As friends, colleagues, and clients documented their Thanksgiving holiday on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, it was made clear how big a role social media plays in the personal and professional lives of lawyers. Because it is so prevalent and necessary, social media can also be very overwhelming for many who are trying to maintain their online presence. But most lawyers know that engaging with others on social media is not optional anymore. So should they be posting on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest, and all other mediums? How many reposts, “likes,” or comments are the right amount? What is a good system or management tool for self-promotion or law firm marketing? Now is a good time to take stock of your social media use and try to control it before it controls you.
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the overwhelming nature of social media, ways lawyers can manage their personal or professional social media, and moving past the guilt of not posting or engaging enough. Kennedy discusses being a “grumpy old man” with the changes in social media that result in ads, sponsored posts, promoted tweets in his various feeds. He also analyzes posting on social media versus consuming information through it and the guilt he feels from not commenting or engaging enough with other people’s posts. Mighell breaks down his process which includes writing a blog and then promoting it using what he considers the most important social mediums for lawyers: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, and Twitter. Both use a social media dashboard like Hootsuite to manage posting and try to automate the process as much as possible. They also encourage lawyers to choose one or two social media platforms to focus on in order to not become overwhelmed, actually enjoy the process, and have a lot of influence in one place instead of a little influence everywhere. Don’t forget, social media information consumption is like dipping a cup into a river and only catching a small sample.
In the second part of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell discuss their favorite technology gifts and guides for the holiday season. Kennedy reminds everyone to think of the recipient when purchasing tech gifts and keep things practical. Mighell gives some specific gift suggestions including the Moto 360 Watch, Logitech Keys to Go, and Jaybird Bluebuds X Bluetooth headphones as well as gift guides from The Verge and The Wirecutter.
As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast end.
Social media is an easy (and often free) tool that litigators can use to share their clients’ stories. But how much is too much, and what if you post something that you’ll regret later?
In this month’s Asked & Answeredpodcast, we speak with Anthony C. Johnson, a plaintiffs personal injury lawyer who previously owned a search engine optimization and marketing company. He shares with moderator Stephanie Francis Ward some ideas about using Twitter, Facebook—and even Instagram—in a mindful manner.
Anthony C. Johnson, an Arkansas plaintiffs personal injury lawyer, is a partner with Johnson & Vines. Johnson is a former SEO/SEM/Web-development company owner who was featured by the ABA Journal as one of “America’s Techiest Lawyers” in 2012.
There has been recent talk of a “Podcast Renaissance,” in which podcasts are better than ever and people have begun to appreciate the value of the podcast medium for education and entertainment. Who are we to disagree? There are educational podcasts, political podcasts, legal podcasts, technology podcasts, entertainment podcasts, and podcasts that combine subjects. There are podcasts that review books, recordings from live radio shows, lecture recordings, and informational interviews. With all of these options, how are people finding and listening to the podcasts that are right for them, how have these processes changed, and why are some people not listening to podcasts at all? Are podcast listeners only touching the surface of the potential value?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the fundamentals of podcast listening and subscribing, ways to enhance your podcast listening experience, and suggestions of their favorite podcasts. Kennedy provides a technical description of podcasts, delivery of media (usually audio) online through an RSS feed, but explains that they also tend to be episodic, you can subscribe to them, and they serve as a radio replacement. His system of podcasting involves researching topics or speakers that spark his interest, filtering and organizing individual podcasts by length, and listening to them at 1.5X the speed while he commutes or works out. He notes that podcasts are becoming more popular because of increased user control and the ability to use them on any device: iPod, tablet, smartphone, laptop, or desktop. Mighell adds that the rise in podcasting is due to increasingly sophisticated apps that allow users to speed up the podcasts, create categories, and control downloads. His alternative system of podcast listening is more streamlined. He subscribes to 20 or 30 regular podcasts and downloads, organizes, and listens to them all on his phone while walking the dog, in the car, or working out. Both hosts use Huffduffer, but Mighell uses it to create a mini feed for things that aren’t syndicated while Kennedy uses it as a search engine for podcast topics or speakers that interest him.
While it is helpful to suggest different ways of consuming podcasts, listeners might also be interested in podcast suggestions. In the second part of the show, the hosts share their favorite podcasts. Tom Mighell mostly listens to podcasts that help him keep up with trends in technology, news, and politics, although he also enjoys Serial from the creators of This American Live. Dennis Kennedy’s collection of podcasts range from news, sports, and business, to entertainment anyone could enjoy.
As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast end.
Are you a lawyer who always has the newest tech products and apps? Do you already have a drone even though most people think they are only in sci fi movies? Are you looking for a holiday gift for your tech junkie spouse?
In this edition of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway present their favorite tech toys for the holidays. Nelson and Calloway have each picked out their choice of new electronics for themselves or loved ones. These new gadgets range in practicality from the Microsoft Surface Pro 3 to a bacon scented alarm clock and they range in price from a $20 Bluetooth Shower Speakerphone/Radio to a glass yacht that you can’t afford if you care how much it costs. Other products include a tablet, an Apple integrated flash drive, a cheap drone, noise-cancelling headphones, a flux capacitor USB port for your car, rhumbas for your grill and driveway, and even a Yeti cup. Tune in for inspiration and awe on the direction technology is heading. Who knows, you might hear about a new tech toy you have to have!
Whether it is from a coffee shop, home office, or library, more people than ever are working remotely. This includes employees at a law firm or business, but many of the principles could be applied to a solo lawyer working at home. The benefits of working from a remote office include shorter commutes, potentially flexible work hours, saving money on office space, and having the best employees for the job regardless of locale. Drawbacks include production-based judgement on employees, isolation issues, and a reduced opportunity for learning directly from coworkers. Despite these drawbacks, many companies are now allowing their employees to work remotely. If this is your company and you are already working from home, or thinking about starting to do so, what are the main considerations and best practices to put into place?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Tim Baran, a remote employee at a cloud-based legal software company, about the benefits and drawbacks of working remotely, the hardware and software needed, and how to overcome the core issues that many remote lawyers encounter. Baran discusses how the benefit of bringing the work to the employee often outweighs the inability for those workers to interact with and potentially mentor other employees. By spending more time with friends and family, getting involved in industry associations, and going out for lunch, he explains, remote employees can avoid emotional isolation. This advice applies equally to solo lawyers who often do not have a lot of personal contact. Alexander and Baran then go over the practicalities of working remote. While you only need a computer and a phone as hardware, there are many useful apps for practice management, organization, communication, reading and writing, social media, and even encryption (see episode notes for a list of products mentioned).
Obviously, it is important for a remote employee to stay connected with their office and other employees. Baran recommends regular video meetings, daily standups, visits to the home office, communication even with non-urgent matters, and even a fun video activity that includes the whole company. The more communication the employees are able to have, he explains, the more opportunities for feedback, connection, and therefore productivity. At the end of the podcast, Baran gives some succinct but very thorough general productivity advice to all employees, whether remote or not. His systems include: touch everything once, keep a checklist, set a pomodoro timer, develop consistent habits with a calendar, plan the night before, and Alexander adds that the Getting Things Done (GTD) process by David Allen has worked for many lawyers.
Tim Baran is the Community Manager for Rocket Matter, a cloud-based legal software company that makes a law practice management tool. Previously, Baran ran his own CLE company, and has worked in library services at a law firm, a law school, and for the Third Circuit Court of Appeals.
“A cyber attack on the World Trade Center would be 10 times more financially damaging than the 2001 attack.” Data breaches like the ones at Target, JP Morgan, and Home Depot have recently been all over the news and are usually organized by hackers working towards financial gain. But there is cyber war happening with military and political objectives with potentially far more damaging results. Cyber terrorists and militaries have already developed technologies that are able to hack into important data systems, destroy critical infrastructure, and take down crucial things like power grids and financial systems. If this does not scare you, you should know that there are almost no direct laws that deal with the ramifications of cyber attacks, the contractors who built the failing technology, or innocent bystanders.
On this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview cybersecurity expert David Bodenheimer about the effects of cyber attacks, whether they are likely to proliferate, the connection between the private sector and government defense, and the legal risks to contractors and bystanders. Bodenheimer first explains how economic cyber crimes are different than cyber war, and gives some examples like the US cyber security threat in 2009, the 2007 cyberattacks on Estonia, and Stuxnet, a computer worm that destroyed many control systems in Iranian nuclear plants. He explains that there is a global cyber race and, in a few years, no self-respecting military will be without cyber attack capabilities. Unfortunately, there are no international treaties or laws that directly govern cyber weapons and war. Bodenheimer also discusses US laws that federal agencies and contractors could face to account for damages. These could include the DHS SAFETY Act, Public Law 85-804, and various legislative proposals, but there is no clean fit.
David Bodenheimer is a Government Contracts partner and litigator heading Crowell & Moring’s Homeland Security practice. David has 32 years of experience in doing business with the government. He has represented Fortune 500 companies in cyber disputes with federal agencies, advised on security compliance and cloud standards, and handled a broad spectrum of cybersecurity and privacy issues in the public sector.
The Digital Edge host Jim Calloway interviews Robert Young about the 2014 American Bar Association Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Young explains the rebranding of the division from the law practice management section of the ABA and the four core groups now included: marketing, technology, finance, and law firm management. He suggests that every lawyer be a member and gives some examples of available resources from the Legal Technology Resource Center. Robert Young has been a personal injury defense litigator for 25 years and is the current Chair of the Law Practice Division.
Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews ABA Techshow Board Chair Brett Burney at the 2014 ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Burney explains how the Techshow is a 2½ day conference focused on providing lawyers with technology information. He encourages all lawyers, legal professionals, and law firm employees to attend to learn about technology such as iPads or going paperless on an individual level from devoted speakers. Burney and Colletti also discuss the Expo Hall setup, his board’s contribution to the event, and succession planning. In Addition to being the Chair of the ABA Techshow Board, Brett Burney is Principal of Burney Consultants LLC, and is very active in the Mac-using lawyer community.
New Solo host Adriana Linares interviews Tom Bolt, Chair Elect of the American Bar Association Law Practice Division at the 2014 Fall Meeting. Bolt discusses the all-encompassing nature of the division including legal marketing, management, finance, and technology, and opportunities to network nationally and internationally. The division is expanding local outreach to law schools and local communities and he is pleased with the connection to the Women Rainmakers Board. As Chair-Elect, Tom Bolt has many ideas about the future of the Law Practice Division in 2015.
Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews President-Elect of the American Bar Association Paulette Brown at the 2014 ABA Law Practice Division Fall Meeting. Brown explains the concepts from her speeches at the ABA Women Rainmakers Mid-Career Workshop and the Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association. She describes the need for female attorneys to not conform to expectations and seek out leadership roles within the legal profession. Brown also emphasizes the importance for all lawyers to find a balance in their lives including sleep, family, and finding something that helps clear the mind. She then gives her experience with the ABA, interaction with the current President William Hubbard, and why young lawyers should be involved. Paulette Brown has been a lawyer for 38 years, worked for Fortune 500 companies, owned a firm for 15 years, and is now a partner in the Morristown, New Jersey office of Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. She has been involved with the American Bar Association since she graduated from law school.