Announcing a Blogging and Writing Experiment: Seven Legal Technology Trends for 2007 (A Series of Blog Posts)

I’ve written my annual legal technology trends/predictions article for 2007 and realized that, as in some prior years, it had taken on a life of its own. It’s quite long, even by my standards. In retrospect, I realize that I probably should have found someone who wanted me to write the extended version as a white paper for them. For the curious, my 2006 article is here, and there’s no question that there is some significant overlap (even in the phrasing, as I now notice), and that the delays in Windows Vista and Office 2007 moved some of my major 2006 predictions back to 2007. 2007 strikes me, like 2006, as a sleepy kind of year in legal technology – for most, but not all, but interesting nonetheless.
I plan to chop it down to a normal size for a published article (1,000 to 1,500 words), but have been thinking about ways that I might put the whole article out to the world. Hmm, how about on my blog?
I’ve never done a multi-part series on my blog before (even though I probably should have with some of the longer posts), so I’ve decided to take that route.
I also thought that readers might be interested in seeing my process in taking an extended piece and turning it into a publishable article. It’s always easier for me to write a longer piece than what I need and to cut it back than to write something exactly in the final format. I often use the parts I cut out for blog posts, starts for other articles, or in presentations. Some of it just disappears on the cutting room floor, often deservedly so.
So, here’s the concept.
Starting later today, I post the first of what will probably be a five (maybe four) part blog series of my article tentatively titled: “Seven Legal Technology Trends for 2007 – Widening the Digital Divide in Law Practice.”
After I finish the series, I’ll post an edited, more or less final version, and see if there is any publisher interest in publishing/reprinting the article. That will be an interesting experiment for me to see how blog publishing might impact other publishing.
I will also invite your comments and feedback on the article as it appears, so I can see what works and what doesn’t. It’s somewhat more than a first draft, but there’s definitely some work that could be done to it (but that would make it even longer).
I plan to post the article sequentially over the next few days and not interrupt the series with other posts. If I post on other topics, I’ll do that on the Between Lawyers blog (which could use a few new posts). At the end, I’ll put together both versions into a downloadable PDF.
As an aside, I’ll probably speak only on a limited number of topics this year and a presentation based on this article will be one of them.
When I’m finished, it will be time to start my annual birthday/blogiversary week, a long-standing feature of this blog that, and it’s hard to imagine this is possible, is even more misunderstood than my Blawggie awards. Think of it as a DennisKennedy.Blog reader appreciation week where I try to step out of the usual format, have a little fun, and generally thank my readers. Hey, it’s way better than a pledge drive. One of the things that has worked really well over the years has been letting vendors do free license offers and other giveaways to my readers. If you are a reader who works for a vendor and wants to try to do something along these lines, please let me know.
Next up: Seven Legal Technology Trends for 2007 – Introduction and Overview.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Learn more about legal technology at Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central page.
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  1. Jeff Carr says

    Dennis — I’m really looking forward to this series and commenting on it. While your list of 7 will no doubt be thought-provoking, I thought I’d throw one into the mix you may or may not have thought of. It may not be a 2007 trend/threat, but in my limited view, it promises to change the way legal services are delivered and what kinds of law firms and legal service providers survive into the next decade. Whetted your appetite? In my view, the most interesting technology trend that threatens to be the disruptive technology to effect massive change is wiki based knowledge sharing among corporate clients. If you agree with me that there are no truly new legal issues, only application of facts to those issues, then the game changer is to build networks of corporate clients to share content on “black letter” law. Unlike FindLaw and others, the wikipedia model can answer the challenge of too many articles and uncertainty over currentness and accuracy — wiki participants would ensure that the stuff is up to date and accurate. Law firms and legal publishers will use the platform to showcase their knowledged, but will be flamed if they refuse to participate in the open platform. This will permit corporate clients to get the basic legal principles, answer many questions more confidently and turn law firms back into what they should be — counsellors selling judgment as opposed to guild based vendors selling hours. Content, once again will become king and law firms will not be the provider of choice for that content. They will, of course, be the provider of choice for counselling, dispute resolution and other services — but will no longer be able to charge muliple clients to answer the same essential legal question time and time again. What does this mean for firms or more importantly for young lawyers? Reductions in head count, reductions in pay, appreticeships and massive disruption — but then again disruptive change tends to be just that. Change may be slow or may be dramatic, and will be brutally restisted by the status quo (remember what Machiavelli said about the agent of change). But there are other GC’s out there that think as I do and we’ll build it ourselves if others don’t help us.