I’m a big fan of what John Mayer is doing at the Syllabi Commons and the Teaching Technology to Law Students Special Interest Group.

He is collecting syllabi from law school course that provide opportunities for law students to learn about technology and its application and impact in the legal profession and the legal system.

I have given John and John has posted the syllabus for the Entrepreneurial Lawyering class I’m teaching this fall at the Michigan State University College of Law as part of the LegalRnD program. It’s #39 on the list. I offer in the spirit of collaboration and sharing that the Syllabi Commons is promoting.

The Entrepreneurial Lawyering syllabus owes a large debt to Ken Grady who original conceived of and taught this course. I made some small adjustments to the assignments and sequencing of the course and emphasized, not surprisingly, legal technology as a component of the course.

I’m always interested in feedback, so let me know if you have any reactions to the syllabus. And, yes, I’m aware of a couple of typos in there because I saw them on the screen when I went over the syllabus with the class. I’d also be happy to talk with others thinking of offering a class based on this model.

I tip my hat to John for his work on this and encourage others to contribute their syllabi to the effort and others to make use fo the resource for their own learning.

Photo by Christina Morillo from Pexels.com

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Now available:

The second edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

On September 7 at 12:00 noon Central time, I’ll presenting a webcast called “Looking for Data in New Tech Places.” for CLESeminars.com.

Here’s the description:

Magnifying glass and cityscape

As information flows to and from the old world of PCs and internal servers into and out of mobile devices, the “Cloud” and “Internet of Things,” the potential locations of relevant data area growing at a shocking pace. We can barely get up to speed on one technology before several new ones pop up. Once simple questions, like “what is a document?” have become complicated to answer. In this webcast, you’ll get a highly-practical survey of the new landscape of technologies where people put and keep data, sometimes unknowingly. What you aren’t aware of might hurt you.

The webinar will cover:
• Getting beyond the basics
• From documents to datasets and beyond
• Texting, in many forms
• Data storage services (Dropbox, et al.)
• Wearables
• Social media
• Photos and location
• Collaboration
• Apps that collect and store data
• Devices that collect and store data
• Knowing what those in the target culture use
• Internet of Things

More information about registration and tech requirements may be found here.

I’ve pre-recorded the webcast and will be available during the webcast to answer any and all questions in a simultaneous chat session. Please mention the webcast to anyone you think might find it useful.

Photo by Maurício Mascaro from Pexels

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Now available:

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The ever-interesting Dave Gray mentioned something called the Sideways Dictionary the other day. The Sideways Dictionary attempts to define/explain technology terms by offering analogies rather than definitions.

For example, if you look up “blockchain” on the Sideways Dictionary, you’ll (currently) start with an analogy that begins, “It’s like the minutes at a Town Hall meeting, written by two very accurate people. . . .” There are currently five blockchain analogies. Some are better than others. The one analogizing a blockchain to to a public money ledger is one that I might use. The notion of “distributed ledger system” is so essential to an understanding of blockchain.

For me, getting a good understanding takes several tries from several different directions. I read many articles on blockchain before Gwynne Monahan and I wrote our “blockchain for lawyers” article called “Lawyers Get Ready There’s a Blockchain Coming” article in January, 2017. We made a valiant attempt in the article to explain blockchain in a simple and accessible way.

When I was asked to write an article on smart contracts (essentially, blockchain applications) for lawyers, “Thinking Smartly About Smart Contracts,” I tried to improve on that explanation. You never know how successful you are.

For me, the explanation of blockchain that worked for me was in the book, The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order, by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey.

After recommending the book to others, I realized that an explanation that might be wonderful for me could be entirely opaque to someone else. I’ve sent people to podcast episodes and articles that I thought were crystal clear and had people tell me that they could not make any sense of them.

I do, however, get asked on a regular basis to point people to resources that explain “the blockchain.”

I decided to publish this post in which I have collected a bunch of useful and succinct “blockchain explainers.” My idea is to keep adding to this post as I find useful explainers. there’s no doubt that I’ve missed many good ones, so I encourage you to submit comments to this post with suggestions for additions to the list and I can add them.

My focus here is on “Blockchain 101” information, not in-depth technical discussions.

Here’s my starter list (in no particular order at the moment):

If, after that, you are ready to dig in deeper, I highly recommend that lawyers (and others) get an understanding of business aspects of blockchain. Any one of these four books should get you started:

Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin Is Changing Money, Business, and the World, by Don Tapscott and Alex Tapscott

The Business Blockchain: Promise, Practice, and Application of the Next Internet Technology, by William Mougayar

The Age of Cryptocurrency: How Bitcoin and the Blockchain Are Challenging the Global Economic Order, by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey

The Truth Machine: The Blockchain and the Future of Everything, by Paul Vigna and Michael J. Casey

Don’t be discouraged if it takes you several tries to grab hold of the concept.

If you have any other resources for the list, please let me know.

ADDITIONS TO LIST:

Symmetry Blockchain Advisors Beginner Resources (Debbie Hoffman)

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Now available:

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The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center has announced its 2018 class of Women of Legal Technology honorees. It’s a stellar list, with 25 selections made from a record-setting number of nominations.

When you add the names on this list to the names on the lists for previous years, you have around 80 great candidates for speakers at conferences, on panels, and for keynotes on legal technology. It’s a great start. I don’t want to hear the excuses about not being able to find women speakers on legal tech anymore.

They also have quite a range of accomplishments. Check out the list.

A big thank you to Heidi Alexander and the rest of the selection committee (Nicole Bradick, Natalie Kelly, Sofia Lingos, Brooke Moore, Allison Shields, and Kristen Sonday) for their work on this effort and their commitment to its goals. As Heidi put it so well, “LTRC’s Women of Legal Tech initiative is intended to encourage diversity and celebrate women in legal technology.” Let us encourage and celebrate.

As always, I encourage you to check out the resources at the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center.

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

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Now available: The new second edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Adriana Linares and I had the idea years ago to do a live videocast from the ABA TECHSHOW. We made that a reality a few years ago. Steve Best joined the team last year when Adriana was chairing TECHSHOW. The Legal Talk Network has always produced the shows.

The 2018 TECHSHOW Today videos are now available on YouTube at the links below:

We have great fun doing these shows, but the shows have really strong comment and important insights. We had some fabulous guests this year and I recommend all of these episodes. Start watching and let us know what you think.

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

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Now available: The new second edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Photo of box of books

Ten years ago, Tom Mighell and I wrote the first edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together. We decided that it was time for a second edition. The photo to the right is the box of books that arrived at my house recently. For an author, that’s when it really feels like the book is finally done.

For the reader, however, it’s probably more meaningful that the book is available for purchase more so than that I have received my copies.

The good news is that you can now purchase the book from the ABA Bookstore. Only the paperback version is currently available. I’m told that the eBook version will be available in the near future. Check my blog and the ABA Bookstore page for the book for details on that.

Much has changed in the last ten years, so the book has many revised and new chapters, including an all new chapter on Slack. It is just one on several now important tools that didn’t even exist ten years ago.

While writing the book, Tom and I noted a few big changes:

  1. The movement to smartphones and mobile apps is probably the biggest trend in this area.
  2. Most lawyers and others now understand the potential and the utility of the cloud.
  3. Names have changed, but many collaboration technology concepts have stayed the same.
  4. Culture and process are ultimately more important than specific technologies and tools.

In my opinion, the book is even better than before and I encourage you to look into the book, consider buying it, and definitely recommend it to your friends.

We are in the rollout stage for the book. If you regularly review books for a legal audience and would like a reviewer copy, please let Tom or me know. Both of us expect to be speaking on this topic, so contact us if that is a good topic for your group.

Writing a book is hard work, but it’s great to get to unveil the result to the world.

Ordering information for book can be found here.

 

 

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

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Now available: The new second edition of The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

One of my favorite projects during my time as chair of the board for American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center has been the annual Women of Legal Tech list.

In 2015, Heidi Alexander posted a great list of women in the field of legal technology on the Law Technology Today blog. In 2016, she brought the concept to the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center to turn it into an annual recognition event.

There has been some evolution of the concept. For example, there is now a nomination and selection process, and there is a new class each year, which I think makes the combined list especially helpful to those looking for women speakers, authors and experts.

The 2017 class was announced at ABA TECHSHOW 2017. The list of this year’s class and earlier classes can be found here.

The 2018 class will be announced at ABA TECHSHOW 2018.

To submit nominations and learn about the process, go to this post on the Law Technology Today blog. Submit early and submit often. Self-nominations allowed and encouraged. The deadline is March 1, 2018.

Nomination form.

 

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My first published article of 2018 has appeared in Law Practice magazine and it’s called “Thinking Smartly About Smart Contracts.”

The editors of the magazine approached me a while back to see if I wanted to write a blockchain article that would introduce lawyers and others to the blockchain concept and its implications. I told them that I felt that the article Gwynne Monahan and I wrote last year (“Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming“) was still a good starting point. However, I said, I was willing to write an article that was a primer about “smart contracting,” which is a next big step in blockchain evolution. They liked the idea and the result is this article.

Smart contracts can be thought of as “apps” that run on blockchains and embed “if-then” logic so that certain activities occur automatically. People have been intrigued by how they might take the place of standard legal contracts in certain situations.

My article introduces the key concepts, gives some examples, and suggests ways that smart contracts might impact lawyers and the legal system.

The money quote:

Smart contracting could help people who can’t afford lawyers or in areas like online commerce where lawyer involvement in every dispute is not practical because of the amounts involved or volume. Removing commodity legal work also frees lawyers to do more creative, high-value work.

This article is my contribution to getting conversation started about blockchains and smart contracts. I’ve been very pleased by the positive reaction the article has gotten already. Let me know what you think. And check out the rest of the issue of the magazine – there are some very good articles on important topics.

 

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

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In 2015, Heidi Alexander posted a great list of women in the field of legal technology on the Law Technology Today blog. Last year, she brought the concept to the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center to turn it into an annual recognition event.

There has been some evolution of the concept. For example, there is now a nomination and selection process, and there is a new class each year, which I think makes the combined list especially helpful to those looking for women speakers, authors and experts.

Continue Reading Congratulations to LTRC Women of Legal Tech 2017

I had a great time at the recent ABA TECHSHOW 2017. Congratulations to Adriana Linares and the whole TECHSHOW team. I would sum up my experience as fun, fun, fun.

If you want more details than that, including the reflections and insights of both Tom Mighell and me, check out the latest episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on the Legal Talk Network. It’s called “The Who, What, and Why of ABA TECHSHOW 2017.” Tom and I had a lot of fun, fun, fun recording that episode.

My main role at TECHSHOW was co-hosting the TECHSHOW Today live video cast with co-host Steve Bell and a whole bunch of great guests. It was really fun, fun, fun. The recordings of the six shows are available for replay here. I like them all, but you might start with the Friday afternoon episode on Women of Legal Tech with ABA President Linda Klein, Heidi Alexander, Nicole Bradick, Brooke Moore and Kristen Sonday.

I enjoyed hosting TECHSHOW Today so much that I was telling people I preferred doing the video show to speaking at sessions. Hard to believe for me, but it definitely was fun, fun, fun.

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

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