Luddite: a person opposed to increased industrialization or new technology.
As we’ve heard time and time again, many lawyers are averse to becoming knowledgeable about modern technology. Older attorneys often do not want to learn a computer-based management tool and feel as though they can hire someone to manage the security and encryption of their sensitive information. Often, even having a young lawyer in the firm can seem like a solution since they will most likely have grown up with a certain level of technology knowledge. But none of these are valid excuses to a proper level of technological education. The luddite lawyers need to face the ethical implications of their ignorance.
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview lawyer and legal technology blogger Sam Glover about when technology became an issue for attorneys, how they can get in trouble due to ignorance, and what all attorneys need to know about hackers, cloud services, and the resulting ethical duties. First, Glover explains that lawyers are getting into trouble in the courtroom by not knowing about how technologies like Twitter work, therefore losing cases that could be easily won. Concerning cyber security, Glover discusses the many reasons lawyers cannot simply outsource technology knowledge:
Without a certain amount of tech knowledge, you cannot adequately hire a security consultant.
Basic technology competency is not taught in law school or college, and is not self-explanatory.
Amateur hackers can easily access your client data in in public places like coffee shops through open, unsecure networks.
Whether they like it or not, all lawyers are in the cloud, so they need to learn about encryption and secure servers.
Simply put, you cannot avoid technology as a lawyer anymore. There are courses, blogs, webinars, books, and many other ways to become educated about legal technology.
Sam Glover is a lawyer and the CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Lawyerist.com, an online magazine and reference manual for solo and small firm lawyers. He has been writing about technology, law practice management, marketing, and other legal information on Lawyerist since he started it in 2007.
Legal Talk Network Host Adriana Linares interviews Chair of the Science and Technology Law Section Michael Hawes at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. This section exists because science and technology are always improving, Hawes says, and the law seems to simply play catch-up. He discusses the different groups within the section focusing on biotechnology, space law, robotics, and information security and he encourages any lawyers interested in these subjects to get involved. Previously an electrical engineer, Michael Hawes is now a partner at Baker Botts LLP in Houston, focusing his practice on assisting individuals and companies who are resolving disputes over technology access and ownership.
Legal Talk Network Host Jason Marsh interviews Dan Lear from Avvo at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Lear explains that Avvo is an online legal marketplace where lawyers can improve their client visibility. Many lawyers can greatly benefit from claiming and improving their Avvo listing. This includes lawyers doing client-facing legal work like consumer practices, bankruptcy, divorce lawyer, criminal defense, business law, and estate planning. As the director of industry relations at Avvo, Dan Lear reaches out to bar associations, industry groups, lawyers, and law schools to discuss the intersection between technology and legal work.
The Law Practice Division (LPD) Legal Marketing Interest Group Chair Jason Marsh interviews former LPD Chair Micah Buchdahl at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Buchdahl discusses how legal advertising has changed due to the internet and social media, how to launch a successful marketing campaign without getting into trouble with state bars, and gives some advice to small and big firms about advertising in certain areas. Micah Buchdahl is an attorney and president of HTMLawyers, a law marketing company that works with law firms throughout the United States on marketing and business strategies.
Law Practice Division LTRC Chair Rodney Dowell interviews Techshow Board Member Adriana Linares at the 2015 ABA Midyear Meeting. Linares discusses what a “hackathon” is and how an “appathon” could be done at the ABA Techshow to create an app for lawyers. She brainstorms timelines and organization and encourages tech savvy lawyers and legal associates to reach out and get involved.
Analytics is basically data analysis focused on distilling information useful for improving processes and decision making, often in a business context. When applied to law firms, analytics can be used to improve client intake, increase the firm’s efficiency, and identify silos. How is this possible? How can simply collecting and analyzing data affect your law firm’s fees and revenue?
In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Jared Correia interviews data analytics specialists Patrick Fuller and Bill Sowinski about the analysis of current trends in the legal field, why and how a law firm should implement analytics, and the recommended technologies and processes for big and small law firms. Fuller discusses current trends in the Am Law 200, the Top 200 U.S.-based law firms ranked by revenue according to the American Lawyer magazine. He talks about how Am Law’s metrics are emblematic of the market and how this directly correlates to law firm revenues. Sowinski discusses why metrics and analytics are increasingly important for a law firm to be successful in the future. If used properly, analytics can become a differentiating factor for the firm and increase client intake. While big law firms can afford expensive technology and experts, Sowinski explains, small law firms can still use analytics by planning and implementing discipline to capture data. In the future of the legal field, Sowinski says, analytics won’t just be beneficial, they’ll be necessary.
Patrick Fuller is Director of Corporate Solutions for Datacert|TyMetrix Legal Analytics. Patrick has made an art form of translating big data into intelligence for use in business development and organizational strategy. He has more than 17 years of experience in the legal profession.
Bill Sowinski is the director of decision support services for Datacert|TyMetrix Legal Analytics. He works with clients to structure and analyze their legal data, facilitating the development and deployment of measured strategies and supporting policies designed to improve performance. Previously an insurance defense lawyer, Sowinski is a litigation expert and a pioneer in the legal analytics space.
Over the past 20 years or so, lawyers have been simultaneously intrigued and frustrated by speech recognition technology. While different experiences yielded different results, the technology was never efficient enough to be practical. Over time, speech recognition started to disappear off the radar for most lawyers. Recently, with Siri and Google Now, smart watches, and improved cloud computing, dictation technology has improved dramatically and is more efficient and accurate than ever. Has it made an unexpected return?
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell revisit speech recognition technology, look at the ways people are dictating text today, and discuss arguments for and against using it in your law practice. Mighell discusses how faster speeds and improvement in broadband for Siri, Google Now, Cortana, and other tools have made speech recognition a hot topic. He personally uses dictation most often when sending texts from his smartwatch, but he runs into connectivity issues. Kennedy has recently tried dictation again, yielding relatively successful results, but he would not use it to draft full documents. He discusses lawyers’ interest in full-time dictation, using an application like Dragon Dictation, and how younger lawyers come into the workplace with the ability to type faster and more efficiently than any speech recognition program. Both Kennedy and Mighell agree that the success of speech recognition technology depends mostly on social and cultural acceptability.
In the second part of the podcast, Kennedy and Mighell discuss the apparent failure of the Google Glass launch and the emergence of Microsoft HoloLens, a virtual reality advanced holographic computing platform. Where is the future of wearable technology headed and what will be the biggest influences? As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Legal Talk Network was at the 2015 Winter Meeting for the Florida Bar in Orlando. This was the perfect time to sit down with Bar leaders and discuss what they’ve been working on, future conferences, member benefits, and online resources.
In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, Adriana Linares interviews Florida Bar President Greg Coleman about the Practice Resource Institute (PRI), member benefits focused on solo and small firms, and the Clio Cloud Conference happening during the Annual Florida Bar Convention in June 2015. Coleman discusses creating the PRI to fill the gap in technology resources provided to lawyers in small firms without tech departments. It is comprised of materials on PC and Apple computers, apps, practice-specific software, general practice software, practice management tools, and anything else a new lawyer, young lawyer, or a lawyer who wants to leave a firm needs to know. Several practice management products and other legal technology tools were vetted and are now provided as member benefits.
Coleman and Linares discuss the Florida Bar’s day-long technology program, which will be presented on June 24th, just before the Annual Florida Bar Convention. Tune in for a preview of what will be included.
Coleman closes the podcast with a discussion of the Florida Access to Civil Justice Commission, created by Chief Justice Jorge Labarga on Nov 24th, 2014. This commission addresses the issue of people who cannot afford or are unable to obtain legal aid. As a member of the commission, Coleman plans to engage the business community in order to think of creative solutions to the problem.
Greg Coleman, partner at the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman and President of The Florida Bar, has been practicing law in Palm Beach County for more than two decades. He joined the Law Firm of Critton, Luttier & Coleman in 1995 and was named partner in June of 2000. In June 2014, Coleman was sworn in as President of The Florida Bar. His focus is complex commercial litigation, insurance bad faith, employment litigation, professional malpractice defense, personal injury, and wrongful death.
Legal Talk Network Producer Laurence Colletti interviews electronic evidence expert Craig Ball at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. Ball discusses the limitations of electronic search tools and how lawyers need to move past the delusion of the right keywords yielding perfect results. He summarizes his 2015 Solo and Small Firm Conference presentation about the proper use of PowerPoint presentations, a field in which lawyers still struggle. A certified trial lawyer, Craig Ball limits his practice to serving as a court-appointed special master and consultant in computer forensics and electronic discovery.
Florida Bar Podcast host Adriana Linares interviews social media law attorney and consultant Ethan Wall at the 2015 Winter Meeting of The Florida Bar. He talks about leaving his law firm to start Social Media Law and Order, a company that educates lawyers and professionals about the effect of social media on the law. Wall discusses his presentation at the Bar’s technology conference and frequent questions lawyers have about using LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Ethan Wall is a social media law attorney, author, professor, consultant, and keynote speaker in Miami, Florida, and was recently elected to the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division Board of Governors.