Technology-Lawyer

Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Archive for February, 2003

Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content

Friday, February 28th, 2003

Well, I’ve finally found the blog primer book I have been looking for. I spent last evening devouring Biz Stone’s book called “Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content” (now 30% off at Amazon.com). The book is very practical, not too heavy on the technical jargon and written with a great, casual style. It’s full of great practical tips (like linking mentions of books through your Amazon Affiliate ID). One of the blurbs for the book calls it “casual and humorous, but authoritative” and I think that that’s a great description. If you’d rather learn about blogs in one handy book rather than chase around the web looking for articles and faqs, this book is the one I’d recommend to start with.

A Short Interview with Dennis on Lawyer Blogs

Friday, February 28th, 2003

Jim Calloway, Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program and all-around great guy, interviewed me the other day by email about the lawyer blogging phenomenon. Here are his questions and my answers:
1. Why did you become a lawyer blogger?
It’s a great new medium for short, to-the-point, articles with links. Blogs are tailor-made for writers, but the real attraction is something known as RSS feeds, which allow you to have an instant audience for your work. Other than that, someone pointed out to me that I had first written about blogs nearly two years ago and wondered why I didn’t have one.
2. What do you see in the future of lawyer blogs, or blawgs?
For certain lawyers, they can become a new and valuable channel for communication to clients and potential clients and they can quickly help a lawyer establish credibility and expertise in a niche area. Blogs are Internet resource tailored to writers and people who like headlines and short coverage of breaking events and developments. They will not replace browsers or the web, but they will capture and be important for certain segments of people, much like instant messaging, chat or newsgroups each have audience segments. The good news is that the likely audience for blogs is an educated, tech-savvy audience who are interested in the written word – a good audience for lawyers.
3. What are some of you favorite blogs besides your own?
The original blog that I found and followed is the blog of Dave Winer, a blogging pioneer, which is called Scripting News (http://www.scripting.com) and is definitely worth a look to give you an idea of what a blog is.
There’s been an explosion (well, a couple every day, it seems like) of new law-related blogs, sometimes called “blawgs.” Ernie the Attorney (http://radio.weblogs.com/0104634/) is the definitive example of a lawyer blog. It’s excellent and, if you want to look at a blog to get a feel for what they are about for lawyers, this is the place I would start. One thing I like about blogs is that they give me a good way to keep up with what some of my friends are thinking and doing. For that reason, I like Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific blog (http://www.bespacific.com) and Jerry Lawson’s Net.Law.Blog (http://www.netlawblog.com) – lots of great stuff in both blogs. There are some subject matter blogs that are great – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog (http://trademark.blog.us/blog/) is a great example of this type of blog. For solos and small firms, there’s the excellent MyShingle.com (http://www.myshingle.com), although some purists may quibble whether it technically is a blog, but the key thing is that it has an RSS feed. Finally, although I’m leaving out a lot of good ones, Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites (http://www.legaline.com/lawsites.html) and Tom Mighell’s Inter Alia (http://www.inter-alia.net/) both do a great job of, among other things, covering blogs that are useful to lawyers.
4. Do you have any tips for the lawyer blogger wannabee?

  • It’s like 1995 and web pages – if you launch a law blog now, you’ll always be considered one of the pioneers.
  • The key to understanding the utility, promise and excitement of blogs is understanding the value of RSS feeds, sometimes referred to as news feeds or channels. Before you think about launching a blog, download a news aggregator, such as Amphetadesk (http://www.disobey.com/amphetadesk/). Amphetadesk is free and simple. Install it and start subscribing to a bunch of channels that interest you and get a feel for how the feeds work. It you see the value, you will get the bug to do your own blog.
  • I would suggest thinking about narrowly defined subject areas, but I suspect that you still have a shot at becoming the first or a premier law blog in your city or state.
  • Watch to see what is happening out there. Ernie the Attorney keeps a list of law-related blogs (http://radio.weblogs.com/0104634/outlines/Law%20Blogs.html) and there are other lists as well.

An Information Explosion Contained All on One Page

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

This post from The Shifted Librarian blog captures precisely the essence of what I feel is the true potential of RSS feeds and news aggregators. I’m not sure that it can be said any better than: “Yes, it’s an information explosion contained all on one page and you don’t have to do the work! . . . It won’t be a “technology” – it will just be useful.” Awesome.

Practical Techniques for Taming Legal Bills

Thursday, February 27th, 2003

Law.com has an article today called Cracking the Whip by Catherine Aman that focuses on four stories about ways corporate legal departments have forced reductions in legal fees. Of special interest are the comments of Jeff Carr, who I’ll be co-presenting with on a related topic at ABA TechShow. Lawyers and law firms who don’t get this issue aren’t going to get the business in the near future.

Legal Trends in Technology Outsourcing for 2003

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

Probably the most important development in information technology law has been the movement away from classic software licensing to technology outsourcing arrangments, such as application service providers. The number of issues in a standard software license deal pale in comparison to the number of legal and business issues raised when outsourcing is involved. Many companies have learned a painful and expensive lesson in the past year or two by treating outsourcing deals on a “contracts as usual” basis.
Paul Roy has an excellent article in Outsourcing Journal called “Legal Outsourcing Trends – A Look Ahead” that highlights some of the key issues and developments in this growing area of law. Based on my experience, his comments are dead-on correct. I’m not saying that this area is the equivalent of legal brain surgery, but this is definitely one area where good intentions, good feelings and a “let’s just keep it really simple and not involve the lawyers” approach makes sense. Nor does it make much more sense for lawyers unfamiliar with the special issues to jump in without any help.

Doing Technology So People Matter

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

There was a fascinating story on CNN.com about a project to bring wireless web access to a low income housing development, using the wireless “cloud” to span the digital divide. The article is intriguing not for just the story it tells, but for its implications in a number of settings, including rural ones. Read this story along with a companion piece on a cybercafe planned for Mount Everest and I defy you not to have new ideas on what we can do with the Internet.

News That Comes to You – A Great Intro to News Aggregators

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

J.D. Lasica’s article, “News That Comes to You: RSS feeds offer info-warriors a way to take the pulse of hundreds of sites” is as good a “you want to get started in learning about this” article on RSS feeds and news aggregators as I have seen. I enjoy his realistic assessment of news feeds and where they show the most utility. A great article to give to those just dipping their toes into news feeds.

The Double Helix at 50

Wednesday, February 26th, 2003

I love Internet resources that allow me to jump in and get up to speed on a topic, all in one place, particularly good, readable, plain language stories about scientific concepts. The New York Times has a nice retrospective set of articles on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of DNA (free registration required) that makes for a pleasant and educational diversion.

ABA TechShow 2003 Reminder

Monday, February 24th, 2003

Just a reminder that the time for ABA TechShow 2003 in Chicago is drawing near. TechShow has turned into my major opportunity each year to meet in person and visit with people involved in legal technology who I’d otherwise only know through e-mail, articles, listservs or, now, blogs. Plus, I get the chance to speak on some interesting topics.
There’s plenty of attractions at TechShow, but I’d certainly enjoy getting the chance to meet more of the people interested in this field. If you’re thinking about going to TechShow this year, let me nudge you a bit in the direction of deciding to go.

MyShingle.com – Perfect Example of a Great Web Resource

Monday, February 24th, 2003

I’ve been doing a bit of research lately about technology for solos and small firms and could not believe how difficult it was to track down relevant information on the Internet. There’s great stuff out there, but, man, it is scattered all over the place.
Then, a few blogs pointed me to MyShingle.com. This site is a superior example of what I like to find in a web site – timely, relevant, updated information, collected in one place in an understandable manner. It’s fun to return to and the RSS feed makes keeping up with the site very easy. Plus, it has not only some of the great resources that I had laboriously tracked down, but much, much other great stuff, nicely collected and presented. In particular, the very useful Going Solo section gives easy access to most everything the solo or contemplating solo would want to find.
Five stars. Had I known about this site a few weeks ago, it would have made my research infinitely easier.