Podcast category: Legal Support

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How a new program uses law students to cut costs and acrimony for divorcing couples

In the wake of divorce, many families find themselves emotionally and financially devastated. If you’re in the heat of a legal battle, it’s easy to go to far and create acrimony with your ex-spouse which can poison any chance at a cordial future relationship–and drain both sides’ bank accounts to pay for attorney fees. But what if if didn’t have to be that way? In this month’s Asked and Answered, moderator Stephanie Francis Ward speaks with Rebecca Love Kourlis and Melinda Taylor, who hope to change the way people approach the divorce process through the Honoring Families Initiative.

Ringler Radio

Ringler Associates: Celebrating 40 Years in the Industry

 

Since 1975, Ringler Associates has been a huge player in the structured settlement industry and this year, celebrating a 40th Anniversary! On this Ringler Radio podcast, host Larry Cohen joins colleague, Mike Casey and one of the original five Ringler hires, Cecil Matthews, as they discuss the structured settlement industry and how far they have come, share some personal stories about the people they have met along the way and pay tribute to a pioneer in the industry, David V. Ringler.

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

New Solo

Legal Research Tools and Tips

Ed Walters started as a lawyer in a big law firm in Washington D.C. In the late 1990’s, he was approached by a client asking him to research a relatively new legal issue without using LexisNexis or WestLaw, as they were trying to reduce online legal research costs. His inability to do this set off a chain of events leading him to create the company Fastcase. His story begs the question, are lawyers simply paying too much for online legal research sources? What are some ways particularly solo and small firm attorneys can reduce research overheads in their practice? And when is it necessary to pay for LexisNexis or WestLaw?

In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews Ed Walters about his experience starting Fastcase, how it interacts with the bigger legal research companies and smaller startups, and the right steps for solo practitioners to take in choosing an online research source. Linares and Walters begin by discussing the differences between a free resource like Google Scholar, a mid-range company like Fastcase, and a larger company like LexisNexis. If an attorney has a boutique practice and needs treatises or specialized databases, Walters says, they will need a big online research company. Otherwise, the lawyer might be paying too much. He urges practitioners to check their local bar, state bar, and other associations or organizations for member benefits that often include research and even practice management tools. There are three startup companies that Walters encourages lawyers to research: Casetext, which focuses on crowdsourcing, Ravel Law, which uses data visualization, and Judicata, which uses semantic analysis to find relationships based on meanings. He encourages all lawyers, but especially those in small firms, to research different options and find the one that fits their practice best.

Ed Walters is the CEO and co-founder of Fastcase, an online legal research software company based in Washington D.C. Before founding Fastcase, Ed worked at Covington & Burling where his practice focused on corporate advisory work for software companies and sports leagues, and intellectual property litigation. He has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, The University of Chicago Law Review, The Green Bag, and Legal Times, and has spoken extensively on legal publishing around the country. He is an adjunct professor of law at the Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches The Law of Robots.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.

Paralegal Voice

Why Writing Skills are Necessary for Paralegals

Paralegals and paralegal students often have difficulty developing their writing skills to the level expected from legal industry. The legal professionals rely heavily on both verbal and written communication, and writing is an essential necessity for both lawyers and legal secretaries. Because the other employees in a law firm will not tolerate inadequate writing skills, all paralegals need to learn to write in a concise and precise manner with proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation. But how should they get started?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Virginia Koerselman Newman, lawyer and paralegal teacher, about why proper legal writing is important for paralegals and how they can get started on improving their skills. Newman suggests that paralegals and legal assistants start by writing down everything they can think of regarding the case then choose only the important facts later to adapt to a legal framework. She suggests taking classes on structure, grammar, and punctuation, buying the book The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, and simply practicing. Use a practice textbook, edit mistakes in a magazine, and keep a daily journal. She concedes that learning to write is particularly difficult, especially because technology has made us complacent, but it is better to improve your ability now than struggle through your paralegal career. Newman finishes the podcast by mentioning how to show off writing skills through a resume, cover letter, and a developed portfolio.

Virginia Koerselman Newman, Esq. graduated from the Creighton University School of Law and practiced for many years in banking and commercial litigation in Omaha, Nebraska before she “attempted” to retire in South Carolina. Before Law School, she worked as a paralegal for a number of years and was the first CLA in the state of Nebraska. Koerselman Newman is a frequent speaker at seminars and workshops and has authored, co-authored, and edited several other paralegal texts, study guides, and instructor manuals. She teaches communications, legal research, estates, and legal analysis at NALA school for paralegals.

Special thanks to our sponsors, NALA and Serve Now.

Ringler Radio

Spotlight on the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

 

Since 1956, the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, better known as GTLA, has worked tirelessly to ensure that everyday citizens, Georgia families and small businesses are never deprived of their constitutional guarantee of access to true justice. Ringler Radio, host Larry Cohen along with colleague, Bill Wright, and special guest, Linley Jones, the 59th President of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association, talk about membership, mission, current issues in the legal community today and the power of giving back.

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

Legal Toolkit

Making the Transition from PCs to Macs in Your Law Office

Apple products are gaining traction in the legal field, particularly among solo and small firm lawyers. As more software and apps are being created for Apple computers and law firms are working in the cloud, using Macs in your legal practice is becoming a better option for many attorneys. But often, it can be intimidating or seem challenging to make the switch to a new computer. Changing operating systems seems like an unnecessary added task, especially for already busy lawyers, but you might find that an Apple computer better suits your practice.

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Jenny Stevens, also known as Mrs. Mac Lawyer, about her switch from a PC law office to one using exclusively Apple products. Stevens was converted by her husband, The Mac Lawyer, when they merged their family law practices. She had the benefit of already having a cloud based office, so she was able to access all of her files and applications in the same way. She was also already using an iPhone so she understood the way that iOS works to a certain degree. Stevens explains that there was not much of a learning curve and she mostly had to adapt to new keyboard shortcuts. Switching from Microsoft Office to Mac applications Pages and Numbers was easy, she explains, and her practice improved when she added other apps such as Dropbox, Keynote, Rocket Matter, and Textexpander. While switching to a Mac is certainly not for everyone, Stevens encourages attorneys who are thinking of making the switch to jump in with both feet. When she didn’t have access to her PC, she learned to use the Mac much faster.

Jenny Stevens co-owns and practices family law at the Stevens Firm in South Carolina with her husband. Before they merged, Stevens worked for an all PC law office in Charleston, South Carolina. She has nicknamed herself Mrs. Mac Lawyer and frequently contributes to The Mac Lawyer, a blog about using Apple products in your legal practice. Jenny is also a frequent speaker at local, state, and national continuing legal education seminars.

Digital Detectives

Issues and Trends in E-Discovery and Information Governance

As lawyers, we hear a lot about the technological advances in e-discovery and information governance. How do you describe the current state of e-discovery from an opportunity and growth perspective, and how does this market opportunity impact the pulse rate of mergers, acquisitions, and investments? For lawyers purchasing e-discovery packages, there are several types of vendors and pricing models, and they need to be asking the right questions. What does the data governance solution need to do, how much does it cost, what are the time constraints, and how complex is the system?

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview technology marketer Rob Robinson about the current and future trends in data governance, how to choose an e-discovery provider, and events that will influence e-discovery and information governance in 2015. Robinson explains that the combination of software and services that make up the worldwide market for e-discovery in 2014 is just over 6.2 billion dollars and is growing at a consistent rate. He breaks the market down into three categories: developers who create and sell proprietary technologies or services, integrators who package and resell available services with custom development, and aggregators who combine and resell the technologies and services developed and purchased from others. Going into the future, Robinson discusses his excitement over advances in predictive coding, visual classification, and enhancing e-discovery processing. Also, due to corporate pressure for time and cost compression, these e-discovery solutions should continue to become cheaper and more time efficient. At the end of the podcast, Robinson discusses his use of social media to research trends in the information governance market.

Based in Austin, Texas, Rob Robinson is a proven technology marketer who has held senior leadership positions with multiple top-tier legal technology providers. Currently he is a managing partner with technology marketing consultancy ComplexDiscovery Solutions. With a strong interest in eDiscovery, information governance, and social media, Rob writes and posts regularly on technology and marketing topics on his highly referenced ComplexDiscovery blog.

Ringler Radio

From Wealth Management to Structured Settlements

 

Financial security is an important factor for individuals and their families when choosing to go with a structured settlement. Today on Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen joins Phillip Krause, a new structured settlement consultant for Ringler Associates out of Naples, Florida to discuss his journey from wealth management to structured settlements, his insight on financial security. the importance of being an active leader in the community and the overall benefits of structures.

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

Legal Toolkit

Power Networking: Making the Right Connections

Lawyers all know they should be networking, and most of them are, but there is an important distinction between the quantity and quality of your connections. Many lawyers are more comfortable networking with other lawyers and find themselves at the same conferences every year. But in order to be truly successful, a rainmaker, lawyers must become power connectors and apply strategic thinking and high level planning to making and keeping the right business contacts. So what does it mean to have valuable connections? How should you get started properly networking while avoiding potentially harmful relationships?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews business relationship expert Judy Robinett about how to become a power connector by meeting the right people, bonding quickly with them, and developing mutually beneficial relationships. She discusses the concept of different sized network circles, 5 close friends and family members, 50 closest business connections, and 150 as the largest number of effective connections to be made. She explains the importance of considering your professional goals and obstacles before reaching out to others. Often, the most valuable people aren’t other lawyers or people in close networks, but professionals in other fields. The best way for lawyers to build strategic relationships, Robinett suggests, is to join a powerful group, start talking to strangers, and always provide value to others first. She gives three great examples of questions to ask a potentially beneficial connection:

  1. How can I help you?
  2. What ideas do you have for me?
  3. Who else do you know that I should talk to?

In the end, all resources are connected to people, Robinett explains. Be scrappy and learn to connect the dots from where you are to where you want to go.

Judy Robinett is the author of How to Be a Power Connector: The 5 + 50 + 150 Rule. She has more than 30 years experience as an entrepreneur and corporate leader and has served as the CEO of both public and private companies and in management positions at fortune 500 companies. Robinett was the managing director at Golden Seeds Angel Network and a member of the Department of Commerce team that defined performance criteria for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality award for Performance Excellence in Healthcare, for which she received an award from President Bill Clinton. She has been called the “woman with the titanium digital rolodex.”

Ringler Radio

Inside the Connecticut Bar Association

 

From its creation in 1875, the Connecticut Bar Association (CBA) was instrumental in developing and improving court rules and providing quality educational and networking opportunities for its members. Today on Ringler Radio, host, Larry Cohen welcomes the 2014-2015 Connecticut Bar Association President, Mark A. Dubois and Executive Director of the Connecticut Bar Association, Douglas S. Brown, to spotlight the CBA, its mission, membership and the various programs offered through the CBA.

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

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