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
As 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…)
I’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…)
A 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…)
I 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…)
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 Lawyerist.com. 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…)
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:
Score one for the Pennsylvania Bar Association.
All social media ethics opinions should be written this way. Sure, I admit it, the Pennsylvania Bar is a little late to the party when it comes to their most recent social media ethics opinion, but at least they did something with that time. Instead of releasing opinions piecemeal, like most states, they aggregated. There’s nothing wrong with shorter ethics opinions, but I’ve also seen too many attempts (mostly by the ABA) to put multiple issues into one opinion, only to provide an opinion that actually increases confusion.
That did NOT happen in this case. (more…)