Blockchain technology is a topic that interests me greatly. It also is a favorite topic of my occasional co-author, Gwynne Monahan (often better known as @econwriter5 on Twitter). We have talked off and on for a while about collaborating on an article about blockchain tech.

The timing was right a month or two ago when I was asked about writing an article for the January tech-themed article of the ABA’s Law Practice Today.

Continue Reading Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming

Blockchain technology is a topic that interests me greatly. It also is a favorite topic of my occasional co-author, Gwynne Monahan (often better known as @econwriter5 on Twitter). We have talked off and on for a while about collaborating on an article about blockchain tech.

The timing was right a month or two ago when I was asked about writing an article for the January tech-themed article of the ABA’s Law Practice Today.

Continue Reading Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming

Dennis Kennedy photographed on December 19, 2010.Last summer, I was asked the question “Are there really too many lawyers?” I wrote a reply and remembered the other day that I never posted it.

Unlike when you write something for a print publication and might have to wait months for an article to appear, the great benefit of having your own blog is that you can publish it to the world immediately – assuming that you remember to do so.

In the spirit of clearing out 2015 to get a fresh start in 2016, here’s my answer, at least last summer (because I haven’t edited it), to the question “Are there really too many lawyers?”

Are there really too many lawyers?

The science fiction writer William Gibson (@greatdismal) his the source of the well-known quote, “The future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” That’s a good framework to consider the “too many lawyers” question.

That question suggests that the primary issue is one of quantity and the Goldilocksian test of too much, too little or just right. However, that approach misses the most interesting and important facets of the question – distribution, allocation and, ultimately, adaptability of lawyers and the legal profession.

There are a lot of lawyers in the US – a whole lot of them – and many more enter the profession every year. Lawyers also have a tendency not to retire, at least not at an age like 65. The total number inexorably grows.

At the same time, we all see stats that perhaps 80% of people (and probably small businesses) can’t afford or find the lawyers to perform the legal services they need. There are areas like public defenders, judges and certain practice areas where there is a strong feeling that there simply aren’t enough lawyers. In my own world of information technology law, I would say that there is a severe shortage of lawyers knowledgeable in the practice area, which expands and grows more complex almost daily, or so it seems.

Perhaps paradoxically, we also live at a time where it is very difficult for lawyers to get tradition law firm jobs. Some would argue that we’ve had a few “lost years” where only a very small fraction of law school graduates got traditional law opportunities.

What I see is not a “quantity” issue, but an imbalance of supply and demand. In other words, the future of legal services might already be here, but it’s not evenly distributed yet. There is a mismatch of client need and lawyer availability, all aggravated by technology change (think Internet), geographic mobility (general population but not lawyer regulation) and, increasingly, globalization.

The “too many lawyers” question, to me, opens up the issues of legal service distribution and allocation of legal resources and alignment with the changing needs of an increasingly mobile, global and savvy client population with difficult and novel legal issues.

In so many ways, the practice of law has never been so interesting as it is today, with opportunities for creative approaches, futuristic technology tools, and ways to play a key role in the accelerating pace of change we see today.

However, too often today lawyers bemoan the “decline of the profession,” want to pull up the drawbridges and fill up the moats, and try to go back in time to some “mythical good times.”

We live in a world where commerce routes around “friction.” Lawyers have too often allowed themselves to be seen as part of the friction rather than the enablers of new approaches. The path of the Internet is littered with those who felt that what they did was so unique that the Internet would not be able to route around them.

The successful lawyers of the near future will be those who can better distribute and make available their services to the clients who need them. The successful firms will be the ones best able to identify, hire, retain and allocate lawyers to client needs. It’s not rocket science, but it requires a clear-eyed look at the present and the future and a willingness to look to new models rather than return to old structures. At least in my opinion.

The key is adaptability. Can lawyers adapt to changing times? It is reasonable to expect drastic changes on a regular basis within traditional practice areas. It is reasonable to expect clients to change, evolve and disappear. Lawyers must be adaptable to an accelerating pace of change.

Too many lawyers? I don’t know if there’s a magic number. I do know that the number of lawyers is not well distributed from the client perspective. Too many lawyers with adaptability? Not by a long shot. And, unfortunately for many lawyers who hesitate on adapting, the future is already here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Tom Mighell and I have had an especially good run of episodes recently on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. I especially want to recommend the most recent one “Are Lawyers Ready for Artificial Intelligence?Podcasting portrait

I had been seeing a lot of blog posts, articles, tweets and other mentions of AI, IBM Watson, machine learning and the like. I wanted to talk about it on the podcast. I had to convince Tom that we had something to add to the conversation. As usual, he did’t think he’d have much to say. And, as usual, when he says that, we have some of our longer episodes.

In a way, it was a perfect topic. I like topics where I can push Tom to react to some of my wildest ideas and we both start to see practical opportunities. This episode will also be known by us as the one where I left Tom speechless with one of my ideas.

There’s some interesting stuff in this podcast and I encourage you to listen to it and to subscribe to the podcast.

Here’s the show summary:

“Artificial Intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success.” -Tom Mighell

Developments in Big Data, machine learning, IBM Watson, and other advancements in technology have brought back the cyclical discussion of what artificial intelligence might mean for lawyers. Has anything really changed, or have we just reached another round of the AI debate?

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell analyze recent discussions about artificial intelligence and lawyers, try to separate myth from reality, and ponder whether AI can take over the work of lawyers. Together, they discuss the definition of AI, robotics, Technology Assisted Review, driverless cars, document assembly software, LegalZoom and how lawyers are assisted or threatened by these technologies. Dennis points out that lawyers are often worried about computer system mistakes but comfortable with the lower success rate of humans. Tom aptly explains that comfort in certain technologies stems from psychological acceptance.

In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom revisit traveling with technology. As Dennis was just in Europe, and Tom is headed there soon, they talk about wireless routers, mobile wifi, headphones, phone chargers, backpacks, and the other various technology necessities to bring on your vacation. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.

In the “B segment” of our next episode, which will be released soon, Tom and I revisited the topic of AI and Tom challenged me to come up with practical examples of the ways lawyers might use AI. I think even Tom will (grudgingly) admit that I won that challenge. Be sure to tune in to that episode.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

It’s nice to see LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition in the Best Sellers section of the ABA Web Store. A big thank you to readers of this blog who have bought the book.

If you’d like to get a good idea of what’s in the book, the Law Technology Today blog has made available a generous excerpt from the book in a post called Create a LinkedIn Action Plan, courtesy of Lindsay Dawson, whose assistance with getting the word out on our books has been invaluable.

The excerpt comes from the concluding chapter of the book and outlines the three essential building blocks of LinkedIn (Profile, Connections and Participation) and gives three practical action steps, one for each building block. The action steps are simple, concrete actions you can take that require a small investment of time and should improve your results from LinkedIn.

Let me excerpt a bit of that excerpt:

1. Profile.

Your Profile Action Step

Reread and rewrite your Profile summary so that it has an external focus, telling readers exactly what you want them to know about you so that they will want to connect with you.

2. Connections.

Your Connections Action Step

Try to set and reach a reasonable goal for your total number of Con­nections. Reaching fifty Connections will help your Profile strength.

3. Participation.

Your Participation Action Step

Try to post at least one Update per week for a month. Building relation­ships takes time, whether in person or online. Use LinkedIn to identify and gain information about people you have just met or will be meeting, and keep using it to strengthen relationships and expand your network.

There’s more in the post on Law Technology Today.

I’ve really enjoyed getting the chance to speak about what’s in the book on podcasts and webinars recently, but have especially enjoyed spending some one-on-one time helping people improve their approach to LinkedIn, several of whom were not lawyers. Which leads to the question: “What if there were a version of this book not targeted at lawyers and other legal professionals?” Allison and I have heard that question a lot and all I can say is stay tuned for our answer to that question, which will be revealed soon.

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition can be purchased through the ABA Store or in an iBook version on iTunes.LIOHFL2 Cover

Dennis Kennedy

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

On Thursday, October 17, Allison Shields and I will be presenting a webinar called LinkedIn for Lawyers Reloaded, cosponsored by ALI CLE and the ABA’s Law Practice Division.

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition

This 90 minute seminar coincides with the launch of our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition, and attendees of the live webinar will receive an electronic version of the book.

Our presentation will be based on the new version of our book and will reflect our current thinking about LinkedIn and will cover recent changes to LinkedIn’s interface and features. Allison and I spoke today in preparation for the webinar and I’m excited about our newest approach to this material.

Here’s the description for the webinar:

Like many lawyers (and 225 million other LinkedIn users), you may have a profile on LinkedIn, but do you really know what to do with it? Beyond putting up an online “resumé” and adding connections to your professional network, do you know all the ways that LinkedIn can help you in your career?

In this essential CLE program on LinkedIn for Lawyers, learn how to leverage the world’s largest professional network to boost your own practice and profile! Whether you are a new or long-term user, this CLE program will give you helpful instructions and useful strategies for taking advantage of all of LinkedIn’s features, including navigating LinkedIn’s new interface, maximizing your profile, and connecting with referral sources, former classmates, former practice colleagues, peers, experts, and others, in effective, mutually beneficial ways.

Bonus! All registrants will receive a FREE copy of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (a $49.95 value) In addition, all registrants receive a set of downloadable course materials and free access to the archived online program later. Registrants will be able to view the archived online program on a mobile device.

What You Will Learn

After attending this practical webcast, you will be able to:

+ understand the many ways lawyers use LinkedIn and find the way(s) that work best for you

+ know the “Three Essential Building Blocks” of LinkedIn and how to use them to get the most value for the time you spend on LinkedIn

+ design and optimize your LinkedIn profile to create a strong professional social media presence

+ engage LinkedIn in the job search, recruiting, and interviewing process

+ develop focused, strategic approaches to networking with others on LinkedIn

+ use powerful advanced features of LinkedIn that many users are not even aware of

+ take advantage of new features (such as Endorsements), interface changes and mobile applications to take your use of LinkedIn to a new level

+ boost your professional presence and establish your niche among the 225+ million members of the LinkedIn community

Have a question for the faculty? This interactive seminar will give you the opportunity to submit questions to the faculty before and/or during the program. Send your questions to tsquestions@ali-cle.org.

I hope that you will be able to attend LinkedIn for Lawyers Reloaded on Thursday, or, if not, that you will mention it to friends and colleagues who might appreciate the webinar.

The second edition of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers can be purchased through the ABA Store or in an iBook version on iTunes.

Dennis Kennedy

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Box of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers 2Ed booksA box of books arrived at my door – my copies of the new Second Edition of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers. All of the work on a book project finally seems real and tangible when you get the box of books and hold one in your hands.

Allison Shields and I wrote the original LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers about a year-and-a-half ago. Then we wrote Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, which debuted about a year ago. We didn’t expect that we’d be writing a second edition so soon, but the massive interface and layout changes and feature updates at LinkedIn and the overwhelmingly positive response we got to the book pushed up our target for preparing a new edition.

LinkedIn’s changes continued all through the writing of the new book this summer and took a lot more work than we expected just to keep up with the changes. We also had the chance to incorporate some of our new ideas on LinkedIn, materials from articles and presentations we’ve given, practical tips and techniques Allison uses when she does training on LinkedIn, and discussion of new features.

In other words, the Second Edition of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is a major update and we’re proud of the new version.

Among other things, you’ll find:

    • All new illustrations, reflection the major interface changes.
    • Discussion of new features like Endorsements and a reconsideration of the use of Premium Accounts.
    • Updated material on Company Pages, Ethics, Ads, Mobile Apps and Privacy Settings.
    • Our best new practical ideas and tips for using LinkedIn in effective ways.
  • The book continues to focus on ten “lessons,” provides more detail on some advanced topics like ethics, and includes a generous helping of our favorite 60 LinkedIn tips.

    Here’s the description of the new edition from the ABA’s Web Store:

    Since the first edition of LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers was published, LinkedIn has added almost 100 million users, and more and more lawyers are using the platform on a regular basis. Now, this bestselling ABA book has been fully revised and updated to reflect significant changes to LinkedIn’s layout and functionality made through 2013. LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, Second Edition, will help lawyers make the most of their online professional networking. In just one hour, you will learn to:

    Set up a LinkedIn account

    Create a robust, dynamic profile–and take advantage of new multimedia options

    Build your connections

    Get up to speed on new features such as Endorsements, Influencers, Contacts, and Channels

    Enhance your Company Page with new functionality

    Use search tools to enhance your network

    Monitor your network with ease

    Optimize your settings for privacy concerns

    Use LinkedIn effectively in the hiring process

    Develop a LinkedIn strategy to grow your legal network

    As I write this, the book is still available with a 15% pre-order discount. Since we’ve received our author copies already, I’m going to suggest that you act quickly on the pre-order discount. There was a lot of interest in using the first edition in connection with training classes for lawyers in large firms and corporate law departments and we had that in mind when writing the second edition. If interested in that, please inquire about bulk discounts.

    The order page is here.

    Watch for news coming soon about a second book project.

    On October 17, Allison and I will presenting a webinar called LinkedIn for Lawyers Reloaded, co-sponsored by ALI CLE and the ABA’s Law Practice Division.

    Dennis Kennedy

    [Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

    View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

    Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

    LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available. Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

    In perhaps the classic example of “I didn’t have enough time to write a shorter article, so I wrote a longer one,” I have a new article out in the February issue of the Law Practice Today webzine. It runs about 3,000 words and is called “Thirteen Facebook Tips for Lawyers in 2013.”

    As the article summary says:

    Still scared of Facebook? Come on, it’s 2013 already—can 1 billion users really all be wrong? Here are 13 tips to guide even the most reluctant late adopter on how to get the most of the most popular social media tool.

    The article offers some of my observations about lawyers using (and, mainly, not using) Facebook, thirteen practical tips (anybody else notice that matching the number of tips to the year has upped the degree of difficulty for these types of tips articles?), and three simple action steps to get yourself going on Facebook.

    The money quote:

    There are many reasons lawyers probably should be using Facebook, but I’m not sure that convince many reluctant lawyers with those reasons. Instead, consider my view that there may be no better resource than Facebook to help you reconnect with people who were important in your life with whom you have lost contact.

    I expect that Allison Shields and I will cover many of these tips in more detail in our upcoming presentation on LinkedIn and Facebook at ABA TECHSHOW 2013 in Chicago in April.You will also have the chance to talk about these topics with Allison and me at the Taste of TECHSHOW dinner we will be hosting on April 4.

    Hope you find the new article helpful.If you want to dive even deeper into Facebook, you might consider reading Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, which is also available in an iBook version.

    What other tips do you have for for lawyers to make better use of Facebook?

    [Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

    View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

    Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

    Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

    [Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

    What Tech Gifts Do You Recommend for Techie Lawyers (and Others)?

    The answer is: Normally, I don’t make these kinds of recommendations, leaving that task in the excellent hands of people like Reid Trautz, who has posted the latest edition of his annual gift guide for lawyers.

    However, there is one item that I see as the must have for techie lawyers, especially those who travel a lot. It’s perfect for all of my friends who speak regularly on legal tech and have so many gadgets and chargers that their hotel rooms look like they are decorated with Christmas lights.

    Here it is.

    Ok, admit it, I made you laugh. However, I really do think a sleep mask is great for travel.

    Before I give me some of my general thoughts, let me recommend the gift guide that Allison Shields posted, which links to a number of tech gift guides, including the 2012 Holiday Tech Toys podcast from Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway, an annual tradition.

    Here are a few of my thoughts.

    It’s difficult to give (or receive in some cases) tech gifts, especially as tech has become so much more personal. For example, I’m really liking my iPad Mini and would thoroughly recommend it, if it fits your use case. However, giving it as a gift is tricky because the amount of memory that makes sense will vary from person to person. It’s nice to get an iPod, iPad or other device, but if it doesn’t have enough memory or isn’t in the color you want, it’s not quite as nice as you hope it would be. It’s best to determine what your gift recipient really wants, which takes away the surprise element.

    Headphones are another example of a tech gift where people have certain ideas and requirements in mind. I have a collections of headphones and earphones, each of which has a specific use. That said, I’ll put in a good word for the MEElectronics M6-BK-MEE Sport Noise-Isolating In-Ear Headphones with Memory Wire that I use when I work out. Great price, good sound and they stay in my ears well and block out music and other sounds in the fitness center where I work out.

    I tend to take a practical approach to tech and I think that approach works really well for tech gifts. For the techies on your list, I’d suggest the practical stuff, things like cables, chargers, connectors and the like. You really can never have enough, especially if you speak and travel. External hard drives and higher capacity USB drives will always be appreciated – you can’t have too many.

    For the tech speaker on your list, the hottest thing among speakers is using an Apple TV and Airplay so you can present wirelessly with an iPad. They’ll be happy to see an Apple TV.

    A gift card to buy some apps is another good idea.

    Not surprisingly, I also recommend one or more of the reasonably-priced “In One Hour” books from the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section. I’ve ready many of them and you can pick topics that interest your gift recipient. I especially like the ones of LinkedIn and Facebook, but I might be a little biased.

    If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

    [Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

    View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

    Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

    Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

    I’ve seen and heard a couple of things recently about lawyers using (and not using) technology that left me shaking my head. Tom and I decided that gave us a good reason to talk about whether lawyers are really late adopters of technology in the newest episode of the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network. This episode is called “Will Lawyers Always Be Late Adopters?.”

    Remember that you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and receive new episodes automatically. The show notes site for the podcast is at TKMReport.com.

    Here’s the description for this episode:

    EPISODE #93

    #93. Will Lawyers Always Be Late Adopters?

    Lawyers are known as notorious late adopters of technology. Is that a fair characterization? Of course it is. What makes lawyers so cautious about new technologies? Will lawyers always be late adopters? In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss some recent experiences that have reinforced the idea that lawyers are late adopters, the reasons people do and do not adopt new technologies, and practical ways for lawyers to think about moving to new technologies. Podcast here

    In large part, this episode was inspired by a picture a friend posted of a computer in a law office running a DOS program. We had also seen two recent blog posts about technology adoption that we thought made some good points about technology adoption: Michael Sampson’s “Why is New Technology Not Adopted?” and Jared Spool’s “Why People Adopt Or Wait For New Technology.” I highly recommend both posts and we discuss them in the podcast and offer a few observations of our own. If you are interested in legal tech, I think you’ll enjoy this episode. We hope it starts a few conversations.

    If you haven’t listened to the podcast before or in a while, give this one a listen and then subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

    If you have topics you’d like us to cover on the podcast or questions we can answer on the podcast, let us know by leaving a comment or sending me an email.

    [Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

    View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

    Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

    Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.