IT Manager at Barriston LLP, a Barrie, Bracebridge and Cookstown Ontario, 32 lawyer Law Firm; paleo/primal and fitness enthusiast; fair weather gardener who hates gloves; cold weather knitter.
Uncertain about absolutely everything
I am the IT Manager at Barriston LLP, a 33 lawyer law firm (107 staff and lawyers in total), in the beautiful city of Barrie, Ontario, Canada, with offices the in town of Bracebridge in the heart of cottage country, and in the village of Cookstown. Prior to my taking on this position full-time in January 2000, I was an associate lawyer here at Barriston LLP (formerly Burgar Rowe Professional Corporation), practicing Municipal and Land Development law from January 1989 to December 1999. Prior to practicing at Barriston LLP, I was an associate lawyer with a general practice at another Barrie law firm, and prior to that taught for 2 years as a Fellow of the Legal Research and Writing course at the University of Windsor Law School (where I was graduated). This background provides me with the somewhat unique perspective of being able to see the IT needs and training requirements of a law firm from both ends of the spectrum – the IT department and the lawyers and staff.
One of my functions at Barriston is to provide ongoing legal technology training to the staff and lawyers here at the firm. Part of this training includes creating what we refer to at our offices as ‘Tips of the Day’. Despite the name, the tip sheets are not created daily… These tips give our users extra information on using their software efficiently and effectively in ways that go beyond one-on-one or group training.
We are a MSWindows office, as are most Ontario law firms, and the software that we use is mostly (but not completely) standard law firm software: Windows XP, MSWord, MSExcel and MSOutlook, Acumin (for our accounting and practice management needs), Adobe Acrobat Professional, DivorceMate, Automated Civil Litigation (ACL), Do Process Software (Conveyancer, Estate-a-Base, Fast Company, Will Builder) and many other smaller programs and utilities. The Tips of the Day concentrate on using these software packages more efficiently and effectively, along with tips on Blackberry use for our lawyers.
In the past I distributed these tips by email, but we are all so inundated with emails today that I’ve decided to give blogging a try instead – I’ll just subscribe our users to this blog by way of the RSS feed built into Outlook then, whenever they feel the urge, they can access this information straight from the blog. And if anyone else out there finds these tips and additional tech information helpful, well, the more information the merrier!
And, from time to time, if the urge strikes me I may (or may not) post a comment or two about personal interests.