In this Special Report from Legal Talk Network, producer Laurence Colletti interviews ALM’s Editor-in-Chief Monica Bay about the LegalTech West Coast conference. Together, they discuss the power-packed line up of speakers (listed below) as well as debuts for innovational products and services. Notwithstanding its tenure in Los Angeles, this event is moving to a new city for next year. Tune in to hear about this year’s show and its future.
Monica Bay is the Editor-in-Chief of ALM’s nationally-acclaimed publication Law Technology News. A leader in Internet-media, Bay helped The Late Show with David Letterman establish their first website on America Online and has been with ALM since 1985. She has received numerous awards for editorial excellence from Associated Press and The American Society of Journalists Sigma Delta Chi.
The majority of people today are getting their information electronically, whether on a laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone. In the legal world, this means lawyers, paralegals, clients, and even judges are reading on screens rather than paper, causing them to skim pages and have a constant source of distraction. Because of this, paralegals and legal professionals need to change the way they write in a way that grabs attention and delivers the message. How should paralegals write in order to captivate busy lawyers and clients in today’s technological world?
In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews appellate lawyer and successful legal writing expert Kevin Dubose about changes in the way lawyers read and communicate today and how lawyers and paralegals can adapt their writing skills to be read on a screen. There are 5 new features of the working environment that have changed the way everyone reads: online distractions, value speed over content, backlit screens, multiple windows, and email. These features, Dubose explains, encourage clients, lawyers, judges, and most everyone else to skim pages for important content and avoid long, convoluted paragraphs, sentences, or even words. In order to capture attention, he says, paralegals should write using headings, bullet points, short paragraphs, and start with the conclusion. Most importantly, write for the reader and you will have done your job.
Kevin Dubose is an attorney for and one of the founding partners of the appellate boutique, Alexander Dubose Jefferson & Townsend LLP. He has been the Director of Legal Research and Writing at UHLC and is a frequent CLE speaker and author. He recently spoke at the Houston Paralegal Association’s annual conference on the topic of Successful Legal Writing Strategies for Today’s Readers.
Special thanks to our sponsors:
NALA, a Professional association for paralegals, providing continuing education and professional certification programs for paralegals.
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Wearable technology like the smartwatch is the next in a long line of new technological advancements that are embraced by some, but viewed skeptically by most lawyers. Judges already discourage smart phones in court and many clients worry about a decrease in information security. But if used properly, a smartwatch can actually increase the productivity, availability, and even safety of any lawyer’s practice with fewer disruptions. What are the best practices for using wearable technology to benefit your practice?
In this episode of The Digital Edge, Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway interview legal technology expert Richard Georges about wearable technology, how smartwatches enhances his ability to be productive, and what lawyers need to consider when adopting this new technology. Having a smartwatch, Georges explains, actually decreases court disruptions and car distractions while making him accessible to clients at all times. Most of the issues concerning data security are due to human error rather than technology. As long as lawyers learn how to properly embrace wearable technology, he says, it can improve any practice from big law to a solo firm. The risks are not greater, they are simply different.
Richard Georges practices in real property, corporations, wills, trusts, and estates law in Pinellas County, Florida. A self-proclaimed tech junkie, he is well known for writing the Futurelawyer blog and has taught many seminars on technology and the law.
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Paul Hastings partner Art Zwickel about the changes in regulation for investment fund marketing. Zwickel explains that there are new technology systems and services that assist in-house legal teams in complying with the new regulations including the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (AIFMD) in Europe and the JOBS act in the United States. Zwickel specializes in investment management law at Paul Hastings and is on the board of directors for the California Hedge Fund Association.
New applications and accessories for the iPhone and iPad consistently promise to improve the professional and personal lives of lawyers. However, with limited time and so many options, it is difficult for busy lawyers to keep up with trends and make educated decisions about which products will make their practice more efficient and which might be distracting or impractical. Tech junkies and new iPhone acquirers alike can benefit from an update on the best new products to improve a lawyer’s Apple experience.
On this episode of The Legal Toolkit, Heidi Alexander interviews iPhoneJD blog author Jeff Richardson about his favorite iPhone and iPad apps and accessories that lawyers use in their practice and lives. Richardson and Alexander list their favorite iPad, iPhone, and universal iOS apps for professional uses such as document readers, presentation tools, and Twitter managers, as well as apps for personal uses like podcasts or meditation. Because they are almost never free, accessories are best purchased with a positive review. The favored accessories included mobile hard drives, docks, cases, keyboards, and the best bags in which to carry everything else. While not every lawyer will benefit from all of the tech products listed, in 30 minutes, all will learn about the next app or accessory that can improve their practice.
Jeff Richardson, a litigator for Adams and Reese LLP in New Orleans, is well known in the legal tech industry for his website iPhoneJD.com which helps lawyers who use iPhones and iPads in their practice. Founded in 2008, iPhoneJD has been named the best legal technology blog more than once by the ABA Journal.
“All right, Mr. Demille, I’m ready for my close-up.” Video phone calls have been talked about for many years, from the time this famous line appeared in the movie Sunset Boulevard. Videoconferences are becoming widely used in law firms and other businesses; many lawyers, legal professionals, and HR departments are using them to provide the feel of a meeting room without the time and expense of traveling. Therefore, it is important for professionals to be prepared for the technical and visual components of their next video chat.
In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the rise of video use in calls and online meetings, the challenges and opportunities of video, and how lawyers can prepare for their video close-up. They consider several features that would improve videoconference services such as chat, screenshare, group messaging, and multi-platform compatibility and compare Zoom.us to Google hangouts and other platforms. In addition to examining personal visual components such as lighting, dress code, and in etiquette in each video conference lawyers also need to understand the ethical implications of recording witnesses or discussing strategy. In these instances they can be left with discoverable electronic data.
As their second topic, Kennedy and Mighell discuss the current state of portable computing and whether touch screens and combo laptops might be a better personal option when replacing older laptops. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation that can be used the second this podcast ends.
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Dave Chaplin, CEO of SearchDex, about the importance of business development and digital marketing. Chaplin explains how the legal world needs to focus on technological advancement and have a strong online marketing strategy including SEO, quality content, and a consistent social media presence. SearchDex is a digital marketing company that provides technology platforms that focus on search engine optimization.
Laurence Colletti from the Legal Talk Network interviews e-discovery expert Bennett Borden about how electronic data collection and analysis is increasing the efficiency and accuracy of large scale litigation. This historically unparalleled ability “to get to an answer” is having a significant effect on the legal industry. Not only is it driving companies to faster settlements and empowering small plaintiffs’ firms to take large cases but it is also impacting the billable hour model used by large firms. Borden is a partner and Co-chair of the information governance and e-discovery group at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP.
Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Rohit Talwar, CEO of Fast Future, about the conclusions of ILTA’s Legal Technology Future Horizons Research Project. This project focuses on how advances in technology will impact the legal sector in the near future. As technology has now become an integral part of legal services, customer interface, and internal processes, Talwar explains, a focus on IT will be essential in order to compete in the global market. Within Fast Future, Talwar acts as a futuristic strategic advisor to many companies, governments, and organizations around the world.
During the 2014 LegalTech West Coast trade show, Legal Talk Network producer Laurence Colletti interviews Lawyer 2 Lawyer host J. Craig Williams who specializes in civil litigation, white collar criminal matters, as well as admiralty and tax issues. Together they discuss how small law firms use technologies to even the playing field with large law firms. Williams explains that technology is pervasive in how lawyers give trial presentations, communicate with clients, market their services, and even manage a practice. Small and medium sized firms can adapt more quickly to new technologies making up for their lack of big-firm resources. Tune in for 3 tools every lawyer should be using and 3 ways to make a practice more nimble.