As the legal marketplace becomes more globalized, many lawyers are venturing out and starting their own law firms. However, many attorneys also establish law firms without creating a company-wide strategic business plan to help guide future growth and company development. How do attorneys create a strategic business plan for their firm and what are the best ways to implement that plan?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, hosts Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway talk with The Remsen Group President John Remsen, Jr. about the benefits of creating a firm-wide business plan. John expresses how important it is for law firm leadership to recognize that they are running a business and states that it is difficult to run a successful business without a plan of where you are going. He shares that his research results show that only 40% of midsize firms report that they have a written strategic plan and less than 5% give themselves a high score on implementing that plan well. Remsen also reveals that 90% of firms with a plan will attribute improved performance in areas like increased cohesiveness, profitability, long term sustainability, and growth to the planning exercise. He then analyzes the top five concerns of midsize firms, like associate development and firm governance, and provides ways that firms can address these concerns. He closes the interview with reasons that older lawyers resist these types of improvements and tips to help law firms start the strategic planning process.
John Remsen, Jr. is a frequent speaker and author on law firm leadership and marketing topics. He has spoken at national and regional conferences of the Legal Marketing Association, the Association of Legal Administrators, American Bar Association and numerous state and local bar associations. After serving as in-house marketing director at two major law firms, John formed The Remsen Group, a consulting firm that works exclusively with law firms to help them develop and implement long-term strategic objectives to improve cohesiveness, performance and profitability.
At the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention, Adriana Linares and John Stewart interview ABA Past President William Hubbard about his judicial luncheon speech. Mr. Hubbard discusses addressing regulatory framework in a timely way to deal with the increasing online proliferation of legal service providers. Lawyers themselves, he says, should embrace technology to reduce costs and maintain relevancy, rather than holding on to the status quo. Linares, Stewart, and Hubbard also talk about finding the right balance of technology and human lawyers, and provide examples of companies doing so effectively. With the right cost structures, Hubbard explains, there are a whole range of new opportunities for lawyers who can be more efficient and provide services affordably.
William Hubbard was president of the American Bar Association from 2014-2015 and is a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP in Columbia, South Carolina, where he practices in business litigation. He is still heavily involved with the ABA, giving regular speeches and doing work with the Bar.
Legal Talk Network host Adriana Linares interviews Pete Sweeney, chair of the Member Benefits Committee of The Florida Bar, at the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention. Together they discuss the role of the committee, some of the most popular benefits, and the overall shift from travel benefits (car rental) to technology benefits (practice management software). Pete talks about the proposal, pitch, and renewal process companies go through and the role of the board of governors. Listen to the end to hear about how Florida lawyers can access these benefits on mobile devices!
Peter Sweeney is a deputy city attorney for the City of Palm Bay, Florida, where he works at an in-house law firm representing the City of Palm Bay and the City Council. Sweeney is board certified in construction law by The Florida Bar and chair of The Florida Bar’s Membership Benefits Committee.
As the body of law continues to grow, so does the consumer demand for cost effective and efficient legal services. What resources do large law firms and corporations have to help them harness technology to keep pace with this growing trend?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Bob Ambrogi speaks with Bloomberg BNA Legal Division President David Perla about his career, Bloomberg Law, and how their Smart CodeSM is changing traditional legal annotation. He states that ultimately the company hopes to help lawyers grow their businesses, be better counselors to their clients, and help them be more profitable. David provides an overview of his career, starting with his early days at a large Manhattan law firm, and shares his thoughts on how his particular combination of work experiences prepared him for his current role as Bloomberg BNA Legal Division President. He reflects on how Bloomberg’s ability to leverage technology to help lawyers and law practitioners has improved over the last 5 years and uses their current Smart CodeSM legal annotation tech as an example of this. He closes the interview with an explanation of how this code works, how it can enhance the lives of lawyers, and how it compares to the speed and efficiency of human editors.
David Perla is the president of Bloomberg Law and Bloomberg BNA Legal. He plays a key leadership role in the continued growth of the company’s legal business, which includes legal, legislative, and regulatory news analysis, and the flagship Bloomberg Law® legal and business intelligence research system. He drives the growth strategy for Bloomberg BNA Legal and oversees the development of distinctive content and products characterized by Bloomberg BNA’s renowned editorial excellence and Bloomberg’s reputation as a technology leader.
Before joining Bloomberg BNA, Perla served as chairman and CEO of Matterhorn Transactions and co-CEO and co-founder of Pangea3, the globally known legal process outsourcing provider. Prior to forming Pangea3, he was vice president of business and legal affairs for Monster.com. Perla received a B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, and a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He began his legal career as a corporate lawyer at the law firm Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP.
Attorneys handle and process huge quantities of data each year. As data becomes more digital it will become even more important for legal professionals to have good, regimented email tidiness, or what we’re calling “email hygiene.” What are some data management best practices and how can lawyers maintain good inbox cleanliness?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell provide guidance principles to help lawyers improve their email hygiene. Tom challenges lawyers to identify how they perceive their emails, either as simple communications or possible business records, and encourages them to adopt an email retention policy. He emphasizes that keeping emails forever can be a liability, specifically if you are sued, and talks about the risks, costs, and productivity problems that can develop as a result of excess clutter. Tom and Dennis also analyze two types of email management styles; filing and piling, and explore practical ways to more efficiently search and manage their data for each style. They both end the first segment with application suggestions to help attorneys manage the clutter and helpful habits to keep the disorder at bay.
In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom talk about what you can do to get rid of your old cords, adapters, and other miscellaneous computer parts. Tom admits that he has major cord clutter in his garage and that he replaces these types of items immediately if he can’t find them. Dennis shares his system of storage and identification for assorted computer parts and encourages others to donate old tech gear to charity. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
Many lawyers are noticing a rapid shift in client expectations as the number of millennials seeking legal services expands. What options are there for law firms that embrace new technology and want to provide a more effortless customer experience?
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares talks with Clio co-founder and CEO Jack Newton about his organization and the benefits that the cloud can bring to the practice of law. Jack opens the interview by giving a brief history of how Clio was founded. Using client feedback, Clio added software features aimed at helping lawyers increase their workflow and grow their firms. Jack reveals that Florida has their highest user density in the United States and explains how customer growth led to the company eventually providing advice (through e-books, white papers, and talks) to their clients on best practices and how attorneys can embrace the cloud. He also covers his top reasons legal professionals should use the cloud, including increasing the ease of managing a caseload and issuing bills to consumers that are payable online. Additionally, he addresses ethical concerns attorneys have regarding using these services to store confidential data and privileged client information.
Jack discusses the impetus behind the creation of the Clio Cloud Conference and their mission to provide the best of legal education and industry thought leaders who are improving the practice of law. He closes the interview with an analysis of law firm data security concerns and how cloud services solve those issues via protected client portals.
Jack Newton is the founder of Clio, one of the pioneers of cloud-based practice management. Jack has spearheaded efforts to educate the legal community on the security-, ethics- and privacy-related issues surrounding cloud computing, and has become a nationally recognized writer and speaker on these topics.
Jack has recently joined the board of the International Legal Technology Standards Organization (ILTSO), where he will help the organization craft standards for law office technology. He also co-founded and is acting president of the Legal Cloud Computing Association (LCCA), a consortium of leading cloud computing providers with a mandate to help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing in the legal industry.
The effects of technology on the law can be seen throughout the profession as these innovations are slowly integrated into the legal marketplace. However, has the union of new tech and the practice of law been significantly transformative for lawyers and clients? What factors have hindered the adoption of new technology in the legal sector and what catalysts might be implemented to accelerate the pace of change?
In this episode of Law Technology Now, host Monica Bay speaks with Legal Services Corporation President and CodeX FutureLaw keynote speaker Jim J. Sandman about his 10 reasons the law has been slow to adopt technology and the “levers of power” that might be engaged to accelerate that rate. Jim opens the interview with a brief summary of his time as managing partner at Arnold & Porter LLP, the general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools, and his five years of tenure as the president of Legal Services Corporation. He reflects on his CodeX 2016 FutureLaw Conference keynote speech and expresses that his intention was to provide an overview of where the profession stands with technology in law today. Technology, Jim explains, has made a number of improvements in law but hasn’t transformed service delivery in the same way it has in other industries and professions. He shares that 80% of the civil legal needs of low income people go unmet and analyzes statistics from legal aid organization studies that show that between 50% to 67% of individuals who can’t afford a lawyer are denied legal services because of inadequate resources. Jim then presents his list of 10 impediments to the adoption of technology in the legal profession, such as a sluggish lawyer administered regulatory system, and discusses changes made in the UK and Australia to approve non-lawyer ownership of law firms. He closes the interview with his list of the 10 agents of change, such as the legal media and state legislatures, that can aid in increasing efficiency for attorneys through the adoption of new technologies.
James J. Sandman has been president of the Legal Services Corporation since 2011. He practiced law with Arnold & Porter LLP for 30 years and served as the firm’s managing partner for a decade. From 2007 to 2011, he was general counsel for the District of Columbia Public Schools.
More than 50 percent of internet searches today are not done by humans but rather by bots. What exactly are bots and how can industry professionals use them to improve the practice of law?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss bots and how attorneys can utilize them to improve their everyday lives. Tom explains that bots, short for web or internet robots, are applications that run automated software or scripts over the internet. This software can do relatively simple things but much faster than any human can. Dennis talks about search engines employing specific bots, known as spiders or crawlers, that read website pages and other information to create entries for their indexes. Both hosts then discuss cutting edge uses for bots like Microsoft’s Tay, an artificial intelligence chatterbot created for Twitter, and how attorneys can use simple bots for everyday tasks like creating stand-up meetings, checking deposition schedules, or aggregating case information. They then close the first half of the show by analyzing the use of customer service bots by lawyers and Tom provides some of his concerns that clients may be misled by not understanding when the bot interaction stops and the human interaction begins.
In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom reflect on their time at ABA TECHSHOW 2016. Dennis shares that he thinks the most interesting things that happen at conferences occur at dinners, in the halls, and at events like LexBlog and The ABA Journal’s Beer for Bloggers event. Tom views TECHSHOW as a great educational service to lawyers, providing them with resources that matter, and reveals that he would like to attend more panels than he was able to attend at this year’s conference. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.
During the Great Recession many law schools saw their admissions decline sharply and many lawyers found themselves without employment. In some areas of the country these effects are still felt and present challenges for young attorneys looking to provide services for indigent or lower income clients. What options are there for under or unemployed lawyers who wish to help this demographic?
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, host Adriana Linares speaks with Open Legal Services co-founders Shantelle Argyle and Daniel Spencer about starting their nonprofit law firm. Dan starts the interview by mentioning that Shantelle came up with the idea, and that similar concepts had been attempted in the past, but an exclusively client funded firm had never been done before. They both recall that the catalyst for the idea was their unhappiness at their jobs at the time and that they were not practicing law. Shantelle describes their realization that the middle class was not able to access needed legal services and that there was a large untapped client market. She then goes into detail about how they established the nonprofit, their marketing approach, how they set their fees, and how they created the scale with which they determine which clients to accept. Dan also explains that although the company has never been profit driven it is critical for any new firm to meticulously monitor their cash flow. They both end the interview with a discussion of the technology they use to help manage the firm, the Public Service Loan Forgiveness available for attorneys working in the nonprofit sector, and the grand opening of their third office location.
Shantelle Argyle is the co-founder and executive director of Open Legal Services. She received her bachelor of science from Utah Valley University and her juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney College of Law.
Daniel Spencer is the co-founder and supervising attorney of Open Legal Services. He received his juris doctorate from the University of Utah’s S.J. Quinney School of Law.
In this Special Report, Executive Producer Laurence Colletti sits down to interview Evolve Law Co-Founder Mary Juetten and the Evolve Law Client Driven Technology Solutions panelists at the Legal Talk Network’s Denver studio. Lawbooth Project Manager Joe Burchard moderated the talks and the panel was comprised of Davis Wright Tremaine Client Engagement & Innovation Strategist Kate White, Intensity Analytics CEO John Rome, and Bryan Cave Chief Innovation Officer Kathryn DeBord. Mary starts the interview with a brief explanation of how Evolve Law began and shares that their mission is to cultivate a community focused on accelerating the adoption of technology within the legal profession. Joe explains that the event was designed to promote discussion about technology in the general legal space, the direction these advancements are headed, and how lawyers and technologists can ensure the direction is a positive one. The group then finishes the interview with an analysis of how bots can reduce monotonous work for legal professionals, why artificial intelligence will never replace them, and how attorneys can best leverage technology to improve their practice.
Mary Juetten is the founder and CEO of Traklight and the co-founder of Evolve Law. She is a contributor to the American Bar Association Law Technology Today and Forbes. Mary received her bachelor of commerce from McGill University and her juris doctorate from Arizona State University College of Law.
John Rome is the chief software architect and CEO of Intensity Analytics Corporation. He is a technology inventor and software developer. John received his bachelor’s degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities and his juris doctorate from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Kathryn DeBord is partner and chief innovation officer at Bryan Cave. She is affiliated with the American Bar Association, the Colorado Bar Association, the Colorado Women’s Bar Association, and the Washington D.C. Bar Association. Kathryn received her bachelor of arts from the University of Kansas and her juris doctorate from the George Washington University Law School.
Kate White is the client engagement and innovation strategist at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. She received her bachelor of arts from Seattle University and her juris doctorate from Seattle University School of Law.
Joe Burchard is a co-founder and the project manager at Lawbooth.com and the founder of Nice Piece of Bass. He received his bachelor of applied science from the University of Colorado at Boulder.