Sensei’s Sharon Nelson and John Simek’s tech tip was featured in a recent article entitled “Lawyer Tech Tips: Productivity Apps and Hacks for a Smoother 2021” by Joan Feldman and Joy White.
What types of tools can enhance attorney productivity? Attorney at Work authors offer some ideas.
One thing we’ve definitely learned over the past year is that working remotely takes focus and resolve. (OK, and that to-go taco kits were the thing we’d been missing in our lives.) Now, with new year’s transition hiccups (mostly) behind us, we have no more excuses: It is time to get serious about productivity and efficiency!
So we asked a few practice management and technology experts: What’s your favorite productivity app, hack or even website to help lawyers and legal professionals master the working-remotely thing this year? Here are the ins-and-outs of some cool tools from Sheila Blackford, Brett Burney, Tom Lambotte, Sharon Nelson and John Simek, and Camille Stell.
Sharon Nelson and John Simek: Get the Networking Speed You Need
The work-from-home environment has placed additional mental and technological stress on lawyers as they try to effectively practice law remotely. Videoconferencing has been a huge help in staying connected with clients and colleagues. Accessing cloud services allows attorneys to avoid trips to the office and access client data from the comfort of their own homes.
Having adequate network speed is critical for the success of remote computing. One major challenge during the pandemic is how to maintain sufficient network bandwidth. Typically, we connect to the Wi-Fi network and hope our video doesn’t freeze while participating in a virtual hearing. In addition, we’re competing for bandwidth with our spouse, children and other family members as they also work remotely or remotely attend school.
What are the options for improving network speed?
The first suggestion is to get off Wi-Fi and directly connect to your router via Ethernet. Not everyone has hard-wired Ethernet in their residence. There are options there too. If you are not too far from your router, you can purchase a long Ethernet patch cord to connect to your computer. Just make sure the cable isn’t a tripping hazard.
Another alternative is to purchase Ethernet over Powerline adapters such as the TP-Link AV1000. You can get a set of adapters from Amazon for around $50. Basically, here’s the setup:
- You plug one adapter in an electrical outlet near the router and connect a patch cord from the adapter to a router port.
- Plug the second adapter into an electric outlet near your computer.
- And connect a patch cord from the adapter to the Ethernet port on your computer.
The adapters communicate with each other over the electrical wiring in your house.
The Ethernet over Powerline adapters work very well for most installations. However, it is not guaranteed to improve your network speed. You can always return the adapters if they don’t work with your wiring. For $50, you really can’t go wrong.
A more expensive alternative to increase your network speed is to upgrade your Wi-Fi network. Replace your Wi-Fi router with a Wi-Fi 6 device. Wi-Fi 6 has improved security, greater capacity (can handle more connected devices) and speed.
If you’re looking to improve your Wi-Fi network’s coverage area, investigate upgrading to a mesh network. We did — and it made a world of difference!