When meta-data is a bad thing

Not naming names as this could cause embarrassment. But it does highlight the need for training solicitors in how to use technology. I received a draft letter for approval from my instructed solicitor. It contained all of the drafting notes from the precedent. The drafting notes were formatted with hidden text in Word. I’m tech savvy and could immediately respect my solicitor’s response “all of that will disappear when the letter is printed”. But what if the recipient wasn’t as tech savvy as me? Someone, for example, who is already in a vulnerable position and needs constant reassurance that they’re being looked after by experts. They are asked to approve a letter but it contains draft

It's all scribble talk and babble

A solicitor told me she received a document from an opponent solicitor where she had used track changes in Word but her opponent had not. Instead the document had highlighted text. When asked why the answer was simply “I didn’t know what that was or how to use it”. The amount of time taken to manually update all of the amendments and changes was, frankly, wasteful. But someone somewhere is paying for that waste. And importantly, what impression is left about the solicitor who doesn’t know how to use a basic feature like track changes? When I had my conversation with the solicitor, we were both incredulous that this person did not know ‘the basics’. It’s yet another example of the princip

My journey into 'Agile'

I have worked in large law firms for 30 years in support roles. New processes and innovative ways of working are considered "radical" and discussed only at the top tier of management - so as not to frighten the troops! Indeed, if a decision is made not to make that change, the "troops" may not even know what might have been, and the doors to innovative working practices remain closed. Agile is one of those things most law firms are probably already familiar, without even knowing it. Do you allow people to work from home from time to time? Or to have sabbaticals? Do you have people who only work Monday to Thursday? This is agile working. Of course, it doesn't stop there. The word "agile"

Mind the gap!

More than 20 years ago saw the introduction of Microsoft Word and the migration from WordPerfect, the introduction of house style and the creation of document experts and document production departments. It propelled changes in secretarial support and we first started measuring ratios in support staff. Since then we’ve also lived through process streaming and workflow management. What was once thought to be non-standard was analysed and quickly became more efficient, delivering massive cost savings. We have restructured secretarial support, expect solicitors to be more self-sufficient and have adapted training courses to use 21st century technology. And in that process we have created a ski

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Bluebird Innovative Office Support is a trading name of Bluebird Support Services Limited, company number 10219923. Registered Office: Alpha House, 4 Greek Street, Stockport. SK3 8AB, UK

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