This post was researched and written by former LOMAP intern, Norman Murray, a Suffolk University Law School student now interning with the New Hampshire Public Defender.

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Lawyers tend to spend a good deal of money on hardware and software for their offices. They also spend a lot of time using that software, especially productivity suites, like Microsoft Office; most attorneys, within the Office Suite, spend most of their time in Outlook, Word, PowerPoint and Excel, and probably in that order. And yet, despite the money and time that attorneys spend on these products, few lawyers invest in training (themselves or their staff) on how to use these most important business applications. Some, having gained a rudimentary understanding of, what become, comfortable programs, never seek an upgrade; and now, attorneys using Microsoft Office 2003 are being passed by, with Microsoft’s releases of versions 2007 and 2010. For law firms purchasing new computers, many will come loaded with a newer, and probably the newest, version of Office. But, both Microsoft Office 2007 and 2010 look and feel different from Microsoft Office 2003, mostly due to the introduction of the Office ‘ribbon’.

Attorneys, then, would do well to take advantage of some excellent (and, FREE) training resources, that will serve to enhance their productivity within the existing, including the new, programs.

Microsoft (to the rescue) has provided free, downloadable and customizable versions of Office 2010 training courses, here. But, wait, there’s more: Similar trainings exist for Office 2007 and for Office 2003, as well. In addition to these compact training sessions, full versions of the courses, including self-assessments and interactive practice tools, are available online, here.

Supplementing the resources available from Microsoft, are those directed at attorneys. Ben Schorr’s “The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2007” and “The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Word 2007” are available for purchase, through the American Bar Association, or for borrowing, through LOMAP’s Lending Library, assuming availability.

Dude, What does mine say? Sweet-uh.*

*This last being mine. Ed.