Login | May 25, 2018

Bankruptcy software and more for Akron Bar members

Legal News Reporter

Published: April 21, 2017

Akron Bar Association members have access to an “office away from the office” with some powerful software and other perks.

“The member’s office on the first floor is available for members to meet clients, hang out between hearings or provide a private place to meet,” said C. Allen Nichols, executive director of the association.

The Akron Bar Foundation and the association’s law library committee have provided the office with some very useful software as well, he said, prompted by the needs of the members and then purchased and loaded onto the computer in the member’s office.

That software includes Best Case bankruptcy software, FinPlan divorce planner, Workshare document collaboration and editing software, and the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Pro XI.

FinPlan, said Nichols, helps with the financial side of a divorce, including taxation. Workshare is a very robust tool that, among other functions, creates a shared document space that checks different versions of a project against one another. The Adobe platform is the recommended document creator for court filings and secure documentation The room includes a printer and free internet access, he said.

Nichols said that the organization made those software choices based on a survey of their small and solo practitioners.

“In late 2016, early 2016, we put a computer in the member’s office,” said Nichols. “We asked what kind of software would help them out.”

Some of those programs may be out of the price range for smaller firms, or attorneys just starting out in a solo practice, he said. If not completely cost-prohibitive, these programs can put a ding in a solo practitioner’s budget.

The full version of Acrobat Pro XI is about $450 off the shelf and Workshare charges by the month (starting at $34 and up).

The other two products have numerous licensing requirements and various versions to purchase. For instance, BestCase’s Chapter Seven single-user license is $495 per year (all pricing according to each company’s website).

Computer office access is only one of many technological projects that the association is working on, said Nichols, and mentioned the project to upgrade the wi-fi at the common pleas court as one example.

“We are fortunate that our committee are doing a couple of nice projects for the legal community,” he said.