Podcast category: Best Legal Practices

Special Reports

Heidi Alexander Interviews Jack Newton Live at the Mass LOMAP Conference

Heidi Alexander, co-host of The Legal Toolkit on Legal Talk Network, interviews Jack Newton about his featured presentation, “Delivering a Cloud Experience” at Mass LOMAP’s 4th Annual Super Marketing Conference. In the presentation, he explains how cloud technology such as client portals, online document review, secure live communications, and online billing can improve how lawyers market their client experience. Newton is the founder and CEO of Clio, a company that provides web-based practice management systems and client collaboration platforms for small- to mid-sized law firms.

 

 

Digital Detectives

77% of Lawyers Can’t Be Trusted With Confidential Client Data

All lawyers have an ethical obligation to employ security measures when sharing information and data with their clients. Whether that means encrypting all important emails or properly researching cloud based file-sharing services like Dropbox, it is incumbent on lawyers to understand the levels of security available. LexisNexis recently did a survey on what tools lawyers and legal professionals are using to protect their clients’ privileged information. 77% of the lawyers surveyed did not have adequate security for their confidential client data. How important is encryption and what can lawyers do to change the way they share data?

On this episode of Digital DetectivesSharon Nelson and John Simek interview Bob Ambrogi, a lawyer and journalist who recently wrote about the LexisNexis survey. They ask him about the implications of the survey, what security measures lawyers should be taking, how frequently clients are hurt by lack of security, and why lawyers are generally resistant to learning about data encryption. Ambrogi explains that an overall lack of information, ignored ethics rulings, lack of time, and assumed difficulty are the reasons lawyers often refuse to learn how to safely share data. He encourages lawyers, especially the ones in small or solo firms, to seek out a consultant to learn about the relatively easy encryption tools and techniques. After all, no lawyer wants to be a part of the 77%.

Bob Ambrogi is a Massachusetts lawyer and journalist and has covered legal technology and the Internet for two decades. He writes the “Ambrogi on Tech” column for the ABA Journal and his blog LawSites, launched in 2002, is in the ABA Journal Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.  Since 2005, he has co-hosted the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer 2 Lawyer also on the Legal Talk Network.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Digital WarRoom.

Kennedy-Mighell Report

Tools and Techniques for Personal Knowledge Management and Curation

Do you often do fresh searches on the same topics even though you’ve previously found good information? “Curation” is the word used to describe the process of collecting, organizing, and using good information you’ve found when you need it. Some people also think of this approach as personal knowledge management. This means having an archive of reasonably up-to-date and interesting information from various sources that can be accessed and used for a legal article, podcast, blog post, or social media presence. Knowledge management is a form of information organization that has caught on widely in larger law firms, but has not had as much traction with lawyers in smaller practices or solos. These small-practice lawyers can use tools like Evernote to create a platform for their own personal knowledge management.

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss curation and personal knowledge management including tools and techniques, ways to improve success, common difficulties, and their own personal experiences. They describe the three important aspects involved in sustaining a successful knowledge management system: collecting the information in one place, organizing it for later access, and using the collected information for legal clients or marketing when it might apply. While Kennedy and Mighell prefer Evernote as an organizational tool, there are many other options including Excel Spreadsheets, bookmarks, Instapaper, Pocket, Readability, or using PDF files. Their suggestions for curation and long-term knowledge management involve finding the right tool, designing systems around personal habits, and mentally focusing on long-term success.

In the second part of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell review the announcements made at the 2014 Google I/O conference including smart watches, Android TV, a “kill switch,” for smartphones and many others. They also comment on a couple of hot topic items that were avoided in the conference’s keynote speech. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Paralegal Voice

Attorney L. Lin Wood on Representing the Ramseys and Other High-Profile Individuals

John and Patsy Ramsey, Richard Jewell, and Gary Condit are names everyone has heard as they were all on trial in the court of public opinion. These cases were spread throughout the media and, even though there was never an arrest made in any, the public had judged the accused. L. Lin Wood was the lawyer representing these individuals as they fought for their reputations. An expert in First Amendment litigation and management of the media in high-profile cases, Wood has been referred to as “the attorney for the damned.”

On this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin has the opportunity to interview L. Lin Wood about the benefits and difficulties in representing high-profile individuals and how a paralegal can be most effective in these cases. Wood began his career in defamation cases when he represented Richard Jewell in the Centennial Olympic Park bombing case and has since represented the Ramseys, Gary Condit, attorney Howard Stern, and many others in whom the media took a particular interest. He describes how fighting against the media can be different than a regular plaintiff and how he protects his clients from public accusations. He explains that there are additional issues when dealing with a public figure including when to sue for slander and how to control what his clients say to the media. In terms of paralegals working in libel cases, there are three qualities Wood expects: acute knowledge about the case, understanding of the situation, and ability to keep track of a wealth of information coming from the media.

L. Lin Wood is an Atlanta attorney who has developed a national reputation during his more than 36 years as a trial lawyer focusing on civil litigation, representing individuals and corporations as plaintiffs or defendants in tort and business cases involving claims of significant damage. He can be found at www.whetriallaw.com.

Special thanks to our sponsors. NALA is a professional association for paralegals providing continuing education and professional certification programs for paralegals at nala.org. Also, visit ServeNow.com for a nationwide network of trusted, prescreened process servers.

New Solo

Staying Motivated While Starting A Solo Law Practice

Starting a solo law practice can be invigorating, frightening, and exciting at first. But after the adrenaline and excitement of starting a solo practice fades, how do lawyers stay motivated? Unlike working in a large firm, an attorney’s personal life and solo practice become interconnected, causing unique and often unexpected challenges. Many lawyers experience inner turmoil that requires a different resolution than a well thought-out business plan or financial planning.

On this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews consultant Susan Cartier Liebel about how to stay motivated throughout the process of starting a solo law practice.  Liebel encourages lawyers to make concrete life goals and envision where they might be 5, 10, and 15 years in the future, both professionally and personally. She recommends integrating personal interests and lifestyle with professional practice, resulting in a support system and a trusting client base. According to Liebel, there are three emotional inhibitors when opening a solo practice: the fear of a malpractice suit, the fear of being alone, and the lack of mentors. By focusing on the endgame, a lawyer can create an internal support system that supplements external support.

Susan Cartier Liebel is a coaching consultant for solos and small firms who start their own law practice right out of law school. She has been an adjunct professor for Quinnipiac University School of Law, teaching law students how to start and grow their own law practices. She has since taken on consulting full-time. Her entity, Solo Practice University, now teaches hundreds of attorneys how to become solo practitioners. She is additionally a frequent speaker to law schools, bar associations, and professional organizations around the country.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University, a community dedicated to helping lawyers build their very own solo law practice. Check it out at solopracticeuniversity.com.

 

 

The Digital Edge

Tips and Tricks for Lawyers Using PowerPoint in Trial Presentations

Many attorneys now use PowerPoint in trial to preview, highlight, and sum up the evidence for their arguments and organize their presentations. Effective PowerPoints garner the attention of court personnel and jury members and enhance their overall presentation. However, ineffective PowerPoints can be confusing, difficult to read, or distract the audience from the presentation’s overall objective. Attorney and legal technology consultant Paul Unger argues that only with the proper skills and learning can a lawyer create an informative and engaging PowerPoint presentation that will be a useful tool in the courtroom.

In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Unger about the best practices in using PowerPoint in the courtroom. Unger emphasizes simplicity, professionalism, and making PowerPoint a tool that reinforces the content rather than providing it. According to research Unger has done, audiences who are distracted by bullet points and excess text are unlikely to remember much of the slide’s content or even the presenting lawyer’s main point. He recommends that the PowerPoint slides provide only headlines and pictures that are held together by the attorney’s narrative.

Unger’s experience in PowerPoint and legal technology comes from being an attorney and founding principal of Affinity Consulting Group, a nationwide consulting company providing legal technology consulting, continuing legal education, and training. He specializes in trial presentation and litigation technology, document and case management, and paperless office strategies. To learn more, pick up a copy of his book, PowerPoint in One Hour for Lawyers, at the ABA bookstore.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Un-Billable Hour

Applying Lean Startup Principles to a Law Firm

While identifying a client base, deciding on office space, and making countless other decisions, assumptions are made when developing a legal business plan that are, at best, educated guesses. Many startups have decided to follow in the path of previous companies only to find that their firm does not thrive in such a structured methodology. In the incredibly complicated world of legal business, social media attorney Scott Malouf argues that the Lean Startup method provides an alternative and relatively efficient approach to identifying the specific needs of potential clients.

Lean Startup is a trial and error based business model in which a startup company makes small, specific assumptions and does vigorous testing on the results rather than depending on a big picture business plan. On this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher T. Anderson interviews Malouf about the benefits and difficulties of applying Lean Startup to law firms. New law firms can benefit by limiting wasted money, efforts, and time by truly sampling what clients might want and eliminating unnecessary services according to direct feedback. However, there may be challenges in ethical statutes surrounding lack of certain services and the ability to be transparent with clients.

Scott Malouf is an attorney who helps other attorneys turn texts, social media, and web-based information into evidence and advises in social media risk reduction. He has extensive insight into the best practices for startups, challenges that may arise, and examples of how he has personally applied Lean to his practice. He writes the Social Media Law column for the New York Daily Record and can be found on Twitter @scottmalouf.

Stick around to the end for details on how you can learn more about Lean Startup.

Ringler Radio

Spotlight on the Houston Bar Association

 

Established in 1870, the Houston Bar Association’s purpose was to maintain high standards in the legal profession and provide legal education for Harris County attorneys. Today, the HBA is the fifth largest metropolitan bar association in the nation and has expanded its goals to include public service and better access to legal services for all citizens in the Greater Houston area. Ringler Radio host Larry Cohen talks with colleague, Robert P. Caples and guest, Attorney David Chaumette, President of the Houston Bar Association, to discuss the HBA’s initiatives for 2014, public service and giving back and a fantastic community project program called The Veterans Legal Initiative.

Visit Ringler Associates to contact a consultant in your area about structured settlements.

New Solo

Starting Your Own Law Firm: Conversation with Jay Foonberg

Starting a law firm from scratch can be a daunting endeavor. With a down economy, limited budget, and not enough clients, solos can have a tough time breaking into the market. In her debut as the new host of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews Jay Foonberg, the most influential author on the subject of starting your own law firm. Together they discuss where to find clients, how to get paid, and recommended practice areas. Tune in to learn how attorneys stay relevant with new technology, why it’s important to train assistants, and how to sustain a long happy marriage.

Jay Foonberg is the author of How To Start and Build a Law Practice (5th edition) and was a practicing attorney in Beverly Hills for over 40 years. He served in the ABA House of Delegates, is on the Advisory Council for the ABA Commission on Evaluation of the Rules of Professional Conduct, and was a founder of the ABA Law Practice Management Section. In addition to being an author of three other important books (all available from the ABA), Foonberg is a much sought after speaker on topics such as client relations, malpractice prevention, and client development in every one of the 50 states and as far afield as Europe, South America, and Asia. He has received the prestigious Harrison Tweed Award and lifetime achievement awards from 4 American Bar Association entities.

Un-Billable Hour

Model Rules for the Modern Lawyer: Leveraging Technology to follow ABA Guidelines

As the rate of new technology increases, it becomes more difficult for lawyers to keep up with industry standards for protecting client data confidentiality. In addition to the rigors of day-to-day practice, attorneys are expected to be familiar with terms such as SSL 256, SaS 70, and SSAE 16. On this episode of the Un-Billable Hour, host Chris T. Anderson interviews The Droid Lawyer blogger, Jeffrey Taylor. Together they discuss the importance of attorneys staying current through workshops, blogs, conferences, and state bar associations. In addition, tune in to learn more about the security issues associated with cloud-based vs. server-based practice management software solutions.

Jeffrey Taylor is the author of The Droid Lawyer blog. The blog discusses Android mobile operating system for lawyers. The Droid Lawyer is one of the ABA Journal’s Top 100 law blogs, and one of Biztech Magazine’s Top 50 Must Read IT Blogs. Jeff is an attorney in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

 

 

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