Travel Tech Tips for Lawyers on the Go

Learn about some tech tips that will be make being on the go much easier.

Remote Access

Q: IT Guy, most of my litigation is done out-of-state, which leads to a lot of travel time for me. Last week at O'Hare Airport, I observed someone surfing the Internet from their PC while they waited for their flight. Being able to connect up to my law office's network or do legal research at the airport would make my travel time much more efficient. What do you know about wireless connections for PCs?

A: Thanks for the question. Having a wireless device to connect your PC to the Internet or private network allows any location to be your office, and it has made a big difference in my ability to travel and work. There are a couple of different options, and two that I have experience with are a PCMCIA wireless modem and a USB connection into my digital phone.

The PCMICIA wireless modem installs into the PC, and for a monthly fee a service provider, such as GoAmerica, will provide an ISP wireless connection with pricing similar to many cellular phone plans.

My preference due to convenience and cost is to use my Motorola V.60 cell phone and connect to my laptop through the USB Data accessory kit. This has been a great solution because I can dial directly into my office and access email, internal files and the Internet. The phone kit was easy to install and the connection speed and reliability have been great (even while riding passenger in a moving car). The cost of use is the number of connected minutes of my regular airtime package.

Out of Office Message

Q: I would like to have a reply sent to anyone e-mailing me when I am out of the office, how would I set up this feature? Is it possible to have my mail forwarded to a different account when I am out of the office? If so how would I set this up?

A: Well our theme of questions this month seems to be dealing with being out of the office. To set up an Auto Reply in Microsoft Outlook you would go to Tools and then select Out of Office Assistant. clicking on the I am currently Out of the Office button will send out whatever reply text you have entered in the text field.

While you are in the Out of Office Assistant pop-up, you can set up a rule to forward all of your incoming email to a different account. This feature is very useful if your firm doesn't have a mail server with web access and you know you will have access to HTML based email (Yahoo, Hotmail, etc.). Click on Add Rule and in the Edit Rule pop-up put a check in the Forward section and select the To. button. You will need to have your outside email address entered as a contact and you can select the address from the contact list. All incoming email will then be forwarded on to your outside account when the Out of Office button is selected.

To utilize the Out of Office Auto Reply using Lotus Notes, you will need to have access to run agents on the server. To turn on the feature, select Choose Actions and Mail Tools and Out of Office, and enter the dates on which you are leaving and returning. You are then able to change the reply message from within the text box. To start the service click on Enable Out of Office Agent and you may need to select your mail server if prompted to Choose Server to Run On.

Tips courtesy of Chuck Linebaugh of O'Hagan, Smith & Amundsen.

Technology changes quickly. For a more up to date discussion on this topic, please visit the Legal Software section at FindLaw’s Technologist blog.