WordPerfect Killed Itself – David Coursey

There’s nothing that will get lawyers’ juices flowing more than a good debate about the relative merits of Word and WordPerfect.
For the life of me, I still don’t understand this phenomenon. However, I will attest to the fact that I’ve found myself in several discussions this year among otherwise seemingly rational people where glasses were raised in toasts to the glory of WordPerfect 5.1.
My memories of WordPerfect 5.1 are somewhat different. I was mainly living in the Macintosh world at the time. I don’t recall the need to memorize obscure key combinations (shift-F7 anyone) as the golden era.
David Coursey’s WordPerfect Killed Itself blog post is just what the doctor ordered for lawyers who are WP 5.1 nostalgists to get the blood boiling on a cold winter day. There are also plenty of comments to his post for bonus reading.
Coursey makes a great case for his proposition, although it is unreasonable to expect that anyone can nail the whole story in a few paragraphs.
Anyone who ever struggled with the first version of WordPerfect for Windows (who had the incredibly bad idea to change the common key commands?) will find themselves nodding in agreement to Coursey’s central argument.
Although I won’t be present at this session, ABA TECHSHOW 2005 will have a bonus informal roundtable session that we are tentatively calling a “WordPerfect Revival Meeting,” which we hope will be led by legal technology’s leading WordPerfect advocate.
For what it’s worth, I think that Word 2003 is the word processing program that really gets it right for lawyers, but that it’s OneNote that might well be the tool of choice for lawyers today. Unfortunately, most lawyers aren’t yet using Word 2003 and, if I bring up that point to WordPerfect fans, the discussion tends to go nowhere.
By the way, I’ve heard all of the arguments on the Word/WordPerfect issue many, many times, so there’s no need to try to “enlighten” me about the errors of my ways. It’s just word processing, after all. There are other programs that can do a lawyer a lot more good.

The Art of the Start

I’ve long been a fan of Guy Kawasaki. In fact, I have autographed copies of two of his books because I saw him speak back in the old days when I attended meetings of the St. Louis Macintosh Users Group (which, if memory serves me was known as GMUG, or the Gateway Mac User Group).
I’ve recently finished Guy’s latest book, The Art of the Start. As the number of dog-eared pages will attest, I found it to be another great book from Guy. I’ve got a bunch of new ideas that I hope to implement in my own business between now and the end of the year.
Guy also has some excellent comments on lawyers and the use of lawyers by businesses that I plan to comment on in the near future. There is a strong message in Guy’s discussion of lawyers that many lawyers really need to hear and there is also some wise, practical advice that businesspeople who hire lawyers really need to understand. And I’m not saying that just because I agree with Guy’s comments. More about that topic later.
Now, I’m looking for another chance to see Guy speak so I can go for the trifecta on owning autographed copies of his books and, more important, get the chance to say thank you in person.

Changing Your Notions of Legal Marketing – Law Practice Today

As you know, I’m a little biased because I am an editor of the ABA’s Law Practice Today Webzine, but the new November issue, which focuses on legal marketing, is chock full of great articles. I highly recommend that you check it out.

The four feature articles on legal marketing from four stellar authors will definitely expand your thinking about both the theory and practice of legal marketing – just in time for gearing up end of the year / beginning of the year marketing efforts.
Blawg Channeler Tom Mighell has a column covering blogs on legal (and non-legal) marketing. My contribution to this issue is called Revolutionizing Case Preparation and Client Relations with CaseMap 5 – Making It Easier to Win Cases and Clients, in which I suggest an innovative way litigators can use one of the best litigation software programs to market legal services to both existing and new clients simply by giving clients the kind of information they wish you were giving them now.
And there are even more good articles in this issue.

Reconsidering the Internet Bubble

Trader Mike points to a fascinating reconsideration of the famous Internet Bubble from Paul Graham called “What the Internet Bubble Got Right,” which discusses ten conclusions Graham draws from those frothy years.
The money quote:
“When one looks over these trends, is there any overall theme? There does seem to be: that in the coming century, good ideas will count for more. That 26 year olds with good ideas will increasingly have an edge over 50 year olds with powerful connections. That doing good work will matter more than dressing up– or advertising, which is the same thing for companies. That people will be rewarded a bit more in proportion to the value of what they create.”
Highly recommended. Interesting juxtaposition of the timing of Graham’s article and this article about cashing in Google shares.

JD Bliss Has an Article about Dennis Kennedy

JD Bliss is a blog and newsletter that covers career satisfaction issues for lawyers. I’m honored that they have published an article about me. For those of you who have wanted to know about my legal career and my story, this article probably tells as much as I have ever told in one place. For those of you who are considering making some changes in your career, I go into a fair amount of detail in describing my own approach and the recommendations I make to others.
The article is at http://www.jdbliss.com/e_article000328264.cfm.
I hope you enjoy the article and would be happy to answer questions you might have about I talk about in the article.
A special thank you to Joshua Fruchter, John Toth and everyone working on JD Bliss.
There’s also my video for Intel at http://www.intel.com/business/smallbusiness/testimonials/index.htm (look under the “Law Firm” heading) for anyone interested in seeing and hearing my thoughts about how lawyers can make good use of notebook computers, WiFi and the Intel Centrino chip.