegal, is used to load, view, manage, search, and annotate transcripts, and a whole lot more. It looks like this product may have been subsumed by another product, RealLegal Binder 5.5 (I'll have to do some checking on this and let you know. My firm uses E-Transcript Binder, however, I could not find a link to this product on RealLegal's site.) You can read about and download a demo of Real Legal Binder 5.5 here.
All of the software products mentioned above are available commercially, for a fee. I realize that not all law firms have the ability or the inclination to provide these programs for their employees' use. For those of you who do not presently have access to any one or more of these programs, I hope future discussions posted at this site will inform you so that you can evaluate them based upon your own business needs and maybe even recommend them to your employer. I'll also try to, whenever possible, provide tips on alternate methods of accomplishing similar tasks, for those without access to such programs as these (i.e., the old-fashioned way--after all, it's probably not your fault that you don't have these programs).
Finally, in general, on this site, I'll try to provide as many links to available *free* resources on the internet as I can. Obviously, licenses for core programs like the ones mentioned above must be purchased.