Where was this during Beer for Blawgers at ABA TECHSHOW 2012? I want one!
Where was this during Beer for Blawgers at ABA TECHSHOW 2012? I want one!
Again this year, the always exciting 60 Sites in 60 Minutes plenary session concluded ABA TECHSHOW 2012. Natalie Kelly, Dan Pinnington, Catherine Sanders Reach and I shared variety of serious and funs sites with the packed room. For those that could not make it, here is a full list of the sites we presented:
Sites to help you do your job
Technology tools and sites
Social media tools & resources
Law practice management
Online privacy and dangers
If you liked these sites, you can see the sites that were featured in previous ABA TECSHOW 60 Sites in 60 Minutes presentations as well as the ABA TECSHOW 60 Sites in 60 Minutes Hall of Fame
If you have not had a chance to attend ABA TECHSHOW, now is your opportunity to sample the quality of the educational sessions. The ABA Law Practice Management Section, producer of the annual technology conference has, for the first time, released most of the slide presentations that accompany the sessions. Take a look at the range of sessions that each year attracts over a 1,700 lawyers, IT staff, paralegals, legal assistants, and product vendors to attend the 3-day conference in Chicago.
The educational sessions are just one part of TECHSHOW; the networking, vendor expo, and one-on-one interaction with many of the top law practice technology experts in the country make it a truly valuable experience.
Take a taste now, but be sure to attend the entire conference March 29-31, 2012 in Chicago!
I keep seeing wireless companies advertising they have 4G speed or the largest 4G network, but I started to wonder about the claims and what they really meant. The tiny print in the TV ads provided some guidance that there are limits to the claims. However, it was not until I read this interesting article from Engadget that provided clarity to the ad claims. Bottom line? 4G might really be 3.5G or other fraction above 3 but below 4. An interesting read . . .
The practical information from ABA TECHSHOW 2010 continues to flow across the Internet and through the blogosphere, as lawyers absorb all the great nuggets of information from the conference. Here's a few you might have missed:
The ABA Journal's Rachel Zahorsky covered my 60 iPhone Apps in 60 Minutes seminar with Jeff Richardson, and proclaimed it "the crowning glory of the TECHSHOW Mac track". Why thanks, Rachel, I'm blushing!
The ABA Journal also covered the Google Tools for Lawyers session presented by Mark Rosch and Dan Pinnington, who delved behind the "more" link on the Google home page to highlight some great tools to help lawyers in practice.
IgniteLaw is the latest brain-child of LexThink's Matt Homann and was a smash success. Sixteen legal practice management and technology leaders each had 6 minutes to present a thought-provoking presentation for a sold-out audience of over 150 of their peers. Videos of each are available on the LexThink YouTube channel.
Plus, a number of legal technology developers showcased new products or product improvements at TECHSHOW, including SpeakWrite, Clio, RocketMatter, Esquire Solutions, and ContractExpress. The expo hall at TECHSHOW never ceases to amaze me with some of the latest tech tools for every lawyer--most of them leading edge, not bleeding edge products!
Finally, only show attendees have access to all the papers and presentations from TECHSHOW, but the conference finale, 60 Sites in 60 Minutes, is posted on-line to allow everyone a small flavor of the three-day show.
If you missed the 2010 edition of ABA TECHSHOW, you missed some great ideas for your law practice. However, Jim Calloway covers some very good tips in the March/April edition of Law Practice magazine.
The article include tips on using Excel, Outlook (including an oldie but goodie from me), and Acrobat, as well as some nifty utilities like SimplyFile and Copy2Contact.
Jim's article is only be a small slice of the ideas from a full three days of TECHSHOW, but if you like it, plan to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2011 in Chicago, April 11-13.
Right before our eyes a major transformation is occurring within the legal profession. I believe 2010 will emerge as a year that we will look back upon as a tipping point. A year where lawyers left behind the traditional confines of their office walls—no longer tethered by phone cords, computer cords, or real estate leases--to practice where and when it suits their needs and the needs of their clients. 2010 will be the year that being small, mobile, and almost expense-free went mainstream.
Several trends are intersecting to drive this major transformation. They include the rapid innovation of mobile technology, the changing perceptions of consumers, economic trends that are squeezing the bottom line for many law firms, and the rise of solo and small law firms started by big firm refugees. Let me identify and discuss how these trends are coming together to change the practice of law in fundamentals ways, and whether the Apple iPad is the tipping point in this change.
Technology Trends are Powering Change
The strongest trend is the exploding use of mobile technology because of significant recent innovations within that field. For several years laptop computers have outsold their desktop counterparts, so that more workers--including lawyers—can be productive when outside of their office environment. Being tied to a desk for 8+ hours a day is receding as the norm. Workers can take a laptop home, to a coffee shop around the corner, or to a conference a continent away and be able to do almost everything they could do while sitting at their desk.
Over the past several years we've also witnessed a dramatic maturing of the smart phone, such that more models have capabilities almost equal to many laptops. Blackberries, iPhones and Android phones all have functionalities that just a few years ago were limited to desktop and laptop computers–and they now do things no desktop or laptop ever did.
And thanks to iPhone Apps as well as now Google and Palm Apps, these phones are becoming more productive daily. Look at the growth of the Apple App Store and how Blackberry, Palm, and Google followed suit. Sure there are tons of games, but also a huge rise in the number of productivity apps like DocumentsToGo, various calendar and task management apps, and even legal-specific apps like Black’s Law Dictionary, Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and numerous ones listing state statutes.
These changes will accelerate in 2010 not only because the hardware and applications continue to mature, but conductivity, speed, and reliability are maturing too. This smart phone connectivity trend began to really accelerate in 2009 with the launch of the iPhone 3GS, and continued with the release of the Droid late in the year. Phone companies no longer tout lots of free minutes, but speeds at which you can transfer data. In fact, just last week two of the largest wireless carriers significantly dropped the price for talking on a cell phone, but not transferring data—that side of the wireless business is still growing and generating huge profits.
Beyond cell services, we're also finally seeing the maturing of wireless broadband so that most lawyers can be connected 24/7. Wireless broadband subscribers grew by 90% in the US in 2009, fueled by both a growth in coverage areas and lower pricing. The price for this wireless service has dropped by 30% and more over the past severa1 years. We are also seeing the increase in WiMax connectivity, although that has been slowed somewhat by the poor economy. WiMax is the next generation in wireless data transfer that promises faster data transfer than current 3G networks.
Not only is mobility changing for lawyers, but for their clients as well. Individual and business clients are using technology to spend less time in the office; and many start-up businesses are forgoing the expense of office space. With the rise of tools such as Skype and GoToMeeting, more people are conducting meetings on-line rather than always in person. And how soon will we see a case where a client at a police stop calls his lawyer to oversee the interaction via his iPhone using the UStream Broadcast app?
The Busy Lawyers Guide to Success had to make my guide this year—and no, not because I co-authored it—because it is the perfect gift for any lawyer! This compact book will help every lawyer—partner, associate, or solo-improve their practice without wading through dozens of web sites, mountains of magazine articles, or pouring through stacks of books to get to the useful essence of the author's wisdom. With over 700 tips and ideas organized into 140 pages, the book is full of practical tips, tricks, and ideas that are sure to make any lawyer even more successful. is now available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Chapters (in Canada), and the ABA Webstore.
MoGo Presenter Mouse PC™ is a combined wireless presenter and computer mouse that stores and charges inside your laptop’s PC/ PCMIA card slot. The sleek design and size make it ideal for lawyers on the go. It includes the same functionality as conventional optical wireless mice--scroll, right click, left click--without the bulky, oversized design. With the push of a button, the MoGo Presenter Mouse PC™ turns into a wireless presenter, allowing you to control your PowerPoint presentations with 30 feet of freedom.
Plug the Green Button into any USB port of your computer, and
then tap it each time you’ll be away from your computer for more than a few minutes. It puts your computer into a low-power state to save energy until you return. Going green--it’s not just for tree-hugger lawyers anymore! Under $20.
Law Comix is an irreverent website for irreverent lawyers created by the irreverent mind of Charles Pugsley Fincher, J.D. The site is full of irreverent cartoons which are available for sale on mugs, steins, calendars or t-shirts from his Law Comix store. Go. Be irreverent. Enjoy.
LawTunes is the brainchild of litigator Lawrence Savell who cleverly writes, performs and produces humorous songs about the legal profession and the lawyers who inhabit it. Larry’s catalogue of lawyer-focused CDs now includes his fourth holiday album, Season’s Briefings from the LawTunes. His on-line webstore conveniently provides clips of all his songs so you can pick the CD that will tickle the funny bone of your favorite lawyer!
So with that, beam me up the chimney, Scotty, it’s time to get out of here!
NEWLY ADDED GIFT IDEAS--Having spent time snooping around on Black Friday and Cyber Monday and seeing what's on store shelves, I've added a few more gifts sure to please the lawyers in your life:
With dual PC monitors now populating many lawyer desks across the globe, can dual screen laptops be far behind? In fact, they are available now, including the W700ds from Lenovo. It sports a 17-inch screen and a pull-out 10.6 inch screen. It’s on sale now for $2,100. But if you wait a few days, gScreen Computer Corporation is set to release their Spacebook laptop with two 17-inch monitors that collapse into the space of one. With a powerful Intel Dual Core2 processor and Windows 7 operating system, you could be the first lawyer in your circuit to unfold one of these babies at counsel table. Not yet available in stores, gScreen plans an on-line sales event on December 15th for a few lucky customers. Price tag? Around $2,800 according to the gScreen blog.
Finland-based Nokia is expanding their market presence in the U.S. with the addition of their sleek new netbook, the Nokia Booklet 3G. With an Intel Atom processor, Windows 7, and a 12-hour battery, this newcomer is sure to turn heads. Right now it’s a Best Buy exclusive for only $300 with an AT&T mobile broadband activation.
I started publishing this annual guide partly because I was tired of all the junky
items adorned with the "scales of justice" being touted as great lawyer gifts. What lawyer wants that “junque”? Unfortunately, that’s what family and friends seem to think we want! One company that does a good job of avoiding the junk and appealing to lawyers is The Billable Hour Company, with gift items that fit the profession. Not every gift will fit your lawyer, but they have a nice variety of items from games to desk accessories to watches that keep time in 10ths of an hour. Clever, tasteful, and fun!
Kindle2: To be sure, I don’t have one of these, but several lawyers I know are nutty for the second edition of this electronic book platform. If you haven’t at least played with one, you should. It is a solid piece of technology. That said, some of us still prefer the look and feel of a real book; however, if the lawyer in your life has even hinted about this don’t hesitate to buy it. And if you do, add in The Busy Lawyer’s Guide to Success, which just became available for the Kindle this past week. (Another shameless plug, I know!)
Believe it or not, 80’s arena rockers, REO Speedwagon, have released a Christmas album, Not So Silent Night featuring their versions of traditional holiday songs. Yeah, I thought that too, but head to iTunes (or wherever) and listen. Neither outrageous or sedate, it hits somewhere between the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Bruce Springsteen. I bet you “Can’t Fight This Feeling” and buy it like I did.Merry Christmas and happiest of holidays to all.
Twitter seems to be taking the legal profession by storm these days, yet many lawyers have either not heard of Twitter or do not understand the basics of what this free new service is all about.
New York Times tech guru, David Pogue, does a great job explaining what he thinks Twitter is and how to get started--I mean, he is an uber-techie and he was scratching his head about it! Yet, I am not sure he gets basic enough for many of us.
The "Getting Started" resources on Twitter are helpful to get started, but I still wanted more depth and explanation of what to expect. So I found several more educational posts on Twitter basics:
The jury is still out on the benefits of lawyers using Twitter; however, I like what I see so far. Twitter is another tool to quickly communicate with a large audience that should be added to a lawyer's marketing arsenal. I also look forward to presenting a session on Twitter and other Web 2.0 media with Steve Matthews at the ABA TECHSHOW in April.
Oh, and once you've set up your Twitter account, be sure to follow me on Twitter!
PCWorld released their Best of CES 2009 slideshow, highlighting their view of the best ideas from the annual Consumer Electronics Show that recently wrapped up in Las Vegas. Most of the ideas are just fun and interesting, but a few caught my eye as being applicable to lawyers.
High-definition pocket camcorders like the Kodak Zi6 and Flip Ultra are all the rage for the average consumer, with excellent clarity, ease of use, and the low-cost--priced under $200! Lawyers should consider purchasing and using these for a range of activities including memorializing certain events, such as will signings, personal property inventories, or recording and uploading short informational videos for clients to access via your website.
Pico-projectors--pocket-sized presentation projectors--continue to grab attention because of their bang-for-the-buck capabilities.
Yeah, I love tech gadgets. I gotta get to CES one of these years!