Lawyers often focus on how they can use technology to improve the efficiency and quality of their legal services. However, technology has additionally started to change what people in other professions provide to their clients, even to the point of changing the meaning of “services.” Professionals are now creating products that provide revenue in the form of royalties, thereby exceeding what can be made in billable hours. These include books written about new forms of technology, tax guides, answers to common questions, convenient apps, and even software. Is this a “Big Idea” that lawyers should also be considering as they think about the ways they might use technology?
In this episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedyand Tom Mighell discuss how lawyers might begin “productizing” services, some ideas about how to create successful products, and the legal and ethical implications of providing this information. Kennedy explains that products such as books or apps providing tips on marketing, finance, general management, or technology are valuable to lawyers. Most often, the lawyer or firm has already done the research required, and simply needs to create a means for selling it. Kennedy recommends several ways lawyers should get started: analyze what other lawyers are doing successfully, look closely at the strengths within your firm, and learn by trying certain products even though they might fail. Mighell points out that the concept of creating products out of your firm is not a simple process, rather it requires a lot of thought and should not be gone into as a whim.
After the break Kennedy and Mighell ask anyone who thinks they might be the right candidate to write a book providing information on technology for lawyers to reach out and let them know. They emphasize that many lawyers underestimate their own level of experience and offer to provide subject ideas. Tweet @DennisKennedyor @TomMighell or click the link below to download a proposal form. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
E-discovery is an intricate and complicated process where law and technology intersect to find solutions to complex litigation challenges. Lawyers and legal professionals going through the e-discovery process are often overwhelmed with data and information in varying systems in different stages of technological advancement. From millions of documents to tight production deadlines, no one understands the realities of the e-discovery frenzy better than an e-discovery case manager.
On this episode of The ESI Report, Michele Lange interviews Joe Edlund and Matt Samet, two e-discovery case managers from Kroll Ontrack. Edlund explains that it is the job of a case manager to establish a working relationship with the lawyer, including training on the data software, explaining data sets and performance, helping to make deadlines, and generally decreasing stress. Samet describes some of the benefits to the legal professional of having an e-discovery case manager. They are able to see the client from beginning to end and organize data recovery systems, identify response documents, and be proactive about potential issues. Through an open and communicative relationship with engineers and project level support, case managers are able to make the hectic process of e-discovery easier and more manageable. Stick around to the end for a fun quiz about job descriptions.
Joe Edlund is a Kroll Ontrack case manager who partners with law firms and corporate clients to provide sound advice and best practices in connection with e-discovery management. Matt Samet has experience as a case manager and is also a portfolio manager at Kroll Ontrack, also providing clients with e-discovery solutions.
In this increasingly saturated market, being a successful lawyer means standing out from the crowd and becoming the expert in a specific field. Due to economic pressures, it is now necessary for a lawyer to develop a powerful brand in order to make a good living. This means going above and beyond being a hard worker and a self-aware lawyer. Additional research in the field, networking, and self-promotion to garner awareness are all necessary actions required to thrive in the legal community.
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews internationally established marketing strategy consultant, Dorie Clark, about why it is important for lawyers to become subject matter experts, how they might realistically do so, and what the benefits of success are. Clark explains how many lawyers don’t try to become experts because they don’t believe it is possible, others think that expertise and success should fall into their laps due to hard work, and a third group think that it requires a genius level of intelligence. They should instead be expanding an expert niche, doing original research, combining ideas and fields, or creating a definitive guide to a system. Although expertise requires additional work, the benefits include a more trusting relationship with clients resulting in increased efficiency and results.
Dorie Clark is the CEO at Clark Strategic Communications and is a frequent contributor to Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and Entrepreneur. She has guest lectured at Harvard Business School, the Harvard Kennedy School, Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, the Wharton School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Her new book, Stand Out: How To Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It, further delves into the topics discussed in this podcast.
Technology has changed the world of law firms and businesses, affecting the way lawyers are required to retrieve, record, and archive information. Instead of communicating entirely by email or phone, professionals are now also exchanging valuable information by instant message, collaboration systems, or social media. It is important for paralegals to understand the ways in which this data is stored and maintained as it can often result in expensive lawsuits.
On this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews social business management expert Doug Kaminski about data recovery, ediscovery, regulatory requirements, and archiving information that is exchanged through new forms of communication like social media. He emphasizes the importance for paralegals to become technology savvy, not only to assist in relevant lawsuits, but also to expand their skill set. As communications evolve, Kaminski explains, there will be an increased amount of potential evidence passed through instant messaging and social media. Paralegals should be knowledgeable about the laws concerning data retention in order to inform on custodial interviews and depositions. And most importantly, paralegals and everyone should be aware of the consequences of online communications.
Doug Kaminski, VP of Sales at West & Canada at Actiance, specializes in litigation, electronic discovery sales management, technology security, corporate compliance, corporate governance, information governance, archiving, social media, and enterprise software. He is requested as a speaker nationwide on topics including corporate compliance and governments, social media, security, and electronic discovery.
Every law firm can run into incidents of employee misconduct, data breaches, and intellectual property theft. In the age of modern technology, data breaches, insider trading, and other security problems require extensive technological forensics. Partners and firm owners, as well as lawyers working within the firm, need to understand why a digital investigation is needed, what steps should be taken within an investigation, and who should be involved. Having this knowledge can save the firm thousands of dollars while uncovering the truth.
In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview ediscovery and compliance attorney Patrick Oot about how attorneys should be prepared on technology issues when they start to investigate criminal and civil matters. Everyone leaves technology footprints, Oot explains. Whether dealing with an internal investigation or with client data, the most important asset is unbiased, comprehensive, and well documented research. When hiring a digital investigator, the firm should always find an outside expert who is experienced with data breaches, understands how data moves through the system, and can manage proper narrative to the regulators. Properly conducting a digital investigation can make the difference in the credibility and success of a law firm.
Patrick Oot is a partner in the DC office of Shook Hardy and Bacon LLC where he leads the practice on e compliance and digital investigations. He is one of the few ediscovery and compliance attorneys in the nation that possesses the tripartite experience of an in-house corporate counsel from a fortune 16 organization, a senior attorney at a federal regulatory agency, and a partner in a large law firm. Patrick has extensive experience advising on discovery and investigative matters involving commercial litigation, compliance, regulatory requests, antitrust matters, and personnel issues.
Many lawyers are hesitant to regularly look at their finances. In addition to the regular workload and marketing, maintaining a budget seems overwhelming and is often undervalued in time management. After all, when managing a business, there are so many different factors that can affect cash flow and finances: personnel issues, economy changes, client payment plans, marketing and advertising, clerical errors, and many others. Although it may seem difficult to organize and prioritize the finances of a law firm, there are six key categories that break down the budget so that it can easily be managed.
In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, host Christopher Anderson interviews financial analyst Brooke Lively about the six key numbers every attorney should know. Three are involved with the money that exists or has already been spent: cash position, budget, and accounts receivable. Lively emphasizes the importance of knowing how much the firm has, how much it is owed, and what is being spent. She recommends that an attorney then take these numbers and analyze them to provide cash projections, budget variance, and income variance. Any noticeable changes can lead to modifications to save the company unnecessary losses. By simply paying attention to these six numbers each month, the success of a lawyer’s practice could greatly increase.
Brooke Lively currently serves as a CFO to over twenty small and solo law firms around the country through her organization, Cathedral Capital. She focuses on fundamental analysis, firm modeling, and valuation backed by strong quantitative skills. She holds an MBA with a double concentration in Investments and Corporate Finance and has been awarded the Chartered Financial Analyst certification.
When starting a solo or small practice, a lawyer has to consider many new business details that were unnecessary while working for a larger firm. How do taxes differ for sole proprietorships versus other entity types? What are the necessary business or trust accounts for each individual lawyer? What is the most important thing to consider when paying taxes and acquiring insurance? Any lawyer who is starting a solo practice, confused by the options and information available, can make costly mistakes.
In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews Reba Nance and Bill Gibson, two experts in the field of law practice management, about what steps lawyers can take in the beginning of their solo practice to optimize their chance of success. Nance recommends several bank accounts with clear paper trails that are reconciled regularly, acquiring malpractice insurance even if the state does not require it, and not taking shortcuts when pressured by clients. Gibson encourages lawyers who have newly gone solo to seek help and talk to a CPA, pay taxes and automate their payroll systems, and not overlook general liability and workers comp insurance. Both practice management experts highly advise any lawyer to carefully read the professional conduct rules and ethical regulations of each state. Starting a new practice is difficult; no lawyer should be afraid to ask for help.
Reba Nance is a law practice and risk management manager of the Colorado Bar Association. In addition to being a frequent presenter on topics such as legal technology and malpractice prevention, she is the first female chair of the ABA tech show.
Bill Gibson has practiced personal injury litigation in Portland, OR since 1979. Working as a full-time neutral since 2000, he has also written several books on law practice management including one of the latest ABA books called Flying Solo.
According to a variety of surveys, the sales of tablets now exceed the sales of laptops and desktop PCs. In a few short years, iPads have made huge inroads into the legal market and are often part of a lawyer’s standard toolkit. In addition to using an iPad for texting, editing documents, consulting a calendar, and email, lawyers are using apps specifically designed for trial presentations and practice organization. In the third edition of his popular book, iPad in One Hour for Lawyers, Tom Mighell teaches lawyers how to use their iPad effectively in their practice.
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy interviews Mighell about his latest insights on the iPad, recommendations for lawyers and other legal professionals, and what might be next in the world of iPads. Mighell explains why lawyers might choose different tablets such as Android, Windows Surface, or the iPad and benefits of each one. It is important that lawyers pay attention to the main issues and changes with the latest iPad hardware such as new features in iOS 7 accessibility, Notification Pane, Control Panel, AirDrop, and using Siri to improve productivity.
Kennedy and Mighell also discuss the reason they implement some “easy tips” that they read or hear about and why so many are ignored or forgotten quickly. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Heidi Alexander, co-host of The Legal Toolkit, interviews Kelli Proia, founder of the legal business training organization Lawducate, during Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference. She explains how a law firm is like any business, and recommends lawyers put effort into marketing and outsource necessary areas like creating a website. Lawducate, one of the co-sponsoring organizations at Mass LOMAP, teaches fundamental business marketing and sales techniques to lawyers.
Jared Correia, co-host of The Legal Toolkit on Legal Talk Network, interviews Joyce Brafford about marketing for lawyers at Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference. She recommends that lawyers choose one social media platform, maintain consistent engagement, and be sincere, especially in solo and small firms with more personal clients. Brafford is a Practice Management Advisor with the North Carolina Bar Association, making sure lawyers have access to the technology that can help them run their firms efficiently and professionally.