chain of causation

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Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Reducing Some Operating Costs in the Practice of Law

Today’s Solo/Small Firm Practitioners committee meeting at the Chicago Bar Association covered the basics on how to reduce the costs of operating a law practice by switching to Free/Open Source Software through use of the following:

What we didn’t get to at the meeting is the use of free and/or low cost Internet services to also lower costs.

Google Apps is a suite of online services including Gmail, Google Calendar, Google Docs, GTalk, Google Sites, and many other Google software services but customized for your domain. For example, the email services for my own domain, vincentkan.com are transparently hosted by Google through the Google Apps service. The Standard Edition is free and the Premier Edition is $50/user/year as of the time of this writing. If you don’t have your own domain name through a registrar, Google will happily register one for you at $10/year.

Although Google Sites is free, I find that WordPress.com offers a bit more finish at $10/year to host your custom domain or free if you’re willing to live with yourname.wordpress.com. By going with WordPress.com you also can in the future move to your own WordPress installation by getting a copy of your database and moving it to your own hosted solution. One attorney who has created a fine website by using WordPress is Kimberly Alderman. She uses a third-party hosting provider by is still leveraging the power of the open-source WordPress software.

There are many other software packages in the open-source Linux software ecosystem that can replace their Windows counterparts and other free or low-cost online services that can help reduce the costs of operating a law practice but those will have to wait for another day.

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Written by Vincent Kan

March 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm