This page on Microsoft Office for small law firms is scheduled for a complete rewrite in 2020 to more directly align with the strategies in our new bestselling book The Small Firm Roadmap and the coaching we offer in the Lawyerist Lab.
Many small firm lawyers struggle to properly and efficiently leverage the features available to them in Microsoft Office.
We’re in the process of building out this page, but in the meantime, we encourage you to learn more about our strategies for improving your firm’s legal technology outlined in the Small Firm Roadmap. You can download the first chapter here.
Microsoft Office is the backbone of most law firms’ technology infrastructure. If you take the time to learn how to get the most out of the core Office apps—Word, Outlook, and Excel—they are extremely powerful and can help you advocate effectively for your clients. Or they can get in your way.
How to Get the Most Out of Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office pays dividends to those who take the time to learn to use it well. If you don’t know how to use styles or you are struggling with numbering paragraphs or formatting a brief, or if you just want to learn how to manage your email more effectively in Outlook, you can get up to speed on our resource pages.
How to Buy Microsoft Office
Microsoft Office is sold primarily as a subscription service: Office 365. An Office 365 subscription includes the traditional desktop versions of Word, Outlook, Excel, etc., that you install on your computer. It also includes online services like email, calendars, document storage and sync through OneDrive, Skype, SharePoint, and more. (According to the Microsoft Software License Terms for Office Consumer Subscriptions, the Home, Personal, or Student versions of Office “may not be used for commercial, non-profit, or revenue-generating activities.”)
Microsoft does still offers traditional buy-it-once licenses for Office for PC and Mac. But those traditional licenses cost the same as 2+ years of the basic Office 365 Business subscription, and they don’t include as many features, plus you won’t automatically get the next version of the Office apps when they are released.
If you are buying Microsoft Office for your law firm, you should probably get Office 365. The buy-it-once licenses just aren’t a very good value by comparison.