• Setting Up Your Immigration Practice: Software

    Hardware - Software - Services - Memberships

     

    So many programs, so little time wasted.

     

    Note: It has been our experience that when reviewing software and the monthly cost, some people are overwhelmed. It is helpful to remember how much time you are saving with each service. If you have a standard hourly rate of $250 (for example), a $70 per month subscription that saves you many hours and allows you to take on more clients is a great value. With that in mind, here we go!

    Case management / Forms Management

    Save time by autofilling them. PrimaFacie is designed to help you collect, information, communicate with clients and stay organized in your immigration practice. Forms are updated within a week from their release time, and the upcoming client portal will uber-ize your immigration practice.

    Because you have timetracking, calendars, bills, and more.

    Clio is the industry leader for online case management. With many helpful integrations, it will save you time and money. JUST USE IT.

    Password Manager

    Because you will never remember your EOIR I# password... or Login....

    Using a password manager is a MUST. Do this, Yes or Yes! Now!

    Try 1password.com or lastpass.com

    They are both cross-platform and even work with mobile devices. Subscribe to their service, because whatever they are charging it is well worth it. Then take an hour and sit down with your wallet, bank account information, personal documents and start entering information. Using these services you can securely store all your personal data. They are built for use with teams as well and you can select which logins are shared with which users. When a password changes, they will all be in sync with all the members of your team and you can avoid one of my pet peeves which is hearing, "I lost my password."

    Email Management

    Because you have many email accounts.

    Use an email program if you are managing multiple email accounts. On the Mac, Airmail is good. On the PS, Mailbird is a good choice. There are other options out there on both platforms like Thunderbird, or Outlook, but I have found Airmail and Mailbird to be preferable.

     

    Email Accounts

    I recommend G-Suite

    Google has a pretty good system for creating firm email addresses and also addresses like [email protected] that will forward incoming emails to multiple members of your firm. With G-Suite, you can get email, word processing and more. With Email, you can use your own domain so you appear professional and you can manage the user accounts in your firm. If you are still using an "@aol.com or @compuyserve.com" address, you are communicating to your clients that you do not value technology.

    Word Processor

    If you don't want Microsoft Office

    OK, so industry standard is Microsoft Office. They have a cloud-based subscription version now as well, but if you are performing simple document drafting and do not want the cost of Microsoft Office, OpenOffice is a time-tested, free alternative that works very well. www.openoffice.org It is Windows or Mac and is NOT cloud based.

    Slack

    Communication, Alerts and Just Cool Information

    Slack is a team communication platform with a great free version. With Slack, you can directly message your staff, know when new contacts are created in PrimaFacie or Clio, see a running feed of activity occurring in your firm with the software you use, and more. It allows you to create "Channels" that you and members of your firm join to receive notifications on that topic. (New Visa Bulletin, New Contact Created (and links to connect directly to the contact page in Prima or Clio).