Welcome to the first episode of the official Florida Bar Podcast. If you are a member of the Florida Bar or simply an interested attorney looking to improve your legal service offerings, this podcast is for you. Join us each month as esteemed law leaders share their knowledge, experience, and recommendations for creating best practices.
In this episode, host Adriana Linares interviews Florida Bar Director of Programs Division Terry Hill. Together, they discuss the purpose of the Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute, its numerous member benefits, and much, much more. Tune in to learn about the Self Help Knowledge base, benefits of Live Chat, and available service discounts offered exclusively through the Florida Bar.
Terry Hill is the Director of the Programs Division at The Florida Bar where he leads a team of six department heads who oversee six departments. He provides leadership and oversight for the Legal Publications department, the Legal Specialization & Education department, the Professional Development department, the Meetings & Conventions department, the Practice Resource Institute (PRI), and the Public Service Programs department. Terry is also the CLE Director where he focuses on continuing legal education programming, marketing, and delivery methods, and the staff liaison to The Florida Bar Member Benefits Committee where he coordinates the preferred providers for the bar’s 100,000 members.
The Florida Bar Podcast: Florida Bar’s Practice Resource Institute, Member Benefits, and More – 1/19/2015
Advertiser: Welcome to the official Florida Bar Podcast. Where we cover practice management, leadership, and what’s happening in Florida law. Brought to you by the Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute. You’re listening to Legal Talk Network.
Adriana Linares: Hello and welcome to the official Florida Bar Podcast, brought to you by the Practice Resource Institute on Legal Talk Network. The Practice Resource Institute is the Florida Bar’s new online center for practice management tips and information, dedicated to Florida attorneys and Bar members. My name is Adriana Linares and I’ll be your host. I’m a legal technology consultant and trainer, I’ve been working around Florida for many years and over the past couple of years, I’ve had the honor and the pleasure of helping the Florida Bar with some of their technology initiative and projects. This is our inaugural episode and we’re excited to be bringing this new content to you. Our first guest is mister Terry Hill. Terry’s the director of the programs division at the Florida Bar. He provides leadership and oversight for legal publications, legal specialization and education, professional development, meetings, conventions, law office management assistance which is PRI, and public service programs. Gosh, as if he doesn’t have enough to do, he’s also the CLE director, and the staff liaison of the Florida Bar Member Benefits Committee where he coordinates the preferred providers for the Bar’s 98-thousand members; and I’m going to ask him about that because we have some great new member benefits that I know he’s going to want to tell you about. He’s also a member of the Association of Continuing Legal Education Administrators, and the National Association of Bar Executives; he’s been very active in both of those groups for many years. He currently serves as a board member of the Florida State University College of Law Alumni board and the Florida State University Family Connection Advisory council. Terry, I don’t think you have enough to do.
Terry Hill: That’s what they say.
Adriana Linares: Right, so they just keep giving you more stuff to do.
Terry Hill: Exactly.
Adriana Linares: Like putting together and organizing PRI. Why don’t we start there? Tell us about President Coleman’s vision for the Practice Resource Institute and how it sort of came to be and a little bit about what we can expect from that source.
Terry Hill: Of course. President Greg Coleman – through looking at some of the resources we previously had available to Bar members to meet the needs of law practice management and technology resources – thought that we could use do so much more. So he instituted a special committee on technology office tools and resources. And through that group – through President Coleman’s input and leadership and Chair Kevin Johnson’s leadership – we were able to come up with a list of things that we wanted; a new Practice Resource Institute site to offer to the members. And through utilizing your expertise as a consultant to the Bar and to that committee, we’re able to come up with what we now have as this Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute site.
Adriana Linares: And on this site, tell us a little bit about how it’s organized, what kind of information would I as a member of the Florida Bar go there to get.
Terry Hill: The ultimate goal is for the PRI – or Practice Resource Institute – to really be the initial place that a bar member would go when they have a question regarding office technology, accounting and finance in a law office, marketing for the solo-small firm, management, or just to establishing a new practice. One of the things that we really took to heart and laying that out, is we literally took those five areas and we’ve kind of put them into silos and really made those the focus of the new PRI site. So you’ll literally find tabs or silos dedicated to each of those areas: office technology, accounting/finance, marketing, management, and starting a new practice.
Adriana Linares: That’s really exciting! So there’s a bunch of content already that you brought over from the previous resource center that we had, and then I know you’ve also included some new resources. So do you want to tell us a little bit about where the new resources and new information is coming from?
Terry Hill: Well again, we see the PRI site is really not finished product. While it’s a new product, or new service and new page, it will constantly evolve. It’s a great start to the future of Practice Resource Institute and resources for Florida Bar members. But just amongst some of the newest content of resources or features of the PRI site, is a knowledge-base. It’s searchable by Bar members, there’s newsletter news-feed-type information, under each of the silos there’s actual video content as well as podcast content that show a lot of information has been added that weren’t there before; as well as a carousel of new programs and offerings and member benefits that are in the process of being lost to the members.
Adriana Linares: Yeah, it’s actually really exciting, and one of the things that PRI is going to offer is this official Florida Bar Podcast, so we should tell everyone about that. This is the first episode and we’re using it as an opportunity to tell everyone about pRI and the future podcasts which are going to include talks with law leaders around the state that are very active or have some sort of expertise in managing the law office or helping with technology and we really hope that that’s going to be a great resource as well. Podcasts have certainly become much more popular over the past few years so it’s exciting that we’re going to have this new podcast, right?
Terry Hill: No, I’m not really excited about it. Just in confession, I was not very familiar with Legal Talk Network and all that was available through the podcasts through Legal Talk Network until very recently. But then it becomes addictive; you really see all the content that’s there and is literally available at the click of a button to hear some really great, innovative, forward-thinking individuals in the profession, really talking about things that matter to lawyers. So I’m really excited about that partnership and the fact that you could literally – from the PRI website – access the Legal Talk Network catalog and podcasts.
Adriana Linares: No, it is, it’s a great resource. I’m glad that you took a couple of minutes to check it out and maybe even download some podcasts, Terry, it’s crazy. There’s a podcast about all kinds of things, I bet even your favorite football program’s probably got some podcasts out there that you could indulge in that all day and night – there’s all kinds of stuff. Back to the PRI, that’s exciting, so we’re going to have the Florida Bar Podcast come out about once a month and it’s going to be focused on helping lawyers – some aspect, some piece of practicing law, specifically how it might relate to doing so in Florida or especially for our members having that focus. Of course, anybody will be able to listen to it because I’m sure that the information will be so helpful for everyone. Tell us a little bit about the group – the special committee – that was behind PRI. They worked really hard, there was a lot of volunteers that go into that. Do you think members realize that all this activity that happens to make these resources and these new things available happen because of volunteers? Everyone that was part of that committee volunteered a lot of times. Do you want to tell us a little bit about how that committee came to be and the work that they did?
Terry Hill: I think that’s a great point. It is that the committee was empanelled by President Coleman with a very specific task. One, to build something to replace what used to be known, LOMAS, and the Lawyers helping Lawyers pages at the website, in a consolidated, user-friendly, very-informative manner, so that it would truly become the resource center. And through many hours and a lot of work of some hard-working committee members – some reflect in the Bar Membership, some not members of the Florida Bar, some technology people, some mains that people and some lawyers would recognize – we really had a lot of good people working and putting in a lot of time about what they wanted to see; what they needed in their practice, what resources they found themselves seeking but weren’t seeking through the Bar because there really wasn’t a single place to get that information. So a lot of that information has culminated in what we now see as the PRI site, and the great thing about that group is that they’re going to continue working and we expected that. Special committee will roll over into an oversight or advisory committee for PRI just to continue the great work that’s been started so that we can really develop this for the next generation of lawyers.
Adriana Linares: Yeah, that’s very exciting, and hat-tip to them, they did a great job and the site looks great. And I’m going to make sure and ask you at the end when we’re done, how people – attorneys – and especially members of the Bar can access PRI. But before we move on to our next segment, we’re going to take a quick break to hear a message from our sponsors.
Adriana Linares: This is normally the time in our show where we hear a word from our sponsors, and this could potentially represent an opportunity for you. The Florida Bar Podcast is seeking sponsorship. If you’re interested in participating in our programming or would like to learn more about rates, please contact the team at Legal Talk Network or visit the website at LegalTalkNetwork.com and click “advertise.”
Adriana Linares: Welcome back to the official Florida Bar Podcast; I’m Adriana Linares and with me today is mister Terry Hill. Terry, before the break, we left off at you telling us about PRI and how it was put together by members of the special committee and some of the resources that are on there. What about this new feature I’ve been hearing about maybe some live help, some live chat we’re going to have on there. You mentioned the “knowledge-base,” and does that work in tandem with live-help and live-chat? Tell us about that.
Terry Hill: Well I think that probably the two features that we’re most excited about is the self-help knowledge base and the live-chat feature and essentially, anyone can access the Practice Resource Institute pages. If they’re public pages, Bar members and non-Bar members can get there and see the content, see some of the video-content, and see the stacked information. But there are certain features that we call our “premium content,” that’s really truly only available to Bar-members and those who are here to serve. So with regards to the self-help knowledge base, if someone goes to click on that feature from the website, they will be prompted to log in with their username and password, similarly with the live-chat feature. So once someone logs in with their traditional username and password, – their bar name and password – like they would log into if they were registering for a course, or posting credits or paying fees. Then that will open up the knowledge-base so that they could actually ask a question or inner-search terms and then it will populate with the most relevant information relating to their search. Also at the bottom of the page, during Bar business hours, there will be an opportunity to literally live-chat with a Practice Resource Institute staff member who will be able to answer questions, assist with information, assist with navigating or finding information on the site. And in the event that during peak-times that there is not an advisor available, they’ll be able to send an email or communication-message to a staff member to have them contact them back.
Adriana Linares: Yeah, that’s really exciting; what a great resource! Especially for perhaps solos and small firms around the state that don’t necessarily have the luxury of having an internal I.T. person or helpdesk like a lot of us do – call the kid next door or the kid in the office and get some help. I think that’s a great addition to PRI and I’m sure that many members are going to take advantage of that and really enjoy that. Some of the other things that you’ve done in putting all of this together is bring in some new member benefits that are specifically practice management and technology-focused. In the past I think there haven’t been that many and as another initiative as President Coleman has had; tell us about that. And maybe if you can remember some of the names that you reviewed because I think you had a lot. So just tell us a little bit about the member benefits that are going to be new.
Terry Hill: Definitely. The Chair of the Member Benefits Committee, Pete Sweeney, working with – kind of a request from – President Coleman to really review some technology-related benefits that are kind of technology practice -related, really took that. And Pete Sweeney scheduled a special meeting of the Member Benefits Committee which was literally about a 7-hour meeting down in Tampa, to listen to in-person presentations from potential member benefit providers. And in doing so, we were really looking for unique discounts providing a true benefit to Bar members that we could add on through PRI and the Member Benefits Committee to truly be valuable resources to the members. There was a great turnout, a lot of law-related,technology-related partners wanted to join in the midst to be a potential member benefit provider for the Bar members. And we had a really good offering and we’re in the middle of contracting with a lot of these providers now with the hopes that we’re launching these out within the next 30 days. And they include Amicus Attorney, Nexpoint, Clio, Ruby Receptionists, MyCase, Bill4Time, The Form Tool, Rocket Matter, and ServeMananger, are the ones that have already been embedded through the Member Benefits Committee, they’ve been approved to start the contracting process through the board of governors; we are in dialogue, on contract, language-in-terms now with each of those providers and there’s more to come. Later this month when the Member of Benefits Committee meets again, we’ll be taking up some additional proposals that are similarly situated with that are law practice management and technology providers that we can further extend resources to Bar members through utilizing member benefits in conjunction with PRI.
Adriana Linares: It’s really exciting – all of this new interest and focus that the Bar has found on helping members with these sorts of things and I think it’s so exciting. It’s really great and we have so many members in a Bar association this size and I know that they’re really going to take advantage of it. So unfortunately, it looks like we’ve reached the end of our program. We’d like to invite Terry to share a couple of closing thoughts. And of course, Terry let us know what is the website or the URL where Florida Bar members could take a look at PRI.
Terry Hill: The PRI website can easily be reached at www.FloridaBar.org/PRI – “PRI” as in Practice Research Institute. You can also access the site by going to the Florida Bar homepage and selecting member services and then either clicking on the words “Practice Resource Institute,” or the logo, “Practice Resource Institute.” That’s the best way to reach the pages and then all of the silos are clickable and there’s plenty of content there but that’s the best way for members to get the access. We really do want to hear feedback from members; this was truly built with the Bar member in mind. It’s a starting point, it’s not a finished product. We want it out there, we want this to be a resource for the members for the solos and small firms and the Bar members as a whole. But we want to know from the Bar members what they can get and what they want to see. What resources are they using, what resources are not here that they would use if they were here, and so when they get to the website, there’s an opportunity for them to provide feedback by emailing in to support and we would certainly like to hear these feedbacks that members have so that we could take this new resource and continue to evolve it to be something that they will use as often as they need.
Adriana Linares: That’s great and I’m sure we’ll get plenty of positive feedback as well as some great ideas for new features, new information, that even with all the big brains you had working on this, couldn’t have thought of everything. And like you said, in its infancy, it’s very robust already, and I’m sure getting that feedback from the Florida Bar members is going to be really valuable. Well thank you, Terry. Thank you so much for taking time out of your incredibly busy day to do this with us today.
Terry Hill: You’re welcome and it’s been a pleasure.
Adriana Linares: For all of you listeners who’d like more information about what you’ve heard today, make sure to visit the official Florida Bar Podcast on PRI, of course, at the Florida Bar website. And if you have the hankering for learning more about some really good legal specific podcasts, make sure you visit LegalTalkNetwork.com. We also have out there both Legal Talk Network and the Florida Bar available to the followed, friended, and found, on Twitter, Facebook, RSS, the whole business. So that brings us to the end of our show. I’m Adriana Linares, thank you for listening. Join us next time for another great episode of the official Florida Bar Podcast.
Advertiser: The views expressed by the participants of the program are their own, and do not represent the views of, nor are they endorsed by, Legal Talk Network, it’s officers, directors, employees, agents, representatives, shareholders, and subsidiaries. None of the content should be considered legal advice. As always, consult a lawyer. Thanks for listening to the official Florida Bar Podcast, brought to you by the Florida Bar Practice Resource Institute and produced by the broadcast professionals at Legal Talk Network. Join host, Adriana Linares, for her next podcast on practice management, leadership, and what’s happening in Florida Law. Subscribe to the RSS feed on LegalTalkNetwork.com, or in iTunes.
[End of Transcript]