I taught two law school classes this past semester: “Delivering Legal Services” at Michigan State University College of Law and a brand new courses called “Legal Technology Literacy and Leadership” at the University of Michigan Law School. To put it mildly, the pandemic presented some challenges for both classes, but the students impressed me with their effort, persistence, resilience, and creativity.

I have finished reading and grading their final papers and, wow, was I impressed. Even without the challenges, their work was so good – well beyond my expectations.

I want to help these students, whose immediate career plans have been thrown way off track, and find ways to share these papers with the legal tech and legal innovation world.

I have a few ideas, but I want to reach out to the legal publishing world. If you are a publisher of law-related articles who who be interested in publishing some of these papers, please reach out to me and I can get you information and introductions.

Even if you aren’t a publisher, you’ll want to read through the paper topics to see the creativity and sophistication that these students brought to their final papers.

Legal Technology Literacy and Leadership (Michigan)

The assignment in this class was to identify a technology or innovation that the student thought was important and show their understanding of the implications in law, with the idea of illustrating how the student might leverage tech and innovation into leadership roles.

The student papers cover:

  • Intersection of Tech and Disability Rights
  • Contact Tracing Implications for Black Communities
  • Managing and Assessing Remote Working Attorneys
  • New Competition for Traditional BigLaw
  • SupTech (Supervisory Technologies) for Regulators
  • Approaches for Increasing Arbitration Efficiency for In-house Law Departments
  • Facilitation of E-Litigation in Japan
  • NewLaw & The Future of theLegal Profession
  • Virtual Data Rooms and Their Impact on Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Early Learnings from Covid-19’s Impact on Litigation and the Legal Workplace
  • Strategic Technology Plans for NGOs
  • The Uses and Challenges of Adopting AI and Legal Tech Tools Within In-House Departments
  • Blockchain and the Legal Industry
  • The Future of Algorithms in Probable Cause

Delivering Legal Services (Michigan State)

In this class, the students come up with ideas for a new legal (or law-related) service and develop the ideas into a plan for offering the new service, including integration of process improvement techniques. They do a pitch proposal and a paper presenting their business plan for the new service.

The student papers cover:

  • Innovation/tech/efficiency consulting for mid-sized and large law firms
  • Providing tenant legal services through an nonprofit organization
  • Subscription-based legal service that helps small and large health care entities buy and sell health care practices
  • Document automation tool for judges and court systems
  • Targeted business law services for cannabis industry
  • Parental rights resource center
  • Targeted legal services for women provided by women
  • Gamification and other online approaches applied to estate planning services
  • Customizable juror selection app
  • Online legal and related services for expectant mothers
  • Cloud-based contract negotiation tool for in-house legal departments
  • Inner city entrepreneurial legal and business assistance program
  • AI-based contract analytics tools

I think that you will agree that these students more than rose to the challenges of this semester and the great uncertainty that they face in their current situations. There’s so much creative talent in these students.

Please help me get the word out about their ideas and their work. You can email me here.

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

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In The Sign of the Four, Arthur Conan Doyle writes this exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson:

I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

“The only unofficial detective?” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“The only unofficial consulting detective,” he answered.

Holmes expands:

I examine the data, as an expert, and pronounce a specialist’s opinion. I claim no credit in such cases. My name figures in no newspaper. The work itself, the pleasure of finding a field for my peculiar powers, is my highest reward.

I substituted “innovator” for “detective” and realized that I had found where I want to be and probably am well on my well to becoming.

I took a trip quick to Google to look for a definition of “consulting innovator.” This morning, my LinkedIn profile was the top result. That’s promising.

As I try to define and evolve what I have in mind, the quotes from Holmes feel about right.

Other descriptions I’ve been working with include:

Discreet advice and guidance with practical and elegant solutions

Astute behind-the-scenes guidance with very high standards

You can see I’ve been playing with the words guidance, discreet, astute, and elegant, which those of you familiar with Sally Hogshead’s work might recognize.

Some people have told me that they think the reference to Sherlock Holmes is a bit too obscure. However, Holmes fans get it immediately. And I think that’s OK for now.

As Holmes would say, “the game is afoot!”

Let me know your reactions.

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

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In two online workshops (April 16 and April 22), I’ll be helping Mike Cappucci and Dean Khialani of FoundationLab (I’m on their Advisory Board) facilitate a free virtual workshop called “Beyond Ideas.”

If you are an innovator in law or have some great ideas that you want to move on the next stage, I encourage you to join us.

I have described innovation as both a discipline and a practice. Foundationlab’s approach gives you a way to systematically move from the idea stage, where most of the focus seems to be and where we too often get stuck, to the validation and testing phase, which is essential if you want to de-risk your innovation efforts and increase your odds of finding and funding winning projects.

Here’s the description:

Beyond Ideas: discovering opportunities for legal professionals in the wake of COVID-19.

DESCRIPTION

The world has been turned upside down by the outbreak of COVID-19. All industries have been and will continue to be affected. How will this global pandemic shape the future of the legal industry? And more importantly, what NEW opportunities will the evolving environment present to the legal professional?

WORKSHOP GOALS

(1) Learn how to advance an idea from its genesis to its viability as a business opportunity with greater certainty, in an uncertain time.

(2) Collaborate with peers from around the globe to move beyond ideas, and begin validating new opportunities for legal professionals.

(3) In a global economic slowdown, gain the confidence to use this newfound space to be highly creative.

WHAT TO EXPECT

This immersive, virtual workshop will push you beyond brainstorming ideas. Over the course of two, 90 minute sessions – you will:

  • Learn to shape your ideas and identify the areas of greatest risk.
  • Be exposed to experiment design as a method for testing your ideas.
  • Develop a baseline understanding of the validation journey, designed to gather evidence and mitigate risk at each stage.

This workshop will span TWO 90 minute sessions: April 16 @1pm EST and April 22 @1pm EST. Register here.

#beyondideas #exponentiallaw #foundationlab

It should be both productive and fun. Many of us have tons of new ideas these days. This workshop might be just what you need to take your best ideas on the road to reality.

Register here.

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

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Your professional network has never been more valuable to you than it is right now.

The best tool for capturing the value of your professional networks is LinkedIn. The people most likely to help us in difficult times are our connections. Most of us in the legal industry only use a tiny fraction of the power of LinkedIn.

Allison Shields and I wrote our new book, Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals, to help you optimize your use of LinkedIn.

The book has hundreds of practical tips, but, more importantly, it focuses on ways for you to use LinkedIn strategically. That’s never been more important than it is right now.

We were talking about ways to get the book into as many hands as we could. We are grateful for all of you who have already bought the book, but we wanted to make it even easier for people to get the book.

Amazon allows authors to do flash sales. And that’s what we’ve decided to do.

Until April 5, the Kindle version (only) of our book will be available for the super low price of $2.99 on Amazon.

It’s a great way to get a Kindle copy to read on its own, to decide if you want to buy the paperback version for yourself, or to evaluate whether you want to make bulk purchases for your firm or organization.

Because of the way Amazon sets up these sale offerings, you will have to act quickly (before April 5).

Most of us have plenty of time to read these days. Here’s a great way to turn your reading into practical actions that can benefit you and your networks.

Buy here.

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

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I’ve been spending the last few days preparing for teaching my classes at the University of Michigan and at Michigan State University this week. Many, many others are also preparing to work from home, teach from home, and attend classes from home.

Collaboration, especially online collaboration, has been a focus of mine for many years. Tom Mighell and I updated and published the second edition of our book, “The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together” in 2018, so much of the book is still quite current, especially the chapters and checklists on how to think about, plan for, and use collaboration technologies in organizations.

I’m not here, however, to hawk the book. Instead, I wanted to point you to some of the podcasts and articles Tom and I have done over the years. They will give you a lot of tips and insights as you start your move into the online world of work.

Podcasts

Articles

Also, as I find useful links to resources about remote work and online collaboration, I plan to tweet links to them at either or both of @denniskennedy and @dkennedyblog.

And, as usual, the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center and Law Technology Today blog are great resources for ongoing cover of these kinds of tools and related resources.

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

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Kennedy-Mighell Report logoIn the latest episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report (recorded several weeks ago), called “Coronavirus Looms – Can Technology Replace Travel?“, Tom and I looked at the practical impacts COVID-19 and pandemic concerns might have on ways we work together.

We were a bit closer the the mark than we had hoped to be about how quickly these issues might come front and center in the practice of law. Quinn Emmanuel’s decision to implement “a work-from-home period” is a recent example of what we might expect to see as we face the effects of this novel coronavirus.

Here’s the short summary of the episode:

When a large-scale disaster strikes, travel suffers, but given today’s technology, is travel even necessary anymore? Dennis and Tom discuss how remote collaboration tools – Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and others – have evolved over the past few years, and provide their tips for video/phone conference etiquette. In their second segment, they explore what new studies say about the safety of public Wi-Fi.

As always, stay tuned for the parting shots, that one tip, website, or observation that you can use the second the podcast ends.

Have a technology question for Dennis and Tom? Call their Tech Question Hotline at 720-441-6820 for the answers to your most burning tech questions.

Special thanks to our sponsors, ServeNow.

In the episode, you’ll also get to hear which one of us has the greater fear of #covid19, whether video phone calls snuck up on us, and more of our takes on what works well in today’s collaboration environment as we seem to be moving to a period of fewer in-person meetings.

It should not surprise you to learn that remote collaboration and how to accomplish it successfully is a major theme of our new edition of our book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies.

You can find the episode here. Thanks for listening.

As always, Tom and I would be happy to present this topic (or any other topic) to your group, just not in person for a while.

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

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Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

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Whenever I hear someone complain (and it’s still too often) about not being able to find “qualified women” to speak at legal tech conferences, I swallow my irritation and frustration and politely point them to the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s Women of Legal Tech list, which now includes 121 names. If you can’t find a speaker there, you simply aren’t trying.

The 2020 additions to the list are now public and we are rapidly approaching the 2020 Women of Legal Tech Summit – a combination of honoree recognition, celebration, networking, design thinking, and not-the-usual educational presentations. It’s on Wednesday, February 26 at CIIT Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago.

There are still a limited number of registrations available, but it would be cool to sell this one out this week.

If you are already in Chicago or will be in Chicago for ABA TECHSHOW, my best advice is to get yourself registered. My friend Christie Guimond (a co-founder of She Breaks the Law) is coming in from London to speak – it should be much easier for you.

Here are the highlights:

Not-the-usual speakers!

Not-the-usual Agenda!

8:00 a.m. – Registration
8:30 a.m. – Welcome Remarks
8:40 a.m. – Opening Address
Judy Perry Martinez, President, American Bar Association
9:00 a.m. – Ignite Sessions (7-minute, fast-paced presentations
11:30 a.m. – Recognition Ceremony for 2020 Women of Legal Tech Honorees
ABA Legal Technology Resource Center

12:15 p.m – Luncheon
1:30 p.m. – Keynote Address “Is Mary Still Contrary: Planting Seeds of Change in the Legal Profession”
Michelle Browning Coughlin
(1.0 Diversity and General CLE Requested)
2:30 p.m. – Workshop: Create Your Own Women in the Law Programming Playbook
Caitlin Moon, Erin Gerstenzang, Michelle Browning Coughlin, Kim Bennett

4:30 p.m. – Concluding Remarks

And not-the-usual pricing!

US$100 or US$90 (if you are an ABA member)

Hope to see you there. Register here.

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

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On February 15, 2003, I started this blog with a line from Babylon 5:

G'Kar

And so it begins . . .
I realized the other day that I had first written about blogs well over a year ago. In fact, the rise of blogs was one of my 2002 predictions for legal technology in my annual legal tech predictions article. As I was working on updating my web site (https://www.denniskennedy.com), I finally decided that I had to have my own blog. Thanks to people like Jerry Lawson, Sabrina Pacifici, the Support Forum at MovableType.org, it’s finally here.

Last year, my blog definitely had some demands:

It can be a little difficult being the parent of a teenage blog. The sixteenth was a little tricky. Not unexpectedly, my blog felt that a new car (not a used one) was the appropriate present. I think I was able to finesse this request by saying that if my blog found a car insurance company that would issue an auto policy for a blog, we’d consider it. So far, so good.

Because I don’t make a fuss about my own birthday (this blog was an early birthday present to me in 2003), I do make a fuss over the blog’s birthday. In fairness, my blog pressures me to do that. And it demands a blogiversary or blawgiversary post for each year, even though I feel I’m the only one who uses the term “blawgiversary” anymore.

As is my tradition, I usually have offered a small gift to my readers each year. If you will patiently read to the bottom of this post, you will find two small tokens of appreciation. My blog, on the other hand, likes gifts and has a seemingly endless need for attention, approval, audience, and gifts. It can be a trial to have a sullen teenaged blog around the house.

It’s been a good year for DennisKennedy.Blog, even though writing and publishing two books definitely took some writing time away from blogging. I wanted to highlight a few posts:

SPECIAL BLAWGIVERSARY OFFERS:

1. FREE PDF Download of 57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law.

2. Until February 23, 2020, the price on the Kindle version of my book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law, has been reduced to US$9.99 (51% off) in honor of this blog’s 17th blawgiversary.

If you like this blog, you can always “Buy Me a Coffee.”

Finally, my blog is pestering me to add a link to the Amazon Wishlist it has set up for its birthday. If that’s some that appeals to you, contact me and I’ll get you shipping address info. With that, my teenaged blog seems a bit happier.

All the best and I’m hoping for another great year of blogging.

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

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Yesterday, I posted some highlights of recent reviews of my new book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law. Today, I thought it was only fair to post a couple of reviews of the even newer book I wrote with Allison Shields, Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Handbook for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals (available on Amazon).

From Niki Black’s review on Above the Law:

In this book, co-authored by Dennis Kennedy and Allison Shields, you’ll learn everything you need to know about using LinkedIn as a legal professional. There’s something for everyone in this book, regardless of whether you’ve been on Linkedin for years or whether it’s a new endeavor.

Trust me on this. As someone whose been on LinkedIn for more than a decade now and who has over 221,000 followers, I like to think I’ve got a pretty good handle on using LinkedIn. Even so, I learned about quite a few new features that I had been previously unaware of.

At the outset, the authors offer the following very important advice: if you don’t know what you’re trying to accomplish on Linkedin, you’ll have no idea whether the time you spend on LinkedIn is worth it. That’s why, as they explain, it’s so important to determine your goals in order to get the most out of LinkedIn:

“What are you hiring LinkedIn to do?”…For example, if you are “hiring” LinkedIn to help you find a job, you will use it differently than if you are hiring LinkedIn to help you fill an open position. If you want to hire LinkedIn to find new local clients for your law practice, you will do something different than if you want to hire it to help you find speaking opportunities. Our sense is that LinkedIn will work best for most lawyers and other legal professionals if they hire it to help them create, manage, and care for their network of referrers and potential referrers of business.” –

Also:

What I love about Make LinkedIn Work for You, A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals is that it forces you to think strategically. Like many other lawyers, I am reasonably good at keeping up my profile and I have a wealth of connections, which I do seek to expand on a semi-regular basis. But I am pretty terrible at participating regularly and with a plan.

As Allison and Dennis say, “The book focuses on the three parts of your LinkedIn presence that you must understand well: Profiles, Connections, and Participation.” So you can see why the book appealed to me. I needed (and got) great education on the “participation” building block that was eluding me – and I’ll bet many of you reading this are in the same leaky raft.

Things I learned about (and needed to): How to bring LinkedIn into the real world, how to nurture the LinkedIn social media network, ways to make prospective clients turn into actual clients, how to convert my Twitter followers into LinkedIn connections, and the best kind of posts (and ideas for repurposing content and attracting positive attention by using particular kinds of post).

There are a lot of gold nuggets in this book. If you know you are not using LinkedIn as effectively as you want to, give yourself the gift of this book! – Sharon Nelson

I encourage you to read the book. It gives you many, many of the practical insights and tips from what we’ve learned about LinkedIn over many years, a strong focus on strategy and leveling up your use of LinkedIn, and our helpful three essential building blocks framework.

Purchase the book here.

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

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Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

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I’ve been getting some good reviews and nice comments about my new book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations. TOday seemed like a good day to post a few of them.

It’s practical and hands-on. It’s also encyclopaedic and full of wise observations in feel and tone, rather than didactic and pushing home one particular view.

Yet, for the super-experienced Jedi masters of the mystical force known as ‘I’ – this will also act as a useful bedside book, acting perhaps as a touchstone for their own thoughts on the subject.

Overall then, I’d recommend this book. It may not change your world, but if you’re on the I-path then it may well become your trusty companion and a source of practical encouragement. – Richard Tromans

Bottom line, the book is chock full of useful and practical tips based on Dennis’ years of experience as an actual in-house counsel. The strength of the book is that it combines Kennedy’s knowledge about technology and innovation with his real work experience.

I used to have a partner who was fond of saying never identify a problem without offering a solution. The strength of the book is that it is true to this principle. It is a comprehensive look at innovation in the legal space—and more broadly, how to better practice law now and in the future. – Steve Embry

I personally enjoyed the Chapters covering techniques to optimize lawyer engagement; requests to make if you are put in charge; the use of Innovation Committees and Advisory Board; techniques to avoid with lawyers; the value proposition canvas tool; design sprints; the in-depth guidance on risk alignment and breaking through the many innovation barriers – as these are not topics that I find covered in books of this nature.

Finally, the last section including the 57 substantive tips and the recommended reading and website resources will keep me and I suspect any reader engaged for some time! – Patrick McKenna

I’ve been really apprehensive about starting my new job] but picked up a copy of Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law and already feel I have more of a frame to work with. It’s been such a helpful guide for someone who has spent a lot of my career thinking ‘I’m sure we must be able to do this BETTER’ but not really having the platform to help guide change.

Thank you very much for writing it, I’m sure I’ll be returning to it frequently over the coming months

El libro cubre de una forma bastante completa las diferentes aristas de la innovación legal con un enfoque bien práctico. Recomiendo mucho este libro para interesados en tema y mas aún para personas involucradas en proyectos que busquen generar disrupción en servicios legales.[The book covers quite completely the different aspects of legal innovation with a very practical approach. I highly recommend this book for interested parties and even more so for people involved in projects that seek to disrupt legal services.]

Your new book is coming in handy! – new law firm Chief Innovation Officer

I’ve been very pleased so far with the great reaction to the book, but, knowing me, I probably won’t be happy until everyone in the field of legal innovation has read it.

If you want a sample of the book’s content, download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

The book is a product of Kennedy Idea Propulsion Laboratory.

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

Like this post? Buy me a coffeeBuy me a coffee

DennisKennedy.Blog is now part of the LexBlog network.

LinkedIn Profile. Also, see LinkedIn showcase page for Dennis Kennedy’s books.

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

Download my FREE “57 Tips for Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law” (PDF).

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.