I assume that you are using the term “geek attorney” in the most positive sense of the term. I also note that you used the word “receive” rather than “read” in your question. I’ll have some thoughts on that, maybe more than you want, at the end of this post.
Blogs have greatly changed the dynamic and my answer. It’s increasingly difficult for print publications to compete for “attention space” with blogs.
The questioner mentioned a post of mine last year that praised the PLI Lawyer’s Toolbox Newsletter, which is one of several great newsletters from PLI. PLI has also moved to RSS feeds for some of its upcoming webinar listings and other resources.
It’s an example of some of the great stuff out there. You need to keep your eyes open for stuff that might be useful to you.
I do have some standard recommendations that I’ll give and then give you a few thoughts about what I think it takes to develop a level of knowledge about these topics. You might think it’s a little harder than it looks.
For print publications, I like the big three of Law Office Computing, Law Practice Magazine and Law Technology News. They each take slightly different approaches. If you’re serious, you’ll want to read all three.
I’m on the board of the ABA’s Law Practice Today webzine, so I may be biased, but it’s an extremely good resource and it’s free.
TechnoLawyer.com is mandatory, in my opinion.
I also recommend that you subscribe to one of the standard computer magazines. My current choice is Computer Shopper, but any of them would be a good choice: PC Magazine, PC World, and several others. Don’t overdo it, but it’s good to keep tabs on popular computing issues.
I also like the free trade publications. Again, you only need to read/skim one. The idea is to get a feel for larger trends and the industry. ComputerWorld, InfoWorld and eWeek are examples. You shuld be able to qualify for a free subscription. For bigger issues and enterprise issues, you can’t beat CIO, CFO, CSO and that family of magazines. Baseline is one of this type of publications that I think is quite useful.
These give you a great base at almost no expense.
You might also explore some of the specialty trade publications. I really like KM World and eContent, for example. Presentations magazine is great for both presentation skills aricles and info on presentation technology. Many of these are free to qualified subscribers.
If you have areas of specific interest, you’ll probably want to find something targeted to those interests. You might find magazines, trade pubs or newsletters. It just takes a little research.
There are also tons of great email newsletters on almost any tech topic you can think of. I like the Microsoft newsletters a lot these days. Tom Mighell‘s Internet research newsletter often has great practical tips and info.
Almost all of the trade publications have excellent email newsletters. Obviously, you can get inundated with all of these newsletters. I generally scan them and move them by rule into a special folder. That folder then becomes a great research database for me.
It should not surprise anyone that I have a real passion about technology and the Internet and my reading list will confirm that. I also realize that not everyone either reads as much or as quickly as I do, or has the same level of interest that I do, so you want to use good judgment in what you read. Choose some examples from the different categories. You might adopt my “research folder” approach to email newsletters.
However, subscribing to the RSS feeds of legal tech and tech blogs is clearly a great way to go to get selected information identified by bloggers who know what they are talking about.
I also recommend reading at least one or two magazines or newsletters on topics that do not relate to any of these topics. You will often see that they provide new perspectives and help you see tech issues in new ways.
By the way, I can point you in some good directions, but there’s no easy way to develop a level of expertise – it takes hard work. And, like all things, the more you know, the more you realize how little you know. I’ve long had the gift of being able to read very quickly, so that’s a help.
Where do I find the time? It’s just part of what I do, like how others find time to learn what they need to learn to be good at what they do. It’s comparable to the time anyone needs to put into training and practice to be good at anything. I always laugh when someone wonders how I can find things on the Internet or do other things and then wants me to teach it to them in a few minutes. It only took me more than ten years and countless hours to reach that point. You have to be willing to put in some time and effort.
And, my best trick – I don’t even try to read everything in all of these resources. Take a look at the table of contents and rip out the articles you want to read. Throw the rest out and then concentrate your reading on what you have ripped out. It’s OK to tear up and throw away magazines.
I attribute a lot of what I can do to the speed I can read. You might want to invest in a speed-reading course. In a way, RSS feeds offer you a great way to improve the selection and quality of what you read, effectively making you a faster reader than you might be now.
I also have the gift of being able to read documents upside-down, a great skill for a lawyer – but that’s a story for another day.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]