Debbie Foster is the Managing Partner for Affinity Consulting, and is a nationally recognized thought leader on efficiency and...
Technology competence has become an absolute necessity in the legal industry. But really — how is the profession doing with its utilization of needed legal tech? In this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk to Debbie Foster about her perspective on the current state of lawyers and technology. They talk about the paths forward for learning technology, and encourage lawyers to collaborate with young, tech-fluent lawyers to help them stay current. They also discuss non-tech issues in law firms and get Debbie’s favorite travel tips.
As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.
Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.
Debbie Foster is the Managing Partner for Affinity Consulting, and is a nationally recognized thought leader on efficiency and innovation in professional legal organizations.
The Kennedy-Mighell Report
Technology Competence Perspectives
Intro: Web 2.0, Innovation, Trend, Collaboration, Software, Metadata… Got the world turning as fast as it can, hear how technology can help, legally speaking with two of the top legal technology experts, authors and lawyers, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Welcome to The Kennedy-Mighell Report here on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy: And welcome to Episode #233 of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Dennis Kennedy in Ann Arbor.
Tom Mighell: And I am Tom Mighell in Dallas. Before we get started, we would like to thank our sponsors.
Dennis Kennedy: Thanks first of all to TextExpander for sponsoring our show. Communicate Smarter with TextExpander. Gather, Perfect, and Share Your Knowledge. Recall your best words instantly and repeatedly. Learn more at textexpander.com/podcast.
Tom Mighell: And we would also like to thank ServeNow, a nationwide network of trusted, prescreened process servers. Work with the most professional process servers who have experience with high-volume serves, embrace technology, and understand the litigation process. Visit serve-now.com to learn more.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we recorded live from the 2019 ABA TECHSHOW and discussed the future of legal tech conferences. Today, we’re hitting one of our achievement goals for our 2019 podcast resolutions by doing an interview show with a very special guest.
Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, we do indeed have a special guest, legal tech expert, super-fan of a podcast, and good friend to boot, Debbie Foster from Affinity Consulting.
In our second segment, we’re going to get Debbie to share some of her best travel tips and add a few of our own and as usual, we’ll finish up with our parting shots, that one-tip website or observation that you can start to use the second that this podcast is over.
But first up, let’s introduce you to our guest, Debbie Foster. Debbie is a partner with Affinity Consulting Group, that’s a company that helps legal organizations find better ways of working. Debbie has been helping lawyers since 1995. She spends a lot of time now talking about how to make technology work for law firms.
She does a lot of extracurricular activities with the Association of Legal Administrators as well as the ABA’s Law Practice Division, which is how both, Dennis and I, got to know her. She was dear to my heart, Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2010 and co-Chaired ABA TECHSHOW 2018 with me. So, it was great working with her then.
She currently lives in Florida with her husband. Her two kids are out the door and she’s replaced in it for those of you who follow her on Instagram with — not replaced them entirely really — come on folks, but she’s got two wonderful dogs, Zizzy and Chloe that you can go and look at on Instagram right now.
Debbie, it’s a pleasure to have you on the podcast.
Debbie Foster: Thanks for having me. I’ve been looking forward to this day for a very long time.
Tom Mighell: And the amount of times you beat us up to be on the podcast we agree with you. We understand that feeling. Debbie, before we get your perspective, we want to get your perspective on a lot of issues that we think our listeners will be interested in. But before that, we need you to — we really need you to explain the Debbie Foster seat on airplanes and why it is so important.
Debbie Foster: That’s really funny. I feel like I should write to Southwest Airlines and send them the hundreds of pictures I have of me sitting in what used to only be the single seat on the Southwest airplane that’s in the exit row that doesn’t have a seat in front of it. But now, well, some of the newer airplanes which are now grounded, so you won’t see any of them have actually two of those exit row seats, one on each side of the plane.
But I love to sit in that seat and I fly Southwest quite a bit so I’m often one of the first people on the plane. A lot of people don’t like it because it doesn’t have a tray for you to put down for your — to put your drink on it, but I love it because it’s got plenty of legroom and you can shove your bag and the seat all the way up like two rows in front of you and it’s great when you’re working on a plane.
And what’s really funny is I started tagging myself in those pictures and now, probably every couple of weeks some random person only kind of know, I get a Facebook notification that says so-and-so has tagged you in a post on Facebook and I go look and they’re sitting in my seat on the plane and they’ve tagged me in it.
So I don’t let all of those on my timeline because it’s a little creepy and weird, but it is kind of funny. It has become known as my seat on the plane. It’s a thing.
Dennis Kennedy: It’s a preposterous amount of legroom too, so definitely, a cool travel tip. So, Debbie, let’s get you started with what I think is sort of the best perspective that you have and what I always recommend that people talk to you about, which is that you’re actually out there seeing what’s happening on the ground with lawyers using technology.
So kind of what’s really happening out there these days and are you an optimist or a pessimist about lawyers using technology?
Debbie Foster: Dennis, that’s such a good question and I’ll tell you it’s like — it’s Monday, Wednesdays, and Fridays of one week and I’m an optimist and Tuesdays and Thursdays I’m a pessimist, and then it switches in the next week. Some days, I have conversations with firms and I think these guys really get it, and other days people ask me where they’re going to put their typewriter if they get two monitors on their desk?
And I just — it literally, it’s sometimes I feel like I went to work in a time machine, how did I get back here and how is it that these people really think that this is the best way to get their work done? So, I mean, I would say that more often than not, I’m an optimist but I do have my moments where I sit back and I think, you know, if I had a single piece of advice to give every person that I meet in a law firm, I would say, look, I can’t tell you everything that you need to know. But if you’re working on something and you think even for one second, there’s got to be a better way to do this, there is. Stop what you’re doing and ask someone. It’s really frustrating to see people just kind of living in the way we’ve always done it world, which is still very, very common in law firms, almost everywhere I go.
Tom Mighell: So, let me ask the question from a different angle. I think it’s kind of similar to what Dennis asked, but it’s a different focus, which is, we now have I will say that now that my home state of Texas has adopted the ABA Model Rules around the responsibility for technological competence, we now have 36 states that have sort of recognized that this Duty of competency exist, have you been finding or do you find that this new emphasis on technological competence is having any effect in what lawyers are doing.
Debbie Foster: It’s actually pretty rare when I bring it up for people to not look at me like a deer in the headlights. I don’t think it has changed a single thing. In Florida, we now have three CLE hours required for technology competence but I just did a three-hour Technology CLE in a city close by me and there were about 50 lawyers there and I bet 40 of them paid attention for about 11 minutes of the three hours. I don’t see that it’s making a dramatic difference.
Dennis Kennedy: That’s really interesting. So, Tom, I was having a phone conversation today with our friend Marty Schwimmer and Marty was bringing up the question of how much a lawyer needed to know about blockchain both in the normal practice sense and in the technology competence area, and his thing was like, how do I decide how much it is that I need to learn? And it always seems to me that that should be the outlook of lawyers.
I think that what you’re saying, Debbie, is really interesting because that would have been my suspicion that when you put the three hours of CLE on people, you have people show up and drift away.
So what is it that you found where and I guess this is where optimism comes in, where you find lawyers who say, wow, this is going to have an impact on me either in my practice or representing my client, what are sort of the drivers these days where you actually see people making moves to either learn technology or adopt it?
Debbie Foster: In some cases, it’s the younger lawyers joining firms, having come from a firm where they had more sophisticated technology than where they’ve landed and I talk to older lawyers all the time about how technology is not just a recruiting tool, it’s a retention tool.
Many, many younger lawyers come to work at a firm and are frustrated by the fact that they can do more sophisticated things on their personally owned Mac than they can do in the law firm’s computer system, and I feel like that is a bit of a driver, but there still is this unknown.
I had a phone conference on Friday with three lawyers from a firm, a decent-sized firm about 80 lawyers who were there in the process of buying, I don’t know, 16 or 18 new servers because they don’t think it’s really the right time to move to the cloud, and my conversation with them was before they wrote this big fat check to buy these 16 or 18 servers; however, many it was to talk to them about why they think that servers literally in the basement of their law firm are more secure than considering moving to hosted infrastructure or some other way to get to the cloud.
They didn’t have any answers for that question. Those questions except that, that’s the way they’d always done it and the fact that they can go down, reach out and touch it makes them feel more in control.
I think that younger lawyers are going to be part of that solution and I think as lawyers share information with each other and that whole crowd-sourcing, going to a Bar meeting or sitting around, having an after-work drink with your friends and talking about what you’re doing at your firm, someone called it Reference Selling. So I just heard that term for the first time actually at TECHSHOW, Reference Selling by going into a firm and saying, well, that firm down the road uses it and that makes the law firm say, oh, well, if that firm down the road is using it, we should consider using it.
So I just think that we just haven’t gotten to a place where there’s a lot of internal motivation for people to find better ways and newer ways to do things and a better kind of path forward on understanding technology.
Tom Mighell: So I didn’t actually have this question on my list until you just brought this up, but it makes me wonder because it’s something that we find has in my business and information governance, we find has a lot of traction with organizations. They always want to know what their peers are doing, they always want to know how they compare against others. What’s the level of benchmarking or other types of tools that might get used with law firms? I get it with solo and small firms, it’s probably hard to make that kind of a difference. But I mean, is that being used at all with law firms? I’m not — it wasn’t when I was practicing but I don’t know if that’s changed to kind of show lawyers how far behind they might be the rest of the curve?
Debbie Foster: So I just used the ELTA legal technology survey on this call on Friday. This firm was hesitant about moving to Office 365 because they didn’t feel like their email would be secure with Microsoft and they would rather buy a server to put in their basement to store their mail with their single Internet connection and their single exchange server, and I was explaining to them why that was kind of silly, and then I said, you know what, let me actually look at that and I didn’t even know what the results were, I knew obviously, I knew what they would be but I didn’t know what the numbers were, and I don’t want to misquote it but I think it was 18% in the 2018 survey. We’re using Office 365, 18% of the firm surveyed with ELTA, but they asked them the question, in 12 months where will you be and it went up to 39% in 12 months, 39% of all of the firms would be on Office 365 and they were like, oh, then we need to go to Office 365. Like, it was very clear to them, they were like, I sent him a screenshot and I said, you know, I just want you to actually see this. They were immediately convinced.
Tom Mighell: And just a side thing, in contrast all the companies that we work with, every single one of the companies that we either work with or who want to work with us, they’re all moving to Office 365. I find it shocking that only 18% of law firms are doing that and it might get up to 39% when companies and other industries are moving in droves to Office 365. It’s just really amazing comparison.
Debbie Foster: Well, it’s just set for one little quick context, ELTA has about 1200 members and somewhere around half of them are 50 lawyers and up, but this firm was like the perfect candidate for that conversation because they were about 70 lawyers, 70-80 lawyers.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, when you are talking about, this one has asked me this question recently and I said, there is this sort of pattern that you see and your notion of reference selling is really interesting here that in certain cities or locations, it’s like if one firm adopts then you just tend to find that that whole city starts to use a lot of the same software and then the other thing is that probably the cloud adoption in a place like New Orleans or where there’s actually, where people have suffered serious natural disasters, I would say the cloud adoption is probably around a 100% these days. So it’s almost when people are reluctant about cloud and talking about putting stuff in their basement. You just haven’t run into the same issues that other regions have had, is that your sense as well?
Debbie Foster: Yeah and I think that there’s natural disasters is one of the things but there are so many other factors that go into why they should and I say all the time, you are in one of two camps, you’re in the camp of the people who have already had a problem that would have been solved by moving to the cloud or the people who just haven’t had it yet. It really is a no-brainer.
We actually did a lot of work in New Orleans around Katrina, we actually had an office there before Katrina and for about a year after, and I don’t know that the answer is actually a 100% but there are a large number of firms in New Orleans that that was the first thing they did is figure out how to get to the cloud, how to not have their stuff in their offices.
Tom Mighell: So, one of the things that I notice every year at ABA TECHSHOW is, and this is I think literally every year at ABA TECHSHOW there will be a session on how to use document management to organize your firm’s documents or learning about document assembly and automation and there are people in there who are seeing it as if it is just this new thing for the first time and granted these people may be coming to TECHSHOW for the first time, they haven’t had legal technology education, but I sort of feel like back when we were on the TECHSHOW Board it was a topic, then two, why are we continually showing people document management and document assembly and these types of topics or maybe the better question is, why isn’t everybody using them already? I mean, the benefits are there the people who see them agree that the benefits are there, what are you seeing out there that, why do we keep doing this session at ABA TECHSHOW, I guess this maybe my better question?
Debbie Foster: I think because it’s still a message people need to hear. Not too long ago I found a PowerPoint presentation that I had 20 years ago and it was called Sanity Software, making the case for practice management software and I opened that PowerPoint and I could do that presentation today. Clipart was terrible if there’s way too many words, but I could literally throw that up and do that presentation today and it would all be true.
I feel like the issue is a version of normal issue and that version of normal is the way that I have done it is very normal to me and unless I’m encouraged or prompted or something changes that requires me to think differently about it, I just continue to live in my version of normal.
We have a great client who’s one of my favorite clients who left a firm just a few years ago and she told us when she left her firm to start her new firm that she needed a typewriter and she went on to explain that she needed a typewriter because she uses file folders and she needs to get — she has a label on the tab and on the label it has the client name and the matter name. She explained the whole thing why she was going to need a typewriter and her last sentence in that paragraph said, I can’t imagine any other way that that information would get unless I have a typewriter.
So if you have another way I’d love to hear it, but otherwise I need a typewriter. And so, we sent her a Diamond Label Printer and it changed her life and she was like, oh my god, I had no idea that this existed and so the version of normal coupled with I can’t imagine any other way is what I think the biggest challenge law firms face and the reason why we continue, it’s just normal for a lawyer to take an hour to try and find a document, and I don’t know, 10% of the time, 20% of the time, 50% of the time they don’t find it and they give up and they just start from scratch, and that’s just normal.
Dennis Kennedy: Obviously the other piece of that that still surprises me. At TECHSHOW it seemed like they were like 15 or 20 practice management companies, a lot of them cloud-based now or maybe all of them are at this point that’s the one that I just can’t get over that is still a struggle to convince lawyers and I lately have been talking to people in small corporate law departments and they say, what we like to have is something that we have intake of our matters and we’re able to keep track of them and maybe like a little workflow and then we store things I’m going like, yeah, that’s just a practice management tool like don’t overcomplicate it, but they go, no, no, that’s for small firms.
So you’ve been in a world of practice management for a long time. There are a lot of choices these days, so I could see that there’s a hesitation because you don’t know which one to choose, but why is it do you find it’s still hard to make the case for basic practice management?
Debbie Foster: Yes. The bigger the firm the more difficult it is. The smaller firms are a lot easier, they’re a lot less moving parts, a lot less decision makers, it’s just easier in a smaller firm, the bigger the firm gets the harder it is, and oftentimes and what we’re starting to see more is in a larger firm a practice group uses a practice management program and that’s where all of their cases are tracked and they kind of live on an island.
Recently I was in a firm that has three different practice management tools for three different probably half of their firm uses it and in the half that uses it they use three different products depending on what department they’re in and their IT department has written integrations to pull in all three of the cases actually, pull time entries and then two of them have matter opening automated, so their accounting system dumps their new matters to a text file and they have a little script that imports them in and they’re perfectly happy with that, they seem absolutely no issues with that.
Tom Mighell: All right, Dennis, I hate to do this, but we’ve got to wrap this session up, so we got one more question each, one more question. So make your next question good.
My last question, Debbie, to you is, when we first asked you to do this podcast with us, we said, what legal tech topics do you want to do? If you recall your comment to us was, I really don’t do legal tech anymore, that was your comment that you gave to us, and so, I’m going to turn it that way and say what is the — I guess most important non-legal tech thing that lawyers should be doing to keep their firms working more effectively? What do you think is the most important issue that you’re working or seeing with firms today?
Debbie Foster: I mean, it’s really all about the process and the people. I joke and say I don’t do much with technology anymore because a lot of times when people call me and they think that they have a technology problem. It’s not a technology problem at all. Technology problems are generally pretty easy to solve. What’s not easy to solve is, efficient processes are largely missing in law firms. People being willing to follow a process and not be their own little silo or their own little island or do things the way they’ve always done it. That’s where I see the real challenges, and so, I spend a lot of my time going into a firm and just kind of looking at it from the top to the bottom. How’s the firm run, what kind of technology do they have? Who uses it? What kind of problems do they have with it? What does their training program look like? How do they onboard new employees? How do they help people? How do they from a helpdesk perspective? How do people get the help that they need? How do they look at innovation in their firm? Do they challenge their people to be innovative or when people have great ideas, are they brought to a table where people just squash them and say, nope, that’s not how we do it here and then those people don’t bring their good ideas to the table anymore?
We really look at it from front to back and look at everything and come back with recommendations that sometimes the problems that they think are their biggest problems, their biggest challenges are not what we find to be their biggest problems and their biggest challenges because they really are oftentimes focused on the technology piece. Well, if we just had a different program doing this, everything would be better. The different program thing, it rarely works. Just getting a different program, people just start take their bad habits from program A and they bring them to program B and they’re even more frustrated, trying to work the way that they worked before in a new application.
Dennis Kennedy: Okay, so I think, I want to ask the big question which is say, let’s look to the future and we have law firms especially as you go up in size, they struggle with technology, they struggle with innovation all these things and it really comes down to leadership and training new leaderships, succession, whether you have tech committees, those sorts of things but what do you see a firm can do to kind of move that process forward and is it something — and this is always a difficult question for them. Is it something that firm can do on its own or does it really have to get outside help, an outside perspective to kind of move it into the next-generation approach?
Debbie Foster: So, I think you bring up a really good point on the leadership side of things. If you look at — and this is kind of broad brush painting I get it and there are some firms that were this is not true. But generally the people who are running the firms are the busiest lawyers and when the busiest lawyers are managing partners are on the executive committee, it is challenging to give the amount of time to leadership of the firm and more specifically visionary leadership of the firm. Really looking at where do we want to be in the future, where are we today? Where do we want to be and how are we going to get there? How are we going to chart a course to get there? I think that’s something that’s really, really critical that is oftentimes missing.
The other thing that you brought up — I don’t — this is not like a toot my own horn sales pitch thing, but everyone who has experienced having a consultant come in from outside has experienced that phenomenon where that consultant says something that the person sitting in the room has said a hundred times and everyone thinks it’s like fire, gold, amazing, oh my gosh, that’s the best idea that — and the other people in the room are looking around like you’re kidding me, right? We’ve been saying that that’s what we need to do.
There’s just something different that happens when someone comes in, when you’re investing in bringing in an outside professional to come in and help you understand where your challenges are in your firm, you just react differently to that and it puts a bit of pressure on the firm too. I always say one of the worst things that a firm can do is ask their team how the firm can do better, get those answers back and then do nothing. I’d rather you not ask them, then ask them and then just do nothing.
So when you invest in having someone come in and talk to you about the future of your firm and what you can do to make things better, you are going to have a stronger obligation to make some things happen, find some low-hanging fruit. Do some things that make an impact in your firm from a people process technology perspective and I’m typically involved in those engagements or someone at my firm is involved in those engagements, and so, we see big success stories from that. So I think it’s absolutely valuable to have someone come in from outside and help you, really get to the bottom of what the root cause of your issues are.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I just want to say that if you do go to the effort as you were saying and you solicit the input from the people who are extremely interested in it, who maybe younger lawyers, certainly more innovative lawyers and you don’t follow up on it, you’re basically inviting them to leave and they will. Tom, you want to wrap up?
Tom Mighell: Well, yeah, I do want to wrap up on this segment. Debbie, I want to thank you for joining us but we are not done with you yet, we want you to stick around for our next segment which we will get to right after we take a break for a message from our sponsors.
TextExpander is a productivity multiplier. Lawyers love TextExpander because with a short abbreviation or search while typing, TextExpander can produce cover emails for invoices or signing instructions, insert templates for consistent meeting notes, perform accurate date math on-the-fly and instantly present things you retype all the time. TextExpander runs on Macs, iPhones, iPads and Windows and works in any application. Visit textexpander.com/podcast for 20% off your first year.
Advertiser: Looking for a process server you can trust, ServeNow.com is a nationwide network of local prescreened process servers. ServeNow works with the most professional process servers in the industry, connecting your firm with process servers who embrace technology, have experience with high-volume serves, and understand the litigation process and rules of properly effectuating service. Find a prescreened process server today. Visit www.serve-now.com.
Tom Mighell: And now, let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I am Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy. We are back with our special guest, Debbie Foster. Debbie does an amazing amount of traveling even more than Tom does.
Tom Mighell: Way more than Tom does.
Dennis Kennedy: Who he thought to be good to share our latest tips about travel in this segment. So, Debbie, other than trying to get the Debbie Foster seat on flights that you aren’t going to be on, what are your best tips for traveling tech or otherwise these days?
Debbie Foster: So, I have a couple of things that really keep me sane from a travel perspective. The first one which I feel like I’ve been talking about this tip for ever, and ever, and ever and I can’t — literally cannot even imagine my life without it and that is that I use TripIt for everything. All of my trips go into TripIt, every single confirmation that I get gets forwarded into TripIt and it builds my itineraries and it has made just a giant difference for me in being able to keep track of where I need to be and when I need to be there and what reservations I’ve made and what reservations I still need to make and all that good stuff.
One of the other tools that I regularly use that anyone who is a frequent traveler should be using is a tool called FlightView. It’s an app that I have on my phone and I have the elite version of Flightview and the reason my Flightview is so magical is for whatever reason. It often knows about delays and cancellations before your airline actually knows about them for some reason and the other thing that it does that is so helpful for me because of how I’m traveling and I connect and I have a lot of back to back — I go from one city to the next is, it tells me where my airplane was before or is before it’s taking me to my next place?
So a lot of times especially in the winter I find it that’s the worst in the winter because of all of the storms but I can go back and if I have a 5 o’clock flight, I can go in FlightView and I can keep going back to where my airplane is and I can see if my 5:00 p.m. flight the airplane I’m supposed to be on is delayed at 7:00 a.m. I know that I need to carefully watch that, and so, it’s a great travel tool for anyone who feels like you’re surprised by delays and cancelations. I’m literally never surprised by them. I have a couple of others but I want to pause and give you guys a minute to comment on those if you have any anything to say.
Tom Mighell: No, go ahead. Go ahead and give us one more. We are going to do three each.
Debbie Foster: Okay, well, my one more which is not a technology tip is Chill Out. When you travel for a living, I mean, sometimes your flight gets cancelled, sometimes your flight gets delayed, sometimes you have to sleep in a city that you didn’t plan of sleeping in, nothing good ever happens when we get completely stressed out especially when it gets taken out on the gate agents or the flight attendants, which I see happen way more frequently than it should.
But I take my travel time and especially my interruptions in travel. So listen to a great podcast like The Kennedy-Mighell Report or read a book or watch a TV show that I’m behind on and just take a deep breath and say, you know what, my good friend Marc Deal says, it’s always better to be on the ground wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were on the ground.
Tom Mighell: All right, I’ll go next. Debbie you and I — I’ll start with the one that was most similar because I wanted to tout an app as well and I’m guessing that there are probably several apps out there like FlightView because the one that I was going to talk about is FlightAware and I actually like their website, a little more than I like their app, but it does the exact same thing that FlightView does.
So, I won’t go into the details but that’s an alternative, you can go and look at that see if you like FlightView versus FlightAware, they are both great apps, everything that Debbie said is right, being able to know where your plane is coming from, I always get information before the airline tells me about it, and that’s what makes that app great.
I am starting to try a new gadget. When I’m traveling it is the Mophie AC Powerstation, it is a power brick, it’s a battery for me to take, and it is little heavier than I would like. I’m not real wild about the weight but what makes this useful to me is that it has an AC plug-in, it’s a battery with an AC plug instead of just something that’ll charge your phone or your iPad. It will also charge your laptop, if all you have is an AC plug to plug into it, so I’m looking forward to using that, that’s one thing that I’m interested in.
And then sort of along the Chill Out category that Debbie has, I know it’s expensive, I know it’s pricey, but I will tell you, I think it is incredibly worthwhile to invest in an airline club membership.
If I have time before a flight, if I’m not racing to catch it, the ability to go in and sit in an area that is likely to be so much quieter and so much more comfortable than being out near the gate it’s so nice. I was sick with the flu back in January when I was flying and I wound up going into the Admirals Club and being able to just sit there in silence and enjoy a nice bowl of soup, and not have to worry about all sorts of people and noise around me was so nice.
So even though it’s a little bit expensive, I think it’s definitely worth the added expense. I think you will reap the dividends or the benefits of more peace of mind while you’re at the airport.
Dennis Kennedy: Well, I have a couple of things. And so, one is the last flight I was on made me wonder if this fad might be fading a little bit but the neck pillows that you put around your neck they scrunch up really well, they are sort of like memory foam like.
I find those really useful on flights because it was the time when I talked about we tend not to listen to podcasts or especially audiobooks on flights because you fall asleep.
Tom Mighell: I fall asleep.
Dennis Kennedy: So, I just find those really helpful and it used to be that you saw a lot of people with those. You don’t see quite as many on the last couple of flights I have been on, but I really liked those especially if you have a tendency to doze off on a crowded plane.
I’ve also been — it seems like the hotel apps have taken a step up in quality and they’re a lot more useful these days. So I usually check those when I’m going to a hotel. So you might get early check-in, other information. It’s one of those things that sort of happened gradually where you go like, wow, all of a sudden these things are better.
And then the one thing that I — this is one of these silly little things that I noticed a lot of people at TECHSHOW were talking about which is getting business cards through moo.com and they send you the cards in this box that’s actually this little box is kind of handy. But in the box it has these two dividers and it’s basically you can put it into say here’s the space for your business cards and this little divider that says for somebody else’s cards. And so when you collect cards, you can put them into the box and keep them separated.
So it’s like one of those little things that when you’re traveling and especially if you’re in a conference, that’s actually really useful so you don’t get all your cards messed up.
So now it’s time for our parting shots that one-tip website or observation you can use the second this podcast ends and we’ve invited Debbie to join us. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: All right, mine is not a particularly — I think it’s useful in that it’s interesting but it’s not something you’re going to do all the time. I found this Chrome extension, if you have the Chrome browser, it’s a Chrome extension where you can actually find out your trip stats to figure out to be able to see how much you spent your lifetime on Uber.
How many rides you’ve taken, what the total time is that you’ve been in an Uber car? The rides by year, the rides by month, the rides by city, your favorite pick-up and drop-off locations. I find it fascinating to look at all this. I’m not sure that it’s 100% accurate because I took some Uber rides out of the country that it’s not listing but still it’s interesting to know that I’ve taken UberX way more than I’ve taken anything else.
Very interesting stats and if you’re ever interested to see how you fare on Uber, this Chrome extension will do it. I’ll warn you there’s a little warning that comes up at the beginning, you want to make sure that you do not ask for the full individual stats because Uber will email you a confirmation of every single receipt you’ve ever received from Uber.
So do not — do not select that, just select that you don’t want individual, you get your aggregated stats and it’s really interesting reading.
Debbie Foster: Tom, did it give you any tips about upping your rating?
Tom Mighell: It didn’t but I’m always looking for tips on upping my rating.
Debbie Foster: I know this. All right, mine is a great app that I’ve been using for a few months and I just got a new phone and I’ve just been so impressed. It’s called Scanbot and I don’t have a scanner on my desk and I very rarely have paper that I need to scan, every once in a while, I have a receipt that I need to scan.
Sometimes, I have a piece of paper that I need to scan but it’s not something that I do all that frequently but it’s been tax time and so I’ve had a bunch of things that I actually needed to scan and I used Scanbot to take pictures of them with my phone. I started playing around with all of the different things that I could do.
First of all, it can OCR your scans and it does it very, very quickly. You can sign documents, you can put custom workflows together so when you scan it automatically saves to OneDrive or saves to Dropbox or emails the document that you save. You can scan it in JPEG format if you’re scanning photos.
So I took a picture of a photo and I scanned it and it was a really great quality picture of the picture that I took a picture of with my phone, “scanned”. Very fast text searching, it’s a really, really great app for just I have this piece of paper, I need it digitally and I need it quickly and I want it OCRed and I want it to be in a PDF archive that I can keep wherever I store all of my stuff. So scanbot.com or search Scanbot in your app store.
Dennis Kennedy: Cool. So mine is a book that I think published in the UK, came out very recently, it’s kind of sweeping the world, it’s by Caroline Criado-Perez, it’s called ‘Invisible Women: Data Bias in a World Designed for Men.’ And it’s a fascinating look and she’s been doing a lot of podcast and things too so you can get the gist of what she’s talking about.
But basically, she’s done a lot of studies into how so much of the world is designed for what we’ll call the average man and that causes problems for many women and it resonated with me, Tom, because I always feel like we’re living in a world that’s designed for right-handed people.
But it’s really interesting because we’ve always — my wife who’s smaller, my daughter who’s smaller, we’ve always had the concern that especially in a car accident it’s going to be a horrific result just because of how close they have to sit to the steering wheel and things.
But this book has got a lot of attention, it’s fascinating what’s in there and it will change your way of thinking, which is always a good thing to happen with a parting shot.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I want to thank our guest Debbie Foster.
Debbie, thanks for coming on the show. We hope that you can come back again sometime.
Debbie Foster: I would love to. Thanks for having me, you guys. It was awesome.
Tom Mighell: And all of you thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode at tkmreport.com.
If you liked what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes or on the Legal Talk Network site, where you can find archives of all of our previous podcasts.
You can suggest a topic at our Bitly site, which is bit.ly/2QNwhZu site. If you’d like to get in touch with us, remember we always love to take voicemails for our B segment. Please reach out to us on our LinkedIn page or leave us a voicemail at 720-441-6820. So until the next podcast I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I am Dennis Kennedy and you have been listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an Internet focus.
If you liked what you heard today, please rate us on Apple Podcasts and we will see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Outro: Thanks for listening to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Check out Dennis and Tom’s book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together’ from ABA Books or Amazon, and join us every other week for another edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, only on the Legal Talk Network.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk the latest technology to improve services, client interactions, and workflow.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell offer their ideas for bringing the legal tech community together in a collaborative online space.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss emojis and gifs and the implications of their use in the legal profession.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about cool tools— the tools they can’t live without.
Debbie Foster talks about her perspective on the current state of lawyers and technology.
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the current state of legal tech conferences and the need for balance between highly innovative content and essential...
Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss measures and metrics and how lawyers can use them to better their practices.