Alt Trademark: Episode 1 - JoAnn Holmes

Alt Legal is proud to present Alt Trademarks, a biweekly podcast hosted by Hannah Samendinger. Alt Trademarks discusses the latest news in trademark law, features interviews with prominent trademark professionals, and contemplates the issues trademark professionals face. 

For its inaugural broadcast, Hannah speaks with JoAnn Holmes, who has been practicing IP for 17 years. They discuss JoAnn’s transition from big law to in-house to solo practice. She also discusses the importance of technology in her practice and some tips for building a tech stack of your own. If you would like to contact Jo, she can be reached at holmesatlaw.com, at linkedin.com/in/joannholmes, or on Twitter @HolmesAtLaw.


Music: "Off to Osaka" by Kevin MacLeod, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. The song was edited for use in this podcast.

Alt Legal Enhances Integration with Clio

We're thrilled to make IP docketing even easier for Clio customers with our new Clio matter integration. See our official announcement below and get started today by accessing your IP docket! If you're at Clio Cloud Conference, come by our exhibit and meet our CEO and our Legal Product Manager.

--
Chicago, IL, September 19, 2016. Alt Legal, a New York-based intellectual property (IP) management software company will demonstrate the expansion of its Clio integration at the Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago. Today the company announced an improved integration that allows Alt Legal users to link their trademark, patent, and other docketed items with matters in Clio. 

"With this enhanced integration, Alt Legal offers the most complete Clio integration for intellectual property professionals," says Nehal Madhani, founder and CEO at Alt Legal. "Our customers benefit daily from the integration between our services, and we're constantly exploring ways to improve our offerings. These improvements will allow our customers to continue take advantage of what they value most in Alt Legal: automation."  

With the enhanced integration, Clio customers in the US, the UK, and Europe can now use Alt Legal to instantly collect client IP information, automatically docket IP filings, calendar key dates, sync matter information, and generate invoices for clients with just a few clicks.

Alt Legal has integrated with Clio since early 2014. This is the second expansion of the companies' paired services. The first, announced earlier this year, allowed Clio's EU customers to benefit from the same integration as Clio's US customers. 

About Alt Legal

Alt Legal, Inc. is a legal software company started by Nehal Madhani, a former Kirkland & Ellis attorney who taught himself programming and created Alt Legal. Alt Legal’s intuitive, easy-to-use cloud-based software provides IP docketing, document assembly, and analysis tools for IP professionals filing trademarks, patents, TTAB, and copyrights.

Alt Legal’s software is trusted by Am Law 200 firms, IP boutiques, and public and private companies to handle thousands of filings every day. Alt Legal automatically updates case statuses and deadlines, seamlessly collects key client details, and instantly generates IP filings. For more information, visit www.altlegal.com or follow them on Twitter @altlegalhq.

About Clio

Clio is the most comprehensive cloud-based practice management software for the legal industry. With the help of the cloud, Clio eases the process of managing client relationships and documents, streamlines administration and collaboration, and optimizes marketing initiatives for law firms of all sizes. Based in Vancouver, and with a European office in Dublin, Clio is used by legal professionals in over 50 countries. Clio has raised $27 million from investors including Bessemer Venture Partners. Learn more at www.clio.com.

Becoming a Tech-Savvy Lawyer

At the Florida Bar InSession event, Alt Legal founder and CEO Nehal Madhani gave a talk on leveraging technology in legal practices. The talk an overview of different types of technology—from billing and practice management software to government APIs—and explains how lawyers can use the technologies to make their practices more effective and efficient.

Check out his presentation here and see the SlideShare here. Nehal will be about legal technology again at the Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago on September 19-20.

Alt Legal CEO Publishes Article in World Trademark Review

World Trademark Review published a column by Alt Legal’s CEO and founder Nehal Madhani its August/September issue. In the article, titled “Leveraging modern technology,” Madhani describes the necessity of modernization for national IP offices.

As a starting place, he advocates online filing systems and open data access for IP offices and highlights the impact of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) going paperless. Beyond mere convenience, applicants filing electronically experience more immediate success than those who file paper applications. The first action approval rate for paper applicants was 9.8 percent, while it was between 16.2 and 33.5 percent for those filing online, Madhani notes.

Although electronic filing procedures around the world denote progress in accessibility and efficiency, Madhani envisions national IP offices as “information-driven platforms which can readily receive and dispense information.” To this end, he advocates the use of application programming interfaces (APIs), which could allow IP professionals and third parties to programmatically retrieve data and automate the application process. Establishing these avenues could ultimately eliminate many of the tedious aspects of IP filings, reduce cost, and in effect, democratize the process to increase access to justice, Madhani says.

Read “Leveraging modern technology” from World Trademark Review’s August/September issue here.

What’s Your Law Firm Technology Stack?

Whether you’re starting a new law firm or upgrading your current practice, you’re likely faced with more than a few choices when it comes to technology. Which practice management application should you choose? What email provider do you use? How do you set up a phone line? Both the big and small decisions might seem intimidating—or terrifying. Don’t let your worries paralyze you; get started with a few simple steps.

Creating your online presence  

Choose a domain name (or names)
Pick a clear, easy-to-remember URL: Your domain name is the first impression would-be clients will get of your business. If you market different kinds of services, consider using multiple domain names to tailor your message to each audience. Check the ethical regulations in your state to determine whether your firm name needs to be in the domain or if you can rely on a trade name.

Build the website
With your domain registered, it’s time to build your site. Instead of hiring an expensive and time- consuming web developer, get started quickly with website-building service like Squarespace or Strikingly. These services come with templates, but you can also hire a designer to enhance the templates if you really want to make it your own. Within minutes, you can have a modern website that looks great across all devices, including mobile. Indeed, more people now search on mobile and tablet devices than on computers, so search engines weigh your mobile website when calculating your firm’s search rankings.

Set up your email infrastructure
We recommend using Google Apps or Office 365. Both allow you to brand for your law firm while also offering ample account storage and access to collaborative tools. Google Apps is particularly powerful because you can add plugins such as Rapportive (which shows you all of a contact’s social media profiles based on his or her email address while you are sending an email).

Finding an office and setting up your phones

Find an office phone app
Communication is king. For phones, we recommend UberConference and Dialpad for relatively cost-effective systems that include features that keep your conferences and calls seamless. UberConference allows you to use screen-sharing and profile view so you’ll know exactly who’s talking during a conference. Dialpad provides a platform for making HD calls from any phone over Wi-Fi or any carrier and enables you to have your office phone accessible from anywhere.

Rent office space (or don’t)
Finding a space to work doesn’t necessarily mean renting an office. For example, if you’re a solo practitioner and want to work from home, that might be a great way to keep overhead low. You can even use services like Breather to rent conference space as needed.  Note that some states may require you to provide a physical address for your law firm. For those wanting an office, don’t forget about the new co-working companies like WeWork, which provide access to affordable and collaborative office space. There are also attorney-specific coworking spaces like Law Firm Suites and Venue


Finding the right software for your firm

Determine which practice-specific software you need
Your duty as an attorney is to provide competent representation to your clients. Depending on the area of your practice, you may also need to invest in practice-specific software. For example, at Alt Legal, we provide trademark and patent docketing software that automatically creates and dockets intellectual property filings so IP attorneys don’t miss key filing deadlines.

Set up billing software
To make billing painless, you’ll want to find a software that can intuitively track your work and charge clients accordingly. Either practice management software or independent tools like Harvest or Freshbooks provide efficient systems for this task.

Select legal research software
Beyond the traditional offerings from LexisNexis and Westlaw, some of our favorite research tools are newer solutions such as CaseText, Fastcase, and Ravel Law. They offer new ways to sort results and find valuable legal insights. For example, CaseText recently launched CARA, which automatically provides you a list of cases to review when you upload a pleading. Lastly, Fastcase offers free access to attorneys in many states if they are members of their state bar association. 

Choose practice management software
If you’re at a small law firm or a solo practice, chances are that in addition to running a law firm, you’re also responsible for the other aspects of a business like operations, accounting, and marketing. Practice management software can handle some of this for you. Clio, MyCase and Rocket Matter provide billing, task management, document assembly, and payment tools—all available on mobile devices too.

Find CRM tools
Last but certainly not least, look for the customer relationship management (CRM) tools that you’ll use to analyze your interactions with clients. One example is Streak, a cloud-based extension for Google Apps that allows you to keep your customer data organized and your correspondence targeted. Streak lets you use mail merge to send back personalized responses to common client requests. There is also Lexicata, which is a CRM and intake tool specifically developed for attorneys.

Take the time to explore the myriad of innovative tools and systems available to you as an attorney. You—and your clients—will be glad you did.

How to Start an Intellectual Property Practice- Webinar

Watch Alt Legal CEO and Founder Nehal Madhani discuss starting an intellectual property practice. Whether you are starting an entirely new practice or expanding your current firm's practice, we have several helpful tips for ensuring that your IP practice is successful. 

The webinar highlights tips for identifying the scope of your intellectual property practice, essential IP tools, and suggestions for finding clients in this space. 

Let us know in the comments if you have other tips and tricks that worked for your practice! 


Attorney Wins Free Year of Alt Legal Subscription

One lucky lawyer walked away from this year’s International Trademark Association’s Annual Meeting with a free, one-year subscription to Alt Legal’s cloud-based IP filing software. In a random drawing of business cards, we selected Paul D. Supnik, a copyright, trademark, and entertainment attorney in Beverly Hills.

Supnik, a solo practitioner, said he appreciates Alt Legal’s customizable formatting. “I like the way that a list can show you what’s coming up in the near future, and you’re able to adjust that timeframe,” he said. “You’re also able to select applicants and clients so you can quickly pull out a list of all matters you’re working for a particular client or company.”

Alt Legal takes the guesswork out of deadlines through automated software that ensures cases stay up-to-date. Its intuitive design and function allows attorneys from IP boutiques, Am Law 200 firms and corporations to increase productivity in managing intellectual property filings efficiently and confidently.

 

Alt Legal CEO Named in Fastcase 50

Alt Legal is thrilled and honored to announce that its founder and CEO, Nehal Madhani, has been listed in the 2016 Fastcase 50. The list boasts naming the 50 "smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders" in fields related to law.

Our CEO joins an impressive and diverse group of attorneys, legal technologists, policymakers, and others, all of which are helping drive change in the profession. The list features former attorney general Eric Holder and also includes other CodeX community members, including both directors Roland Vogl and Michael Genesereth.

Past years' honorees include American Bar Association President William C. Hubbard, Facebook Chief Privacy Officer Erin Egan, Code for America Founder & Executive Director Jennifer Pahlka, Yale Law School Librarian for Emerging Tecnologies Jason Eiseman, Google Scholar Engineer Anurag Acharya, and hundreds of other notable figures in the legal community.

Madhani says that he is "humbled and flattered" by his inclusion on the list and looks forward to continuing to drive innovation in the legal space through Alt Legal.

Go here to learn more about the other innovators listed in the Fastcase 50.

Alt Legal Now Integrates with Microsoft Office 365

We're excited to announce our integration with Microsoft Office 365 to help our customers automatically see all of their docketing deadlines and reminders in their Outlook calendars. This integration will make it even easier for IP professionals to track and docket their portfolios and key filing deadlines. Our official announcement is below:

Alt Legal Cloud-based IP Management Software Now Integrates with Microsoft Office 365

New York, NY, June 22, 2016Alt Legal, a New York-based intellectual property (IP) management software company, is proud to announce its integration with Microsoft Office 365.

Using the Alt Legal and Office 365 integration, IP professionals will be able to automatically synchronize all of their docketing deadlines and reminders with their Microsoft Outlook calendars. This enables IP professionals to have all their key dates in a single calendar.

“Alt Legal’s mission is to simplify the preparation, docketing, and analysis of intellectual property filings for IP professionals,” said Nehal Madhani, the company’s founder and CEO. “Microsoft Office 365 is one of the leading document and collaboration platforms for legal professionals. We’re thrilled to integrate with Office 365 so that IP professionals can seamlessly manage their key deadlines and documents.  This is the first of many integrations that Alt Legal has planned for Office 365.”

Rob Howard, director, Office 365 Ecosystem, Microsoft remarked: “Alt Legal’s integration with Office 365 will help legal professionals focus their time on client’s needs instead of repetitive administrative tasks. The Alt Legal/Microsoft Office 365 integration will help our joint customers improve productivity and minimize risks.”

IP professionals can immediately take advantage of Alt Legal’s integration by accessing the Office 365 page from their Alt Legal account or signing up for a free trial.

About Alt Legal

Alt Legal, Inc. is a New York City-based legal software company started by Nehal Madhani, a lawyer who left a top-tier international law firm, Kirkland & Ellis, taught himself programming, and created Alt Legal. Alt Legal’s intuitive, easy-to-use cloud-based software provides IP docketing, document assembly, and analysis tools for IP professionals filing trademarks, patents, and copyrights.

Alt Legal’s software is trusted by large firms, IP boutiques, and public and private companies to handle thousands of filings every day. Alt Legal automatically updates case statuses and deadlines, seamlessly collects key client details, and instantly generates IP filings. For more information, visit www.altlegal.com or follow on Twitter @altlegalhq.

INTA 2016 is here!

INTA is going to be amazing this year! We're looking forward to another record 10,000 attendees, Orlando weather, and sharing lots of Alt Legal announcements! Our CEO and our head legal product developer will be at booth #923. Schedule your demo here.

Our past experiences have taught us that INTA is best when we take advantage of both the brilliant official content and the exciting unofficial networking events. To get us all off on the right foot, here are some of the events we've found happening around INTA this year. Let us know if we've missed any.

Hope to see you in Orlando!

Some of these events may be invite-only or require a purchased ticket.  See the event links for more information.

Saturday, May 21st, 2016

Sunday, May 22nd, 2016

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016

Wednesday, May 25th, 2016