The concept of the workplace has evolved rapidly over the past two years, and many are now opting for a hybrid work approach rather than a complete return to the office. Does this choice work? Yes–as long as your collaboration tools are on point! Collaboration connoisseurs Dennis and Tom talk through effective strategies for communication, socialization, and remote workspaces to help today’s hybrid workers thrive.
Find out more in their latest book: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools & Technologies: Work From Home Edition
Later, on “Hot or Not?” – the guys chat about whether legal tech conference hashtags are still “a thing” or trè passé.
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.
Mentioned in This Episode
A Segment: Collaborating in Hybrid Environments
The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools & Technologies: Work From Home Edition https://www.americanbar.org/products/inv/book/424883450/
B Segment: Hot or Not – Hashtags at Legal Technology Conferences
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Tom Mighell: Before we get started, we’d like to thank our sponsors, Embroker, Clio, and Posh Virtual Receptionists.
Intro: Got the world turning as fast as it can? Here 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 321 of the Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Dennis Kennedy in Ann Harbor.
Tom Mighell: And I’m Tom Mighell in Dallas.
Dennis Kennedy: In our last episode, we got the party started for the publication of our new book ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies, Work From Home Edition’ and talked about some of the new highlights in the book. It’s a great intro to some of the big themes of our new book.
In this episode, we are going to talk about collaboration in hybrid environments and then the whole back — the office movement. Should that change your thinking about collaboration and collaboration tools? Remember, we are collaborating with others all the time and we best get good at it. Tom, what’s all on our agenda for this episode?
Tom Mighell: Well, Dennis, in this edition of the Kennedy-Mighell Report, we will indeed be sharing some insights in the collaboration and hybrid or mixed environments and our segment, we’ll debate whether it’s hot or not to continue to follow hashtags for legal technology conferences 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, I want to remind everybody that the latest edition of our book, ‘The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies, Work From Home Edition’ is now out and available at the ABA Bookstore. We really think it’s the only book that addresses collaboration tools for lawyers and we think it’s great for lawyers and firms of all sizes as well as the allied professionals who work with them. We called our new book the “work from home edition” to address the changes — largely to address that COVID forced on law firms with how lawyers would work with each other when they all work apart. Over the past two years, the concept of the workplace has I guess evolved such that as law firms and other companies have started to begin to return to a more traditional office setting, some firms and lots of companies are acknowledging the idea of the hybrid. I know Dennis has another term for it, but we’ll call it the “hybrid workplace”, that’s what we see more often than out in the press where some work in the office, some work at home, or employees are asked to come in to the office a certain number of days per week and then they are free to work at home on those other days. We talked a little bit about the effects a hybrid work environment might have on collaboration, if any. Dennis, does moving back to the office, or BTO, change how we should think about collaboration and collaboration tools?
Dennis Kennedy: You know, Tom, I actually don’t think it changes our thinking much at all and I sort of feel that our readers — the readers of previous editions were probably prepared maybe better than many others for COVID in 2020 as we started to — because we introduced concepts of how to think about — how you were collaborating, what tools you used, where people were. The thing I like to call the collaboration golden rule to collaborate with others as you would like to have them collaborate with you.
And I think that COVID just kind of amplified and stressed certain components of that and that’s one, well, we’ll talk about in this podcast. And then I also think that we’re seeing already that the whole back to the office thing really doesn’t mean much more than two or three days a week anyway in most settings. So, the idea that suddenly you can just abandon everything that’s work from home tool or practice and go back to the good old days, I don’t think that’s going to be the case. So, I think collaboration is even more important in many ways, but I think the lessons from work from home are just going to carry right through.
Tom Mighell: You know, I will say that I agree and I disagree. I think that back to the office does and it doesn’t change how we should think about collaboration and collaboration tools because I think as we agree, at its heart, collaboration means being able to work with anyone no matter where you are. So, to that extent — so, in respect to how we think about collaboration shouldn’t have changed, and it didn’t change however many years ago, 15 years ago when we wrote our first book. I mean, it’s been the same that whole period of time. But with the pandemic essentially ripping most workplaces apart. I mean, they were so many offices that everybody had to leave and people were working at home, as those workplaces begin to either come together now or start figuring out how they’re going to come together, they’re coming back together in some format, there is a lot of interesting thinking going on that didn’t happen beforehand. A lot of thinking that when people might be working remote, nobody was really considering the hybrid workplace.
I mean, when we talk about hybrid, that’s a new concept. That is a new term that I think — or at least, maybe if it’s not new, it’s certainly not as popular as it has been over the past two years. And I think that that thinking would not have occurred were the pandemic never too have happened. If we were to just continue to have go on with a normal — most people in the office, some people working remotely or more flexibly, I don’t think we would have had the type of thinking about the hybrid workspace or as you’re going to put it, the mixed workspace as would have happened. And one of the things that we’re finding is that because of the hybrid workspace, there are some concepts that are kind of — I think I’ve seen them called hybrid inequity that there is an equity starting to happen because of the mix between people who happen to be going back to the office and people who were staying at home.
We’ll talk — I’ll go through some of the functions of what might make for inequitable hybrid environment. But I would say that lots of aspects about collaboration haven’t changed, but I think that this whole hybrid environment has raised a lot more issues than probably we would’ve thought about 5 or 7 or 10 years ago.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, I think it’s caused people to really start to think through these things and that was always the theme of the book that you need to kind of think how you are working with people and how you collaborate with them and what the tools are, what the technologies are even if it’s in the office. And I also think that if you — I would say differently than what you were saying, Tom. I think if you say collaboration and the tools and technologies come into play when you have people working from home or in remote locations, and if you’re kind of overfocus on physical location and proximity, you’re really missing one of the main points about collaboration tools. I also agree with you that we’re — now I think we’re seeing, as people go back to the office — and I’ll talk about what I think about that whole notion of going back in a little bit.
But if you see these bad habits from the past become so much more apparent. You and I were on a call with — I don’t know, maybe 50 or 60 people and I think 10 or 12 of them were in a room and those of us on Zoom were using chat, we were doing all these things that we’re used to doing and the people in the room who is almost like the majority of us who weren’t on the room didn’t exist, people weren’t using microphones, you couldn’t hear anything, we kind of went back to the bad old days of those conference calls and meetings were — if you weren’t in the room, it was almost like you didn’t exist. So, I think we look at that. And I think, Tom, that when I think about the book, I still think the checklist and the other tools in our book really help people think about collaboration in the right way and I think that’s what’s really becoming more and more important as the actual collaboration process comes into more and more focused as people think it through.
Tom Mighell: Well, I think you’re right and you’re kind of starting to hit on some of the things that I want to talk a little bit more about in terms of how to address because when you talk about going back to the bad old days, I’d argue that they’re different bad days now.
I would say that our experience in that meeting with 50 or 60 people, it now takes a different turn than it would have four or five or even three years ago to me because of the fact that we now should know better. We now have had the opportunity to know better of when we were all equally virtual and then now when we’re back to some people being virtual and some people not, it should be more apparent and it probably isn’t. And so, you know, as I was kind of doing some research for this, I came across some kind of interesting concepts that I think and part of the problem what you just described there was is something that I’ve seen described as meeting inequality that shows that the people who are live tend to have more say and more apparent superiority, but they tend to power.
Dennis Kennedy: Definitely, a sense of power.
Tom Mighell: That’s right, but here are some other issues. So, issues that I think have to be considered when you are addressing collaboration in a hybrid or mixed environment, which is one, there is a lack — and I think Dennis you may not agree with all of these because I think have been vocal on this podcast about the fact that being in-person doesn’t necessarily guarantee a good social connection. I’m not sure I agree with that. I think that in a hybrid environment those who tend to work from home sometimes suffer from a lack of a social connection. The remote team members get that short end of the socialization stick. They don’t get to see people in the office that often. They’re not around as much as others are, and I think that there is a creation of maybe a false hierarchy of a “we’re here and you’re there” with leadership usually being more likely to be in the office. They’re the ones who want to be in the office. They’re the ones who are maybe even putting pressure on employees to come back to the office. And whether it is true or not, there is the perception of people who are there with leadership get more visibility and are more likely to get the benefit of that visibility.
And so, I think this one of the problems that collaboration tools can help to address making sure that you are appropriately using collaboration tools, you can start to make that perception or that hierarchy a little more balanced out. There will be no true substitute for being in-person if you’re in a meeting room with someone literally right across the table from them, there is no substitute for that from being virtual. It’s just not the same experience, but I think some of the collaboration tools we talked about in the book and in general have the potential to at least level out that inequality a little bit more or make it easier for organizations to help make it more balanced.
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah, that inequality, inequity whatever you want to call it, I think that is very real. I think — and back to work it manifests itself. And as I say, if you’re managing partners to tell, “You have to be in the office,” then by God, they better be back every single day because if not, they’re sending the wrong message and saying, “There’s a privileged class and there’s and there’s non-privileged class.” Also, I think there’s this sort of being in the office experience as a sort of at the water cooler, it looks like we’re at the country club and all sorts of things. That has had problems in the past and we need to get away from, and the fact that I can set up a Zoom call with that person I need to talk to, get on their calendar, get their time, get their attention instead of like hang out in the hallway, knock on the door to see if they’re around with all kinds of interruptions, to me is a positive of what we found from the work-from-home era. And so, I think when we talk about back to the office and back to normal, it puts us in the wrong mindset, that we’re going back to some good old days. Definitely were not as good as people or remembering them, especially for minority and women lawyers as we know. I like to term mixed more than hybrid. I think hybrid gives a sense of something that’s really fixed and a sort of almost a scientific approach, and is highly organized.
And I think that we are just living in this mixed world know, and we do need to consider how people are working, where they’re going to be, what devices are going to use and that’s all part of a collaboration and what platforms they use. And I think that’s why I like the sense of mix because then I say, “Oh wait, I need to think about everybody I’m working with and what might work well for them” because not everybody’s going to be office, not everybody is going to be at home. You know, there’s going to be all these things go on which existed before COVID. But now, I just think it’s a lot more visible. And then I also think when we — so we go back to work, that we’re seeing things like hoteling and other things like that where people are just in a couple of days. So, that’s creating this mixed environment as well where even if I’m sort of back in the office a few days a week, then I’m not in the office in a couple days and that requires a different approach to collaboration. And I guess the big thing that’s worrisome to me, Tom is that when people say, “they are back to the office” I almost feel like they’re ready to stop investing in collaboration tools and thinking about it as carefully as before because they have the sense of we’re going back to some good old days.
Tom Mighell: Well, certainly the notion that we’ve heard from some lawyers who have said, “I can’t wait to get back to the office and we can stop doing all of this other stuff.” I’ve noticed that as people have gone back to the office and have returned to more in-person work environments that a lot of the collaboration tools, a lot of the practices over the last two years are really hard to die. They’re not dying out, right? I mean, I still say “See that all the lawyers that I work with in Dallas who are all largely back in their own offices still prefer to meet with by Zoom if we have a choice. So, I would say that although I suspect that lots of leadership would prefer to go back to the way it is, I think that the people who have to do it on a day-by-day basis probably feel a little bit differently. I think my only disagreement, Dennis is that there would be times when I was in an office where I’d be sitting there and I have an idea and I wanted to run it by somebody, and I wanted to do it — right then when I thought about it, at the moment and I could just go next door, talk to the lawyer in the room next to me and say, “Hey, I was thinking about this. What do you think?” And in your scenario, I now have to go look at their calendar and set up a Zoom. which might not be until tomorrow, and by then that spontaneity has ended. So, I don’t know that that happens all the time.
Dennis Kennedy: Or you could text them. You could text them, Tom and say, like, “Hey, do you have five minutes to talk about this?” and then you don’t interrupt what they’re doing and they’re ready to listen to you.
Tom Mighell: If you could, you could do that too. But that wasn’t an option that you gave. You talked about finding a thing on the calendar, and I think that, assuming that texting is an appropriate method of collaborating with your team members, then absolutely, yes. I mean, I do that with Zoom all the time. I have something I want to talk about. That’s how I do my spontaneity with my consultants is. I text them and I say, “Hey, do you have a minute to talk about this?” and we jump on, and we literally hit the phone button in Teams, and we’re talking to each other in about two seconds. So, it’s not a difficult issue, but I think there are some benefits to being in-person that I think no amount of collaboration tools can overcome or help, but that said, we’re here to talk about how to help collaborate in a hybrid environment and we’re going to do just that but first, we’re going to take a break for a message from our sponsors.
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Dennis Kennedy: And we’re back. Tom, let’s talk about some practical ways as you were saying to think about the current and future mixed or hybrid environment and how we can collaborate better? Do you want to start this off?
Tom Mighell: So, one of the things that we talked a little bit about in the first part was meeting inequality. And so, if you’re going to try to have a better mixed environment, why not reduce meetings? Why not stop having so many meetings or move from synchronous communication to asynchronous communication? If you’re talking with the people you ordinarily be meeting with but you’re doing it by asynchronous means, you can still, many times, achieve the same goals that you wanted to without having to subject people at home, to join others who might be in a conference room to a meeting. You would all be on the same foot because you would all be getting those messages in the same way. I think that if you have teams that are used to like working together, this is probably not happening as often in a law environment as it is in like the tech environment or the other environments where teams will get together and work a certain number of hours a day. I’ve seen tips to set blocks limited to a small number of hours. If you’re going to be working with people in your office, don’t spend all day working with them to the exclusion of your team members who may be remote, make that a smaller number of hours and then try to do other things in an asynchronous way.
I would say, find a way to simplify your collaboration tech stack. Some tools are more valuable for in-person teams and that doesn’t work well for remote workers. So be thoughtful about the tools that you use so that it’s a tool that makes sure that it is useful no matter where it is because I think a lot of the tools we talked about are pretty good no matter whether you’re at home or whether you are in the office, but they’re not all cut equally. And so I think those are two main practical ways to think about collaboration. I have some more thoughts but I’m going to take a break. So I don’t talk so much and say, “Dennis, thoughts about that or thoughts of your own on ways to address.”
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I mean I think as we step back and think about collaboration and what we’ve seen in the last couple years, I want to go back to this in-person notion, that a lot of times people say, “Oh what I like about being in-person is I can just stick my head in my colleague’s door and ask them something and I can do this and I can grab somebody in the hallway or — I see somebody at the water cooler and I can have them do a project for me or whatever” and you start to say, “Well, what you’re describing is what you lack is to the other person is actually really interruptive by its nature.” That’s why the texting, “See if you have time,” setting up a Zoom call, doing things like that or doing something in slack or in teams actually makes you start to think about there might be better ways to do this.
And, you know, a lot of times you’re up against a deadline as a lawyer and somebody shows up at your door and says, “Hey do you have a minute” which you know means to have half an hour and you don’t want to be rude and you end up getting even further behind the deadline. So I think that these tools kind of help us think about that. It kind of like leads me to what I think my main point and that we talked a lot about in the book is the sort of audit and assessment. So, this is a great time as you’re going back to the office and considering these approaches and the hybrid approach is to just figure out like what is it that you’re doing, how do you collaborate, can you map that out, do you really understand what it is that you’re doing and then to kind of treat that as experimental data. So what is work, what hasn’t but just get a really solid understanding of it and say “Let’s think about this and just not jump back to saying let’s just go back to the old normal.”
Tom Mighell: Let me follow up with a couple of tips that I have. One of them, I’m just repeating. I was doing research for this and I found something I really like which is that an approach that Google is taking, because I think Google has recognized the issues with hybrid or mixed environments and they’ve come up with what they call Three Pillars of Equity in Collaboration, and I think they’re all valuable to think about.
The first one is called Representation Equity, which means making sure that all people on the team can be seen, they can be heard, they can be portrayed equally no matter where they are that no one has a lesser portrayal in whatever meeting or whatever sense of the collaboration you have. There’s Participation Equity, which is the ability to host, present and participate equally in meetings. In fact, Google had introduced a tool which I’m ashamed to know. I didn’t even know that this tool existed. I don’t know Dennis if you know, it’s called Companion Mode. It’s in its meeting tool. It gives every meeting participant the same access to the same interactive tools so they can all do the same things in meetings. You know, both Microsoft and Google now allow you to specify in your meeting RSVP to let people know where you’ll be, whether you’ll be in person or remote, it’ll say attending remotely or attending in the meeting room or something like that so people can plan better for the meetings. The third pillar of equity is called Information Equity, where everybody has equal access to information. I think to me that is the most logical and in terms of current collaboration tools, that to me seems the most straightforward and the easiest to accomplish is giving everybody equal access to information.
The other thing that I kind of want to talk about quickly is if you have to have meetings, again try to bring more equality to them and one of the suggestions that I have is think about whether or not it makes sense depending on how big your meetings are. Does it make sense to have sort of a virtual moderator to your meeting, you know a second meeting facilitator for people who are remote that can welcome the meeting participants, they can handle technology issues just maybe for larger meetings and others, maybe not for meetings with only a few people but they could post poles or things that people could participate in. They could share questions with the in-person, person who is leading the meeting. They could run the breakout rooms. I think that there are ways to make that. Dennis was absolutely right, when you’re a meeting of 50 or 60 people and you feel very removed from the action if you are remote.
You’re not around the conference table together. You’re not in the meeting room and having a great time and chatting it up. You feel very remote and it is hard to get a word and edgewise, it is easy to feel excluded. And so finding ways to level that a little bit more with your remote people if that means setting up a second moderator or — it means maybe have non-meeting meetings, host-office hours or just time when people can talk and get around or, to say Dennis, instead of have the real water cooler, make your spontaneous interaction time more intentional. Build in time to have water cooler talk and just say, “Hey, let’s meet and see what we’ve been working on” and just chat for that time and maybe that’s an option to do that so that you’re not bothering somebody and taking them away from something that’s important, but you’re having time, you’re dedicating time to maybe have some of those spontaneous conversations. It’s just a little bit more planned than spontaneous. Dennis, do you have other suggestions to wrap this thing up?
Dennis Kennedy: Yeah. I just have a couple of things but I think that you’ve talked to the past time, you’re doing this thing to sort of like an office hour. I do office hours when I’m teaching. I’m going to try this thing this semester I called the Drop-In Zoom which is just saying, “Hey, there’s an hour out of this beyond and as a student, you want to drop in and talk about what’s going on the class or whatever else, then I’m there, I’ll be there and I’ll be eating my lunch, you can eat your lunch and if nobody shows up, that’s fine with me. If all of you show up, that’s fine with me. So, you sort of give people those options. I think your thing about equity is great because every time I get irritated in meetings, somebody’s broken one of those things in a big way and I think over the time of COVID, if you’ve been on webinars, they’re well run. You’re used to saying like, “Oh, I can participate.” The chat is enabled. It’s not disabled. People can share screens. People can unmute. People can do these things and there’s a sense of participation and people are — you have awareness of what’s going on and that gets broken a lot in the work setting or in some meetings. People just like we just haven’t learned the lessons of what work. So I think you look at those, I think you take a close look right now to what your clients want. This is perfect time to do client surveys like the client survey that we put in the book. You start to say, “Where do we want to invests?”
I don’t think collaboration is a place you want to start disinvesting or decreasing your investment and you start to go, “What are your priorities? What are long term, short term strategies?” Sort of less about the actual technologies and kind of figuring out what it is that you need to do and how to set those priorities. And then I think it really just comes down to my mantra on collaboration is how do I make it easy for people to work with me? And I think if everybody’s doing that, I think, things are really going to take off in the collaboration spaces and which is that simple thing. That’s why I said the collaboration golden rule, collaborate with others as you would like to have them collaborate with yourself, and that goes a long way these days.
Tom Mighell: Well, we have a lot to say about collaboration as you can tell, but we are done for this episode. So before we move on to our next segment, let’s take a quick break for a message from our sponsors.
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Tom Mighell: And now let’s get back to The Kennedy-Mighell Report. I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy. This episode, we’re going back to our hot or not format. We pick a tech topic in the news and discuss whether it’s hot or not. We might agree, we might disagree, but you’ll get our insights and perspectives on the topic. And you are welcome to suggest future topics to us. The big ILTACON, Legal Tech Conference took place recently and I followed what was happening using the event hashtag or what I thought was the event hashtag because people were using about three of them. It got me thinking about how effective it is to follow events that you can’t attend in person by using Twitter hashtags. Tom, this technique has been used for ages but as we see to be moving to more in person conferences these days, is following a conference using Twitter hashtags hot or not?
Tom Mighell: When you say move to more in person conferences, do we mean move back? Because we used to have a lot of in person conferences, so it’s not whether we’re moving to them now more than we were before. I think we’re just moving back to them more.
Dennis Kennedy: Moving back.
Tom Mighell: But I think you’re right, this has been used for ages. So I’m really tempted to say that the temperature of this trend is about as steady as it has always been. I would say that the use of hashtags on Twitter is no more or less a thing than ever it has been. I think some people use them all the time, like Dennis, sometimes in very questionable ways, while some people, like me, use them almost never. But while I don’t like to use hashtags in my own tweets, I will definitely follow a hashtag if there is good information to be learned. Likewise, I would say that the use of hashtags at conferences, in my opinion, and the conferences that I followed has remained more or less steady over time. It was — I would say, no hotter before, during, or since the pandemic started. I think the temperature level of using hashtags, in my opinion, has remained pretty much the same, depending on how you approach conferences. For example, when I go to a conference in person, I will still follow the hashtags to see what my fellow attendees are seeing and doing and experiencing, to see if there might be something I might want to do that I might be missing. When I’m not at a conference, I’m actually less likely to follow a hashtag because there’s a lot of noise in those hashtags. There are vendors who are selling products, there are people who are trolling the attendees, there’s attendees having conversations with other attendees.
It’s a lot, and so I don’t always do that. But for ILTA, I followed a few people whose tweets I value, and I got a lot out of that. I think I was able to learn a lot about what happened at the conference, at least for those attendees anyway, through following just them at Twitter. Less noise, better content, even though I may have seen a more narrow view of the conference and if I’d followed the hashtag, it was enough for me and enough volume for me to follow it. So as for temperature, I would say the answer is personal, that temperature is personal depending on how you use hashtags. For me, I would say it was a nice, comfortable, middle of the road, warm, room temperature, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well Tom, I always want to — don’t know whether it was hashtags at the time, I remember it was like, what, ABA Tech Show 2007 or something like that, where you want to use Twitter and we were going to have all the attendees use it, and it felt like there were about six of us?
Tom Mighell: We had a monitor up on the wall that would show the tweets would just go by like a news ticker. It was a beautiful thing all six of us doing that.
Dennis Kennedy: And then the six of us realized that by tweeting, we could get our stuff up on a monitor. It brought out the worst in us, right? So, I think that it’s been an interesting way to do things. It’s been around for a long time. And so I followed the ILTA conference and I sort of feel like it’s really cooling off, and I think there’s a couple of things. One is that it makes you wish that the conferences were offering an online option and I’m not sure what they’re gaming by not doing that. So that’s one thing. You also miss when you had online, you had the chat so you could actually be talking to other people there with the Twitter and the hashtags, it’s like way more public. And so that’s a different vibe. If the conference doesn’t do good discipline and say, “Here’s what the official hashtag is, you won’t see everything, there’s a wide mix of stuff” and then you also realize and Tom, I think about this as presenters, right? You see somebody summarize what somebody is saying in a session and it just seems like so banal what they’re saying. If we were doing a presentation, you would expect to see like somebody on Twitter say, Tom and Dennis say collaboration is important, and you would go like, “Well, yeah, that’s great.”
So I think it’s cooling off though, because the quality what you get depends on who’s tweeting during the conference, what they tweet about, and I just think that to get actual content from the sessions that the character limit really is problematic to give a good summary of our insight into what people are saying. So I’m going to call it chilling or cooling down. So now it’s time for a parting shot at one tip website observation. You can use the second this podcast in. Tom, take it away.
Tom Mighell: Well, first, before I do my parting shot, I want to give a quick shout out to listener, Scott Bassett. Thank you very much for your voicemail. He gave an important response to our hot or not last episode on flip phones and whether foldables are a thing or they’re hot or not, and he had a Galaxy Flip 3, the earlier version, the previous generation of it, and he pointed out something that I sort of alluded to but I didn’t actually get to which is that the phone screen is coated with something to both protect it and also to enable it to fold. And over time it started to become disconnected from the phone and he round up getting a new one. But over time — that new phone is also started to become disconnected. I think that’s one of the major issues with foldable phones. I understand that that is better with the new generation of the Z Flip, but I don’t know that it’s as good as it should be. And so point well taken. Scott, thanks for listening. Thanks for that comment and please, everybody else, please send us your comments if you have them.
My parting shot it’s been a long time since I have had a parting shot that had to do with either headphones or earbuds. So I thought you all are missing my comments on headphones and earbuds. So I would say that I was recently persuaded to try the Google Pixel Buds Pro and the reason why is The Verge, the technology site, The Verge, has a great podcast, and they had this awesome episode where they took about four or five or six different wireless earbuds and they actually tested them during the podcast so you could hear the quality if they’re talking to you on the phone. They did them in two places, one in a coffee shop and one on the ferry in New York. So ferry was driving around all between Staten Island and other places. And the people who hosted the podcast were shocked to find that the Google Pixel Buds Pro sounded better than the Apple iPod Pro, the Pod Pro, whatever they call them, I forgot them. I’ve missed my terms here. But the audio quality was actually better listening to them and that was enough to convince me to get them and I have them now, I enjoy them quite a bit. They don’t stick out of the year quite as much as the Pod Pro, but I would say they’re a good thing, especially if you have an Android phone. But you don’t need an Android phone. It’s not like Apple where you’re wall garden you can use the Google Pixel Buds ear buds with anybody. I highly recommended and cheaper than Apple’s version too, Dennis?
Dennis Kennedy: Well, Tom has told me that we can no longer cover every Apple event on this podcast, but I did watch the Apple event today and the Apple Watch Series 8, very attractive to me for the health additions to it in the AirPod Pro 2. Also very interesting, as I talked about — when we first talked about the AirPods, the platform continues to evolve and you see things like the spatial audio, the personalization of the sound for you, improved noise resolution, that sort of thing. But I want to turn to ILTA. So there were two products that really caught my attention from attending virtually and one is from Thompson Reuters, it’s called Thought Trace and it’s a really interesting approach to a human in the middle AI contract analysis tool. I don’t have time here to go into detail on it, but it really caught my attention. Very interesting. I can see a good number of uses for that. And the other is from NetDocuments, they bought a company called Afterpattern which does document automation. And so they launched something called Pattern Builder, which is their document. Now this document automation built into the document management tool. That document is really interesting. I love the idea of that evolving platform in document management, adding tools like document automation. So Thought Trace, Pattern Builder worth taking a look at.
Tom Mighell: And so that wraps it up for this edition of The Kennedy-Mighell Report. Thanks for joining us on the podcast. You can find show notes for this episode on the Legal Target Networks page for the show. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast in iTunes on the Legal Talk Network site or in your podcast app of choice. If you’d like to get in touch with us, you know where to find us. You can reach out to us on LinkedIn, on Twitter, or leave us a voicemail. We love to get voice messages. That number is (720) 441-6820. So until the next podcast, I’m Tom Mighell.
Dennis Kennedy: And I’m Dennis Kennedy, and you’ve been listening to the Kennedy-Mighell Report, a podcast on legal technology with an internet focus. If you like what you heard today, please rate us in Apple podcasts and we’ll see you next time for another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report on the Legal Talk Network.
Male: 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.