Ten Issues: Cool Tech for In-Home Counsel (2021 Version)


It’s August and meaning three issues: it’s very popular right here in Texas, the Nebraska Cornhuskers have already misplaced a soccer sport, and it’s time for my annual “Cool Tech” for in-house counsel weblog put up.  As you’ll be able to think about, I’m fairly excited concerning the final one.  Not a lot the primary two. Regardless, that is the seventh 12 months in a row the place I will likely be sharing expertise and tech-related concepts that may make life simpler for in-house counsel (nicely, at the very least higher).  If you wish to try previous editions (and I hope you do), you could find them right here:

When you’ve got adopted this weblog and my posts on LinkedIn, then you definitely already know that I’m an enormous believer within the energy of expertise to enhance the capabilities of the authorized division and, extra importantly, assist present the worth generated by the authorized staff.  That mentioned, for my annual Cool Tech version I usually attempt to focus on expertise that’s free (or very low price) and provides instant worth.  So, if you’re in search of an analysis of e-billing techniques, matter administration techniques, doc administration techniques, digital signatures, and so forth, you’re on the incorrect film.  For those who do wish to examine such a “huge tech’ (and all in-house legal professionals ought to), I counsel the annual LawGeex 2021 contract expertise purchaser’s information or Deloitte’s expertise within the authorized division information.[1] Full of nice data, they’re each free!  However, for right this moment’s functions, we’ll keep small and targeted, i.e., expertise you should buy and begin utilizing right this moment, a few of which is free.  As regular, I obtained nothing for recommending this expertise to you.  I simply suppose in-house legal professionals will discover the expertise helpful.  I additionally realized as I used to be scripting this that as a result of I’m spending a lot time working from dwelling (thanks Delta variant), a variety of my strategies work particularly nicely in your dwelling workplace.  And with that, let’s dig into Cool Tech for In-Home Legal professionals 2021 Version:

1.   Epson Eco-Tank Printers.  I don’t learn about you, however the delusion of a paperless workplace has been simply that, a delusion.  I nonetheless discover myself with the necessity to print out a very good quantity of fabric on daily basis.  Making an attempt to learn the whole lot on a display (particularly prolonged, advanced contracts) is simply too tough.  No less than it’s for me.  The issue with printing out a lot paper is that you just run out of ink in a short time, particularly if you’re utilizing an inkjet printer (you already know, the one with the small ink cartridges that price greater than a very good meal).  I discovered the answer – an Epson Eco-Tank printer.  Particularly, the ET-3760 mannequin as a result of that was what was on sale at Costco after I went looking for a brand new printer.  It has 4 enormous ink tanks which you can simply refill way more cheaply than shopping for cartridges and a full tank lasts a couple of 12 months with regular use.  Mine prints in coloration as a result of each on occasion I have to see the totally different colours of the redlines in what I’m printing out.  There are a number of ET fashions to select from, although.  Huge thumbs up for the Eco-Tank.

2.  Jabra Elite Lively 75t Wi-fi Ear Buds (Noise Canceling).  For the previous a number of years I’ve refused to surrender my wired headset for my iPhone (irrespective of how tough Apple made it to maintain utilizing it).  A month or so in the past I learn a evaluation for the Jabra Elite Lively 75t wi-fi ear buds.  I’m an enormous fan of Jabra merchandise.  The evaluation was very optimistic. And, they had been on sale on the time, costing about half of what Apple is charging for its high-end earbuds.  I went out on a limb and purchased a pair.  Wow!  Even for those who can not get them on sale, they’re nonetheless a discount.  They work nice, are simple to arrange, and cancel a lot of the background noise whereas offering crystal clear music and telephone name audio.

3.  Eero Mesh Community.  Sadly, my dwelling workplace is as far-off from the WiFi router as doable inside our home.  Accordingly, I’ve struggled to get a constantly robust WiFi sign whereas working.  I had tried nearly the whole lot, together with paying knowledgeable to put in a mesh community that labored in all places however the dwelling workplace.  I used to be contemplating shopping for a devoted hotspot and simply footing the invoice for an additional web sign when I discovered Amazon’s Eero mesh community on sale earlier this 12 months.  For beneath $200, Amazon promised to resolve all of my WiFi sign issues.  This was inexpensive than the devoted hotspot and value a shot.  It has labored spectacularly nicely!  It took about quarter-hour to arrange and I’ve not had a single downside with WiFi protection in my dwelling workplace since.  There are a number of variations you should buy, however I stored it easy and purchased the three router pack.  Most likely one of the best $200 I’ve spent this 12 months!

4.  Wanderlog.  Like lots of you, I used to be lastly beginning to journey rather a lot after getting vaccinated.  I’ve all the time performed a variety of touring for enterprise and for enjoyable and it felt nice to be consuming crappy meals and sitting on the gate ready to affix the push for overhead bin area.  Whereas journey appears to be slowing down considerably (once more, thanks Delta variant), I did discover an extremely helpful new itinerary app for my smartphone: Wanderlog.  Man, do I like this app (and so do many others). Take a look at the web site for extra particulars, however with this app, you’ll be able to:

  • View your map and itinerary in a single view.
  • Add locations from guides with one click on.
  • Collaborate with buddies in real-time.
  • Import your entire journey particulars.
  • Optimize your route.
  • Entry to curated journey guides in your vacation spot
  • A lot, far more.

5.  Ginger (writing app).  I’m an enormous fan of Grammarly (free model), the most well-liked writing-assistance app on the market right this moment.  It made my Cool Tech checklist a number of years again.  I exploit it after I write this weblog and for emails and Phrase paperwork (even contracts I’m drafting).  It really works nice.  However, Ginger goes to offer Grammarly a run for its cash. Ginger, in fact, corrects spelling and easy grammatical errors. It additionally makes adjustments and proposals for sentence construction, punctuation, and writing type. It makes strategies for re-phrasing wording and makes use of synthetic intelligence to counsel synonyms.  Better of all, it’s free (although the free model is extra restricted than the free model of Grammarly, which is a draw back).  In fact, similar to spell verify in Phrase, you shouldn’t over-rely on Ginger, Grammarly, or some other instrument to correctly edit your writing. The strategies are usually appropriate, however not all the time.  So, all the time take accountability for proofreading your personal writing.

6.  Peak Design Backpack.  I usually use a backpack to haul all my stuff round.  Sadly, doing so normally makes me appear to be a misplaced hiker or a really outdated second-grader.  Till lately, I simply accepted that if I wished to make use of a backpack for my laptop computer, papers, cords, and many others. (particularly when touring) I used to be doomed to lug round one thing that regarded fairly unprofessional.  Then I got here throughout the Peak Design On a regular basis Backpack Zip, an ultra-roomy and ultra-sleek backpack that must be commonplace situation for in-house legal professionals anyplace on the planet.  Whereas designed with the skilled photographer in thoughts, it’s the right backpack for any skilled who’s bored with wanting like they’re going tenting at Yosemite for per week whereas touring or simply commuting to the workplace (sure, that’s nonetheless a factor).  You’ll be able to configure it in many various methods and the bigger dimension pack may even double as an in a single day bag.  It’s not low-cost, however it’s extremely handsome and sensible.  I like this bag.

7.  StayFocusd.  Like everybody, there are occasions throughout the day after I will likely be engaged on one thing and resolve {that a} fast peek at my favourite time-wasting web site gained’t damage something.  Thirty minutes later I’m kicking myself for getting distracted and off-target and desperately attempting to regain momentum on my work.  StayFocusd is the right free browser extension for anybody who wants a bit of assist avoiding the temptations of The Onion, ESPN, YouTube, Fb, or no matter.  It’s fairly easy to make use of.  As soon as loaded, StayFocusd permits you to block fully or set limits on the period of time you’ll be able to spend on distracting web sites all through the day.  As to the latter, as soon as your allotted time is used up, the positioning is blocked for the remainder of the day.  For me, if I’ve an enormous undertaking, it’s simple to easily block the whole lot for an hour or two and power myself to deal with what I must be doing.  Undoubtedly value trying out.

8.  Any.do.  A part of being a lawyer is the endless seek for a “to-do” checklist instrument that works such as you do.  Any.do would be the reply.  It’s a slick app that works with nearly any machine or browser.  There’s a useful YouTube tutorial for novices on it right here.  It’s fairly highly effective for people and households (as you’ll be able to share lists), and it additionally works for groups on the workplace.  It really works equally nicely for work duties and private duties, with a easy interface and color-coding options. I’ve my battles with to-do lists usually (not a fan) however I acknowledge that many individuals love them and there may be worth in maintaining an total checklist of open tasks (at dwelling and the workplace).  Any.do would be the reply I’ve been in search of.

9.  Summize.  I do know I mentioned I wasn’t going to get into contract administration software program.  I lied.  Going over my notes for this weblog, I spotted that I wished to share one contract administration instrument that has a variety of promise for in-house legal professionals.  Summize is a comparatively new participant on the contract tech/CLM stage.  I noticed it in motion for making a contract guidelines, i.e., a type tied to your contract playbook or different necessities that permits you (or the enterprise) to rapidly evaluation a contract to see if it accommodates the precise clauses or not (and if additional authorized evaluation is required).  It, in fact, does far more than that. One core characteristic is its means to offer an correct abstract of any contract you load into the instrument.  The abstract might be one thing you share with the enterprise or, for many in-house authorized departments, a technique to save time, i.e., reviewing contracts with a listing of the problems that want your consideration and feeling assured in ignoring issues that don’t matter.  I feel the parents at Summize have a fairly cool product as a result of it’s customizable and might be purposed to work such as you and your staff work on the subject of contract evaluation and administration.  It really works with Groups, Slack, Sharepoint, and many others. Additionally they satisfaction themselves in low friction deployment with a low-cost level.  It’s value trying out to see if it might assist your staff save time and add worth.

10.  Coogle.it.  Legal professionals wish to suppose linearly, i.e., go from A to D to Z, so as.  However, the world doesn’t all the time play alongside and neither do advanced issues at work.  Issues get messy, issues overlap, issues are connecting a number of information factors in bizarre methods.  This could all result in one large headache and hours of “begin over” drafting, or, worse, the lack to clarify what you’re pondering to your boss, your colleagues, or the enterprise.  Coogle allows you to create mindmaps and circulate charts that let you suppose, draft, join concepts, and current in methods you can’t simply seize in an e mail or PowerPoint.  For instance, you probably have ever used a choice tree to assist current choices to the enterprise, Coogle makes the duty simple.  There are free and paid variations.  I’ve been utilizing the free model thus far and it’s nice.  It’s the good brainstorming instrument, and a technique to open up your thoughts to taking a look at – and fixing – issues in another way.  You may get a fast peek at the way it works right here.


That’s it for the 2021 model of Cool Tech for In-Home Legal professionals.  I hope you noticed at the very least one factor value trying out for your self and/or your staff.  When you’ve got any strategies for Cool Tech, let me know (and put up them within the feedback or in a reply on LinkedIn).   As of this put up, we’re just some followers away from 5,000!  Thanks for taking the time to learn the weblog and move it alongside to colleagues and buddies.  I really, really recognize it.

Sterling Miller

August 31, 2021

My fifth e book (on exhibiting the worth of the authorized division) will doubtless come out in October.  Subsequent weblog I’ll reveal the title.  Two of my books, Ten Issues You Have to Know as In-Home Counsel – Sensible Recommendation and Profitable Methods and Ten (Extra) Issues You Have to Know as In-Home Counsel – Sensible Recommendation and Profitable Methods Quantity 2, are on sale on the ABA web site (together with as e-books).  In case you are having hassle discovering them or shopping for them, let me know.


I’ve revealed two different books: The Evolution of Skilled Soccer, and The Gradual-Cooker Savant.  I’m additionally obtainable for talking engagements, webinars/CLEs, teaching, coaching, and consulting.

Join with me on Twitter @10ThingsLegal and on LinkedIn the place I put up articles and tales of curiosity to in-house counsel steadily.  

“Ten Issues” shouldn’t be authorized recommendation, nor authorized opinion and represents my views solely.  It’s supposed to offer sensible ideas and references to the busy in-house practitioner and different readers.  When you’ve got questions or feedback, concepts for a put up, please contact me at sterling.miller@sbcglobal.internet or, if you want a CLE in your staff on this or any subject within the weblog, contact me at smiller@hilgersgraben.com.

[1] I additionally like Deloitte’s authorized expertise primer for Chief Authorized Officers.


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