The practice of law is a profession that is constantly evolving and one that requires continued training and education to stay on the cutting edge of legal trends. In this episode of The Florida Bar Podcast, hosts Jonathon Israel and Christine Bilbrey talk with Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida General Magistrate Jennifer Kuyrkendall about the upcoming Florida Bar Tech Show and why office managers, paralegals, law students, and lawyers should attend.
Jennifer Kuyrkendall is the General Magistrate for the Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida. She also sits on the Executive Council of the Solo & Small Firm Section where she currently serves as secretary and chair of The Florida Bar Tech Show: Riding the Technology Wave.
The Florida Bar Podcast
The Florida Bar Tech Show Riding the Technology Wave
Intro: 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 are listening to the Legal Talk Network.
Christine Bilbrey: Hello and welcome to the Florida Bar Podcast, brought to you by the Practice Resource Institute on Legal Talk Network and we’re so glad you’re joining us today. This is Christine Bilbrey and I’m a practice management advisor at PRI and one of the hosts for today’s show which is being recorded from our offices in Tallahassee, Florida.
My co-host is Jonathon Israel Director of the Practice Resource Institute.
Jonathon Israel: Hello! I’m Jonathon Israel and as Christine mentioned, I’m the Director of the Florida Bars Practice Resource Institute.
Our goal here at PRI is to assist Florida attorneys with running the business side of their law practices. We’ll be focusing on a different aspect of Technology each month and will carry that theme through our newsletter, website and related tech tips and articles.
Joining us today is Jennifer Kuyrkendall. Jennifer is the General Magistrate for the Third Judicial Circuit in North Central Florida. She presides over probate, guardianship, domestic relations and foreclosure matters.
Jennifer sits on the Executive Council of the Florida Bar Solo & Small Firm Section, where she currently serves as a Secretary and Chair of the event we wanted to focus on today which is the Florida Bar’s newly named Tech Show and this year’s theme is going to be called Riding the Technology Wave.
Christine Bilbery: Welcome to the show Jennifer.
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Thanks Christine, thanks Jonathon.
Christine Bilbery: Okay, so if I’m an attorney and I’m thinking about going to the Florida Bar winter meeting which is coming up on January 25th down in Orlando, why should I think about also attending the Tech Show?
Jennifer Bilbery: Well it’s going to be a great opportunity to go and earn our newly required CLE credit for technology that’s recently then passed and approved by the Supreme Court to where all lawyers in Florida are going to be required to have an additional three CLE credit hours per cycle that’s specifically in technology.
And this conference is a day-and-a-half conference that every single one of our credits will be in technology. So right there after that you’ve got that taken care of and then technology is necessary in our practice. It’s constantly evolving, constantly changing, so it’s going to be a great opportunity to go and have hands-on, be able to ask questions from industry experts and just socialize and network with other attorneys, but more importantly learn what the current trends are in technology at this time.
Christine Bilbery: And who do you think should go, it’s just attorneys or are there other people that you get at your conference?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: No, we get everybody. We are going to have attorneys of course at the conference, but your office manager, your paralegal are welcome to attend. We also offer for law students to attend and special and new this year we’re going to actually have a judicial panel and we’re anticipating about 35 judges that will be there Friday morning, they are not at all participating in the panel, they’re going to be there like you as attendees at the conference itself.
Christine Bilbery: Wow! So did you call all those judges personally yourself to get them lined up?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: No, no. I am only involved in organizing the panel itself and I’ve been working closely with Judge Williams out of the Eighth Circuit and he’s been working on the judge and I’ve been working on the attorney and the Florida Bar and we’re having, a part of it will be a joint conference in that we’re bringing the judges and because it’s important for most of the judges to see what the practitioner faces in our technology hurdles or benefits as well for the attorney to see what the judges sees.
There’s different judicial viewers throughout the whole state and if you’re practicing in a different county you might not be dealing with a judge who’s using consistent technology, so it will be a good way for both sides of the bench and bar to see what the other sees and deals with.
Jonathon Israel: That’s awesome, that’s a great point. I hear so many attorneys that when their biggest complaint is when they walk into a courtroom they don’t really know what to expect from that judicial side as to, how that judge wants to see whatever they’re presenting and what technology he is used to using – they’re used to using. Sorry!
Christine Bilbery: Okay, Jennifer so tell us about the speakers that you have lined up for the upcoming Tech Show?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Sure! We’ve got people coming from all over. I have Alan McKenzie. He’s going to be coming from Arizona. He’s going to be discussing Microsoft Office Suite. He’s got Microsoft Word topic, Microsoft Excel as well as Microsoft Outlook.
We also have some local folks that you might be already aware of, I think they have both been on podcast before, Liz McCausland as well as Barbara Leach. They’re going to be discussing the technology powered, modern and successful law firm.
I also have Andrew LeGrand. He’s coming from New Orleans. He’s going to be discussing how to improve efficiency with text and document automation. That one you’re actually getting CLE credit for, but then I have a bonus one that Andrew is going to be discussing, which is niche marketing.
Because it’s marketing, you don’t actually get CLE credit for it but it’s more incentive, more of bonus, more of reason why you really need to come and attend this conference.
We also have Melissa Koch coming from Orlando. She is going to be discussing cyber security and privacy for lawyers.
Now that’s the individual speakers. I also have the different panels, for instance the judicial panel that I spoke about. That’s going to include circuit judge Diana Tennis out of Orlando, Sharon Bock who is the clerk of court in Palm Beach County and then there’s other people they are going to be on the panel that you’ll just get to come to the conference and see and meet.
The second panel that I’m going to have is going to be composed of general counsels from the nation’s leading online legal platforms and top legal thinkers. There are going to be like Avvo, Rocket Lawyer, those types of places. So there’s a lot of discussion going on right now how they fit in within the Florida Bar’s regulatory framework.
So this is going to be an opportunity for an open discussion and for the lawyers to come and ask and see well how do I fit into that picture, how is that pushing me out of the market or how is that creating a market opportunity for me. So a lot of things that you might not necessarily think of are going to be addressed in that panel.
And then on Saturday we’re bringing back a panel that I did in 2015 when I was also the conference chair, it is going to be a panel composed of the practice management providers. It’s an opportunity for the attendee to watch six or seven different practice management or time and billing providers and see, okay what does this product do, how can it benefit me, how can it make my practice more efficient and by getting to see all of those and then have a comparison between each of them, it’s a much simpler way of selecting who you want to use for your practice management time and billing or if you want to change, if you want to switch from who you currently have.
And then on Saturday we’re going to end this show with all-time favorite, the 50 Tech Tips in 50 Minutes that will be comprised, on the panel I have some of our speakers from the last day as well as Adriana Linares, she is just amazing, she always does a great job with these tech tips.
Christine Bilbrey: That’s wonderful! I do want to highlight something. With the change of the technology CLE requirements, we’ve had quite a few attorneys that have contacted us because they have a lot of apprehension. They feel like the text shows don’t apply to them and it’s interesting to me because you have such a spectrum going on that you have Microsoft Office which where a lot of the techie people are thinking why are you having this.
I love that this can be an entry-level. People who are just using Microsoft Office think they know it but there are so many things they could be doing with it, it’s so much more powerful than they realize. So I like that that’s a little more of a comfort zone for those — the people that are wading into the technology.
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Absolutely! And for those people who think oh! I already know that, well I can promise you, you will pick up some tips from Microsoft Word, Excel or Outlook that you didn’t already know.
Every time I watch one of these presentations I learn something new which makes it worth the price of admission to me but even if you think you’re already an expert in that area, well we have a second track running at the exact same time.
So you get to really choose your own course as to what is most applicable to your practice area or practice management.
Jonathon Israel: Yeah and I think the really cool thing about the speaker line-up is that these aren’t vendors trying to pitch their product. These are actual professionals who have done this and implemented it and can show you how much it improved the efficiencies in their own practices and law firms. So –
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: I agree you 100% Jonathan!
Christine Bilbrey: I love that on the second day that you’re going to show the products, the practice management software because that’s always my first question when attorneys call in and they want to make their practices more efficient, I say are you using practice management software and they’re so overwhelmed that they’ve just opted out to use nothing.
And so we’re constantly asked what do you recommend, what looks best and there are excellent products out there and I tell them it’s going to be about the user interface for you, what are you comfortable with, how do you want the information presented to you. So putting those software packages up where they can look at them and hear about them, you’re doing us a huge service here at PRI.
Jonathon Israel: Oh yeah!
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Look Christine you had a great point about that panel because that’s one thing I didn’t say that user interface, I mean you might come across some sort of software that is very intuitive, that you can just do it without even learning it and then there’s others that they might have great things that they can do but it’s not intuitive.
So this Panel, you’re going to actually get to compare each of these different providers and see, okay, is this the type of user interface that will work with me, and if so, do they offer the types of things that I need? Am I going to be able to export my calendar, import this, export that or transfer from one provider to another, so all those types of questions are going to be answered in one spot.
Jonathon Israel: That’s great. And then you have a lineup of other vendors or exhibitors? If I wanted to try and look at some other products or anything else that may benefit me?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Sure, absolutely Jonathan. It’s still fairly early. It’s where the exhibitors sign up, but so far I have Clio which is Legal Case & Practice Management Software, Tabs3 which is Legal Billing and Practice Management Software, Thomson Reuters, they offer many services. In the past they featured their Firm Central Time & Billing. We also have PracticePanther, which is Secure Law Practice Management Software, and Zola Suite which is Legal Practice Management Software as well.
In the past we have had other types of exhibitors and vendors as well featuring anything from like Ruby Receptionists, we had , Smokeball, we had SoFi, we had Wasson Bay Area Insurance, Rocket Matter, LawPay, CosmoLex, FindLaw, universities, different law schools have come in the past as well.
So we definitely have a wide range and wide variety of exhibitors that come as well as sponsor at the conference.
Christine Bilbrey: That’s excellent. So I am hoping that there are some listeners thinking okay, this is a win-win for me. I can get my CLE tech credits. I can figure out what practice management software to buy, but I want my law firm administrator to come with me because he or she is going to be the one really implementing this with the staff.
So if I am listening and thinking those things, I am also now wondering about how much does it cost to attend? If I am bringing someone besides myself are there ways that I can get a discount? So what do you tell those people?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Yes Christine, that’s a great question. Absolutely bring anybody in your firm who is going to be using technology. If it’s your paralegal, if it’s your office manager who is making those decisions for you, this is a perfect opportunity. It’s something that’s offered to them as well as to attorneys.
Now they get a discounted price, all full-time law college faculty, law students and paralegals get a discounted price of $377. And then as far as attorneys go we have Early Bird Registration through November 30th. If you are a member of the Solo and Small Firm section the cost of $455. If you are not a member, the cost is $490.
Now if you’re clever and you do a quick math there, you will see the price difference is the cost of it takes to join the section.
So join the section, it’s the Solo and Small Firm section of the Florida Bar and right off of the bat you’ve already paid for it. If you’re not able to register prior to November 30th, the regular registration cost would be for members of the Solo and Small Firm section $490 and for non-section members it’s $525.
But if you have come before, we offer a discount, we want you to come back so if you had attended the 2016 Conference you want to come back to 2017 conference, the cost for a member of the Solo and Small Firm section is $430, for non-section members it’s $465.
And then of course, like all CLEs offered through the Florida Bar, we do have fee waivers for various members of the Bar who are Supreme Court, Federal, DCA, circuit judges, it goes onto that list. That’s always listed on the different CLE advertisements. They just had to pay for the cost to attend.
Jonathon Israel: That’s a great price, and especially for the amount of education and CLE credits that you’re going to be receiving while you’re there.
So we have mentioned that the tech show is actually going in conjunction with the winter bar meeting which kicks-off January 25th, but what were the dates of the Tech Show?
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: The Tech Show is going to be on that Friday and Saturday. So it’s going to be January 27 and 28 and then like you said before it’s at the Gaylord Palms in Orlando.
Christine Bilbrey: That’s excellent, beautiful property. Thank you so much for coming and talking to us. We could do a whole show just on Jennifer’s career, because she is very busy. Jonathan gave her a little short bio. I also want to put in a plug, it’s in my hands right now. I am very excited is her novel that she wrote entitled Deadly Escape that I ordered from Amazon.
So Jennifer, tell people how they can reach you, and where are you on social media. Tell them about — a little bit about your book if you want to.
Jennifer Kuyrkendall: Okay Christine, thanks for that plug. I had no idea that was coming. In my spare time which doesn’t really seem to exist anymore but a hobby of mine is writing and so I wrote a book called — ultimately call it Deadly Escape.
It was premised on a murder scene that I went to when I was a prosecutor towards the beginning of my career. You really don’t experience something like that unless you’ve been through it. You cannot get that from watching a movie or watching TV, because when you are out there, the smells, the sounds everything that goes along with the visual aspect of it, it’s just so enhanced.
And so my concept of what I wanted to do was create a book that is it kind of like a legal treatise for criminal law in this context, that would be required reading at law schools and I have been negligent. I have not done enough marketing. I like writing, I don’t like marketing, but I have said and I am proud to say has used it for two semesters as they are required reading in one of their classes so just used it as their case model and plan.
But it’s geared towards learning criminal law in a fun way but it’s also written in a way in which non-legal minds can enjoy it also.
I have written a sequel to it but it’s not completely through my editing phase, but I made it much more mainstream to make it more character development and just more of what a popular, popular book would be.
It’s still legal intensive, but not anywhere near like what Deadly Escape is. But that’s available on Amazon. Because my name is very difficult to spell I actually truncated my name and I’m using Kendall, and my initial is JR Kendall for the name on the book, and that’s available on amazon.com.
But as far as other ways to reach me I am available on LinkedIn, I do have a Twitter account that I primarily use for the Tech Show and all of these things will be included on here with the podcast and then also there is Facebook for my book page as well. That’s JR Kendall also.
Christine Bilbrey: Excellent. Well, I plan to bring my copy. I will get to see you in person, so I’m going to get you to sign my book. Maybe you could set up a table and start some marketing for one more vendor at the show, little plus.
Well, it looks like we have reached the end of our program and I want to thank our guest, Jennifer Kuyrkendall for joining us today. So this has been another edition of The Florida Bar Podcast brought to you by the Practice Resource Institute on Legal Talk Network.
I am Christine Bilbrey.
Jonathon Israel: And I am Jonathon Israel, until next time. Thanks for listening.
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