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. 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 January, 2008

Returning to The Internet Roundtable

Tuesday, January 8th, 2008

I was doing some research last night (for this) and wanted to find the first time that I had written about blogging for lawyers in a published article.
I actually know the answer to this question because Jerry Lawson likes to have fun and point out that I first suggested that blogs could be a great marketing vehicle for lawyers more than two years before I actually got around to launching my own blog.
So, if you go back to December 2000, in column #15 of The Internet Roundtable, a long-running series of articles on Internet marketing I co-wrote with Jerry Lawson and Brenda Howard, you’ll find me saying:

“Blogs” . . . are my new favorite web phenomenon. In essence, they allow you to put an ongoing web journal of your writings on your web site, almost like a daily diary. If your site is designed to accentuate your personality, a blog might be a fascinating tool to let you easily put up opinions, idea and thoughts and get your audience to return on a regular basis.

Jerry’s response was quite prescient, as always. In part, he said, “For most lawyers, blogs would be a fiasco, possibly even dangerous. On the other hand, for a few lawyers, they could be perfect.”
The Internet Roundtable columns are some of my very favorite articles. We wrote 36 of them over a three-year period, all published on (although #36, which included Ernest Svenson and Tom Mighell in a discussion of blogging, seems to be missing). They were written as a conversation and I’ve used that “roundtable” format extensively over the years. It’s such a great way to write good multi-authored articles.
We would pick a simple aspect of Internet marketing and kick around some of the basic ideas and concepts and offer practical insights and tips.
So, last night I looked through some of the articles. I still enjoy them and was struck by how relevant the discussions still are and how much you can learn from the articles. The columns seem to have captured some of the core principles of successful websites and improved web presence. It’s interesting to see how, today, blogs, by their very nature, allow you to automatically execute some of the best elements of good content strategies.
We had a good number of guest authors, in a way a who’s who in legal websites and Internet marketing from the late 1990s and pre-blog era. For example, there’s a great column with Kevin O’Keefe talking not about blogs, but about creating virtual communities, the area where Kevin gained a lot recognition. Definitely worth a read.
I created this link, based on a search term, to give you quick access to the full set Internet Roundtable columns. If that link doesn’t work for you, head over to the great site and run a search on “internet roundtable.” Take a look. You’ll probably find an idea or two that you can use for your website or blog. It’d be nice to see these articles get a fresh life.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Read the blog posts and RSS feed items I find most interesting on Google Reader Shared Items or subscribe to its RSS feed. High volume, but lots of interesting items that will get you thinking.
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Talking Legal Technology for 2008

Monday, January 7th, 2008

Angela Wilson interviewed me about a wide variety of legal technology topics for the ESQ Soundbytes podcast that appears in the most recent issue of the ESQ newsletter (link to mp3). It’s described as “attorney and ABA technology columnist Dennis Kennedy sharing what you need to know about PCs, social networking, and helpful technological gadgets.”
I enjoyed the interview, as you probably can tell from the recording, and there’s some good information in the podcast. Thanks to Angela, who is doing a great job with these podcasts, and to the Missouri Bar, which is again pioneering ways to use technology for lawyer (and consumer) education.
For those looking for insights into where technology is taking the legal profession, let me recommend Neil Squillante’s TechnoLawyer’s 2008 Predictions, which includes links to other sets of predictions for legal technology.
All of which reminds me that I need to finish my annual article on legal technology predictions.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Read the blog posts and RSS feed items I find most interesting on Google Reader Shared Items or subscribe to its RSS feed. High volume, but lots of interesting items that will get you thinking.
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By Request – Taking a Firm Completely Electronic

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

A reader asks:

I am a legal assistant in need of some quick advice. My employer recently asked me to track down a powerful and efficient program that would help take the entire firm electronic- files, client information, discovery. Is there one all-powerful program, or a line-up of key programs, that you would suggest to help take us virtual?

I get asked this question in one form or another on a regular basis.
I always suggest that the questioner take a look at the latest version of Ross Kodner‘s Paper Less Office presentation as the starting point. Let me also say congratulations to Ross on his recent wedding.
I’ve always liked Ross’s emphasis that scanning does not necessarily mean OCR and the presentation and article I link to above will help you understand the different factors that you should consider.
I’ve found that often people are really asking there is a fast, easy and inexpensive way to “go all electronic.”
My personal “quick advice” on getting something workable, simple and inexpensive in place would be to take three steps:
1. Buy an appropriate number of licenses for Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. And I do mean that you should spend the extra money on the Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional version. This way you’ll use PDF as your standard format. You can scan directly into Acrobat, and it will index your PDF files, optimize file sizes, and let you organize and manage the files. It’s a powerful all-in-one solution. Familiarize yourself with all the features of Acrobat 8 Professional and I think you’ll agree. Note, too, that PDF is becoming a standard in electronic discovery as well as electronic filing.
2.Buy an appropriate number of scanners. This takes some thought. You’ll need to think through your workflow and how “electronic” you really want to get. My general sense is that in most offices an approach with one centralized, high-end (meaning fast and able to scan lengthy docs in a large volume) and a scattering of inexpensive scanners on desktops of the people who will actually use them is a good way to start. Do some research, identify scanners that get good reviews and the features you want. I notice that Ross (and others I know) seem to like the Fujitsu scanners these days. I’ve always been happy with HP scanners.
3. Install a desktop search program that will search networked computers. I like to add the desktop search piece because it adds the search layer to your all-electronic system. Acrobat 8 does a good job on searches, but the desktop search engines are fast, impressive and invaluable. Some are free. Features tend to evolve and change, so you’ll want to check the current feature sets and prices. I believe that currently Copernic Desktop Search (free) , Google Desktop Search (free) and X1 Professional ($50 per license) will search across networked computers. You might already have other search tools on your office network, too. I’ve used Copernic for a long time and am partial to it. I’m wary of Google out of a (perhaps misplaced) concern that my local info will become part of the Google data-mining ecosystem (not a small concern for lawyers with confidential client info).
There are many variations on this theme and you can definitely take more complicated approaches or build upon software (and hardware) you already own (e.g., document management software). Each will involve the three pieces: scanning software, scanner and organization/search tool.
That’s my quick answer to an increasingly common question. I’m interested in hearing reactions and how others might answer this question today.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Get your legal technology information by audio. Check out The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast.
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A Mini Strategic Plan for Your Tech Purchases in 2008

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

My newest technology column in the ABA Journal is out and it’s called Tech Greats for ‘08: Spruce up your buying strategy for a better year.
I say: “Here are my best suggestions for planning to im­prove your technology—and your relationship with technology—in 2008. These ideas won’t cost you much money, but they will make your daily experience better than ever.”
The summary:

1. Get some storage.
2. Get a new interface.
3. Get a new bag.
4. Get an iPod.
5. Get a blog or a podcast.
6. My best advice for 2008: Learn a new skill or technology.

Read the column to get the details.
Also, a tip of the blog hat to Steve Matthews for his Clawbie awards for best Canadian law-related blogs – a great place to find some new blogs to add to your newsreader.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]
Read the blog posts and RSS feed items I find most interesting on Google Reader Shared Items or subscribe to its RSS feed. Can be high volume, but lots of interesting items that will get you thinking.
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