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Highlights from LegalTech West Coast 2014

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This was the last time LegalTech West Coast will be held in Los Angeles, California as the conference moves north to San Francisco next year. In its farewell performance at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, LegalTech offered high-powered speakers, Westin HotelThe Track: (Exploring the New Legal Ecosystem), and innovative new exhibitors.

Editor-in-Chief Monica Bay (ALM’s Law Technology News) took great care not only to find amazing speakers, she also moderated many of the speaking events herself. As a result, the events stayed on-point and audience questions got answered. Her energy and presence brings great connectivity to this conference and attendees walk away feeling very welcome and informed.

Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti had the privilege of interviewing many of the speakers during the course of the event and the main take away was just how high the bar had been set. With speakers from some of the IMG_0539largest companies (Microsoft, Motorola, & Kia Motors) and most influential law firms (McKenna, Long & Aldridge LLP, Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, & Baker & Hostetler LLP), this conference offered deep expertise and instruction. The same standard carried forward with other notable mentions such as Jay Mandel (Rocket Lawyer), Alex Ponce de Leon (Intel Corporation) and Amy Jane Longo (US Securities & Exchange Commission). No matter which speaking event, attendees were surely in for a treat.

 

Nimble & Competitive: Small Firm Advice from Host J. Craig Williams

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J. Craig Williams, host of Lawyer 2 Lawyer, presented “Can Tech Save Fuel Small Firms?” at the LegalTech West Coast Conference in Los Angeles, CA. During his introductions, Mr. Williams left the podium for a litigator-style discussion with the attendees on the floor. Absolutely open to questions, he spoke about the importance of backing up data, going paperless, and his migration from some researching platforms in favor of others.

The overarching theme was about how small firms can compete with larger firms by being nimble. Although he recommended many modern tools and software solutions, Mr. Williams also touched on a managerial approach that empowers employees to customize their working environments to achieve greater quality and efficiency. In addition, he recommended that attorneys should gain a basic understanding of how computers operate in order to get the most out of their software tools.

The final part of the speaking event was dedicated to marketing and reaching out. In addition to reviewing the various options for social media, Mr. Williams brought home a driving point about the nature of people when he said “nothing replaces a handshake at an in-person meeting”. The message being, whatever medium you use to reach out… connect personally.

 

 

Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference

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For small firms and solo practitioners looking for honest and practical advice on marketing themselves and their firm, this was the ideal event. Not only did attendees have direct access to industry leaders, they also had the happy assistance of Mass LOMAP’s law practice advisors (Jared Correia and Heidi Alexander). This intimate event took place at Suffolk University Law School’s beautiful building located down the street from Boston Commons and across the street from the Granary Burying Ground, the final resting place for founding fathers such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and Paul Revere.

QUICK TIPS WITH THE EXPERTS:Starting with the keynote “Delivering a Cloud Experience” and first panel discussion, it was readily apparent that this conference was wholly geared towards solo practitioners and small firms. High-profile speakers such as Jack Newton (CEO & Founder of Clio), Jim Schonrock (Vice President-Performance at Findlaw), and Leigh McMillan (Vice President of Marketing at Avvo, Inc.) eagerly took live questions from the audience at Suffolk and the online participants. Best of all, the answers were straight forward and simple. It was the kind of knowledge that should have been taught in law school but somehow never was.

Picture2Also unique to this event was the emphasis on relationship building rather than a general message on the benefits of social media. In addition to the “whats” of marketing, the “whys” and “hows” were discussed in great detail. This was a true “rubber hits the road” event. Speakers and panelists (including our own CEO Adam Camras) were extremely thoughtful in the delivery of their message. The impression given was that everyone truly cared about the success of the attendees.

Despite the jam-packed schedule of this conference, Heidi Alexander and Jared Correia (hosts of Legal Toolkit) were able to sneak away to Legal Talk Network’s exhibition table to record an episode. In a series of interviews with Jack Newton, Heather Jackson, Jim Schonrock, Joyce Brafford (NCBA), Kelli Proia, Nicole BradickDamian Turco, and Susan Cartier Liebel, they recapped on the elements that make this conference special. Tune in to hear how attorneys should be managing their client relationships to grow their practices. Below are some of the marketing and relationship building take-aways from speakers and exhibitors:

  • Picture3Jack Newton (CEO and Founder of Clio):  “Today, it’s more about how you sell than what you sell”
  • Jim Schonrock (Vice President-Performance at Findlaw):  “With social media, start small and do it well”
  • Leigh McMillan (Vice President of Marketing at Avvo, Inc.):  When it comes to social media, “it’s better to not do it, than to do it badly
  • Gyi Tsakalakis (Director of Search at AttorneySync):  “Use your real name on social media… no one wants to be friends with law firms”
  • Heather Jackson (Regional Development Director at Constant Contact): For your newsletters, “Good Content Matters
  • Conrad Saam (Mockingbird Marketing):  “Phone #s must be in the header of the website… on every page and clickable”
  • David Morris (Assistant General Counsel from TripAdvisor):  “Curate your social profiles”
  • Marguerite Fletcher (Founder of Fletcher Legal Consulting):  “Start networking now… not just when you need it”
  • Kelli Proia (Founder of Lawducate):  “Don’t use gavels, scales of justice, court houses, legal books, etc. on your website”
  • Adam Camras (CEO of Legal Talk Network):  “Take advantage of events like today… have business cards, engage, network… everyone is a prospective client”