Podcast category: Legal Technology

ABA Journal: Legal Rebels

Tech fails too, says Sensei’s Sharon Nelson

Lawyers often think technology should always work. That’s aspirational, says Sharon Nelson, president of the cybersecurity, information technology and digital forensics firm Sensei Enterprises Inc.

“People can screw up, but technology fails too,” says Nelson. “You really need to recover from what the problem is, as opposed to pointing figures and being angry.”

Nelson and John W. Simek, her business partner and husband, formed Sensei Enterprises in 1997. Simek, an engineer, previously worked for Mobil Oil as a chief network designer and troubleshooter. The two met when she hired him to computerize her law practice.

“John had the technical genius, and I had the legal, business and marketing experience,” she says “We figured that together I could sell his talents, and it ended up that I sold us both. People were happy to have someone they could talk technology with, along with someone who knew legal ethics.”

ABA Journal: Legal Rebels

John Suh sees LegalZoom’s job as fixing a ‘failed’ legal system

“We didn’t start out to be disruptive,” says John Suh, LegalZoom’s chief executive officer. “We were set up to fix a problem. The legal system was broken and too many people were frozen out of it.”

For Suh, the main goal of LegalZoom continues to be providing access to the legal system for millions of Americans who can’t afford an attorney and do not qualify for free legal services. “So much of our legal system is focused on BigLaw or access to justice for those below the poverty line,” says Suh. “What about the 84 percent or so of people between that? For them, the system really has failed.”

What Suh has done during his tenure as CEO is transform the company from a do-it-yourself outfit into one that has partnered with lawyers.

“The perception that we’re an online legal company with no human lawyers is just not true,” says Suh. “Over the last five years, we’ve embraced lawyers and become quite adept with working with them.” There have been over 200,000 one-on-one consultations between LegalZoom customers and lawyers licensed in their respective states, he says.

ABA Journal: Legal Rebels

Don’t fear technology, Ernie Svenson urges; ‘It’s here; it’s good; do it’

Ernie Svenson-a.k.a. well-known blogger Ernie the Attorney-was an early evangelist for what he calls The Paperless Chase. The basic premise: “Anything you can do with paper, you can do more with PDF. Way more.”

Now he spends a lot of time teaching, training and speaking, all aimed at enabling small-firm and solo lawyers with the ability “to save money, make money and outmatch bigger firm adversaries,” he says.

In fact, calling Svenson an evangelist is an understatement. “The walls are closing in on lawyers who haven’t adapted, with e-filing in the courts and the increased use of the PDF format by others,” Svenson says. “It’s here. It’s good. Do it.”

ABA Journal: Legal Rebels

Technology is ‘breathtakingly positive,’ says lawyer and writer Monica Bay

Lawyer and longtime journalist Monica Bay didn’t let sexism or a technology-averse legal establishment keep her from breaking new ground.
“The baby boomer lawyers were so entrenched with the idea that ‘only the girls touch anything with a keyboard’ that they absolutely refused to do anything involving tech,” Bay recalls. “They thought it was beneath them.”
Now, Bay says, the profession has stepped away from thinking that technology is reserved for support staff, and beneath lawyers.
“If you don’t learn tech,” she says, “you are not going to be relevant anymore.”

In-House Legal

Cisco GC Mark Chandler on Automation and International Surveillance

“I don’t measure my relevance or success by the number of people who report to me.” -Mark Chandler

As senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, Mark Chandler has increased the efficiency and overall success of the legal department while dealing with non-practicing entities (patent trolls) and questions of security, privacy, and surveillance between the U.S. and Europe. His experiences in international business relationship building and working directly with sales departments has given him the skills to develop an in-house legal department that truly focuses on efficiency.

In this episode of In-House Legal, Randy Milch interviews Mark Chandler about his path to general counsel at Cisco, how living and working in Europe helped him achieve success in a multinational company, and how he approaches the challenges he’s faced. The first half of the podcast follows Mark’s journey after law school, working in-house at the hard disk manufacturing company Maxtor and then transitioning to StrataCom, an IT service management firm later acquired by Cisco. He talks about living in Germany and France, Cisco’s production of internet infrastructure and cloud-based services and products, and what his position as general counsel involves. He also discusses why collaborative relationships between sales and legal departments are very important to the general success of a company.

In the second half of the podcast, Mark and Randy discuss the challenges a multinational technology company like Cisco faces today. Mark explains how he has used automation of repeated legal tasks to greatly reduce the legal department’s burden on the company as a whole. He then talks about potential solutions to the patent litigation issues that have increased exponentially in the past 15 years and U.S. government surveillance in Europe. Stay tuned to the end for Mark’s advice on running an in-house legal department that is truly efficient and works with the rest of the company.

Mark Chandler is senior vice president and general counsel at Cisco, a multinational technology firm based in the United States. In these roles, he oversees Cisco’s global legal activities and policies, as well as ethics, compliance and regulatory affairs, employee relations, investigations, and brand protection. Mark is a leader in the patent, security, and legal innovation spaces.

Digital Detectives

Cyber Security Audits and Options for Your Law Firm

As technology continues to become ever more integrated into our daily lives, the challenges that law firms face grow and evolve. Many tech savvy clients are not only concerned with a lawyer’s ability to represent them but also their ability to protect their files and privileged communications. With more instances of data breaches and hacking being mentioned in the mainstream media, what can a law firm do to shore up their cyber security?

In this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek sit down with LMG Security Founder and Senior Security Consultant Sherri Davidoff to discuss cyber security and the audits that are currently available for law firms. Sherri gets the conversation started by breaking down some of the more complex cyber security terminology into easy-to-understand language. The group then ponders factors, such as the loss of client data and law firms being hacked, that prompted this cultural shift within the profession and some of the elements that made it difficult for the industry to justify investing in cyber security until now. The focus then shifts to an analysis of the options available to law firms that are seeking to improve their security standards and ways to prepare lawyers to better interact with clients that might ask to see a firm’s cyber security audits. Sherri then caps off the conversation with a discussion of risk assessment, risk management, and how you present these plans to your clients.

Sherri Davidoff is a nationally-recognized cyber security expert who is a founder and senior security consultant at LMG Security. She has over a decade of experience as an information security professional, specializing in penetration testing, forensics, social engineering testing, and web application assessments. Davidoff is an instructor at Black Hat and co-author of “Network Forensics: Tracking Hackers Through Cyberspace”. She is a GIAC-Certified Forensic Examiner (GCFA) and Penetration Tester (GPEN), and holds her degree in computer science and electrical engineering from MIT.

Special Reports

Beers, Bloggers, and Buzzers: Three Questions in 60 Seconds

During our recent trip to ABA TECHSHOW, we challenged 31 legal bloggers to answer three questions in 60 seconds at the Beer for Bloggers party in Chicago, Illinois. Some of them made it, some of them didn’t, and others were nearly disqualified. Participants who failed to make time or deviated from the “strict” rules (not really) were given the buzzer, an obnoxious must-have from audio engineer Adam Lockwood.

Hosted by Laurence Colletti, this episode was a true team effort enlisting the assistance of all team members still in Chicago (Adam Camras, Kimberly Faber, Jabarie Brown, Kelsey Johnson, and Adam Lockwood). We circulated the celebration, somehow convincing 31 blog authors to join us, including one under protest (not truly). What transpired was a fun give-and-take exchange with thought leaders in the legal profession.

Tune in to hear the hijinks as the bloggers battle the buzzer, answering these three questions:

  • Question 1: Tell us about your blog.
  • Question 2: From this year’s ABA TECHSHOW to next year’s, what will your most popular blog post be about?
  • Question 3: Who is your ABA TECHSHOW professional crush?

For more about this production and to find out who received the most TECHSHOW crushes, check out our blog post titled ‘Beers, Bloggers, and Buzzers: Closing ABA TECHSHOW with Style’.

List of Participants (In order of Appearance)

  1. Lisa Solomon – Legal Research & Writing Pro – @lisasolomon
  2. Tara Cheever – Lit Software – @LitSoftwareApps
  3. Adam Music – Before the Bar – @MusicAdamT
  4. Nicole Bradick – Curo Knowledge – @NicoleBradick
  5. Samir Patel – Legal RnD – @SamirPatelLaw
  6. Tom Mighell – Inter Alia – @TomMighell
  7. Ben Schorr – Roland Schorr Blog – @bschorr
  8. Dennis Kennedy – Dennis Kennedy Blog – @denniskennedy
  9. Allison Shields – Legal Ease – @allisonshields
  10. Sherri Davidoff – LMG Security Blog – @SherriDavidoff
  11. Jeannie Borich – Law In Order – @jeannieborich
  12. Sara Mui – ABA Journal Blawg Directory – @BlawgWhisperer
  13. Bob Ambrogi – Law Sites – @bobambrogi
  14. Rich Beem – Beem on Patents – @BeemPatentLaw
  15. Niki Black – Above The Law – @nikiblack
  16. Sam Glover – Lawyerist.com – @samglover
  17. Aaron Street – Lawyerist.com – @AaronStreet
  18. Jason Wilson – Jason Wilson – @jasnwilsn
  19. Gyi Tsakalakis – gyi tsakalakis – @gyitsakalakis
  20. Sheilin Herrick – Lawyernomics – @SheilinHerrick
  21. Tim Baran – Legal Productivity – @tim_baran
  22. Dan Pinnington – Avoid A Claim – @DanPinnington
  23. Kimberly Faber – Legal Talk Network Blog – @kimberlyfaber
  24. Joshua Lenon – Clio Practice Management Blog – @JoshuaLenon
  25. Brian Focht – The Cyber Advocate – @NCCyberAdvocate
  26. Christopher Anderson – How to Manage a Small Law Firm – @LawFirmBusiness
  27. Jason Marsh – Marsh 8 Blog – @_jasonmarsh
  28. Chad Burton – Curo Knowledge – @chadeburton
  29. Julie Tolek – Think Pink Law Blog – @Thinkpinklaw
  30. Carolyn Elefant – My Shingle – @carolynelefant
  31. Kevin O’Keefe – Real Lawyers Have Blogs – @kevinokeefe

ABA Journal: Asked and Answered

How artificial intelligence is changing the way lawyers practice law

Artificial intelligence has long been a tool for lawyers to perform their tasks more efficiently. However, the technology has advanced to the point where computers can now perform many of the tasks that were once the exclusive domain of humans. In this month’s Asked and Answered, the ABA Journal’s Victor Li talks to freelance writer Julie Sobowale about how artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the practice of law.

Lunch Hour Legal Marketing

The Dollars and Sense of Legal Marketing

The only thing more expensive than hiring a lawyer is advertising as one.

For example, a recent study of online advertising found that 78 of the top 100 most expensive Google advertising terms are fought over by lawyers looking for clients. It can cost a lot of money to market a law firm. Worse, most law firms cannot track whether their expensive advertising is actually producing clients.

In this session, learn from Joshua Lenon, Lawyer in Residence at Clio, about the numbers you should be tracking when it comes to legal marketing.

Learn about:

  • How much marketing costs your firm should carry;
  • Calculating Return on Investment (ROI) for each method of advertising you use in your firm; and
  • Tools to measure revenue from cases against your advertising costs.

Joshua Lenon is an attorney who currently serves as lawyer-in-residence for Clio, providing legal scholarship and research skills to the leading cloud-based practice management platform.

Law Technology Now

Working Abroad: Avoiding the Pitfalls of Global Travel

Many large companies have global business interests that require employees to travel to multiple countries within the same year. However, several of these same companies find it difficult to navigate the shifting rules pertaining to business visas as they cross national boundaries. How can these businesses continue to have a global presence while avoiding the potential pitfalls that can come with frequent international travel?

In this episode of Law Technology Now host Monica Bay sits down with Tracker Corp. and Pearl Travel Tech Founder Julie Pearl to discuss how tech can improve the business travel and immigration process. Julie begins by giving insights into her background and why she created her law firm and tech company. This exploration of her history gives way to an analysis of several key issues, such as communicating in real time and understanding requirement differences between countries, that global employers have relating to immigration. Julie then wraps up the conversation with an explanation of her work with, and her passion for, helping women get involved in science, technology, engineering and math.

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