The Common Scold is named after a cause of action that originated in Pilgrim days, when meddlesome, argumentative, opinionated women who displeased the Puritan elders were punished by a brisk dunk in the local pond. Believe it or not, the tort lasted until 1972, when State v. Palendrano, 120 N.J. Super. 336, 293 A.2d 747 (N.J.Super.L., Jul 13, 1972) pretty much put it to rest. But the thought of those feisty women, not afraid of a little cold water, has always cheered me up and inspired me. I first used the moniker as the name of my humor column at the University of San Francisco School of Law many moons ago, and revive it now for this blawg!
Red Sox' Faustian 2004 Nightmare: Al Podboy forwarded an absolutely hysterical parody of the MasterCard commercial where Red Sox fans pledged first born children (and more) if their team won the world series -- and guess what! It's PAYBACK TIME!
DTI (née Document Technologies Inc.) -- which offers discovery services, facilities management, and knowledge process outsourcing -- has named Kristin Currey as its new director of business development, West region -- part of DTI's national sales team.
Reached in Los Angeles, where she is based, Currey said her "primary duties are to bring marketing to in-house, corporate counsel to help them manage and control costs around e-discovery and litigation management.
Asked what is the biggest problem facing e-discovery, Currey answered quickly. "It's not regulated -- you can have people running businesses out of their garage. There are no standards," she said. As for potential answers to that problem, she suggests that vendors and providers should have to go through standards testing.
Monty Lunn has answered the siren call of New Orleans, and moved back. He most recently was a director at Huron Consulting Group. We'll letcha know when he gets settled in with new contact info.
* Connie Moser, formerly of Elite, has joined another Elite-ite, Mark Goldin at American LegalNet. Goldin's the new CTO, Moser's the new marketing director She'll be at ILTA so you can reconnect with her there, or reach her here.
*Angelique Schaffer checks in from Thomson Reuters to advise us that Legal Current has replaced Westblog. Check it out!
* Herbert Roitblat of Oratec forwards this encouraging article chastizing local governments for their version of "solution-speak." Note the list of 200 no-no words, including "beaconicity," "holistic governance," and "incentivising."
* Better late than never: This slipped thru my inbox cracks, so it's a bit old now, but still interesting: Katherine Petusek, of the National Association of Women Lawyers and its foundation, are conducting a fourth annual survey on retention and promotion of women in the largest 200 U.S. firms. Contact Cheryl Oblander here for an update. Copies of past surveys can be viewed here.
*Finally, a treat courtesy of SheFanJane (Jane Heller). A fun YouTube that you can embedding where appropriate. (BTW, she just featured an excerpt of my book review of her terrific new book, Confessions of a She-Fan) on her book's website (scroll down below "advanced praise.") Full review here. And I've also started posting my book reviews on Amazon (username Monica Bay. We'll use it to close out this edition of TCS:
Bye Bye Dome.... The 7th annual Twins/Yanks fest was, as always, Big Fun -- a chance to connect with the terrific Twins Cities tech community and say goodbye to the Metrodome... (well, unless we meet again in October!)
As always, it was a jam-packed three days of vendor meetings and beisbol! We started off the trip with our annual visit to Thomson Reuters, with huge thanks to John Shaughnessy (far left), Gretchen DeSutter (below) and Scott Augustin (left) for setting up a day of helpful briefings. We had a chance to say a quick hello to Allison Guidette, who has returned to Eagan as vp of litigation (she was headed to the airport for a trip west); then visited with Preston McKenzie, vp of Hubbard One (which includes ContactNet, Hubbard One and Monitor Suite). Then we got a fascinating update from Rob Sargeson, senior vp & CIO, about the company's expansion plans for its massive data centers.
Over a yummy evil midwest lunch, (TR's commissary is just too tempting!) Mike Abbott and Stephanie Krause updated us on pro bono projects designed to help displaced legal professionals. It's always great to see vp Laurie Zenner and the corporate communications team, which also includes Kevin Hunt and Michele Endgahl in addition to the aforementioned folks.
Then Denis Hauptly (vp strategic development), who has just returned from a long stint in Switzerland, offered his mighty wisdom about uber search and other trends on the horizon. Here's a link to his new book, Something Really New, which I will be reading shortly!
Next on the agenda was a briefing on the Westlaw Business' global outreach, with marketing vp Gus Thompson) and sr. director Rob Kirchstein (with Gretchen, above). The day wrapped up with sr. director Brian Knudsen mktg mgr John Vonhor offering me a tour of the company's PeopleMap public information software that helps everybody from litigators to skip tracers track down 411 on folks.
Before I headed to the Dome with Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron and Teddy Lindgren for game 1 of the Twins/Yanks series, Incisive's Michael Medwig and Marnie Maroney (below left in white shirt, with Paul Godlewski from Thomson Reuters) and I visited 3M -- with mktg communications mgr Joan Olseen and Erik Johnson for an update on the company's popular RFID system that helps law firms and companies track their paper files.(BTW, apparently Teri is not the only "JG" in Mpls -- check out the license plate I saw at Thomson Reuter parking lot!)
Day 2 began with an update from NightOwl, which offers document management services. Scott Sterkel, director of sales and mktg, told us how the company is growing with its e-discovery offerings.
Then it was off to Eden Praire to meet up with the Kroll Ontrack gang, including Christian Betancourt and Megan Kubacki, (left). Kaitlin Shinkle regaled us with reports on her June wedding at the St. Paul hotel (Congrats! plus a shout out to Michelle Lange, who is on maternity leave!)
Finally, we had a very interesting meeting with Avantstar's Matt Knudson about the company's content management system, and how they are getting increasing traction within the e-discovery community.
Then it was to the Dome for the Twins/Yanks fest. Thanks to everybody who joined us, including LTN edit board members George Socha and Tom Gelbmann (right); consultants LaVerne Pritchard and Linda Ulbrich. As usual, the gangs from Thomson Reuters and Kroll.
The Dorsey & Whitney crew included partner Melissa Krasnow, left in red -- who with colleague Nick Ackerman, was the star of our May Law Technology Now podcast. Next to Krasnow is her friend, General Mills counsel Cam Hoang. Also from Dorsey was Patrick Courtemanche (in light blue shirt) who has joined the firm's marketing department, with Dorsey marketing colleague Bob Kleiber (in royal blue shirt).
We were also thrilled that LTN's former associate editor Katie Montgomery could come north from Iowa to be with us! Incisive's Rob Hafiz of LegalTech also joined in the fun, as did Curt Meltzer of Meltzer Consulting, and Sean Solberg, of Faegre & Benson (far right).
BTW, we send our best wishes to Linda Will, who's on the DL, for a speedy recovery, and a shout-out to Amy Juers, who missed her first Twins/Fest because she was in California (good excuse!).
Huge thanks to Luis Breazeale of the Twins for all his help getting us such great seats (behind home plate!) It was a great, tight game, a nailbiter all the way to the end, when
Mariano faced Mauer, and for only the third time in our seven year Twins/Yanks
fest history, the Yanks actually won. (Sorry, Minnesota fans :) On top of the good game, one of our rows was selected as the Hormel Hot Dog Row of the Game -- so everybody in the middle of our group got a free hot dog! What a hoot!!
Day 3 started with a few "issues" with my Garmin Nuvi 200 -- actually, it wasn't the tech's fault, it was my fault for not updating the maps. The Twins City is undergoing a massive amount of construction (Three people told me the same joke: "Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction") and the whole area is completely chewed up (especially downtown) rivaling Boston's Big Dig. Trying to get to Roseville to meet up with the Merrill gang, I could not find an open on-ramp to 35W North -- and ended up almost at Bloomington trying to get north. I am soooo updating my maps before my next adventure!
But because I'm paranoid and always leave extra time to find new places, even with Garmin's 90% reliable "Jill," I pulled into the parking lot just at the meeting time. Thanks to Leonard Lee and the Merrill team for a terrific conversation about social networking, e-discovery and all the challenges they present. We enjoyed meeting with marketers Scott Snyder, Diana Lepper, and Dawn Edwards!
Finally, before heading back home, I had a chance to visit with Jon Bream, my colleague from my days at the Minnesota Daily, who is the veteran music critic at the Star Tribune. (His latest "coffee table" book is Whole Lotta Led Zeppelin). We headed to Wasabi, which I highly recommend as a terrific Japanese restaurant right about halfway between the Guthrie theater and the Dome.
We noticed a lovely new restaurant in the same complex, Sanctuary, and took the opportunity to get a quick tour from Michael Kutscheid, owner and GM. The charming bistro also has a sweet outdoor garden -- and I definitely plan to visit it on my next trip to Minnesota, hopefully in October!
And if not for post-season, we'll look forward to returning next year for OUTDOOR baseball at the new Target Field (we'll bring our down coats).
* Ipro Techhad to write a big check ($246,470) to settle claims that it had unlicensed copies of Adobe, Microsoft, and Symantec software, but CEO Jim King says his organization takes the full blame.
"As part of the settlement agreement, IPRO Tech Inc. agreed to delete all unlicensed copies of software on its computers, purchase any licenses necessary to become compliant, and commit to implementing stronger software asset management practices," reported the Business Software Alliance.
"IPRO continued to use subscription software after the license term expired," said King. "The good news, this was not intentional. We fully supported the audit process and we support the goals of the BSA. Upon discovery of our licensing oversights we worked with the BSA to immediately correct the deficiencies."
* Keith Rowand
has started a company, Rowand Software -- and is offering document
comparison and near de-duplication software. He's also offering
computer programming. 411 here.
* Kelvin Chin checks in to report that he's
packing up his L.A. bags and heading east again -- to Raleigh, N.C.,
where he has been named sales director at Womble Carlyle. (That's the
firm with the bulldog mascot).
* Also changing business cards: Mark Goldin is the new chief tech officers at Los Angeles-based American LegalNet. He joins from Elite.
* David Cowen says his 2Q09 survey on lit support work shows hours have spiked. Check it out here.
* Deborah Novachick
of Strategic Automation Consulting as returned from Nigeria, where she
taught classes in operations management at Pan-African University
Lagos School of Business, which hosted a “Management Development
Program for Legal Practitioners.” The project was started by Joy
Harrison-Abiola, who is a legal administrator in Nigeria, and a member of the Association of Legal Administrators. "Four of the faculty members of the ALA's Essential Competencies for Legal Administrators programs went over to Nigeria," she says. "We and the others on the faculty have donated months of our time." E-mail her here for more info.
JoAnna Forshee checks in to let folks know that it will provide 10 scholarships to unemployed attorneys who are job hunting, to attend its "Get a Life" Conference that is presented by the Total Practice Management Association. It is a two-day workshop on marketing and practice management and social networking that will be held in Chicago on May 27 & 28. Deadline to apply, 5/22, 5 p.m. CST. 411 here.
• Brent Bourque has replaced long-time director of marketing Connie Moser at Los Angeles-based Elite. She's a tough act to follow! Bourque, based in New Orleans, has been with Elite for 12 years, starting in sales. His title is senior director, strategic marketing and business intelligence, and he can be reached here.
• Charlie Haas, who went to University of California Santa Cruz, along with lawyer/marketer Louise Rosen Byer et moi, is embarking on a book tour for his latest novel, The Enthusiast (Harper Perennial). Check out his book readings:
Tuesday, June 2, 7:00 pm - Books Inc. at Opera Plaza, San Francisco. Thursday, June 4, 7:00 PM - A Great Good Place for Books, Oakland (Montclair district). Monday, June 8, 7:00 PM - Barnes & Noble, Jack London Square, Oakland. Friday, June 12, 7:30 PM - Barnes & Noble, 396 Avenue of the Americas (at 8th St.), New York, N.Y. Thursday, June 18, 7:30 PM - Skylight Books, 1818 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles.
I'm planning to attend the NYC reading -- after all, the main character's name is Henry Bay!
Charlie also wrote the sequel(Gremlins 2) to one of my all-time favorite movies Gremlins. (Whenever I'm in a funk I just remember the scene with all the critters singing "Hi Ho! Hi Ho! It's off to work I go" with popcorn bucket hats!)
• Stephanie Hallwants you to know about her Relay for Life -- the American Cancer Society fundraiser she participates in every year to honor her mother, who she lost to cancer almost five years ago. Any donation helps.
• And our LTNcolleagueTheodora Blanchfield is also participating in a project, to benefit the Cancer Survivorship Initiative at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in N.Y. She's running to hnor her grandfather, Herbert Blanchfield, who died of mesothelioma in 2000.
• Steve Schwartz reports that certain LSAT PrepTests (past administered LSAT exams) are available only to students who take prep courses, not those who self-study. Check it out on his LSAT Blog.
RainMaker Software Inc. has announced a $1 million "Law Firm Economic Assistance Package," where firms can apply for discounts on software if they pledge to "pay forward" the sum to benefit their local communities.
Says prez James Hammond, examples might include identifying new pro bono work programs for laid-off workers; helping families facing potential mortgage foreclosures; or participating in charitible organizations.
The wise Bruce Marcus checks in to offer a link to his speech at our recent CMO Conference. Marcus offers great advice and has an amazing amount of common sense, which is very refreshing to encounter from professional marketers. Some are fabulous, but too many, in my experience, too often succumb to brain-numbing Firm Speak and the latest management fads.)
For example, says Marcus, describing his 1983 book, Competing for Clients: "The theme of that book is so revolutionary that people tended to not take it seriously. It was that in today’s environment, the practice of law and accounting are – or should be – guided by the clients, not by the needs of the practice." Sounds obvious, doesn't it. But it's surprising and a bit frustrating that in 2008 he still needs to trumpet that message.
I, too, was at the podium, honored to moderate a panel on "Technology Your Clients Want You to Have," with long-time LTN edit board member, Michael Kraft, of Kraft Kennedy, a NY-based consultancy. IMHO, he is one of the most knowledgeable people around on the topic of technology systems and integration for legal organizations.
We were joined by Suzanne Hawkins -- who has what I think is one of the worst titles in the profession (Chief of Practice Excellence) at the about-to-be-dissolved Heller. It was the first time I had shared the stage with Hawkins, who previously worked for GE, and she offered both firm and corporate insights during the discussion, which ranged from extranets to basic infrastructure to marketing tools.
It was a fast-paced, slightly-rowdy program, my favorite kind! With three very strong egos, it got a bit wild as we all tried to grab mike time, but it was jam-packed with great info and we certainly kept the audience awake. We didn't always agree with each others (Hawkins and I argued about the value of social networking tools), but it sure was interesting!
Thanks to everybody, especially such a great audience (and kudos to co-chairs Larry Bodine and Iris Jones (chief business development and mktg officer of Chadbourne & Parke, as well as Incisive Media's Karen Abrams and her team).
My colleague Sean Doherty, tech editor of Law.com, and I have been hearing a lot of noise about the battle between FindLaw and Google.
Sean posted on it here on his Legal Technology Blog with links to some of the discussion.
I'm also copying his post below:
I see that there is some discussion about Findlaw and its practice of marketing and selling links. Some believe this to be an ethical issue and conclude "shame" on Findlaw. Others view it as a business decision.
Now, if you believe Google and its ranking policies are the law, then perhaps Findlaw has violated it. However, I don't adhere to the fact that Google's ranking policy and their search algorithm are the law of the land. Marketing and selling links on Findlaw is a business decision for which a buyer shoud be aware of his or her purchase.
Sean has asked Findlaw to comment -- and he's going to continue to follow the conversations on his blog.
Update from Monica:
We will be covering this story in the next issue of Law Technology News,but in the meantime, I got a briefing from one of my top advisors, who asked not to be ID'd.
Here's his read of the situation:
A summary of the issue: FindLaw has actively been promoting a program selling between three to eight links from the FindLaw site for $1/month. These sales violate Google’s policies. Although the story was broken by an SEO named Oilman here , there's more at issue, but here's some background first.
The easiest explanation of why it is such a big deal is written at the Get Lawyer Leads blog: “this is a clear violation of Google’s policy against search engine spam, and these links will almost certainly be devalued when reported. (Google’s top cop, Matt Cutts has already taken note and commented in the thread at oilman’s site, so it appears to already be a done deal).” Entire post here.
Here's a brief overview of search engine optimization:
One of the ways Google determines where a given site will rank for a specific search is the number and quality of inlinks to a website. The simple theory is that very interesting pages will be linked to by many people. A page or website with a lot of links therefore has a lot of authority (Google measures authority on a 1-10 logarithmic scale called PageRank). Taking it one step further, a link from a high PageRank site (like CNN or FindLaw) is more valuable than a link from a low PageRank site (like www.dougscrabshack.com).
To avoid gaming of their algorithm, Google works very hard to make sure their search engines aren’t being manipulated through search engine spam. One of they ways the define spam is the selling or buying of links from high PageRank sites to artificially convey authority on a given webpage.
Google actively penalizes sites who engage in these activities when they are discovered. The most famous example involves BMW, which was entirely delisted (removed from search results) by Google in 2006 for spam violations.
You can read more about that here on Matt Cutt’s blog. Matt Cutts heads up Google’s anti-SPAM efforts and as a veritable celebrity in the world of online marketing.
Matt has taken a strong interest in the FindLaw issue. Not only did he post a comment on the Oilman blog and even twittered it. So he is aware and Google and other search engines will likely penalize FindLaw and/or sites they link to, for this very clear violation of Google’s policies.
The most juicy insight that no one seems to have picked up on, however, comes from FindLaw’s own letter: “As you may or may not know, FindLaw has been providing SEM programs to law firms for the last four years.
The product has been very successful at elevating the natural search results of law firms in all of the major search engines and has helped them generate more business from search engines.”
So it seems FindLaw has been doing this for a while and only got caught when it moved outside of the law firm market. This admission means there are already firms paying FindLaw for this program – and now that Cutts has presumably removed the value of the links – a bunch of firms are essentially paying for nothing. By now, FindLaw knows this result – and the ethical thing to do would be to publicize their mistake and refund money. So far, FindLaw hasn't done so.
* Bob Johnston, of the Executive Council in NYC, checks in to tell us that if you were unable to attend the recent (excellent) program about "Green IT" you can watch highlights online here.
I attended the program, and was especially impressed with Microsoft's chief environmental strategist, Robert Bernard. Also speaking: Dell Inc.'s Head of Environmental Affairs, Michael Murphy; 1E's CEO and CTO, Sumir Karayi; Weber Shandwick's EVP and Cleantech guru, Paul Jensen, and Brian Dumaine, discussing his new book, The Plot to Save the Planet - How Visionary Entrepreneurs and Corporate Titans are Creating Real Solutions to Global Warming."
*The American Lawyer'sRichard Peck alerts us that K&L Gates is now the official name of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis. The firm also announced the 7/1 merger with Kennedy Covington.
* Change of the guard: Leah Bilotta has handed the marketing manager reins at RainMaker Software Inc. to Matthew Altemus, former Marketing Associate. Bilotta has accepted another position and is relocating to Saratoga Springs, New York. It's been a pleasure working with Leah, and we wish her well. Welcome, Matt.
* Michigan's Enrico Schaefer reports on a new website design for his firm, Traverse Legal, www.traverselegal.com. "Note that the blogs are fully-integrated into the remainder of the law firm website. There is no distinction in design, colors, logos, etc. between the nine distinct blogs which each capture a distinct practice area of the firm. Note that the homepage pulls in the last three posts from each blog, creating rotating dynamic content."
* Ari Kaplan notes that his new book, The Opportunity Maker: Strategies for Inspiring Your Legal Career Through Creative Networking and Business Development, has been published by Thomson West.
* Lindsey Goodrich, of Chesapeake Interlink Ltd., checks in to tell us that there's a new website for Needles case management software. It offers a new look, an updated menu structure, additional features and information, with a more comprehensive organization of content areas. "We wanted pages that exhibited a high-tech, sophisticated, animated, engaging, and dynamic web presence," says marketing director Mary Ellen Bellusci.
* Whoppee! UAL's Ted is gone, and UAL is going Star Alliance with Continental. My mom found this article in USA Today by David Grossman about the great news that UAL has executed Ted -- it's discount program that tried to compete with the likes of Southwest. I hated Ted from the outset, and was always stuck on it when I traveled to Phoenix -- and always tried to manuveur my itinerary to avoid it, so I'm thrilled. I'm also thrilled that UAL had the good sense, when merger talks failed, to set up Star Alliance status with Continental, which has a superb reputation (and yes, is the official airline of the Yankees, for what that's worth, so I see a lot of their ads). It always drove me nuts when I was at Sky Harbor to have to walk right past the Continental nonstop Phx/Newark flight when I was headed to the Ted flights and a miserable 12 hour trip home with connections.
* Finally, Susannah Smith offers two gems: First, this link to Eco*Systems, which offers "green" trade show exhibits etc.
And this "BallGirl" video, which has many folks buzzing about whether it's real or faked: Download Ballgirl.wmv. Says Susannnah: "This is from my close friend Jack Rains who was chair of the Houston-Harris County Sports Authority when the (now) Minute Maid Stadium was built."
Our June edition of Law Technology Now podcasts features Doug Caddell, CIO of Foley & Lardner, who discusses "Sell Your Tech" -- how law firms can no longer just market their lawyers, they must use their technology tools as well to win, and keep, clients.
Caddell wrote this cover story last year, on this topic, which will also be the cornerstone of our upcoming "FutureTech" track at LegalTech West Coast. The FutureTech track will also include a Green Law panel; and a "TomorrowLand" (with a hat tip to Disneyland) program featuring six industry leaders, whose presentations will be recorded for a special "six-pack" Law Technology Now podcast series in July.
The FutureTrack program, as well as the June and July podcasts, are sponsored by BlueArc, a San Jose, Calif.-based company that offers
Caddell talks about the programs his team has developed at Foley, both "client-facing" technology as well as the firm's infrastructure, and how that has helped the firm secure and serve clients.
Also joining us is Henry Dicker, head of LegalTech West Coast, who will preview some of the top attractions of the June 26-27 LTWC, including special opportunities for bloggers (free full conference passes, and more.
Law Technology Now is a joint project between Law Technology News, Law.com & the Legal Talk Network, and you can find it on all our venues -- and iTunes (where you can subscribe for free):
The ever-clever Larry Bodine, a long-time member of the LTN edit board, has launched a nifty new feature on his Law Marketing Listserv (a must-have resource for all legal marketers). Now, there's a TV-style screen that can tell visitors to the Law Marketing website see the conversations on the listserv. I'll turn the mic over to Bodine:
Members include hundreds of CMOs, marketing partners, consultants and legal marketing experts who share their expertise and answer each other's questions.The perceived value is so high that members pay $125 per year to belong.
The membership fee, which amounts to $10.42 a month -- or the cost of lunch in Chicago -- made some skeptical and thrifty marketers hesitate to join. So thanks to the technical wizardry of First Step Internet we created a live TV display showing subjects we're talking about.
The web software runs a script that captures the subject line of an e-mail message sent to the listserv, and displays it once in rotation on the Web TV display.
The listserv has strict rules against selling online, posting job openings without salary information and asking stupid questions, which makes has made it so enduring and attractive. Members get invitations to write book reviews, requests from editors to write articles, and read live reports from major marketing events.
Let's turn the mic over to Larry Bodine, member of LTN's edit board and speaker extraordinaire:
I wanted to let you know that I will be
a speaker for an upcoming Law Journal Newsletters webinar, "Getting New
Business from Online Social Networks," on Thursday, May 15, 2008 from
12:00PM — 2:00PM Eastern Time.
Thousands of lawyers have created
profiles on LinkedIn, Facebook, MySpace and Plaxo Pulse — but they don't know
how to use them to get new clients and make more money. Yet with the right
approach, online social networking can be a powerful tool for generating new
business, as some in the legal profession are beginning to discover.
live web audio conference will examine the promise of social networking for
lawyers, with particular emphasis on LinkedIn because of its
business-orientation. Featuring detailed guidance on specific capabilities and
features, it will explain how you can use social networks
* Get professional
introductions * Find and stay in touch
with former colleagues * Ask questions of
everyone in your network * Seek endorsements and
recommendations *Search for jobs *Use a social
networking listing as a web page alternative *Join or start an SIG
As a special
favor, Law Journal Newsletters (ALM) has arranged a special discount for my
clients/colleagues. You can receive 30% off the registration price or CD-ROM of the presentation when you use
promo code 2215083
Law Firms Still Not Relating to Client Relations Management Software
Incredibly, many law firms simply can't relate to the importance of client relations management (CRM) software, according to this article by Andrew Burger, one of today's top stories atCRM Buyer. As Burger puts it:
The legal profession is all about relationships, so CRM systems would seem a natural fit in a law-firm setting, right? Sure, but many don't bother implementing CRM systems because they would require a significant change in the way firms are run.
Most CRM vendors can't understand why law firms haven't implemented CRM as effectively as other businesses -- particularly given that most firms already assiduously track data about clients and their matters for conflicts checking and billing. One CRM vendor quoted in the article expressed some frustration that "a continuous stream of potentially valuable CRM information flows through the typical law firm on a daily basis, yet lawyers and their firms typically are not able to leverage
Burger identifies at least two reasons for law firms' ineffective CRM systems. First, in other businesses, CRM is typically used for generating sales leads, whereas for law firms, the value of CRM is to help build and enhance relationships. Thus, some CRM programs require tweaks to make them more compatible with law firms' needs.
But the larger barrier to integration of CRM is institutional: Most lawyers simply aren't willing to take the time (or sacrifice the billable hours) to input critical data. Then, when CRM fails due to lack of lawyer commitment, lawyers blame the software and subsequently grow even more resistant to CRM efforts.There's only one measure that I can think of that would force lawyers to implement CRM, and that is for clients to demand it. And clients may do just that -- after all, many corporate clients probably use CRM systems themselves. Moreover, CRM can help lawyers serve clients more efficiently and effectively by providing a central database of contact information and a history of client communications.
Lawyers may not realize that CRM can help them generate more clients and more business. Fair enough. But when lawyers begin to lose clients because they reinvent the wheel or commit some gaffe in a situation where CRM would have prevented them from doing so, they'll have no choice but to get with the program.
Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 24, 2008 at 11:20 AM
The big impediment to CRM is that it does not add enough value to the individual lawyer themselves. I think at a firm level, everyone agrees with the concept and theory of CRM for a law firm. But the software tends to be clunky and not user friendly.
CRM adds only marginal value to the lawyer in their day to day routine. That margin is not big enough to instigate a change in behavior and is not big enough to motivate a lawyer to learn how to use a new tool.
I do not see CRM being demanded by clients. Yes, clients want more efficiency in how their work is handled, but I do not see CRM helping that.
Monica Phillips Jalil (director of mktg) and the gang at Washington, D.C.'s Ross, Dixon & Bell are pulling out the stops for their former partner Will Hopkins, who is one of 20 finalists in American Idol's Songwriter Contest. Let me turn over the mic:
If selected, his song, “When You Come From Nothing,” will be recorded and released as the first single by the winner of American Idol. The song is also performed on American Idol by the two finalists on the next-to-the-last show and then is performed by the winner immediately after claiming the crown. And the song goes on the American Idol's first album, which can sell millions of copies.
Cast your vote now! Go to the website, listen to the finalists, and rank the songs. The name of the song will pop up as you listen to each song, but the songwriters are not identified. The voting runs through April 23. (Wednesday)
How did Will Hopkins go from lawyer to
songwriter? In 2000, with no musical training whatsoever, [he] decided
to start composing songs. He had always written them in his head and he
finally decided to do something about it.
He woke up one morning and realized that “at my core, I’m a songwriter
and when I die I want my tombstone to say ‘songwriter,’ ” Will said.
Just five months after writing his first song, he announced that he was
leaving the practice of law to focus full-time on his songwriting
career. In 2001, he did just that and for the last six years he has
split his time between Washington, D.C. and Nashville. In the last two
years, eight of Will’s songs have been recorded by independent artists,
and he has won numerous honors and awards.
Will Hopkins is a songwriter on the verge of a really big breakthrough.
As a finalist for the American Idol Songwriter Contest, this could be
his big break. American Idol is truly a cultural phenomenon, with
something like 30 million people watching each show. His song, “When
You Come From Nothing,” was one of literally “tens of thousands” of
entries to make it to the final twenty.
Law firm partner turned American Idol songwriter? It could just happen
for Will Hopkins and his song, “When You Come From Nothing.”
Checkin' the inbox after my Twin Cities trip:
* Peter Buck, the ever-hip San Francisco-based "chief technical architect" at Baker Robbins & Co., wants to give you a heads up if you are planning to attend Interwoven's upcoming Gear UP 2008 conference later this month. He's inviting you to participate in a one hour Interwoven/BRCO "Mini Bar Camp" Thursday April 24, from 9:30-10:30 am PST. (It's limited to folks planning to attend Gear Up 2008.)
Buck and Neil Araujo will serve as session leaders and they'll screen the topics and choose five attendee leaders to lead discussions. Confused? E-mail Buck, who, btw, is the author of a terrific article in the next issue of LTN, about wikis. (I'll add a link when the issues goes live.)
* Bruce MacEwenreviews Altman Weil's Legal Transformation Study, released late last month. Four possible scenarios for delivery of legal services between now and 2020 are outlined, including:
Blue-Chip Mega-Mania: A model that emphasizes the global consolidation of
legal service providers and the dominance of giant law firms with vast global
presence and offerings spanning all legal areas.
-Expertopia: A scenario that envisions the increasing complexity of the law
and challenges of corporations operating in multiple environments worldwide,
thereby placing a premium on specialization and expert-driven cultures at legal
E-Marketplace: A model built on the premise that technology will be a
catalyst, but not the core, for an industry transformation in which an array of
Web-based technologies will make information more available and expert judgment
Techno-Law: A scenario that contemplates rising corporate investment in
automation capabilities throughout the legal services industry, leaving only the
high-end services to be delivered by legal professionals and potentially
requiring a complete reconstruction of the traditional business models in the
legal services industry.
* Stuart Brodsky checks in to
let us know he's left his spot as National Program Manager, Commercial
Properties, for the EPA's Energy Star program:
Anna Stark at the EPA will be continuing to coordinate outreach to you and your peers.
To smooth her transition, we are requesting that any questions you
would have for me be forwarded to Sandra Khananusit
(firstname.lastname@example.org) at ICFI International. ICF will review your
inquiry and identify if it should be immediately addressed by EPA, or
managed by one of the many consulting support team members who have
gotten to know many of you so well over the years.
I'll update you when Stuart lets us know his next gig.
Got to Minneapolis last Saturday, in time for the Minnesota Daily's annual awards and alumni dinner. I cut my journalism teeth at the Daily in the '70s, at the height of Watergate, when everyone wanted to be a journalist. We watched Nixon resign, all huddled over the lone TV in the newsroom.
I actually got my foot in the door at the Daily as a rock and roll reviewer. Jon Bream, then Arts & Entertainment editor, hired me because he thought it would be novel for a girl to cover rock, and the rest, as they say, is history. I ultimatley succeeded JB as A&E editor, did some rock and roll radio before going to law school, and then landed at San Francisco's The Recorder -- beginning my 23-year stint at ALM. Bream's been at the StarTribune for more than 30 years now, as its authoritative music critic. (Here's his review of the eclectic Nellie McKay concert at Dakota April 6.)
The keynote speaker for the Daily's event was the venerable, veteran Jim Ragsdale, who heads up the St. Paul Pioneer Press' editorial pages. He gave a thoughtful, guarded, warm speech encouraging the young journalists to be flexible as print media morphs into digital, and advised them that they, unlike their elders, probably will NOT find their careers dominated by a single employer. It was timely, and appropriate.
As awards were given out to the year's top staffers, I was struck at how almost all the presentations were stressing the business side of the Daily, and especially on new media "forms of content" (the emergence of digital, etc.). The word "employee" was mentioned frequently, as the plaques honoring hard work were handed out. The top editorial award went to a production staffer, but there was no statement made about why she won it, other than she worked hard.
Afterwards, I was puzzled by my reaction to the evening, until it struck me. During the entire event, no one REALLY talked about journalism. About the passion and drive you need to get the story, report it carefully and right, quickly make corrections; not be afraid to take on established entities. The whole important, vital role of the "fourth estate" -- to monitor power: the government, the agencies, the people who have it, to protect the rights of all.
Granted, I, too, have been obsessed with the forms of content, as Law Technology News quickly evolves into a multi-media enterprise with podcasts, webinars, blogs, etc. And as I recently said on Kevin O'Keefe's Real Lawyers Have Blogs Q&A, journalists are not the only sources of important content.
But it does trouble me that the youngsters in Minnesota, traditionally a nurturing ground of world-class journalists, seem more concerned with running a business than generating excellent journalism. When JB and I paced the worn concrete floors of Murphy Hall, we would have been appalled at being called employees. We were reporters and editors. (Nor did our meager wages hardly qualify us to be employees).
Hopefully that's just a glitch, and at next year's awards session, we'll hear more about the STORIES they produced and less about the mechanics of story production.
(No slight intended to the important business-side folks.)
Special thanks to the gang at Kroll Ontrack and at Merrill, for
taking time from their very busy schedules to meet with us last week in
the Twin Cities. Our conversations were terrific, and nuanced. We
talked about everything from how customer service will be a
differentiator as the vendor wars escalate, to how everybody's trying
to position themselves to provide effective counseling to their clients
who are struggling to grapple with e-discovery.
Kudos to Craig Levinsohn , Allison Guidette and Daniel Pelc at
Merrill, and Michele Lange and her team (including Christian
Betancourt and Kaitlin Creager) for all their insights. We also had a
chance to touch bases with Benjamin Green, operations manager of ComputerForensic Services. And we always enjoy a chance to feast at the St. Paul Grille with the Thomson West
gang (Gretchen DeSutter, John Shaughnessy, Jeff Patrias, and Melissa
Deml). (We'll be returning to Mpls in early June for a more extended
visit to Eagan).
On the EDD front, both Kroll and Merrill "get" that the profession
is in desperate need of education on the complex challenges they face.
Toward that goal, among the many materials both vendors have been
producing are white papers, surveys, podcasts and webinars.
Joe Howie reports that the latest edition of the Association of Litigation Support Professionals' ALSP Update newsletter is available here. It includes an overview of ARMA Int'l (records/info mgmt), and an advisory about new North Carolina regulations for forensics folks (e.g., licensing requires that you've been a licensed PI for 3 years). The group is also developing an EDD checklist.
* Seattle's Kevin O'Keefe has released his "State of the AmLaw 200 Blogosphere Report," which notes significant growth in blogging. Last year, says O'Keefe, only 39 firms were blogging. Today, he sez, more than 25% have jumped on the bandwagon, and 10% have multiple blogs. Special thanks, also, to KOK, for including moi in his series of Q&As, by Rob La Gatta.
* Maureen Richmond, of NorthLich, wants to be sure you know about the Diversity "Call to Action" Summit that will be held April 24-23 in Scottsdale. It will bring together about 100 managing partners, GC and chief legal officers to address this challenge. Among the speakers is Supreme Ct. Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. 411 here.
* Aloha: Ed Jorcyzk, global director of tech for Morrison & Foerster, has hung up his hat... opting for the lure of balmy waves. He's debating a new lifestyle in either Hawaii or Ft. Lauderdale, so we'll letcha know when he next checks in. In the meantime, CIO Jo Haraf has stalled her pending departure for a few months. Never a dull moment at MoFo.
* JoAnna Forshee, of Envision Agency, reports that Legal Marketing News has been retired, and replaced with www.InsideLegal.com newsletter. It covers U.S. and U.K. legal events, marketing tips, PR practices, etc.
* Stephanie Peck Hall, of CompuLaw, is raising money to fight pancreatic cancer -- which also took the life of our ALM colleague Jim Giordano last year. To help her reach her goal, visit her website here.
* Bruce Marcus checks in with a reminder that his latest "Bruce Marcus Letter on Professional Services" is available here. The current issue includes a downloadable white paper, "Productivity: A Primer for the Competitive Firm."
* New blog: John deCastro reports that Innotas has launched PPM Perspective. (Oh boy, another TLA (three letter acronym). This one stands for Project and Portfolio Management. Eight folks at the organization are listed as authors.
* My colleagues over at ALM Research have published the 2007 Billing Rates and Practices Survey. It covers solos to mid-sized firms across all 50 states, with about 5,000 respondents. Author: Margaret Daisley.
* Larry Bodine checks in to let us know that JD Supra has launched:
It is an online platform for lawyers in any practice to post court documents, filings, articles, client alerts and other content freely accessible to anyone doing legal research.
* Not too late to be early! Houston's the place to be Thursday and Friday... Many of the "usual suspects," including moi, will be on hand for Chere Estrin's Litigation Support Leaders SuperConference, at the Crowne Plaza. The who's who includes keynote speakers Mike Arkfeld and George Socha, along with LTN edit board members Brett Burney and Tom O'Connor. We'd love to see you.
It's a great crowd, with top firms and corporate legal departments, including Exxon, Shell, Chevron, Bingham McCutchen, Howrey, Thompson Hine, Ropes & Gray, et al. Come join us! The fun starts at noon Thursday!
Chere has kindly offered a FOF (friend o' faculty) discount of 10% -- so just tell them you saw it in The Common Scold to claim your not-really-early-bird discount. Pop her an e-mail at for details or visit the website.
Just sent February LTN to bed, now dealin' with the flurry of activity before LegalTech New York, but want to play catch-up with da ol' in-box:
• Kudos to Susman Godfrey, one of four law firms selected byThe National Law Journal for its 2008 Pro Bono Awards. "The firm represented, to the tune of $2M in billable hours, the Texas Cities for Clean Air Coalition in its successful efforts to block 10 new coal-burning power plants that would contribute to global climate change." • More kudos, to TheBlawg Review, for its Blawg Review of the Year, won by Colin Samuels for the third year in a row. Runners up: Eric Turkewitz' very clever riff on the NY Marathon, and in third place, Deliberations, by Anne Reed.
• Peggy Weshler of ILTA wants you to know about the upcoming Insight 2008 program that will be held April 15, at the Hilton London Bridge Hotel. Vendors: the deadline to sign up as a sponsor is Friday 1/25.
• Alvidas Jasin, who will join the podium with me at the "It's Not Easy Being Green... Or Is It?" panel at the CIO Forum during LTNY, was elated to learn that Thompson Hine's marketing dept. came in 5th in the "MLF 50" roster, from ALM's Marketing the Law Firm newsletter. Jasin is the head of bizdev at the firm, based in Cleveland. Proskauer Rose took first place.
• Ross Kodner was impressed with this InfoWorld article "Why XP Must Be Saved." (Note, you have to scroll down on the link to Ross' blog to find the post).
• eWeek has an hilarious way to kill time at airports, etc., with 10 games. Check them out here.
• Were you as surprised as I was to learn that CompUSA is going under? They sure got a lot of my disposable income over the years.
• Almost last but not least .... the holidays may be well over but this holiday card is just too funny to wait until next year. From my pal Mary Kay Lawless, click here.
• Bright Lights: This has nothing to do with tech, but after SI columnist (boy do we miss him) Rick Reilly kept raving about Friday Night Lights, I finally checked out the NBC drama. Even if you hate football (which I do), it's flat-out awesome. Amazing writing, subtle and nuanced, it is really, really good television. I actually watched my first football game a couple weeks ago, hoping the NY Giants would smash those Pats. I might actually WATCH my first SuperBowl this year, but I still hate football. I don't enjoy a sport that involves paralysis, too much testosterone, and shoving. (Yeah, yeah, rocket fuel. I get it. Baseball's not perfect.)
Go Giants (but try not to break any bones while you are at it.)
One of the themes I'm particularly fixated on right now is the impact of EDD costs on litigants. I was blown away by my colleague Julie Triedman's article, "Buried Alive," in The American Lawyer's special Litigation 2007 issue,focusing on Corporate Fraud. (Free, but reg req'd).
I think everybody's been so exhilarated by all the potential EDD revenues, that they haven't thought about who exactly pays for all these explorations -- and who's paying the price. it's a chilling article.
Hopefully, as EDD settles in, and the FRCP rules get oiled through real life use, and Sedona and EDRM models/guidelines get nuanced, there will emerge some realistic standards. If not, the resolution of cases may too often be determined by ability-to-pay, not justice. We should know by now that is not a formula that ends up with good results.
• The ever-prolific Mark Reichenbach blogs inOn the Mark about the Georgetown eDiscovery Institute sessions. A highlight of the meetings, he says, was the closing roundtable:
Moderated by John Rosenthal, (an expert in e-discovery and a litigation partner at Howrey, LLP) , the event closed with a roundtable composed of judicial heavy hitters in the field, including Judge Lee Rosenthal (former chairperson of the Federal Rules Advisory Committee), Judge Shira Scheindlin (former member of the Federal Rules Advisory Committee), Judge Kent Jordon (3rd Cir.), Judge Francis (S.D.N.Y.), Judge Facciola (D.D.C.) and Judge David Waxe (D. Kan).
Reichenbach, veep of client and industry development, also wants you to know that his company, MetaLincs, has upgraded its namesake software. 411 here.
• Stanford students are switching the tables — and issuing report cards on would-be employers, grading them on their diversity performance. Matthew Schwieger, online media coordinator for Stanford's Law Students Building a Better Legal Profession offers a link to recent media coverage in The New York Times.
• Yup, the holiday shopping blitz has started: Reid Trautz offers his third annual Holiday Gift Guide for Lawyers, available on Reid My Blog (that title always makes me giggle.)
And Chadbourne & Parke counsel Lawrence Savellhas released his annual LawTunes parodies, this year's Live at BlackAcre, which leads off with "(She's an) Electronic Discovery." You can hear a sample at the website, but a caveat, Clapton it ain't. :)
Our colleagues at legalweek.com report that legal networking website "Legal On Ramp" has trippled its users since this summer, with membership jumping from about 500 to 1,600, including summer placement students at Orrick Herrington.
The site targets in-house counsel, and offers free advice to major law firms' precedents. More than 175 firms are onboard, and 150 companies. It's also being used to advertise for new hires. 411 here.
We've put the October issue of LTN to bed, so it's time to catch up on da in box:
* Ron Friedman, formerly of Prism Legal Consulting Inc., has joined Integreon, as senior vice president, marketing. The company provides "knowledge support and complex business processing outsourcing." (Perhaps the first thing Ron can do is create a better tag line -- what on earth is "knowledge support?" --- Ahhh... i see way down on the press release that it includes "research and analytics, document processing, electronic discovery, and offshore document review.")
Ron previously was CIO at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, PC, and practice support manager at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (now WilmerHale). He will continue to write his "Strategic Legal Technology" blog.
*The ever-vigilant Jobst Elster, of The Envision Agency, forwards this Yahoo Newsarticle to give everybody that it's about time to re-register your phone numbers for the National Do Not Call roster. If you registered in '03 when it launched, it will expire in '08. It just takes a moment to re-register.
*Rick McIver checks in to let us know that Tippit Inc.'s InsideCRM blog has posted about "Top 10 Ways to Fire the Client From Hell." Check it out here. Among the tips, to get rid of the bargain shoppers who nickle-and-dime you: "This one's simple: raise your rates, if only for this particular client." They also tackle clients who can't make deadlines, and the ones who are never satisfied, and more.
*David Frankel, an econ prof at Iowa State University, and chief economist of Cambridge Economics Group (West Des Moines) has launched www.medmalreports.com -- which "produces custom reports that show the predicted range of settlements and judgments in medical malpractice cases. They are based on my research on the National Practitioners Data Bank, which includes data on all malpractice payments made in the U.S.," says Frankel.
OK, I confess: I WAS dog sledding last week, not in the Yukon, but in Orlando at ILTA, so I'm late to the party about the hysterical Nixon/Peabody "It's not a Theme Song" brouhaha. Let me turn the mic right over to Ambrogi at Law.com's Legal Blog Watch:
Unless you've been dog sledding through the Yukon the last two weeks, you know the story of the song, which the firm commissioned in celebration of being named one of Fortune magazine's 100 best companies to work for. You know that Above the Law blogger David Lat posted the song on YouTube, only to have Nixon Peabody demand it be taken down. Although a firm spokesperson asserted, "Fun is not prohibited here," the blogosphere saw it differently. Lat collects many of the links while The New York Times, Blawg Review #123 and my colleague Carolyn Elefant all provide summaries of the ensuing PR debacle.
Which brings us to this latest honor from VH1. Why pick the Nixon Peabody song as favorite summer jam? "Best Week Ever" comic Michelle Collins explains:
"Guess what, law firm? You can’t stop the tubes! And thank god. Why? Because 'Everyone's a Winner at Nixon Peabody' is officially our Favorite Jam of Summer 07! The type of tune that makes you want to get out the Bartles & James, brush n’ braid your long gray hair, tear off your stirrup pants and miniature horse cardigan, and make out with your 77-year-old husband on a nude beach somewhere in Pueto Vallarta. For real, check it out -- it's almost too good to be true, the kind of motivational song usually saved for competitions between unable-bodied peoples, not high-power blood-sucking attorneys."
Yes, everyone's a winner at Nixon Peabody -- except, it appears, the PR staff.
Be absolutely sure to check out VH1 link -- it's hysterical.
I guess the question is, should they fire the person who dreamed this up, or give him or her a HUGE bonus???
• Bryan Cave: The firm was cited for its "client-facing" web-tools and infrastructure, as well as business intelligence tools. John Alber, the firm's technology partner, was profiled in the May issue of LTN, and wrote an article, "Targeted Resources," in the February issue about the firm's efforts. Of course, LTN has to brag that we gave him awards first -- He won the first LTN "Champion of Technology" Award in 2003.
• K&L Gates,whose David Bowerman is a member of our edit board and frequent contributor.
They will all be honored on August 21 at the magazine's annual CIO 200 Symposium and Awards ceremony. Congrats!
Scott Marrs, partner at Houston's Beirne, Maynard & Parsons, checks in to alert us to a cover story in the August Black Belt
magazine with the headline, "Are You a Deadly Weapon? Two Lawyers
Weigh In," written by Scott and associate Andy McGill. The two-part
article on "How the law really views the hands and feet of a martial
artist" discusses liability issues that can be faced by martial art
practitioners. (I couldn't find a link to the story on the magazine cite, but I'll add it if I can find it.)
*Nicole Black is hosting a poll over at Legal Antics, her new blog devoted to law-related humor. She's trying to ID the Top 10 funniest law blogs, and needs your help.
* My former editor Scott Graham, of San Francisco's The Recorder, dropped a note about a new product created by one of his friends. Check out Crime-IQ.
* Quest upgrade: My
colleague Jill Windwer advises that the beta testing of ALM's new über
search tool, Quest, (See May LTN, page 5) is going well. The team has
added a downloadable widget, which you can get here. For any questions, contact Jill here.
The team has also added a directory of all the sites being crawled,
which can be accessed from the navigation box on the link. She welcomes
suggestions, so fire away!
*Our latest Law.com EDD (electronic data discovery) webinar is now available for your enjoyment. Check out Forms of Productionhere. It was a great discussion, thanks to LTN edit board members Craig Ball (LTN's EDD columnist and an Austin-based consultant/litigator) and George Socha (Socha Consulting) and Thomas Allman, senior counsel of Mayer Brown Rowe and Maw (who will keynote LegalTech West Coast in L.A. next month). Special thanks to our sponsor, Zantaz.
*Green Law: I'm so thrilled to be moderating our first-ever "Green Law" panel, an offshoot of LTN's wildly popular Green Law column that we launched in February. (I've been flooded with pitches for the new column, thank you to everybody.)
Anyway, Fios Inc. just signed up to sponsor the panel, "Green Law: A Leadership Challenge," which will be held June 20 at 12:15-1:25 p.m. and I know that Debbie Caldwell and her enthusiastic crew, headed up by Kate Kockler, are figuring out some wonderful surprises for the box lunches.
One caveat: our room holds ONLY 40 people -- so be sure to get there early because it will be first-come, first-served.
* Thom Singer's new mini-book, written with Leslie Morris, is now available. The ABC's of Networking, from Danville, Calif.'s New Year Publishing, offers insights on everything from A (Attitude) to XYZ ("There is no end to networking.") There's also some bonus material at the end. (e.g., tips on throwing parties -- including which days of the week are best.) Much of the book's advice won't surprise you, but like batting practice, reading it is good for the muscle memory, and it's perfect for newbies in their marketing posts.
* Should law schools be more like B-schools? I'd certain voice a rousing yes. Check out a post on the TaxProf blog where Robert Rhee argues they'd be a lot more relevant to real life and the business-side of running firms. Let's turn the mic over for a minute:
Legal education is in need of reform. ... I suggest that law schools can learn a good deal from their academic cousins, business schools. Each discipline is different, and thus a comparison has limits. That said, both are professional schools with a mission to teach a set of skills required by overlapping markets. Based on my experiences as a student in law school and business school, and now a law school professor, I wish to highlight two differences: a tight and focused program, ... [and] more diverse teaching methods.
I am looking to hire a very experienced network person to be my Sr. Director of IT Infrastructure. I am looking for someone with solid operations experience who can stabilize and run the operations side of things so that I can focus on strategy, BPR, and litigation support. Any referrals will be more than welcome. We are not looking for law firm experience, so if you know anyone from your non-legal professional networks, I'd love to talk to them. ...If you know a good headhunter for this type of position, that would be great information too. The job is based in DC, and we are open to relos.
* Welcome to the blawg-o-sphere: Robert Price, former CEO of Control Data Corp. and author of Eye for Innovation (Yale University Press, 2005), has launched a new blog, named after his book. Check it out here.
* Change Yer Outlook: Darby & Darby is moving over the weekend to to 7 World Trade Center in NYC, reports managing principal; Andrew Baum. 411 here.
* Rainmaking Conference: The Rainmaker Institute, a marketing firm that targets legal professionals, has scheduled a two-day Rainmaker Retreat on June 15-16 in Las Vegas. 411 here.
One good thing about being stuck on tarmacs is that it gives you a chance to get caught up with your reading, and there were some goodies in the April issue of Inc. Magazine:
Inside Intelligence: April 07 issue has an interesting article, "Beyond Facebook," by David Freedman about how Daniel Serfaty, the founder of Aptima, had a change of fortune when the Dept. of Defense became interested in its social networking software. Not yet available, the idea is that the CRM-on-steroids software will be able to help you identify who within your own organization can answer your question -- by analyzing your network's communications (e-mail, IMs, etc.).
Conflict is Key: The same issue has a terrific article by Geri Denterlein, a PR/marketing specialist who writes an open letter to her clients which every vendor [and other entrepreneurs] should read. They don't have a link to this story, so try to find it hard copy.
• When it comes to pitching stories to the media, please believe your PR firm if it tells you that the theme you propose to build your PR strategy around is just plane dull.
• When it comes to making news, you have to recognize that one of the key elements of a compelling article is conflict. Businesses that are willing to acknowledge adversity can reap enormous PR rewards.
* LaVern Pritchardsays the Twins Cities community was not completely surprised to hear the news that Mpls. law firm Rider Bennett announced that it will close its doors on May 31. What was a bit unusual was the firm's blunt admission from managing partner Steve Plunkett that "the firm's breakup was caused by 'today's increasingly challenging legal marketplace.' He said the loss of several attorneys who took their clients with them also hurt the firm," wrote the Strib.
* It wasn't just the ballgamethat was keeping everybody at the Dome entertained yesterday. "The Amazing Hondo" kept the spirits up in the first two rows, distracting Twinkie fans with card tricks while the Yankees were blasting homeruns against the Dome walls. Even Yankees fan Teri "Jersey Girl" McCarron was mesmerized.
* Jon Bream passes along a chart from ticketmaster that lists the top 10 most requested sporting events in Q1 2007: #2 -- the New York Yankees. #1: Monster Jam (I have NO idea what that is)... #3 WWE World Wrestling.
*Change your Outlook:Marifran Manzo-Ritchie and Paige Miller have decided to go their separate ways with their PR company. I'll turn the microphone over to the two women:
[We have] divided the company into two separate marketing companies. While Paige has retained the name and brand of MultiPlanet Marketing, Marifran is now the president of Manzo Ritchie Communications, Inc. ... We've opted to form two companies to allow each of us to pursue the opportunities and growth paths that appeal to us individually. Both of our companies will offer marketing and public relations services, and you'll still see us working together on National Association of Women Business Owner committees and projects. Yes, we will occasionally compete against each other, but as partners for the past seven years, we know that "no one wins 'em all" and that enough business exists to keep both our companies busy.
* New Website, Book & Blog: Vince Thomson checks in to let you know that he has created a new website and blog and book, Ignited, Managers Light Up Your Company and Career, For More Power, More Purpose and More Success.
We had big fun at the Dome tonight, and finally -- for the first time in four years of group games, the Yankees WON!!! Pettitte beat out Boof, 10-1. A-Rod had ANOTHER home run, and we even got Mo to close it out (he obviously needed the work since it sure wasn't a save situation).
We had a fabulous turnout of Twin Cities-based vendors, LTN edit board members, law firm folks, PR leaders, and consultants. Among them, George Socha, Thomas Gelbmann and Loren Jones, right.
Allison Guidette, left, with West's George May in the background.
There's something very centering about Minnesota. It's just a place where people don't waste time on BS. They are straightforward, unpretentious, funny and kind. They call it "Minnesota Nice" here, and it's lovely. I spent five years in the Twins Cities for grad school at "The U" -- where I was arts and entertainment editor of the Minnesota Daily for two years. I was young, green, naive and inexperienced, and it was a good place to grow strong.
The friendships I made back in the early '70s have stood the test of time, and are sturdy as the plains soil. It's very nourishing. I love coming back here, which I do at least once a year.
Yesterday, we had a wonderful meeting with the gang at Xiotech, over in Eden Prairie, and got into a fascinating discussion about the next phase of EDD -- which a bunch of us have dubbed EDD 2.0. (Not very clever, but....) Xiotech (which also includes Connecticut-based Daticon) is among the EDD vendors that have moved to a more "consulting" style model, with the idea that if you have an existing relationship with your clients, and have helped them develop EDD protocols and systems before they are needed, when a case comes knocking at the door, they will be better prepared, and the end result will be cheaper, more efficient, and more complete.
Adam Rubinger, Michael Stolz, and Bruce Caswell, as well as Weber Shandwick's David Ratz and Kira Jorvig, graciously hosted us for the interesting discussion.
They have produced a series of short "Early Discovery Assessment" booklets (some with CDs) to help clients and potential clients get their arms around EDD. The set includes an "E-mail Counter," an "EDA Calculator," a really nifty File Extension reference guide (which I will most certainly keep at my desk), and a "Best Practices" guide.
Xiotech, of course, is not the only company that has positioned itself like this -- Portland's Fios has been offering a series of consulting-style "pre-need" assessment programs, and similar programs have been announced by other vendors. Another clue that protocols are changing is how many firms have been appointing "technology partners" (such as John Alber at Bryan Cave, who's a real pioneer in this area) to help bridge the worlds of IT and lawyers.
* Earlier in the morning, I had a chance to catch up with Mary Kay Zieniewicz, of Parsinen Kaplan Roseberg + Gotlieb's marketing team, for a lively discussion that ranged from marketing strategies to her delight in being a new mom, to the role of pro bono work in law firms. Mary Kay gave me a copy of the premiere issue (Winter 2006) of NEED, a new photojournalism magazine with the tag line "Human | Disaster | Success - Need exists when something is missing." The effort is lead by Kelly Kinnunen, executive director and co-founder, and is a powerful, beautifully produced publication.
*Likewise, it's always fun to connect with Amy Juers, who updated me on the developments of Edge Legal Marketing -- the successor firm to LegalVoice. She's been on a whirlwind as she grows the organization.
*Then it was off to the Dome! I was surprised that the Twins were duped into picking up a contract for Sidney Ponson -- he lasted about 5 minutes with the Yankees after getting thrown out by the Orioles. To our delight, he was as lousy in Mpls as he was in the Bronx, and with our red-hot A Boys (A-Rod and Abreu) slamming balls against the Dome walls, we hammered the mighty Twins 8-2. And to everyone's delight, Pavano came through BIG time -- only 4 hits in 7 innings!
Tonight is our big group game! I'm counting the hours til our 4th annual Twins fest and looking forward to catchin' up with everybody! (Photo: AP/NYT)
In honor of The Soprano's final season debut last night (which I missed and will watch when I get home on HBO On Demand) here's Larry Bodine's funny and pragmatic guide to why law firms should pay attention to Tony's marketing protocols.
Jonathan is a principal at Odin, Feldman & Pittleman, in Washington, D.C. celebrates the opening week of beisbol, with his review that is structured on key elements of the game. He opens with "A (very) brief history of baseball," then picks blawgs using the subheads "The Ceremonial First Pitch," "The Umpire," "The Designated Hitter," "The Black Sox Scandal," etc.
VERY clever, with very good picks for each category. For example, he explains his choices for the "Infield Fly" rule here:
When there are fewer than two outs and there is a force play at third, the batter who hits a fair fly ball that, in the umpire’s judgment may be caught by an infielder with ordinary effort, is out. Rule 6.05e, commonly referred to as the "infield fly rule," is among the most commonly misunderstood rules in baseball. This portion of the BaseBlawg Review is devoted to laws which have proven to be inscrutable, ill-conceived, or simply odd.
Among his blawg citations for that topic is a list of quirky Connecticut laws listed in the Walking the Berkshires blog, and Eric Goldman's technology and marketing blog's discussion of recent Utah ban on keyword advertising.
Bob Ambrogiadvises that you can follow the activities at this week's Sedona Conference Institute (on e-discovery) via internet attorney Evan Brown's live blogging here. Shira Schedlin, the "godmother" of EDD, was the keynote.
10. Assume you know anything. 9. Have fun with numbers. 8. Indulge your criminal state of mind. 7. Live off handouts. 6. Talk down to readers and viewers. 5. Throw gang signs. 4. Followup failure. 3. Genuflect to the black robes. 2. Play scorekeeper. 1. Join the true believers.
As many of you know I have worked with Guidance Software for almost two years now and I am excited to announce that I am joining them in-house. As I embark on this adventure, please don't hesitate to contact me with any requests to say hi or if you are in LA and want to grab a coffee. I will continue to serve as their PR contact so if you have any needs for experts on digital evidence and investigations (relating to anything: corporate fraud, national security, any type of violent or non-violent crime, government/military investigations, international espionage, etc.) or e-discovery please don't hesitate to contact me.
*Marketer Franki Durbin, of Durbin Marketing Group, also found fascinating (and somewhat exasperating) the recent article in The Wall Street Journal about law firms' efforts to create women-only networking events, as an antidote/alternative to the traditional sports-and-cigars male-oriented outings. Check out her blog, Life in a Venti Cup, here. She covers technology, design, culture and travel.
The video was shown in the opening ceremonies of the Legal Marketing Association Annual Meeting last week in Atlanta (just before Maya Angelou spoke). As it says in the comments at the end, it's a satirical commentary on how far marketing has come in law firms. Terri Pepper Gavulic [of Hildebrandt International] was the director and principal writer.
The ridiculous recent restrictions on attorney "advertising" promulgated by the NY State Bar Association continue to raise heat among firm marketers and consultants.
Bruce Marcus chimes in, via a recent response to Carolyn Elefant of Law.com's blog review, cc'd to several of us who have been blasting the bar:
... As someone who was marketing for lawyers and accountants well before Bates, I think you all miss the point. (See my letter to the NYS Bar onThe Marcus Perspective.
Aside from the ludicrous and irrelevant rules as written, the real problem is that the rules have been written to preserve some mythical concept of the lawyer as an exalted professional who contributes to society through probity, integrity, knowledge, and dignity -- instead of recognizing the concept of serving the public and the client.
The ability to market, since Bates, has, in fact, enhanced the profession by making it more client oriented. The 21st century lawyer does a better job for both the profession and the client by informing and educating the client, by competing through improved services, by learning to listen -- in other words, by being genuinely client oriented. Here's a track record to prove it. (I don't mean this as a plug, but it's a point I made in my 2005 book [with August Aquila] entitled Client at the Core.)
In the early days, lawyers were concerned that clients would take a dim view of lawyer advertising. But survey after survey came up with one conclusion -- "What's the problem? We advertise our products and services, why shouldn't the lawyers?" The concept of ethics as promulgated by the Bar is medieval, and seems rooted in the guilds of the Middle Ages. They don't seem to understand the public, and they certainly don't understand the philosophical foundation of marketing professional services. The Bar Associations may get it right when they learn to look outward, instead of inward. And when they learn to read a calendar.
Update 2/13: Larry Bodine summarizes the rules here.
And (courtesy of the LawMarketing Listserv) Jeffrey Morgan (of Greenfield/Belser Ltd.) makes an important note about out-of-state folks:
While the rules are just for New York State read carefully under section 1200.8 [DR2-103] (fyi, DR stands for Disciplinary Rule). The court included a section that states:
(k) The provisions of this section shall apply to a lawyer or members of a law firm not admitted to practice in this State who solicit retention by residents of this State. (My emphasis added to the word not).
Consequently, if your firm is actively seeking to be retained by a client or clients that live in New York State, these rules may apply to you and your firm (depending on the actions you are taking). How the Office of Court Administration plans on enforcing this rule remains to be seen. But it does illustrate how these new rules raise more questions than provide answers or clear guidelines.
JohnTredennickis a true renaissance man -- When he's not running Catalyst Repository Systems you're likely to find him at a rock concert, or a horse show, jumping competitively. In fact, the whole family's into jumping, including daughter Sarah -- who recently was the subject of this wonderful writeup in The Chronicle of the Horse: Download chronicle_of_the_horse_with_commentary.pdf. JT's one proud papa!
*Speaking of proud family members: Monty Lunn is crowing about his wife, Kathleen Lunn, who was elected president of the Springfield (Pa.) Township Board of Commissioners: "The first woman ever -- in 325 years! Board formed in 1681," says hubby.
* Jumpin' for Joy: Joy London (appropriately named) is thrilled that her Excited Utterances blog/newsletter made the London Times, in a writeup by Richard Susskind! Check it out here.
* Buzzwords 2.0:Seems like everybody's jumpin' onto the 2.0 buzzword bandwagon. During my keynote address at the LTN Awards Dinner, I noted that it seemed like e-discovery was heading into EDD 2.0 -- the next level -- with a new emphasis on "lifecycle document management." This seems to be particularly the case in mega-companies (especially global) that are perpetually in litigation -- the idea being to always be monitoring your e-content so that you don't have to do costly, repetitious e-discovery.
I like the concept. See [here ] and [ here ]. Matt [Homann] and I had talked about using EDD 2.0 or Electronic Discovery 2.0 as part of the title of our next LexThink conference, but have recently pulled back from that. See [here].
Anyway, great minds think alike and I'm intrigued by the concept and hope to see more discussion around it. Your approach is somewhat different from mine. I still need to go back to the notes I made when I had my EDD 2.0 epiphany and write them up one of these days.
* Speaking of .0 -- marketer Keith Ferrazzi, author of Never Eat Alone, has launched LifeCoach 1.0. He says the 3-step, 5-minute self-help online tool can help users focus on goals, diagnose obstacles, and help create their "dream team" of contacts to reach their goals. Ferrazzi is jusssst a bit too L.A. new age/show biz, but he did put on one hell of a program at the 2005 Legal Sales & Service Organization meeting in Boston -- and his book, though a bit hyperbolic, has some nice stickiness to it. Hey! My attitude is if you learn anything about yourself using free tools like these, why not?!
* Speaking of Ambrogi, Margaret Daisley checks in with a tip to his post about Solo Salaries, which includes a chart here found by blogger Carolyn Elefant. (Ambrogi and Elefant co-write the daily review of Law.com's blog network.
*Speaking of solos, Nader Anise has launched a new e-zine aimed at small firm practitioners.
*JoAnna Forshee and her gang at Envision Agency did a nice job with a pre-LTNY "ViewPoints" feature on their Legal Marketing News e-zine.
We just finished closing the February-issue LTN close, and we're gearing up for LegalTech New York, which actually started for me yesterday (Friday).
FTI Consulting held its RingTail User Group conference over at 3 Times Square (aka the Reuters Building). [Interesting sidenote: Many New Yorkers have no clue where "3 Times Sq." is, and the building does not have a visible address. Maybe it thinks it's a hip bar that wants to disguise its address, but even some of the cabbies have trouble finding it -- which wasn't fun when the windchill factor was below zero... but I digress...]
Anyway... The Ringtail crowd was kind enough to invite me to keynote the meeting, and were very warm and delightful. I spoke about "Fear Factor," how the changes in the profession -- the shift from "private club" management to corporate management models -- is so difficult for some lawyers, especially when it comes to adopting technology. We spent a bit o' time on EDD and the Socha Survey, and I ended with what will soon be a familiar refrain: the need for our profession to take a leadership role in "Green Law" -- the use of technology to reduce costs, increase profits and be environmentally responsible.
Special thanks to Ed Pfromer, managing director; David Remnitz, senior managing director and practice leader, and Mike Raley, marketing manager, as well as Jobst Elster, of Envision Agency, for the generous opportunity.
* Arnie Herzsent me a nice note about LTN's new Green Law column, and sez he's already onboard, and this month is replacing his Audi with a Prius. Yeah! (Sneak preview of the column here: Download green_law0201.pdf )
* The ever-charming Lisa Solomon reports that her The Billable Hour Co. has opened a music store offering CDs by and for members of the legal profession. Among the offerings, The Bar & Grill Singers (a group of practicing attorneys in Austin) with three CDs —A Time to Grill, Grilling Me Softly and Licensed to Grill.
* Marcel Hobizal of Equivalent Data, says the company has just released its NeedleFinder software. You can check it out here.
* Larry Kohnchecks in to let us know that he's posted some helpful marketing and management tips on his blog, Kohn Communications.
*Anybody who flies United knows that its San Francisco airport is hands down, the worst place for connections. Unlike most other airports, too many gate agents are flat-out surly and rude. (I had yet another snotty agent hassle me enroute home from Kauai last month.) But anyway -- UAL is trying to appease the elite level fliers with some improvements. They are relocating the Premier area to Door 1 - near the south end of Terminal 3, and adding new "premium boarding lanes at all SFO gates "to give you front-of-the-line access, whenever you choose to board the flight. ... this separate boarding lane concept will be implemented at our remaining four hubs by mid-year... and at approximately 40 airports at which we operate by the end of 2007."
OK.. I'm off to the Hilton... CYA soon!
P.S. If you, like me, are in California - Group 1 and scrambling to get those bias and substance abuse last-minute credits, check out Law.com's CLE Law Center. I listened to two very interesting programs, painlessly, right over my computer!
Wow, an almost binary date! 011107 (hey, if you squint the 7 looks like a ... oh never mind :)
Anyway, here's today's inbox!
* James Seff, one of my favorite San Franciscans, knocks on the door to introduce a new consultant at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman:
"I am delighted to tell you that, as of January 2, Jerry Jolly, the recently retired and very well regarded director of the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, joined our Wine, Beer & Spirits team as a consultant. Jerry will not only counsel our clients regarding ABC issues, but is available to discuss practice before other State of California agencies (the heads of many of which he knows) and to address ABC issues arising in other states."
What a perfect name for a wine expert! Jolly will be based in the firm's Sacramento office, says Seff. The firm's press release is downloadable here: Download press_release.pdf
* Amy Juers is excited to announce the launch of Legal Edge Marketing, based in Minneapolis:
Legal Edge Marketing, a full-service marketing and public relations company serving the needs of vendors targeting the legal market. Its staff consists of several well-regarded marketing professionals in the legal industry, many formerly with LegalVoice, Inc.Legal services, software and hardware vendors will benefit from their many years of experience.
I was puzzled about the time change between Hawaii and NYC (I thot it was six hours, but it's five -- probably something to do with no daylight savings -- so I googled "New York City time" and came upon this way-kewl site: www.timeanddate.com. Mighty handy!
One of the things I actually really love about being in Hawaii with family members is that I stay on East Coast time -- and get up around 4 a.m., when everybody else is zonked out. I love the silence -- and the gently perfumed air. (I am a bit surprised that it's actually been pleasantly cool -- it's usually always around 82 degrees).
I can do a little work, surf a few cyber-waves, and enjoy the amazing quiet and Van Gogh starry skies.
And as the sun arrives, I'm serenaded by my own Kauai alarm (above left: click on image to enlarge).
* Catching upon da in-box: LTN edit board member Larry Bodine checks in to let you know that he and Michael Cummings will be presenting "Developing Your Personal Marketing Plan for 2007," in Chicago, Jan. 13. Here's the 411:
* Margaret Daisley, of ALM's research dept., forwards this interesting Law Librarians blog post about a recent Global Security Survey.
*Rick Georges suggests that you might want to re-think that New Year's resolution to upgrade to Vista.
*Try a towel? OK, call me cynical, but sometimes product warnings approach the ridiculous. I have a new phone (Motorola Q) and I'm skimming the instruction book. Under "use and care" it says: "Don't try to dry your phone in a microwave oven." Really. REALLY. I couldn't make that up. Could ANYONE over the age of 4 be so stupid as to think they could dry a phone in ANY oven?
That's my cue to put down the tech toys, I mean, tools -- go wake up ma, and head the Taurus to Wailua and get on that fern grove river boat.
Alan Brooks, of Pure C Communications, has just launched a new blog, "Pure C Blog -- Communications Made Simple," that starts off very kind post, "Breaking the Coverage Barrier at ALM Media Inc."
Brooks offers very thoughtful advice about how vendors can best approach the media, what's newsworthy, and he includes a very interesting analysis of a year's worth of Law Technology News' "President's Corner" articles, evaluating why he believes each vendor made the cut. (It's just about spot-on).
Welcome to the blawgosphere, Alan, and thanks again for spotlighting LTN!
Proposed changes to the NY State Bar Assn lawyer advertising rules are above ridiculous re: cartoons and blogs.
Law Firm Inc. reports in our Nov/Dec 06 issue that the rules "may classify law blogs as ads, and therefore subject them to regulation that threatens to limit their content." And get this: they want you to print out the blog and keep it for three years! Get real. Start yelling -- the rules are due to go into effect 1/15/07.
And that's not all: they want to restrict use of cartoons. Let me turn over the microphone to consultant Cecilia Alers (from Larry Bodine's Law Marketing listserv:
Attached is a letter one of my clients and I put together regarding the changes in NYS Advertising rules. They use cartoons from the New Yorker magazine in their brochure and on their website.
* Amanda Grayson at Thomson Legal & Regulatory offers a heads up that West LegalEdcenter and The Hildebrandt Institute will air a free webinar this afternoon, at 4 p.m., "Secrets of Associate Compensation and Retention." To RSVP call 877 375 9532.
*Thom Singer, author of "Some Assembly Required: How to Make Grow and Keep Your Business Relationships" (New Year Publishing) checks in to invite us to take The Networking Quotient Quiz here. Enjoy!
*Bob Ambrogi'sgot a kewl poll thang on his website -- which you can get too: Check it out here. (Hat tip to PinHawk Law on the Blogs NewzDigest.)
* Mariya Chevillard wants you to know that she's launched a site that lists international dialing codes.
* Lawrence Savelle has released his annual LawTunes CD, "Merry Lexmas from The Lawtunes. 411 here.
* eWeek.com keeps us up-to-date on the mothership's latest Patch Day.
* My pals over at ALM Research have released their new Global Law Firm Knowledge Management Survey, and the 2006 Key Demographics for the NLJ 250. Get the 411 here.
* Cisco Systems Inc. continues its coooooool factor: it just won naming rights for the new San Francisco Bay Area/Oakland Athletics of Fremont's new stadium.
*Let's see:Boston pays $51.1 million for the rights to negotiate for a pitcher, who will no doubt want a 10-year, $100+ M K (remember, Boras is his agent).... while we unload Jaret Wright and Gary Whine-Whine Sheffield -- for a boatload of young arms -- AND we're about to re-sign Moose.. and we get back our boy Joe Girardi!! NL Manager of the Year!!!!! You rock, Joe!
*Catherine Sanders Reach, head honcho at the ABA's Legal Technology Resource Ctr, forwards this interesting little advisory from Cupertino. Apparently some new video iPods included an easter egg -- a Windows virus.
* From Jessica Moore: En septiembre de 2006, los abogados de Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg & Gotlieb lanzaron un programa de clases de español. Los empleados, clientes y amigos de la firma están invitados a participar en clases introductorias de español ofrecidas en su oficina. Las clases son enseñadas por Cristóbal Álvarez; él es de Sevilla, España.
Rough translation: Minneapolis' Parsinen Kaplan Rosberg & Gotlieb is offering weekly Spanish classes to its legal professionals, and inviting clients and friends to join in! What a GREAT idea! And a tangible way to help promote diversity. Details: here.
"I thought it was a great book. Short, to the point, easy to read. Funny and important. Has great advice, that if followed, would instill a much greater level of professionalism and satisfaction in the practice of law. I think its must read for any person thinking about going to law school, for all law students, and any one in a law firm, particularly associates. It is also applicable outside the law as well."
* Carolee Swallie, of Kirkland & Ellis, says the Legal Sales and Service Organization (LSSO) is launching The Thomas H. Lee Award for Service Excellence in Law, to recognize firms that demostrate commitment to "the standards and leadership necessary to achieve continuous improvements in delivering service excellence." To apply, here's the 411.
* Doug Neal checks in to announce a new professional networking site for the legal community. It's still in beta, he sez, but you can check it out here. He welcomes feedback.
* My colleague Margaret Daisley found these two research goodies. The first one is about Bit9 this second, from RSA Security, is about password management.
BALL IN YOUR COURT, by Craig Ball Winner: American Society of Business Publication Editors Northeast region: 2010 Gold Award, Best Contributed Column; 2010 Silver award, Feature Series.
Trade and Business Publications International ("Tabbies"): 2010 Bronze award, Best Column.
Click here for links to Ball's columns on our EDD Update blog (See right nav bar).
Winner: Apex Award to Larry Port, for excellence in green writing, for Macho & Mulch.
Solutions Penalty Box:
Here are current contenders for the most use of incomprehensible jargon and cliches, including the banned word, "solution," in a press release. :)
June '08: Can You Adapt? EDD is wreaking havoc on traditional law firm caste systems, with new roles for attorneys, paralegals, IT and other litigation support staff. Opportunities abound for the ambitious. Winner: 2009 Gold Award, Best Technical Article: American Society of Business Publications Editors, Northeast region.
Nov. 08: Just Equal, my rant about the disgraceful gender-based pay discrepancies in the legal profession, and Editor's Note, about visiting the United 93 memorial in Pennsylvania, with my mom. Winner: 2009 Honorable mention, 2009 Tabbies, Best Editor's Column.
October '07: An Undercurrent of Fear: A report on the challenges of e-discovery. Winner: Bronze, 2008 Trade, Association, Business Publications International Tabbies competition. Best Special Section. 2008 American Society of Business Publication Editors, Northeast region: Bronze: Best Technical Article.
Katrina's Wake: In the April '06 LTN, Monica Bay and photographer Russ Curtis travel to New Orleans, to report on the legal technology community's efforts to rebuild practices and lives post-Hurricane Katrina. Links temporarily unavailable, will be back up soon. Winner: 2007 TABBIES: Honorable Mention, Best Feature.
Fear Factor: Why Lawyers Aren't Using Technology. The ABA's most recent tech survey found that only 11.7% of the nation's lawyers are using ANY trial technology. We interview lawyers, vendors, and consultants to find out why, and the answers are shocking: lawyers are afraid of technology, don't understand it, and are overwhelmed by too many choices. Vendors take some of the blame by not educating lawyers about tech's potential. The dramatic conclusion: lawyers must embrace change, and adopt technology, or they simply will not survive in today's competitive marketplace.
Low Visibility: As law firms move toward a corporate, rather than private club, model of operations, they are bringing in "C-level" executives to help them run their organizations. Yet many law firms still cling to old-school caste systems, where only the attorneys have real power, and everybody else is invisible. What's the litmus test? Take a look at the firm websites. Can you search for the CIO? For the COO? For the HR director? If not, the firm may be paying only lip service to change. Savvy firms realize that if they want to keep top-level executives, they better start treating them like partners.
No solutions! We're determined to build bridges, not walls -- and to explain and demystify technology in our three magazines. That means no jargon, no acronyms, and no "insider" gobbledygoop. Words like solution, robust, mission-critical, strategic planning, initiatives, deployment are just silly cliches that have become meaningless. We like plain English. Vendors! Flaks! If you mother doesn't understand your press release, don't send it out.