Tom Mighell and I have recorded several episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here.

Here’s a list (in reverse chronological order) with the program descriptions:

To Cloud or Not to Cloud: That is the Question for Start-up Firms

You’re starting a new firm, or you want to revamp your existing firm’s technology. What approaches and strategies make the most sense for the 10-20 lawyer firm in 2011? Is the “cloud” part of your firm’s immediate future? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take a look at some of the technology options for smaller firms, the long term strategies and short-term tactics that should be considered, and the role cloud computing can play in todayís legal technology environment. (Episode 48)

A New Start: Legal Technology Resolutions for 2011

The new year is the perfect time to breathe some life into your approach to technology. Even small accomplishments can bring you big results. Where should you begin and what priorities should you set? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell survey what technology resolutions lawyers are making for 2011, how to narrow down your list of choices, and, most importantly, how best to make your technology resolutions come true. (Episode 47)

Asked and Answered

What are the hot questions in legal technology today? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell take on audience questions on legal technology and give you their best answers. (Episode 46)

Whatís the Word for Legal Tech in 2010?

Did technology rock the legal world in 2010 or was it a sleepy little year for legal tech? What were the tech highlights and lowlights for 2010? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell offer up a wide-ranging, fast-paced and highly-opinionated review of what transpired in legal technology in 2010. (Episode 45)

I really like all of these recent episodes (and the next one we’ve recorded on LinkedIn) and am grateful for the steady increases we’re seeing in downloads of the podcast. I recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released.

Of the recent batch of four episodes listed above, I really enjoyed the episode called Whatís the Word for Legal Tech in 2010? (Episode 45). In this episode, we did a tribute to one of our favorite podcasts: ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption (PTI). We based on review of legal tech in 2011 on the style of PTI and designed segments around familiar segments of PTI. Fun and informative.

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

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

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

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

If you don’t already own a copy of the collaboration tools book Tom Mighell and I wrote, here’s a great opportunity to attend a webinar on February 9 where the “handout” is a copy of our book.

Here are the details and registration info:

You have a choice of a live telephone seminar or a live webinar. There will be some slides, so the live webinar might be a slightly better choice. On the live webinar, you’ll also be able to submit questions during the presentation rather than waiting until the end.

As I mentioned, attendees get a copy of our book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together.

You’ll get the chance to:

  • Learn about collaboration technologies that you can use to work with others in your practice
  • Get practical tips for using collaboration tools in common legal practice settings
  • Develop a strategy for selecting the right collaboration tools in your law practice
  • Hear future trends and developments in collaboration tools for lawyers

The seminar is a joint production of ALI-ABA and the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section.

Depending our your state’s rules, you might be eligible for 1.2 hours of MCLE credit. Cost is $225.

I hope you can attend. Registration info here.

Please help get the word out. Collaboration tools are more important now than ever before. I’ll also note that I’ll be speaking about collaboration tools for transactional lawyers at the upcoming ABA TECHSHOW.

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

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

The Lawyerís Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Top Tech Tips for Today’s Travelers” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#41) description:

Traveling with technology today has, simultaneously, gotten both easier and harder. On the road, you need to be resourceful and give yourself plenty of options to meet unexpected challenges. At the same time, you still want to “pack light.” In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell share their notes and experiences from a recent trip, offer some of their best travel tips, and make a few predictions about where traveling with technology is headed.

Tom and I had just returned from a great trip to Washington, DC for the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section’s fall meetings. We had compared notes with other attendees about what we have learned about traveling with technology over the years. We thought it would be fun and instructive to share some of our favorite travel tips and observations with our listeners.

We talked a bit about how our traveling styles differ. It’s essential to have a good understanding of your own style, what technology you actually use, and what you really want to accomplish. From that base, you can make smart choices about what you need for each trip.

Tom and I joked a bit about how your bag is really the most important “technology” tool you need, but it’s clear that your choice of computer bag (or backpack) can be important. My big observation from my recent trip was how valuable a sportscoat with lots of pockets can be.

We talk about Internet connections, power cords, the rise of smartphones and much more. Tom also gives his opinion on whether you can travel with an iPad and no laptop. We also talk about software and Internet services we find useful while traveling.

When traveling, I’m a big believer in giving yourself a number of options while still consolidating what you take down to the acceptable minimum. You have to be resourceful and be prepared for the unexpected. In the podcast, you’ll hear lots of our practical tips, both those that we have learned the hard way and what we’ve learned as helpful advice from travelers we know.

In our “stuff Tom and I have been talking about” segment, we discussed the upcoming 25th anniversary of the ABA TECHSHOW, the promotional video we shot for TECHSHOW, and the value of attending legal technology conferences.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom recommended Google’s Gmail Security Checklist. I like a post from Dave Taylor that explains how to download your personal information from Facebook.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

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

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

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Top Tech Tips for Today’s Travelers” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#41) description:

Traveling with technology today has, simultaneously, gotten both easier and harder. On the road, you need to be resourceful and give yourself plenty of options to meet unexpected challenges. At the same time, you still want to “pack light.” In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell share their notes and experiences from a recent trip, offer some of their best travel tips, and make a few predictions about where traveling with technology is headed.

Tom and I had just returned from a great trip to Washington, DC for the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section’s fall meetings. We had compared notes with other attendees about what we have learned about traveling with technology over the years. We thought it would be fun and instructive to share some of our favorite travel tips and observations with our listeners.

We talked a bit about how our traveling styles differ. It’s essential to have a good understanding of your own style, what technology you actually use, and what you really want to accomplish. From that base, you can make smart choices about what you need for each trip.

Tom and I joked a bit about how your bag is really the most important “technology” tool you need, but it’s clear that your choice of computer bag (or backpack) can be important. My big observation from my recent trip was how valuable a sportscoat with lots of pockets can be.

We talk about Internet connections, power cords, the rise of smartphones and much more. Tom also gives his opinion on whether you can travel with an iPad and no laptop. We also talk about software and Internet services we find useful while traveling.

When traveling, I’m a big believer in giving yourself a number of options while still consolidating what you take down to the acceptable minimum. You have to be resourceful and be prepared for the unexpected. In the podcast, you’ll hear lots of our practical tips, both those that we have learned the hard way and what we’ve learned as helpful advice from travelers we know.

In our “stuff Tom and I have been talking about” segment, we discussed the upcoming 25th anniversary of the ABA TECHSHOW, the promotional video we shot for TECHSHOW, and the value of attending legal technology conferences.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom recommended Google’s Gmail Security Checklist. I like a post from Dave Taylor that explains how to download your personal information from Facebook.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

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

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

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

I gave a presentation recently on Social Media and Legal Ethics to a great audience at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. I’ve given a half-dozen presentations on this topic (often with Mike Downey covering the ethics part) over the last year – to Indiana lawyers, to law students, to young lawyers, to corporate counsel, to estate planning lawyers and to the staff at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri.

As I drove home after the presentation, I started thinking about lawyers and social media, the changes I’ve seen as I’ve presented on this topic, and how my approach to talking about this topic differs from much of what I’ve seen about how this topic is presented. I thought it might be fun to share my observations and reflections at this point.

1. Interest Level. There has been a dramatic increase in the number of hands that go up when I ask who in the audience is actually using social media services. My experience largely reflects what I’ve read and surveys show. Most lawyers using social networking or social media tools primarily use LinkedIn. Facebook has always come in second place, but the gap between LinkedIn use and Facebook use is decreasing rapidly. The growth in Facebook users in my informal surveys has been dramatic in the last year. Twitter usage lags well behind, and there seems to be more hesitancy and fear of Twitter usage than of any of the other tools. In part, that’s due to lack of understanding how Twitter works and what the potential benefits might be. Alas, there have usually only been one or two bloggers in my audiences. This might be an unpopular (and definitely unscientific) assessment, but my sense is that most of the individual lawyers who really want to do blogs have already tried it. I think firms are still looking at and trying blogs – that’s a good thing – and there are still opportunities to create new blogs that could be successful, but the energy and growth seems to be in other places. For example, if I were thinking about starting a blog in 2010, I’m not so sure I wouldn’t do something in Facebook rather than write a separate blog.

2. The Traditional Approach. When I present on this topic, I definitely do not take a traditional approach – more about what I do later. In fact, I tell my audiences that upfront. The traditional approach, and I’ve seen too much of it myself, goes like this: Social media is new, it’s scary, it’s risky, and it raises lots of questions for which we have no answers. In fact, the only thing the audience can possibly do to protect itself from the scary risks and dangers is to have a social media policy prepared by the law firm of the lawyer doing the speaking. If you think I’m joking, you should see how people nod their heads and laugh when I say exactly this during my presentation as I contrast what I’m about to do. By the way, this same approach was taken on the risks of blogging when blogging first started, and on websites before that, and email before that.

3. My Approach. I really think my approach is better, but I’m interested in your feedback, and I’m continuing to evolve what I do. My basic premise is that lawyers can spot issues and balance risks, but they need a solid understanding of how people use social media tools to do so. I spend most of the time in my presentations showing actual screenshots and explaining how and why people use these tools. The fact that I’ve been experimenting with many social media tools for a long time also helps. No matter how knowledgeable you might be, it undermines your credibility with an audience if it seems like you are new to using social media or, worse yet, that you don’t use it at all. I once attended a social media legal presentation where the presenter actually said, “I’m sure you all know more about using social media than I do.” I honestly don’t remember what he said after that because I tuned him out. What I’ve found is that once lawyers understand the basic use of the social media tools, they can spot the issues and risks very easily and will often point out issues and potential solutions that I hadn’t considered. By the way, this approach is comparable to how I presented about electronic discovery years ago.

4. A Framework. As I was writing a standard disclaimer to give at the beginning of one of my presentations, I wrote: “I’m Dennis Kennedy. I’m here today speaking personally and not on behalf of my employer or any other entity. And this presentation is for educational purposes, and should not be considered legal advice.” Hey, it’s a disclaimer. I was thinking about ways to either make it shorter or to jazz it up, when I saw that there were three components to that disclaimer – identity, role, purpose – and that getting those components right were an essential theme in social media. More important, confusion and lack of congruity in those three components causes most problems. The funny thing is that now I give that disclaimer as my opening, and I sometimes get some chuckles because it seems so like what lawyers do. Then I explain the three components and how they work, and it seems like I immediately get everyone’s attention and give them a framework for understanding the rest of the talk.

5. The Social Media Matrix. I don’t think lawyers make enough use of the matrix or quadrant charts most business people use regularly. I had this crazy idea last year that I wanted to create a one page chart that explained all of social media. Well, here’s my latest version and it seems to work for presentation purposes. Again, I want to give an audience a simple framework to help them understand the practical aspects and benefits of social media.

Social Media Matrix

6. Questions. I like using a lot of screenshots and showing what I actually do and telling about what I’ve done right and wrong. As people see and understand how these tools work, they want to ask questions. Often, I can see the light bulbs going on as people realize that they are only using LinkedIn in a small fraction of the ways they could or that Twitter could be extremely valuable even if they never tweet. As a speaker, it’s difficult not to take the questions as they arise and, at the same time, it’s easy to get into an open discussion with the audience. My presentation is structured in a way where I can go with the flow, but I can tell you that presenting on social media in a short time (say 25 minutes) is incredibly difficult and requires major editing work before and during your presentation.

7. Practical tips. It’s easy to get laughs talking about all the dumb things lawyers and others have already done while using social media. However, we’re all starting to hear the same stories over and over. I like to use instead some hands-on practical tips. In the last presentation, I took five minutes and used a series of screenshots to show exactly how to change your Facebook privacy settings, what settings I actually use and why, and some of the considerations to think about when making those decisions. I thought I won the audience over when I explained to them exactly how to block Farmville updates from their Facebook friends. You decide – would you rather hear about social media policies or learn how to block Farmville updates? Exactly.

8. Simplification. I actually take some time to explain Web 2.0 and the read/write web, in a non-technical way, because I think it helps people understand how social media works. But, I keep it simple. I also simplify my examples of social media, but also show people the range of social media tools (which seem to be growing all the time) rather than overload them with details on each. I always end by saying that people need to try a few tools, focus on one or two, and find what best fits you. In general, the social media tools that I like will not be the same ones other people like because I am a writer and a content producer. I agree with most of the lawyers I talk to – I don’t have any idea how they would use Twitter. Giving permission to the audience to try just one or two and that it’s OK if they feel something doesn’t work for them really seems to help them with the topic.

9. Action Steps. Social media policies are a good thing, and the speaker’s firm might even do a great job of preparing them, but a presentation that ends with a call to action to hire the speaker’s firm to prepare a policy is an infomercial rather than an educational presentation. All lawyers get this part of it. It doesn’t take any convincing, but they want to know the hows and not the whys. I actually don’t even talk about social media policies because it seems so obvious, but I do point people, in my handout, to useful resources on social media issues. That’s what I would want – guide me to where I can learn what I need to learn. I end with four practical action steps for people to try when they leave the presentation:

  • Pick one social media to try or to delve more deeply into (and gradually experiment until you find one that “fits”).
  • Create clean lines between personal and professional identities.
  • The learning process is always consume first (listen, learn, understand the community and the medium), then produce.
  • Monitor Twitter Search to get a sense of how people use Twitter.

10. What Can I Learn? I’ve learned new things every time I’ve presented on social media. There’s a lot that I don’t know, and there’s so much growth and change in social media that I’m not sure anyone can stay on top of it. By sharing what I know, I feel like I’m helping others explore and learn new things that maybe they’ll share with me. More than any other topic I’ve presented on, social media presentations really seem to lead to an exchange of ideas and opportunities for continued conversation.

11. The Secret of Social Media. I hope this doesn’t get me kicked out of the blogger guild, but I do reveal the true secret of blogging and social media in each of my presentations. It’s not about ROI and stuff like that, The secret is that it’s really fun and you meet the greatest people. And that’s enough – everything else is gravy.

In a way, I’m just thinking out loud and trying to capture some of these reflections. Hope you find them useful. Let me know.

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

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

Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

My most recent technology column for the ABA Journal is called simply “A Legal iPad” and, not surprisingly, talks about the potential usage of the Apple iPad by lawyers.

One of the tricky things about writing a technology column for a print publication is the lead-time necessary for articles. Longtime readers will know that my favorite definition of a blog is “an online newspaper or magazine column without the newspaper or magazine.” With a blog, you write the post, publish it and it’s instantly ready to be read and find its audience.

For my ABA column, there’s generally a two month or so lead-time. So, this column about the iPad was written back in February. As a result, I wrote it before the iPad was released and before I could have had one in my hands. That’s reflected in the article, which is not a review. Of all my columns, it’s the one that I had the most concern about becoming outdated or inaccurate before it actually came out. But, because of the way I wrote the piece, I think it turned out OK in terms of timeliness.

The column generated a lot of comments, showing the interest of lawyers in the topic.

My approach in the column was to look at whether the tablet computer form factor, iPad or otherwise, would ever replace the venerable legal pad for lawyers.

Now, I’m a longtime Tablet fan (see my 2005 article on my Tablet PC epiphanies). In fact, in the column, I refer to myself as “eternal optimist about tablet devices.”

However, I’m definitely a “wait until the second version” Apple hardware person. So, I’m actually planning my iPad purchase for late 2010. I’m definitely following the experiences of my friends and others using iPads in the meantime. As I always say (and I emphasize this point in the latest episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast), you really have to focus on what your own “use case” is when you buy new hardware.

In general, I’m bullish on the iPad and the likely uses lawyers will make of it. Take a look at the article and see how accurate my initial predictions seem to be. My concluding thought: “I don’t think we’ll see the legal pad disappear anytime soon, but it’s about to get its biggest challenge yet.”

The money quote:

Where I expect to see significant early iPad adoption is among solos and small firms (including boutique firms started by refugees from large firms) that are already using the Internet and technology in new ways.

One of my main points in the column was the importance of the iPads as an application platform. It’s the apps that matter.

I point specifically in the column to Dan Bricklin’s Note Taker app (originally for the iPhone and iPod Touch), which allows you to write with your finger on the screen and capture and work with notes. I was intrigued by its potential on the larger form factor of the iPad. Bricklin, who has the development of the original spreadsheet program, VisiCalc, on his resume, has an active web presence, so you can follow his work and thinking as he develops the app for the iPad.

That said, it’s been interesting to see both Jeff “iPhoneJD” Richardson and Josh “Tablet Legal” Barrett write positively about Note Taker recently. Maybe I was on the right track in the column.

I recommend the column to you and also suggest that you take a listen to the podcast Tom Mighell I did on the iPad called “The iPad: Gadget or Game-Changer?

I’d enjoy hearing about your experiences with the iPad.

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

Follow my microblog on Twitter: @dkennedyblog; Follow me: @denniskennedy

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools

Listen to The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on Legal Talk Network. Twitter: @tkmreport