Podcast category: Legal Technology

New Solo

Effective Online Marketing Strategy for Solo Law Firms

One of the most important steps in starting a solo practice is marketing. This can also be one of the most difficult, because these lawyers depended on their previous firm for incoming business. And it’s not like they taught marketing a firm in law school. Since solo lawyers have smaller budgets than large law firms, online marketing is usually the most practical avenue. But where do we start?

In this episode of New Solo, Adriana Linares interviews internet marketer Jason Marsh about the most effective marketing process for lawyers beginning a solo practice, how much they should spend on a website, and what it means to optimize your business for the search engines.

Topics include:

  • Focusing your business to target a niche audience
  • Prioritizing your marketing
  • Buying and building an impressive website
  • High-quality site content
  • What is Search Engine Optimization
  • Earning links
  • What to expect from your online marketing
  • Paid advertising

Jason Marsh is the founder of Orlando-based internet marketing agency MARSH8. He frequently writes and speaks on how law firms can implement better online marketing strategies to acquire new clients. He has been working in advertising and marketing for over ten years.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Solo Practice University.

The Digital Edge

The ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services

The legal service industry has been changing rapidly, causing many lawyers to worry about the future of their practice. Many potential clients are now looking online for solutions to legal problems. Despite this, there is still a large percentage of the population without access to the legal services they need. In order to deal with this emerging legal marketplace shift, American Bar Association President William Hubbard formed the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services. But what does the commission do and how is it benefitting lawyers and the general public alike?

In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview Judy Perry Martinez, chair of the ABA Presidential Commission on the Future of Legal Services. Martinez discusses specific actions the commission is taking to find solutions, including grassroots meetings across the country, a national summit, public hearings, and lawyer education. She explains how discussions with lawyers, judges, technology innovators, law students, academics, and law librarians bring awareness to issues in the changing legal landscape and encourages solution ideas. These changes present challenges and opportunities for lawyers today, but those who do not jump on board will likely be left behind.

Judy Perry Martinez is currently is spending a year in residence at Harvard where she is an Advanced Leadership Initiative Fellow. Previously, she has served as vice president and chief compliance officer of Northrop Grumman Corporation, a major aerospace and defense company. Prior to going in-house, she was a commercial litigator for 21 years at the New Orleans law firm of Simon, Peragine, Smith & Redfearn. Judy served as the ABA lead representative to the U.N. and has held many leadership positions in the ABA over the last 30 years, including service on the ABA Board of Governors and its executive committee, chair of the Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary and the ABA Commission on Domestic Violence, and chair of the ABA Young Lawyers Division.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Digital Detectives

Lawmageddon and How to Prepare for Social Media in the Courtroom

In a recent blog post, Canadian lawyer and legal technology blogger Nathaniel Russell defined Lawmageddon as “the imminent confluence of events that will change lawyers’ lives forever.” This most likely includes technologies such as cybersecurity, cloud-based systems, encryption, and social media, which influence the legal sphere in a way that lawyers cannot opt out of. Why are lawyers as a profession so hesitant to adapt to these changes in technology, what will it take for the legal profession to eventually come around, and how are different jurisdictions effecting the necessary changes? It is important to discuss these questions, even if we can only hypothesize answers.

In this episode of Digital Detectives, Sharon Nelson and John Simek interview Nathaniel Russell about his definition of Lawmageddon, what the legal profession needs to embrace these changes, and the consequences lawyers face if they fail the tests of Lawmageddon. In the second half of the podcast, Russell discusses what can happen if lawyers ignore the presence of social media as evidence and the ethical responsibility all lawyers have to their clients with regard to social media and due diligence.

Topics include:

  • The difference between legal market change, anxiety or panic, and Lawmageddon
  • How lawyers do or don’t securely store their files and communicate
  • The psychology of plodding lawyers
  • How a cataclysmic event might be required for true change
  • The lack of collusion in different jurisdictions
  • Ethical and legal standards for practice in social media
  • The fun case of Beattie v. Beattie
  • Useful social media evidence tools

 

Nate Russell is a Canadian lawyer and blogger with a passion for technology, law, access to justice and civil liberties, especially where they intersect. He works with Courthouse Libraries BC, a non-profit serving legal information and training to lawyers and the public, and is a recovered family lawyer and civil litigator. Additionally Russell consults and does legal research on the side.

Legal Toolkit

The Lean Startup: Eliminating Wasteful Practices in Your Law Firm?

The idea of a lean business was recently made popular by Eric Ries’s book, “The Lean Startup.” The lean concept involves eliminating waste and resources that don’t create value for the end client. This practice has become predominant in the tech world, in which companies create a minimum viable product, test it early and often, and adapt to client feedback. But how can we adapt lean concepts to law firms and the legal industry that is service-based? Where should a new law firm start?

In this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews Nicole Bradick, former litigator and chief strategy officer at Curo Legal, about what it means to have a lean business, how to apply lean concepts to law firms, and where new lawyers and established law firms can start. Bradick begins by clearly explaining the lean concept; the company builds a minimum viable product, measures how it helps clients, learns and adapts to feedback, and repeats the process. Lawyers can use lean concepts, she says, by making fewer initial assumptions about client needs and adapting to what works. She discusses how law firms should maintain low overheads to adjust for shifts in the market while adopting efficient practices to increase productivity. Cloud-based technologies like practice management systems, contact relationship management systems, email platforms, research tools, and document management systems can be beneficial in streamlining practices, but Bradick urges lawyers to properly learn to use the technologies or risk creating more problems. Obviously, starting a lean law firm is easier said than done, but it will likely be successful in this changing legal market.

Nicole Bradick is the chief strategy officer at Curo Legal, a company that provides practice management advice and consulting to law firms. Nicole previously founded and operated Custom Counsel, a legal services outsourcing company, until it was acquired by Curo Legal. Nicole has been named to the ABA Journal Legal Rebels List and to the Fastcase list of 50 global legal innovators.

Disclaimer: Please note that Heidi Alexander and Nicole Bradick refer to Eric Ries as David Ries.

Kennedy-Mighell Report

Invisible Apps: Behind the Scenes of Mobile

“Invisible apps” are background programs that automatically trigger functions without being opened. Therefore, the app interface is less important than the underlying function. These invisible apps might include automatic notification or emails based on a trigger, a personal concierge, or a password manager. Rather than a calculator or camera app waiting to be opened, invisible apps actively interact with users. Why do Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell believe these to be the newest generation of device apps and how can a lawyer use them in his or her practice?

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss invisible apps, how they might impact or benefit lawyers, and whether they are the leading edge of a much more significant technology wave. They discuss moving away from labeling app success only by presence on the home screen and how invisible apps are more often used but rarely opened. For example, Dennis uses his news apps for breaking stories, his password manager interacts with other apps, and he receives context notifications (e.g. within proximity to a Facebook friend). He also talks about Invisible Girlfriend, an app that gives social proof of a fake relationship for inquisitive friends and family. Tom discusses many useful apps for “if this, then that,” apps that arrange appointments, reservations, and groceries, and email notification automation for social updates. Tom and Dennis discuss how this new generation of notification apps is indicative of emerging information intake platforms like smart watches. Finally, they talk about how lawyers can use these invisible apps for personal life, professional organization, or even client communication.

In the second part of the podcast, Dennis and Tom discuss Dave Winer’s new idea of a five minute podcast that quickly comments on one topic, answers a question, or responds to a post. They discuss the searchability of the podcast, the work spent on production, and whether this really is the Twitter of podcasting. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.

Special thanks to our sponsor, ServeNow.

Lawyer 2 Lawyer

‘FOSS+beer’ at Beryl’s Beer Co.

During a recent trip, Lawyer 2 Lawyer host Bob Ambrogi visited Legal Talk Network headquarters in Denver, Colorado. While there, he interviewed hosts from another legal podcast called ‘FOSS+beer’. With their general focus on law, technology, and open source software, hosts Mark Donald, Jilayne Lovejoy, and the mysterious Boups the Beerman navigate potentially irreverent topics while sampling local libations on each episode. In an effort to respond in kind, we decided to adjourn from our comfy studio in favor of our neighbor’s craft brewery establishment, Beryl’s Beer Co.

Tune in to hear this spirited discussion about the indemnification, intellectual property, and ethical issues associated with open source software and the practice of law. In addition, listen to our very own Trent Carlyle, owner and chief technology officer of Legal Talk Network, and Chad Jolly, senior software developer, as they join the conversation and talk about the world of modern software development while Eric Nichols, head brewer from Beryl’s Beer Co., gives the rundown on the craft brewery industry sweeping the RiNo arts district in downtown Denver.

Mark Donald is an attorney who provides technology, knowledge management, workflow, and licensing consulting to his clients. He is a frequent speaker and presenter for topics relating to software in law practice. Mark maintains an open source project called oslawtools.org, which is dedicated to building on existing projects to make them useful and easy for legal practice.

Jilayne Lovejoy is a consultant providing services relating to open source policy considerations and licensing compliance. She co-leads the legal team for Software Package Data Exchange and is a regular participant in open source industry groups.

Boups the Beerman brings the non-legal perspective to the FOSS+beer podcast and makes sure that his co-hosts don’t get too serious about the legal issues. Although his identity is mostly a secret, his tastes as a beer connoisseur and fashionista are well-known?

Eric Nichols is the head brewer at Beryl’s Beer Co. which is a craft brewery that specializes in barrel-aged products. He started as a home brewer but eventually went to brewing school to pursue his passion.

Trent Carlyle is the co-owner and chief technology officer for Legal Talk Network. Prior to founding Legal Talk Network’s parent company, Trent earned his MBA from Colorado State University and went on to build and grow a number of software and internet start-ups. Trent works very closely with the technology and marketing teams overseeing product development.

Chad Jolly is the senior software developer for Legal Talk Network and its parent company. He enjoys building and fixing all types of things while striving to find simple and elegant solutions to complex problems.

Special thanks to our sponsor, Clio.

Special Reports

ABA National Summit: ‘Programs to Bridge the Gap’

In this series of Legal Talk Network interviews, producer Laurence Colletti and ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Victor Li interview Professor Andrew Perlman, Shantelle Argyle, Dwight Smith, Judge Laurie White, Terri Mascherin, Judge Ann Aiken, and Steven Crossland. Together, they discuss the mini-presentations that were part of the ‘Bridging The Gap’ speaking event at the ABA’s National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services.

Tune in to hear how law schools are adjusting their curriculum to meet shifting roles for attorneys, what an innovative law firm is doing to address decreased job openings for lawyers, and why it’s important to hire ex-cons when they are released. In addition, learn how app platforms are reducing repeat criminal offenses while saving taxpayers money and why some paralegals are allowed to practice law in Washington State.

Victor Li is the legal affairs writer for the ABA Journal. Previously, he was a reporter for Law Technology News, The American Lawyer magazine, and Litigation Daily (NYC). A former prosecutor in the Bronx, Victor earned a J.D. from Tulane, a M.S. from Columbia University School of Journalism and a B.A. in history from Amherst.

Professor Andrew Perlman is the professor of law and director of the Institute on Law Practice Technology & Innovation at Suffolk University Boston Law School where he teaches professional responsibility and civil procedure. He is the vice chair of the ABA Commission on the Future of Legal Services and the former chief reporter for the ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20.

Shantelle Argyle started Open Legal Services, Utah’s first and only nonprofit modest means law firm that has the goal of helping people of modest means who are working hard but can be easily crippled by a legal setback.

Dwight Smith is a solo practitioner at the law office of Dwight L. Smith, PLLC. He has chaired numerous committees and commissions for the American Bar Association, including the Standing Committee on Group and Prepaid Legal Services.

Judge Laurie White presides over the Criminal District Court in Orleans Parish where she hears criminal matters. She is the co-founder of the Orleans Re-Entry Court Workforce Development Program, which focuses on getting former inmates back into the workforce and reducing the chances for recidivism.

Terri Mascherin is a partner at Jenner & Block’s Litigation Department and a member of their Complex Commercial Litigation, International Arbitration, and Trademark, Advertising and Unfair Competition practices. She serves the firm as co-chair of the Firm Centennial Planning Committee and as a member of the Diversity and International Committees and the Women’s Forum Steering Committee.

Chief Judge Ann Aiken presides over the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon nominated by President Clinton in 1997 and confirmed by the Senate in 1998.

Steven Crossland has been a practicing attorney for nearly 40 years. He is the former president of the Washington State Bar Association and has been dealing with the unauthorized practice of law and access to justice for 21 years. He is also the recipient of WSBA’s Award of Merit and the current chair for the Limited License Legal Technician Board.

Special Reports

ABA National Summit: ‘Focus on the Client’

In this series of Legal Talk Network interviews, producer Laurence Colletti and ABA Journal Legal Affairs Writer Victor Li interview Judge Lora Livingston from the 261st Civil District Court in Travis County, Texas, Joseph West from Minority Corporate Counsel Association, and Eleanor Acer from Human Rights First. In addition, they interview Judge Charles V. Harrington from Arizona Superior Court, Pima County, and Alex Gulotta from Bay Area Legal Aid.

Together, they recap the Ted talk style mini-presentations during the ‘Focus on the Client’ speaking event at the ABA’s National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services. Hear how in-house legal departments are changing from cost centers to profit centers, why so many immigrants are without attorneys, what courts are doing to provide better customer service, and what questions Legal Aid organizations should ask to make sure those in need get the help they require.

Victor Li is the legal affairs writer for the ABA Journal. Previously, he was a reporter for Law Technology News, The American Lawyer magazine, and Litigation Daily (NYC). A former prosecutor in the Bronx, Victor earned a J.D. from Tulane, a M.S. from Columbia University School of Journalism and a B.A. in history from Amherst.

Honorable Lora J. Livingston is the judge of the 261st District Court in Travis County, Texas. She served several terms in the ABA House of Delegates and has served on the Select Committee of the House. She has served on the ABA Commission on IOLTA, the ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services, and the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants (SCLAID). She currently serves on the ABA Standing Committee on Pro Bono and Public Service.

Joseph West is the president and CEO of the Minority Corporate Counsel Association (MCCA). Prior to that, he served as associate general counsel at Walmart Stores, Inc., where he established himself as an innovator in the legal services arena and a leading advocate for diversity and inclusion.

Eleanor Acer is the director of Human Rights First’s Refugee Protection program where she oversees Human Rights First’s pro bono representation program and advocacy on issues relating to refugee protection, asylum, and migrants’ rights. She advocates, speaks and writes regularly on issues relating to the human rights of refugees and migrants, including legal representation, detention, U.S. asylum law and policy, and protection from xenophobic and bias-motivated violence.

Honorable Charles V. Harrington is a judge for the Arizona Superior Court in Pima County, Arizona. He attended Gonzaga University School of Law where he received his J.D. (magna cum laude).

Special Reports

ABA National Summit: ‘Challenges to Innovation’

In this series of Legal Talk Network interviews, producer Laurence Colletti and CodeX Fellow Monica Bay interview Professor of Law Gillian Hadfield from University of Southern California, Professor Marshall Van Alstyne from Boston University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Mark Britton, the founder and CEO of Avvo. Together they talk about about challenges to innovation at the ABA’s National Summit on Innovation in Legal Services.

Tune in as we discuss the merits of 3rd party law firm ownership, suggestions for changing unauthorized practice of law rules, and how lawyers are stuck at floor rate of $200 per hour.

Monica Bay is a Fellow at CodeX: The Stanford Center for Legal Informatics and is currently retired from her position as editor-in-chief of ALM’s Law Technology News, where she worked for 30 years.

Gillian Hadfield is the Richard L. and Antoinette Kirtland professor of law and professor of economics at the University of Southern California. She studies the design of legal and dispute resolution systems in advanced and developing market economies, the markets for law, lawyers, and dispute resolution, contract law and theory, economic analysis of law, and regulation of legal markets and legal profession. She is the director of the Southern California Innovation Project and co-director of the Center in Law, Economics, and Organization.

Marshall Van Alstyne is an associate professor at Boston University and a visiting professor at MIT. He is one of the leading experts in network business models. He conducts research on information economics, covering such topics as communications markets, the economics of networks, intellectual property, social effects of technology, and productivity effects of information. As co-developer of the concept of two-sided networks, he has been a major contributor to the theory of network effects, a set of ideas now taught in more than 50 business schools worldwide.

Mark Britton is the founder, CEO, and president of Avvo, an online legal forum and directory. Additionally, he serves on Gonzaga University’s Board of Regents, was Expedia’s first general counsel, and is a frequent commentator on consumer affairs.

Un-Billable Hour

Managing Law Firm Risk with Rules-Based Docketing

Court deadline rules can be incredibly complicated, particularly for civil litigators, and even the most meticulous lawyers and legal assistants can miss an important date. There are different rules when dealing with mailing deadlines or holidays and weekends. Additionally federal, state, and local courts all have individual rules, and even some federal courts are different from district to district and within divisions of the district. In the past, managing these deadlines was a full time job, but rules-based docketing and scheduling technologies have emerged that are more accurate and less time consuming.

In this episode of The Un-Billable Hour, Christopher Anderson interviews Carol Lynn Grow and Jack Grow from Law Toolbox about the risks inherent in deadline-driven practices and why it is important to manage law firm risk with rules-based docketing. They discuss malpractice claims and explain how the technology can reduce your firm’s risk which often reduces malpractice insurance rates. Rules-based docketing, they explain, can collaborate with the cloud-based softwares you already use, like Clio, Office 365, or LexisNexis Firm Manager. Tune in to hear about how the software works, which practice areas can benefit from using it, and how lawyers approach cost recovery.

Carol Lynn Grow graduated from the University of Colorado School of Business in 1990 and worked for an aluminum manufacturing company in Tokyo using her Japanese language skills to facilitate negotiations with international countries. She spent seven years at IBM in Tokyo and Boulder, Colorado, managing global procurement of manufacturing supplies and distribution. Since 2001, Carol Lynn has overseen the marketing and channel partners for Law Toolbox.

Jack Grow is an attorney experienced in civil litigation emphasizing appeals and commercial disputes and insurance coverage. In addition to practicing law, Jack developed and delivered Law Toolbox, a product to help lawyers automate deadlines based on rules promulgated by the courts in which they practice. Since its introduction in 1999, Law Toolbox has evolved and now calculates deadlines, instantly updates those deadlines to attorneys and their support staff to give them summary reports, sends emails to the users and even sends practice tips and a first draft to the pleadings that are due.

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