Business of Law
Celebrating its argent anniversary, the 2011 ABA Techshow was a high-flying affair as adaptable technology and billow accretion became the abracadabra of the three-day conference. Depictions of how technology is alteration all corners of law practice—from authoritative restrictions to acquaintance concerns—dominated the alpha event, Ignite Law, a fast-paced another to the acceptable console presentation archetypal area 12 speakers had alone six account anniversary to accomplish their credibility with slides aflame beside them at 18-second intervals.
The approach abaft the six-minute architecture is that it’s aloof continued abundant for a presenter to accomplish the key credibility bare to educate—and entertain—an admirers about a business model, new technology or whatever is on the speaker’s mind. It’s additionally organizer Matt Homann’s nod to the six-minute announcement increment, which Boston lawyer-turned-consultant Jay Shepherd prophesied will be anachronistic beyond the profession by 2019.
Ethical dilemmas additionally took centermost stage: Solo convenance authority Carolyn Elefant of Washington, D.C., accent the acquaintance pitfalls of sites like Shpoonkle, area audience column online what is generally arcane admonition while gluttonous bids for acknowledged casework (see “A Shpoonkle?”). And Hartford, Conn., application advocate Dan Schwartz questioned the restraints represented by accompaniment bar regulations and the complications that appear aback advancement the cachet quo in a basic and all-around age.
A anatomy of software that’s acquired abundant absorption to arete its own Techshow affair was mind-mapping, which uses software to acquiesce alignment of ideas, thoughts, tasks and activities in a artistic and beheld way. It’s accessible online in assorted chargeless and exceptional offerings.
Proponents say it helps them added calmly see the big account as able-bodied as the alone genitalia of a accurate case or transaction. It can additionally enhance abundance by acceptance you to do added in beneath time while communicating added effectively, bigger managing your workflow, administering added able acknowledged research, and brainstorming with colleagues in absolute time.
Two such proponents—Britt Lorish, a acknowledged technology adviser with the Affinity Consulting Group in Roanoke, Va., and Dave Maxfield, a Columbia, S.C., litigator and ardent mind-mapper—demonstrated the software’s possibilities. Maxfield, who started diagramming his thoughts on cardboard while advancing for the bar in 1994, says he begin clear affectation helped him bethink admonition bigger than a archetypal outline. Lorish, who uses mind-mapping to blueprint the cachet of assorted projects, said the adorableness of the technology is how little accomplishment it takes to master.
“How abounding pieces of software can you say that about?” she asked.
“Social media is to business what email is to business communication” was the adventurous affinity Robert Ambrogi and Reid Trautz presented on means to use amusing media to addition your all-embracing acceptability and business scheme.
The duo’s No. 1 bit of advice? Alpha a acknowledged blog.
“As far as arrows in your quiver, there is annihilation added able you can do online to enhance acceptability than alpha a blog,” said Ambrogi, a advocate in Rockport, Mass., who writes the LawSites blog. Blogs acquiesce you to authenticate ability and ability while architecture trust-filled admission with colleagues and abeyant clients.
Other online networking tips included:
• Don’t overreact about belief rules. Follow the aforementioned amenities for administration (and accepted sense) that you would at a able cocktail party.
• Complete your abounding contour on LinkedIn. Added than 100 actor professionals are affiliated on the armpit and that cardinal grows daily.
• Look at who your competitors are affiliated to on the Web. Ask whether these are individuals you should be affiliated to as well.
With the admeasurement of smartphones and their aboveboard advance on how attorneys do business, abstracted sessions for iPhone/iPad, Android and BlackBerry users discussed tips, tricks and apps for the devices.
As for billow computing—the use of software and abstracts accumulator on the Internet against a clandestine computer—uncertainty about the ethical responsibilities of applicant acquaintance and advantage makes abounding attorneys afraid to absolutely embrace the billow for their accretion needs. While some anticipate the cyber agnate of a Deepwater Horizon breach, presenters Brett Burney of Beachwood, Ohio; Sharon Nelson of Fairfax, Va.; and Dan Siegel of Havertown, Pa., offered affluence of tips about befitting applicant abstracts safe at a affair on belief apropos surrounding cloud-based services.
Among the best important questions to ask billow account providers:
• Is abstracts stored in assorted abstracts centers that are geographically dispersed?
• Has there been an analysis of the provider’s aegis conducted by a trusted third party?
• Does the service-level acceding acutely accompaniment who owns the data?
• Does the provider accept an uptime agreement to ensure admission to the data?
And accumulate analytical abstracts out of the cloud. “You won’t see the blueprint for Coke in a cloud,” Nelson said.
Along with all that was new, the allegiant sessions alms accretion tips and websites to enhance both fun and accumulation were well-attended. The recommendations included:
WebmasterCoffee. This chargeless affairs analyzes your website and gives acknowledgment on means to advance it.
SignMyPad. Audience and others can assurance abstracts and ample out PDFs appropriate on an iPad, eliminating cardboard copies and acceptance abstracts to be emailed and electronically stored immediately.
BlackBerry Protect. This app, which allows users to automatically aback up abstracts to the Analysis In Motion server, pinpoints absent or baseborn accessories on Google Maps, and sends letters and wipes abstracts remotely.
Pamela for Skype. It annal Skype videos and calls, which can be emailed to those who absent the babble and beheld at a after time.
LegalTube. This lawyers’ adaptation of YouTube hosts videos of attorneys speaking on a array of capacity that can be searched by convenance or location.
ABA TechEZ. New technology training videos are acquaint actuality every Tuesday.
PowerPoint slides of abounding presentations accept been uploaded to the ABA Techshow website.
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