Law Firms in a BYOD World [Slideshow]

BYODLast month I was privileged to be invited to speak about BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) policies in law firms at the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference (check out the live blog I made of Day 1 here).  My presentation, titled Law Firms in a BYOD World, discussed the reasons why law firms need to implement not just any BYOD policy, but the right BYOD policy.

As you can see in the presentation below, the right BYOD policy does more than address the basic elements of any effective workplace policy.  To be the right BYOD policy, it must provide for regular updates, it must have universal buy-in among your employees, it must apply universally within your firm, and it must take the privacy concerns of your employees seriously.

Check out my presentation, Law Firms in a BYOD World: (more…)

7 Expensive Ways Lawyers Fail at Knowledge Management

This post is the second in my continuing series “Knowledge Management for Lawyers”
Part 1: 7 Expensive Ways Lawyers Fail at Knowledge Management
Part 2: Track Your Results!
Part 3: Establish a Routine

knowledge managementAs an attorney, particularly a litigator, I’m conscious of how much valuable information I carry with me just from my experiences as an attorney.  I’m usually able to tell you right from the start of a case whether discovery will require filing a motion to compel.  I’ll be able to tell approximately how long a mediation will take.  I’ll even be able to predict at what point during the litigation the matter is most likely to settle.

I provide better service to my client, and increase the value of the services I provide, as a result of my experience.

That’s the essence of knowledge management – a business functions primarily due to the knowledge of its employees.  The best form of knowledge management takes the best of that information so that it can be analyzed, shared, improved upon and reused.  The result is higher quality, more predictable service to our clients, and more efficiency for our firm.

So why are we failing at knowledge management? (more…)

Review: Rocket Matter for iPad

rocket matterI’ve long been a huge fan of the cloud-based practice management services, even though I have been critical of their offerings.  It’s criticism offered with love, because I don’t need any proof that they’re working to improve their products. With enterprise products like Pro Law or Amicus Attorney, you have to wait for the next version before you know whether your criticism has actually been heard.  With the cloud-based services, the response to your criticism may be just an update away.

One area that all of the cloud services have recognized has been providing mobile access to their services.  Clio has a phenomenal iPhone (and now Android) app, but it’s designed for the phone.  While it has some features that I do like on my iPad, in reality, I’m better off using the web version (which is totally fine!).

Rocket Matter, on the other hand, has decided to take advantage of the unique platform opportunities offered by the iPad, and customized an app taking full advantage of it. Recognizing that the major advantage that a tablet has over a smartphone is size, the Rocket Matter app has created a platform that provides a ton of information on one screen – which couldn’t be done effectively on a phone – while making sure it remains optimized for a touch-screen system that, despite its strengths, just isn’t the same as your desktop computer.

The results are impressive. (more…)

What’s the Point of Voluntary Cyber Security?

cyber securityA recent publication by the FDA regarding cyber security for medical devices got me wondering how ready law firms are for the true cyber security needs of the future.  The publication, official guidance to the medical device community, informs the manufacturers of medical devices that utilize wireless connectivity that it is necessary for them to consider cyber security in making their products.  Necessary, but not required.

Huh?  I don’t understand.  If the FDA believes, as their report says, that the risk of hacking medical devices is significant, why aren’t they simply requiring cybersecurity steps?  Why, before even stating the purpose of the rule, do they take a whole paragraph to emphasize that the word “should” as contained in the remaining NINE paragraphs does not indicate required action? For reference:

“FDA’s guidance documents, including this guidance, do not establish legally enforceable responsibilities. Instead, guidances describe the Agency’s current thinking on a topic and should be viewed only as recommendations, unless specific regulatory or statutory requirements are cited. The use of the word should in Agency guidances means that something is suggested or recommended, but not required.”

And how on earth does this have anything to do with lawyers? (more…)

Awareness is the Key Ingredient for a Successful BYOD Policy

byod policyI looked up at the 40-50 people who were attending my presentation at the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference, Law Firms in a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) World, and asked how many used a passcode lock on their phones.  Every hand went up.  “Well, this will be easier than I imagined,” I thought.  It was my first presentation at a conference like this, and it’s easier preaching to the choir, so to speak.

“How many use your phone for work,” was my next question.  Again, every hand in the room went up.  Then the bombshell hit.

“How many do so pursuant to a written Bring Your Own Device policy?”

Two hands.  In a room of 40-50 tech savvy lawyers. (more…)

What’s the Best Evidence of an Obsolete Law Practice?

obsoleteA dictaphone.

I have to admit I was a little surprised to hear this formerly ubiquitous tool of the legal industry identified as the demonstrative vision of an obsolete attorney.

Last week, I had the pleasure of being an invited speaker at the 2014 Clio Cloud Conference in Chicago.  Among the presentations I was able to attend was a talk about the future of legal technology by Sam Glover of  Of all the tools and items he could have listed as an example of obsolescence, there it was: the dictaphone.

He asked the crowd if anyone still used one.  I didn’t raise my hand.  Sure, I type or use voice recognition for most of my practice, but I have one plugged right next to my monitor (where it most often serves as a speaker).  The senior partners in my firm all still dictate their letters, motions, briefs, and pretty much everything else into their handy dictaphone, to be transcribed by a legal assistant.

I knew that full-time use of a dictaphone was probably obsolete, and employing someone for the sole purpose of transcribing your dictation is FAR more expensive than the best voice recognition software available.  Yet even I was surprised by what I found on my return to my office… (more…)

Best New Apps for Lawyers – August & September 2014

Fall is in the air!  Unfortunately, that means irritating and unstoppable campaign ads are on TV.  Even YouTube is sporting some annoying Americans for Prosperity ads, which just don’t seem appropriate right before a Beyonce music video.  Oh well.  At least there’s football (kind of).  And, of course, new apps.

These are my Best New Apps for Lawyers – August & September 2014:


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