Bench & Bar of Minnesota is the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association.

MSBA Tech Month updates

October is Tech Month at the MSBA. In addition to our annual TECHstar conference on Friday the 19th, we will again be presenting a month’s worth of free or low-cost technology CLEs and webinars. Visit for details on the conference as well as the month’s tech CLEs.

We’re also happy to announce the following tech product and service updates.  

e-signature product

Later this month the MSBA is rolling out a new electronic signature tool, MN e-Sign. MN e-Sign will let members route assembled documents from the MSBA’s mndocs service to MN e-Sign to send the finished document to the client for signature. Members can learn more about this product, and about electronic signatures generally, at the MSBA TECHstar Conference on October 19. 

Upgrade to Fastcase 7

The MSBA provides its members free access to legal research through the Fastcase platform. Later this year, Fastcase will launch a major overhaul of its user interface. Dubbed “Mercury,” Fastcase’s latest update will touch every aspect of the Fastcase user experience. It will include a variety of improvements to the user interface, with a focus on the Advanced Search and Document View features. Other enhancements include a streamlined print queue interface and easier-to-use History and Favorites features to help you pick up where you left off.  Mercury will also allow users to save their search presets, such as document type and jurisdiction, and default to those favorites to make repeated searches faster and easier. 

Complete Bench & Bar archives (1943-present) now available for free

Bench & Bar of Minnesota has been a valuable member benefit for many years. Now the magazine’s complete archive is posted at Hein Online—and although Hein is a paid service, members can access the magazine’s entire archive via practicelaw at no cost!  

Estate forms in mndocs

Last month the MSBA added a new estate planning package to its document assembly product, mndocs. These basic estate planning forms help members reduce the time spent drafting legal documents by up to 95 percent. A mndocs subscription is available for $249.95 a year, or $25 a month. You can learn more about these new estate planning forms in a free CLE webinar on Monday, October 15, at noon.  

Legal Tech Assessment

In October, Procertas’ Legal Tech Assessment (LTA) comes to the Minnesota State Bar Association. The LTA improves lawyer efficiency by ensuring that legal professionals are able to use the basic technology tools of their trade—Word, Excel, and PDF—in a competent manner. Procertas has worked with the MSBA over the past year to add a training module that incorporates Minnesota e-filing rules. The LTA includes both training and assessment modules. As a result, members can prepare to successfully complete the LTA and demonstrate their competency for prospective employers and clients. The LTA will be the subject of D. Casey Flaherty’s opening address at the 10/19 tech conference.

New mndocs sampler product

The MSBA also added an introductory product, the mndocs Estate Planning Starter Kit, which includes a client intake form and basic estate planning forms like a Health Care Directive and Power of Attorney. This product is available for $5 a month, and any client data you enter will be ready and available for use in the full mndocs product if you choose to subscribe and get access to all 550 forms.

MSBA eBooks now on Amazon (print and Kindle) 

The MSBA has published a number of eBooks, which are free to members in practicelaw, including Bill Wernz’s landmark treatise, Minnesota Legal Ethics, and its companion volume, Dealing With and Defending Ethics Complaints, as well as the MSBA’s IOLTA Guide series. Now members who want a hard copy of these resources can find them on Amazon. While we can’t offer the print versions for free, Amazon’s print-on-demand service ensures that the version printed is always the most current edition available. Learn more at  

New Advantage partners

Not all firms are the same, so why should they have to use the same practice management system? MSBAdvantage now offers several practice management systems. In addition to the existing discount available for Clio users, Advantage now includes discounts for members who want to use Amicus Attorney, AbacusLaw, CosmoLex, PracticePanther, or TimeSolv!
Learn more at

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