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Master Class: Microsoft Word Shortcuts for Lawyers


Brief.  Memo.  Correspondence.  Agreement.

In the mind of the legal professional, these words conjure up a mental image, a vision, of what those documents should look like, which is an intuitive part of working efficiently.  So said Donna Brown in a webinar titled, Microsoft® Word® Shortcuts for Lawyers.

Brown has served as a legal secretary and a systems administrator since 1988; today she’s the founder of Beyond Square One a software consulting and training company based in Oklahoma City. In a LexisNexis Firm Manager® webinar that’s freely available on YouTube, she runs through a litany of tips and tricks for getting more out of “styles.”

What is a style?  According to her read-along document – an excellent resource in PDF format that is freely available for download – distributed to attendees that attended the webinar live:

A style is a stored set of formatting attributes applied to paragraphs or characters. Use Word’s predefined styles or your own custom styles for consistent formatting and efficient document editing. To see an example of styles, just look at this training manual. All of the section headings, numbered steps and exercises, and even this paragraph, are formatted with styles.

What that means is the ability to create an outline, something similar to a template for virtually any type of document a law firm might need.  This will save unnecessary clicks, help avoid the feeling of “fighting Word” and help legal professionals generate airtight documents – one of eight simple tactics for avoiding malpractice.

The webinar runs in less than an hour and since it’s published online you can watch it over lunch or nearly from anywhere or anytime.

 Photo credit:  Flickr

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About Frank Strong

Frank Strong
Frank Strong is the communications director for the LexisNexis software division located on NC State’s Centennial Campus in Raleigh. In this capacity, he leads communications efforts in support of software products for law practice and law department management and also litigation tools – across large law, small law and corporate counsel segments. With more than 15 years of experience in the high-tech sector, Strong previously served as director of public relations for Vocus, which developed marketing, PR and media monitoring software. He has held multiple roles both in-house with corporations, ranging from startups to global organizations, and has also endured the rigors of billable hours, having completed gigs at PR firms including the top 10 global firm Hill & Knowlton. A veteran of two year-long deployments, Strong has concurrently served in uniform in reserve components of the military for more than 20 years, initially as an enlisted Marine and later as an infantry officer in the Army National Guard. Strong holds a BA in Film and TV production from Worcester State University, an M.A. in Public Communication from American University, and an M.B.A. from Marymount University. He is a PADI-certified Master Scuba Diver and holds a USPA "B" skydiving license.