Landing in Orlando to catch an evening Uber to the hotel marked the beginning of our time with The Florida Bar at their 2016 annual convention. In true form to their association, I didn’t make it 20 feet inside the lobby before I was greeted by Florida public interest attorney Kimberly Sanchez. Despite over 100,000 plus members, it seems that the Florida lawyers all know each other by first name.
Our early conversations gravitated to the recent mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, which took place several days before our trip. In juxtaposition to that horrible tragedy, The Florida Bar seemed resolute to carry on and deal with the security challenges and speaker change ups that inevitably occurred. It was clear that the sadness and confusion wasn’t going to unmoor them from their duties.
All in all, we ended up with more interviews than we had originally planned. We regret not being able to talk with City of Orlando Chief of Police John Mina, but we certainly understand that his city needed him on more important matters. We wish to thank him for his service and also for the hospitality of Administrative Specialist to the Chief Evelyn Aponte. She made a special point to keep us apprised of Chief Mina’s situation and wished us safe travels during a very difficult time for Orlando.
Our coverage begins with leadership and The Florida Bar as Legal Talk Network host Adriana Linares talked to former, current, and future bar presidents Ben Hill, Ramón A. Abadin, and Bill Schifino. During the conversation, each president addressed issues and themes in their time as leader. They discussed the importance of trusting their executive director and why it’s important for young lawyers to get involved with the bar early in their career. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Past, Present, and Future Bar Presidents
Like many bar associations, The Florida Bar disseminates information and pertinent efforts through its committees, divisions, and sections. We had the privilege of talking to many of these groups to learn about current efforts, programs, and future events. Kicking things off, we learned more about the annual convention itself when 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention Co-Chairs Melanie S. Griffin and Renée Thompson joined us for a conversation about their recent security challenges, efforts to provide a family-friendly venue, and proudest moments during event prep. We learn that next year’s convention will return to Boca Raton and the top three reasons Florida lawyers should attend. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Organizing The Event
Our coverage continues with Pete Sweeney, chair of the Member Benefits Committee of The Florida Bar. Host Adriana Linares talks with Pete about his committee’s role, the offering of member benefits, and how companies can pitch new services and products to The Florida Bar’s member benefits program. Tune in to hear more about their offerings to Florida attorneys. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Member Benefits Committee
Next up, we hear from practice area groups within The Florida Bar as their leadership stops by to discuss their programs, why attorneys should join, and much more. Here are just a few examples of the topics discussed during this series of interviews with different sections and divisions:
Similar to previous years, the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention featured many wonderful speakers. Although the entirety of presenters would be too much to cover, we were able to catch up with many notable individuals:
The Media Panel (Panel 7) will be from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 17th, and includes Jessica Gresko, a reporter with The Associated Press, Anneliese Mahoney, lead editor for Law Street Media, and Tom Taylor, the news director for Bloomberg BNA, as well as our executive producer, Laurence Colletti.
Laurence Colletti—Executive Producer, Legal Talk Network
Jessica Gresko—Reporter, The Associated Press
Anneliese Mahoney—Lead Editor, Law Street Media
Tom Taylor—News Director, Bloomberg BNA
Friday, June 17th—10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
(Conference runs Thursday, June 16th through Friday, June 17th)
The George Washington University Law School
The Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
200 H Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20052
The conference was designed specifically for law school communication and PR professionals. Top journalists and education editors will present at the conference, covering making the right contacts, broaden your professional network, and helping you gain a better understanding of important, pressing topics in law.
The two day conference is held at the George Washington University Law School.
After much anticipation the EvolveLaw Client Driven Technology Conference kicked off with a networking event, where the hot topic of technology in law was already circulating the room. Many attendees discussed breaking into new markets, new pricing models, and artificial intelligence over drinks and appetizers just before the expert panel began.
Legal Talk Network CEO Adam Camras welcomed the crowd to the event, discussing the importance of the future of technology. “Even at the top level of technology they struggle with understanding their customer’s tech needs and finding ways to streamline and incorporate new technologies,” he said. Camras said he cannot stress enough the importance of focusing on technology and finding new, strategic ways to get those who resist up to speed.
In the above Special Report, Executive Producer Laurence Colletti sits down to interview Evolve Law Co-Founder Mary Juetten and the Evolve Law Client Driven Technology Solutions panelists at the Legal Talk Network’s Denver studio. Lawbooth Project Manager Joe Burchard moderated the talks and the panel was comprised of Davis Wright Tremaine Client Engagement & Innovation Strategist Kate White, Intensity Analytics CEO John Rome, and Bryan Cave Chief Innovation Officer Kathryn DeBord.
The event’s expert panel kicked off with an important question: what are the biggest pain points for those who are practicing law?
“I think there’s a lot of disconnect between people who are viewing law from the outside and thinking about ways to make it more efficient, and then on the other hand you have the attorneys practicing pretty bespoke practices,” Kathryn Debord said. “They have clients who they’re advising on complex facts and complex litigations, and when they come up for a breath they’re told that technology can solve all of their problems.” Debord says that once we get lawyers understanding how technology can augment their practices and understanding those pain points we’ll see more success. “Right now there is no bridge right now between the lawyers who are sitting in this chair and the technologists who are sitting in that chair.”
Kate White agreed. “Change management is still such a huge issue, and a lot of it is that bridge between technologists saying they can build this solution and actually implementing that solution,” she said. “There’s a whole ecosystem around the change.”
The discussion turned to client driven tech, what it means, and how it applies.
“In our world [client driven technology] means technology solutions that are tailored to solve a specific client’s pain point,” White furthered. “A lot of the times the solution that solves the problem isn’t out of the box.”
What White touches on is the evolving demands for the clients. So, where exactly does that change come from?
“I think you have to look at what kind of law we’re talking about,” John Rome, who has dedicated his life to technology said. “If it’s a routine case I don’t think there’s any huge breakthrough coming for technology. But, on a larger scale some of the litigation and world events, that’s a game changer.” Rome was quick to point out that depending on the scenario the answer is different. “You have to pay attention to what’s happening in the industry,” he said. “We have to look at what’s going on with the world. It starts on the outside and comes in.”
Kathryn DeBord chimed in, with a point that there are different drivers for different sections of law. “Big law firms have far different challenges than a solo practicioner, and they have different practices. Their clients look different,,” she said. “From a big law perspective, what you’re looking at is a trend toward true business partnership with your clients where you’re going in and solving a systematic problem that has a tech component. With a smaller practice you’re going to be interacting with your clients on a much more personal level.”
Kate White describes two key opportunities: technology solutions that help lawyers do their jobs more efficiently, and collaboration opportunities with clients that help them solve their problems. “I see those as almost a bit different and requiring different techniques.”
But the panel was also quick to specify that it’s important to maintain balance between these two opportunities. “If you focus too much on externally facing technology for clients and you leave your attorneys behind you’re leaving your business model in the dark ages,” DeBord said.
The underlying theme here is that law firms have dual purpose in understanding advancing technology. “Law firms have a responsibility to invest in technology that is going to help them do better for their clients,” White said.
This all carries with the theme of technology and how far it has come for attorneys. John Rome gave some great insights into how technology in the practice of law has evolved, from the core advances that electricity brought to attorneys (something as simple as being able to work longer hours at night) to computer word processing and the amount of savings in labor it brought.
“Before 1970 automation might be a file cabinet,” he said. “Then along came electricity which had lights, telegraph, and telephone, and that changed technology in the law practice a lot. Someone at that era might have said, as we might say today, well what else could we need?”
Rome notes that lawyers use technology to make more money, provide better services to client, and to increase communication, and we’d be remiss to presume we’ve made it as far as we can. “Take time keeping and billing, keeping track of everything we do,” he said. “That took a lot of time, and now all of a sudden it’s automatic, and we don’t even have to think about it any more.”
The panel shifted from the history of legal technology to predictions of what we’ll see in the future.
“Technology is going to increasingly be used as a holistic package they are offering to their clients, and I think the next thing is that there’s a lot of opportunity for strategic partnerships between law firms and other technology companies,” Kathryn DeBord said. “We’re talking about technology internally within the firm, technology that firms like ours are building for clients to help them refine processes.”
Kate White furthered with some key specifics. “We are going to see a shift in Big Law becoming more like the Big 4 and focusing on consulting with our clients and risk management.” She noted that predictive analytics are going to be a core offering of law firms in the future. “The big challenge with that is how do we change our pricing model?”
The panelist had some encouraging words for those who are looking to get involved in the tech space.
“My view is that law firms should not be involved in inventing technology for several killer reasons,” John Rome said. “They put themselves in peril of losing the employees who built it. The problem is that somebody who works for a law firm who invents something cool is going to get bought away from that firm within six months.” Rome said that one of the surviving issues in technology is knowing where you’re going to be in the ten years.
“One of the opportunities is thinking about ways that you can partner with law firms, because we are looking at partners in the tech space for that reason,” Kathryn DeBord said. “I think that the law firms that identify strategic partnerships are the firms who are going to be able to play in this space without facing some of the perils.”
The last question had perhaps some surprisingly blunt answers: Lawyers are seeing technology improvements that are taking the attorney out of the picture. What’s your take on AI? Are the robots gonna take over?
– John Rome
– Kate White
– Kathryn DeBord
“AI is not going to replace legal thinking. It just isn’t,” Rome continued. White was also quick to point out that artificial intelligence will help lawyers provide more immediate, educated answers rather than legal analysis.
“Augmenting what lawyers do,” DeBord added. “As a lawyer is looking at a legal situation, you’re looking at a situation where you’re looking to change the law or refine the law. AI can expand your brain in terms of how you can approach a legal issue before the court. I don’t see AI going beyond an augmenting function.”
This provided a further question. Lawyers, in general, can sometimes be slow to adopt new technology. So, what are the costs of not using technology?
John Rome said it best. “Darwin. Death. That’s it. You don’t adopt you don’t eat. You don’t eat, you die.”
It was the perfect segue into an EvolveLaw Darwin Talk, a 5(ish) minute talk about technology in law.
Additional Discussion on the Panel
You can listen to an additional discussion of the panel below, or keep reading for a summary of the live panel.
For the evening’s Darwin Talk, Willy Ogorzaly, the CEO of LawBooth, gave a quippy and smart presentation: “Evolve or Face Extinction.” Ogorzaly touched on the trends we’re seeing in the industry and how lawyers are evolving.
“We are living in the age of a technological revolution,” he said, “and it’s very similar to the industrial revolution, in that innovations are replacing humans.”
What does this come down to? Disruptions. What was once a toy is now the obvious choice for consumers, and those who fight it are displaced.
Ogorzaly shares a relatable story about Kodak, the film manufacturing company that once was the go to source in the film industry. “They created a toy. The digital camera,” he said. Kodak initially created the camera as a fun side project, knowing that people wouldn’t want to see their images on a computer screen and deal with memory cards. “But as time progressed,” he continues, “digital cameras took a chunk of the market share, eventually replacing film. 15 years later Kodak went bankrupt and 50,000 people lost their job.”
This disruption process is repeated across industries all the time, he notes, from the way we consume movies and television, order taxi services, and even how we practice law. Think Blockbuster > Netflix, Taxi Services > Uber, or file cabinets > hard drives.
The Darwin Talk wrapped up the presentation portion of the evening, and it was back to drinks, appetizers, and exciting discussions over the information presented. Attendees were busy analyzing the panel and talk, excitedly chatting with presenters, and taking down final notes before calling it an evening.
This was the 13th official EvolveLaw event and the first event in Denver, though not the last as Mary Juetton assured. “We are starting a little revolution,” she said. This revolution includes demo tables, showing rather than telling, and and featuring panels and Darwin Talks that inspire, rather than just reading about it and hearing about it.
We enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing how the predictions made tonight play out. Though there’s one thing we can all agree on: the robots are not going to take over the practice of law. Perhaps the world, yes, but not the practice of law. That much, we can assure each other, for now, is safe.
Denver, CO— Legal Talk Network and the ABA Journal have launched the ABA Journal: Legal Rebels Podcast to highlight legal pioneers who are remaking the profession by changing the way law is practiced and setting future standards
Listeners now have access to the show’s first three episodes, featuring a new segment of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels project — Legal Rebels Trailblazers. The Trailblazers will feature those who innovated and remade aspects of the profession before the Journal launched the popular Legal Rebels project in 2009.
“I’m excited about the extension of our Legal Rebels project into podcasting. Here we can have full and frank conversations with the people who are truly making a mark on the profession, shaking up the status quo,” said Allen Pusey, the editor and publisher of the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association.
The initiative, which began April 19, marks the latest addition to the list of collaborative shows between the ABA and the national media network. In October, the ABA Law Student Division launched the ABA Law Student Podcast, joining the ABA’s Modern Law Library and Asked and Answered podcasts on the network. With the addition of the Legal Rebels Podcast, there are now four collaborative shows on the network.
“I have always loved the Legal Rebels project and couldn’t be happier to continue to foster our growing relationship with the American Bar Association,” said Legal Talk Network CEO Adam Camras. “To help bring the association’s initiatives and projects to a broadcast format and reach those lawyers who are consuming content on the go is a no brainer. We’re looking forward to producing and listening to the profiles of some of the biggest leaders in law.”
The podcast adds a third major component to the Legal Rebels Project, which now includes Legal Rebels honorees, featured each September in the ABA Journal and on the Legal Rebels website, and The New Normal column, appearing regularly at Legal Rebels website.
Legal Talk Network is an online media network for legal professionals with podcasts that highlight current legal news and analysis as well as provide high-quality educational content to its listeners. Legal Talk Network’s shows also cover the important tools, technology and events that shape the industry. With award-winning hosts and high-profile guests, listeners from around the world tune in for Legal Talk Network’s podcasts. Legal Talk Network is owned and operated by LAWgical, specializing in marketing, software and media for the legal industry. Follow on Twitter @LegalTalkNet.
About the ABA Journal
The ABA Journal is the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, covering the trends, people and finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. Follow on Twitter @ABAJournal and @ABALegalRebels.
About the American Bar Association
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news atwww.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.
During our recent trip to Chicago for ABA TECHSHOW, we “crashed” the Beer for Bloggers party with our portable gear and two mics in hand. We found a nice corner in the Chicago Hilton’s swanky 720 South Bar & Grill and once we set up and settled in, our team (Adam Camras, Kimberly Faber, Jabarie Brown, Kelsey Johnson, Adam Lockwood, and yours truly) walked around the room looking for bloggers courageous enough to join in on a fun little game.
Why such bravado, you might ask? Well, in honor of 30 years of ABA TECHSHOW, we decided to buzz the bloggers with a galant game of daring deeds. No, it’s not jousting windmills, besting giants, or reciting the rule against perpetuities . This game is far more harrowing, an epic duel of the minds… well, sort of.
The game was this: answer three questions in one minute or else we drop the buzzer. The first question was easy, the second was difficult, and the third was downright dangerous.
Tell us about your blog.
From this year’s ABA TECHSHOW to next year’s, what will your most popular blog post be about?
Who is your ABA TECHSHOW professional crush?
All in all, we wrangled over 30 bloggers to play our game. Some of them won, some of them couldn’t beat the buzzer, and some were nearly disqualified. Tune in to hear fun accounts from leading legal bloggers, learn who harbors the most TECHSHOW crushes, and discover who likes to cheat during a game with no prizes.
This year’s ABA TECHSHOW included many great speakers and topics. We were able to sit down for interviews with presenters and to address hot button topics in Special Reports recorded and produced right from the expo hall floor!
Keynote Speaker Cindy Cohn on NSA Mass Surveillance
At the ABA TECHSHOW, Cindy Cohn gave a keynote speech discussing the NSA, the fourth amendment, the Apple vs. FBI case, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
Bringing Affordable Legal Services to the Masses
In this Special Report host Ray Abadin sits down with CEO and Founder of Avvo Inc. Mark Britton to discuss his ABA TECHSHOW 2016 presentation entitled,”Atticus Finch, and Access: Bringing Quality and Affordable Legal Services to the Masses.”
Practicing Law in an Age of Mass Surveillance
What has changed for lawyers in this “post-Snowden” world? Although this topic could be discussed for days, we lightly touch on the main themes in this Special Report with David Lat, Ben Wizner, and host Sharon Nelson.
Microsoft Office Add-ins and Apps
In this Special Report, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews lawyers and legal technology experts Bob Ambrogi and Catherine Sanders Reach about Microsoft Office tips you can use in your law practice today.
Meaningful Presentations on a Budget
Do you want to create impressive and meaningful presentations without having ample finances? Get some advice from Mark Hindelang and Joshua Hoeppner in this episode of Special Reports with host Laurence Colletti.
Passing Your IT Security Audit
Cyber security experts Sherri Davidoff and Sharon Nelson spoke in a presentation titled “Passing Your IT Security Audit” at ABA TECHSHOW 2016. Before their presentation, they stop by to discuss the topic with Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti.
Collaboration Tools That Save You Time
One of the hosts of the presentation, “Realtime Collaboration Isn’t Just for Conference Rooms Anymore,” Tobin talks about how lawyers who work together in systems like Google Docs rather than sending emails back and forth can really save time.
Collaboration Tools That Save You Time: Part 2
This Special Report continues the discussion of independent collaboration tools that streamline processes and reduce the time you spend working together. Adam Nguyen stops by to chat about these new tools with Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti during ABA TECHSHOW 2016.
Cloudy with a Chance of Automation
In this Special Report, Jared Correia interviews Heidi Alexander, Joseph Bahgat, John Mayer, Larry Port, Jack Newton, and Andrew LeGrand, and presenters at ABA TECHSHOW 2016
Empower Your Client’s Autonomy with Technology
At ABA TECHSHOW 2016, Dennis Kennedy interviews legal technology consultant Jeff Krause about implementing firm practices to create an autonomous experience for clients.
Using Excel in Your Law Office
Hosts Sharon D. Nelson and John W. Simek interview ABA TECHSHOW 2016 presenters Ivan Hemmans and Allan Mackenzie about how beginners and experts can better use Excel to improve their law practice.
The Mac Power Users
In this Special Report, John W. Simek interviews Macintosh experts Katie Floyd, Jeff Schoenberger, and David Sparks about their presentation at ABA TECHSHOW 2016
Creating Compelling Podcast and Video Content
In this Special Report, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Legal Talk Network CEO Adam Camras and legal technology expert Tom Mighell about creating valuable content, what equipment you might need, and steps you can take today to get started.
At this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, Vice Chair Adriana Linares (also the host of New Solo and the Florida Bar Podcast) and Kennedy-Mighell Report co-host Dennis Kennedy sat down for live interviews with some of the speakers, attendees, and TECHSHOW Chair Steve Best. In this TECHSHOW Today series, the duo and their guests discuss the conference, cloud computing, multi-device use, lawyers as entrepreneurs, the future of legal tech, and more.
Steve Best and Randy Juip: The Board’s Focus for TECHSHOW 2016 and The Mac Track
In this previously recorded live broadcast, ABA TECHSHOW 2016 Chair and Affinity Consultant Group owner Steve Best and Randy Juip of Foley Baron Metzgir Juip sit down with Adriana Linares and Dennis Kennedy to discuss the current state of lawyering and the future.
Steve Best shared details of a meeting immediately after TECHSHOW 2015, and how this year the board was focused on breaking the mold and challenging everyone to find new speakers and cutting edge topics.
Juip, who runs the Mac track at the conference, talks about why the track drew him to TECHSHOW in the first place, lessons he learned when leaving his firm for a new job that required him to be more tech savvy, and the value in learning and training tips with other attendees. This year’s Mac track focused on teaching attorneys to use Macs more effectively through sessions like “Taking the Plunge”, which encouraged attorneys to jump from PCs.
Barbara Leach: The Importance of Conferences, Networking, and the Future of Legal
First time attendee Barbara Leach joins Adriana Linares and Dennis Kennedy to discuss ABA TECHSHOW, the importance of conferences and networking, and the future of legal.
Joshua Lenon of Clio: Cloud Computing, Multi-Device Use, and the LCCA
Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence for Clio, sits down with Adriana Linares during ABA TECHSHOW 2016 to discuss his role at Clio, the conference and its benefits, the cloud, multi-device use and how it affects information storage, the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), and more.
Debbie Foster: TECHSHOW App, Bar Associations, Tips for Next Year’s Conference
Debbie Foster joins Adriana Linares and Dennis Kennedy to give recognition to ABA TECHSHOW board members, the app and its uses, the various bar associations, and all of the people who get involved. They also share tips for those who plan to attend TECHSHOW next year.
Michael Robak and Ed Sohn: E-Discover, AI, Education, the Dean’s Roundtable, and Creating Tools that Supplement Lawyers Rather Than Replace Them
University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Associate Law Library Director and CTO Michael Robak joins Senior Director of Legal Managed Services at Thomson Reuters Ed Sohn as well as Adriana Linares and Dennis Kennedy to discuss ABA TECHSHOW 2016.
Their conversation discusses e-discovery, artificial intelligence and whether we’ll see it coming to law, the importance of education and awareness, and more.
“E-discovery has yet to be discovered by law schools.” – Michael Robak
Is e-discovery a saturated market? Where can value be added? 9 out of 10 surveyed respondents in a survey reported they were unhappy with their solution. Technology is moving quickly but adoption is still low.
Michael Robak also touched on the Dean’s Roundtable, a panel that discussed opportunities to develop technology and create tools that supplement lawyers rather than replace them.
Tom Mighell and Nicole Bradick: Relationship Building, Attendee to Speaker, Lawyers as Entrepreneurs
Nicole Bradick, chief strategy officer at CureLegal, and Tom Mighell sit down with Dennis Kennedy to discuss ABA TECHSHOW 2016.
Nicole started out as an attendee and transformed into an involved speaker for her third year of attendance. Nicole first came to TECHSHOW because of her reliance on technology, and finds the networking and relationship building at the conference social events to be invaluable. Nicole presented on lawyers as entrepreneurs and discussed innovating business practices and canvases to think differently about their practices.
“The ABA TECHSHOW Conference and EXPO is where lawyers, legal professionals, and technology all come together. For three days, attendees learn about the most useful and practical technologies available. Our variety of CLE programming offers a great deal of education in just a short amount of time.”
ABA TECHSHOW®, presented by the ABA Law Practice Division, was a blast! We conducted live video interviews, recorded and produced audio interviews in Special Reports, and blogged from sessions. Keep reading for conference coverage.
Jump to a Category
To catch up on what’s happening at ABA TECHSHOW 2016, select a category below. We’ll be updating these categories periodically throughout the conference.
New Solo host Adriana Linares and Kennedy-Mighell Report co-host Dennis Kennedy hosted live interviews from the conference. You can watch the recorded broadcasts in the playlist below. Just click the skip ahead button or the 1/6 icons to watch others, or select an interview from the list below.
The keynote speaker, Cindy Cohn, was introduced with a quote from The National Law Journal, “[I]f Big Brother is watching, he better look out for Cindy Cohn.” Since she discussed the NSA and data collection on Legal Talk Network in 2014, I am familiar with her story and her passion for user privacy and freedom of expression. But Ms. Cohn’s keynote speech was a strong statement that captured the attention of the entire audience. According to her, it should. We are all affected by mass surveillance of internet communications.
Cohn, executive director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), began the keynote by describing the EFF’s passion for civil liberties in an increasingly technological world. The organization started 25 years ago, we learned, is funded by the community, and focuses on litigation, activation, and building technologies to help its cause. Later, she candidly admitted that the speech is not unbiased; she endeavors to have us join her cause.
At this point, Cohn dove deep into the details of NSA spying, the stages of data collection, and the extent to which she believes this data collection and surveillance goes against the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. I couldn’t possibly do her thorough and engaging explanation justice, so please see what she has authored on the subject. I personally learned that most mass data collection and analysis is done under the guise of protection from foreign threat.
“How many people in here have iPhones?” Cohn then asked. More than half of the audience raised their hands and, with an eyebrow raise, she reminded us of the importance of the FBI versus Apple case, currently pending. This case, apparently chosen because of the terrorism factor, was thought to have elicited a sympathetic response from the public. The public outcry seems to be that we are compromising privacy for security, but we are actually compromising security for security. Can we as the public afford to compromise the security Apple works hard to create in order for the NSA to keep our country secure?
After her fervent finale, she answered some questions, and then was closed by an enthusiastic standing ovation. Cohn herself admitted that her topic is much more popular in a post-Snowden world and she is right. Her keynote speech was well received and the audience was enthralled.
Cindy Cohn came by the Legal Talk Network booth after her speech for an exclusive interview with Dennis Kennedy and Bob Ambrogi. Stay tuned for it to go live.
“If your clients believe you are better than your competition, they are willing to pay you more for your services.” -Jason Marsh
Talking about niche law practices is an entertaining subject in itself, but presenters Jason Marsh, Andrew Legrand, and Will Hornsby deliver their marketing advice with humor and clear experience in their presentation “General Practice to Boutique: Developing a Niche Practice”. Why develop a niche practice? Essentially, it’s a marketing tool to target a certain audience and grow your practice. Even if you think your target area is narrow, go even further to focus geographically or in a certain field. For example, if you are a business lawyer, market yourself as a small business lawyer. If you practice personal injury, be an injury lawyer for bicycle accidents in Denver. In other words, make your potential clients understand why you are special and they should choose you over your competition.
As a niche lawyer, you can create a brand and notoriety behind yourself. Basically, you want people to know your name so that when there is an issue you are THE lawyer to turn to. For examples, Marsh, Legrand, and Hornsby include many fun niches like wine law, the food truck lawyer, bicycle law, equine law, packaging law, and drone law.
Although the presenters weigh heavily on a top-of-mind mentality, the underlying idea of this presentation is SEO. After identifying and properly funneling a niche, Marsh says, you can use content strategies, social media, email, pay-per-click marketing, or other tactics to rank in the search engines when people search for topics in your practice area. Without the online marketing, your niche is likely to be much less valuable and important.
And don’t forget, you aren’t limited to your niche. If properly done, it’s just an effective marketing tool to increase online visibility and notoriety.
Ethics rules for advertising vary state to state so make sure you and your marketing consultant are aware of your state’s rules.