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, 2008

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technology: Now Available for Preorder

Friday, February 29th, 2008

As Tom Mighell announced today, our upcoming book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, is now available for preorder at the ABA Web Store. There’s a 15% discount if you preorder now.
The “official” launch of the book will be at the ABA TECHSHOW, where Tom and I will be speaking on the topic of collaboration tools, and will be happy to sign your copy of the book. There’s still time to register for TECHSHOW or grab an Exhibit Pass and spend a day at the show.
Here’s the book description from the ABA Web Store:

This first-of-its-kind guide for the legal profession shows you how to use standard technology you already have and the latest “Web 2.0″ resources and other tech tools, like Google Docs, Microsoft Office and SharePoint, and Adobe Acrobat, to work more effectively on projects with colleagues, clients, co-counsel and even opposing counsel. In The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, well-known legal technology authorities Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell provide a wealth of information useful to lawyers who are just beginning to try these tools, as well as tips and techniques for those lawyers with intermediate and advanced collaboration experience.
Collaboration technologies and tools are the most important current developments in legal technology and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Explained with minimal technical jargon, the book focuses on highly practical and usable ideas that you can put to work straight away.
With practical advice on how to use specific tools and concrete action steps to take, lawyers and law firms at all levels will benefit from working together better.
You’ll learn:
+ The basics of collaboration and collaboration tools
+ How to select and implement tools and strategies
+ The best ways to collaborate on documents, cases, transactions, and projects
+ How to collaborate inside and outside the office
+ How to collaborate using tools you already have or own
Technology now makes it easier than ever to work with others — this is the first guide dedicated to the special requirements of the legal world with the practical steps it takes to do it right.

It’s great to be reaching the point where all of our hard work will be appearing in book form. We’re very pleased with the final version of the book and think that it is packed with solid, practical and helpful information. I encourage you to preorder now and take advantage of the 15% discount.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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8 Legal Technology Trends for 2008

Thursday, February 28th, 2008

For many years, my favorite place to publish new articles I write for my my own enjoyment (not on assignment) has been LLRX.com. My favorite article I like to write for fun is my annual legal technology trends article, which Sabrina Pacifici usually publishes on LLRX.com.
2008 once again again brings my legal tech trends article and LLRX.com together in this month’s issue – yet another great collection of articles.
This year’s article is called “Eight Legal Technology Trends for 2008 – Good Times, Bad Times or Hard Times in Legal Tech?” and you can find it here.
I like to use the article both as a way of pulling together my observations about what I think is happening in legal tech and as a discussion-starter. I suspect that some of my comments will start some conversations and not everyone will agree with me. But I wrote what I saw.
A quick overview:
1. Making Better Use of What You Already Own.
2. Lawyers Win Round 1 in the E-discovery Battle . . . by a Wide Margin.
3. Security Begins to Matter . . . Really.
4. The Death Throes for Email?
5. Going Mobile.
6. Opening Audio and Video Channels.
7. Dancing with a Recession.
8. Smart Ways to Work Together – Collaboration Tools.

Take a look. Agree? Disagree? Let me know. Or, better yet, start talking about these issues and they might affect you.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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Really Simple Competitive Intelligence

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

In my last post, I was whining about how I’ve grown impatience at waiting for articles I’ve written for print publications to appear in print.
Today, my latest technology column for the ABA Journal appeared on the online version of the magazine. In that column, I want to write about simple, practical and inexpensive ways lawyers can use technology in ways to make their lives a little easier.
In this column, called “Really Simple Competitive Intelligence,” I wanted to give a gentle introduction to RSS feeds, but in the context of how you can use them (and email alerts) to bring you information about yourself, your firm, your clients and other topics of interest with little effort and potentially big results. See what you think. This article will be a good lead-in to an article I’m involved in on competitive intelligence that will be coming out soon.
I also wrote (on a very short deadline) a sidebar for the feature article in this issue on Mac vs. PC for lawyers (by Rick Georges and Ben Stevens), where I was asked to do some quick recommendations/descriptions of three Macs and three Windows PCs (it’s after the main article). Of course, new products have come out since I wrote this. I’m intrigued by the new MacBook Pros with multi-touch and I’m starting to be influenced by Ernie the Attorney who seems to be ditching his old girlfriend Google (inside joke) for the Mac Air.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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Tom Collins on Law Firm Management Blogs

Tuesday, February 26th, 2008

A special welcome to first-time visitors who found this blog via Tom Collins’ post on Recommended Blogs for Those Involved in Law Firm Management on the More Partner Income blog.
It’s always nice to have your work recognized and I appreciated Tom adding this blog to his very useful list of recommended blogs. It’s great to find my blog on such an impressive list and I appreciate Tom’s nice comments about me.
I’ve definitely noticed more interest than ever before in blogs on the part of law firm management types in the last year or so. In large part, that’s due to the large amount of high quality and timely information and commentary about law firm management topics you find every single day on blogs that cover this topic.
Tom’s list is an excellent place to start, but don’t stop with his list. Be sure to explore on your own and find some more great blogs that will bring you great, practical and timely info on the subjects that matter to you.
Hmm, I notice that I keep mentioning timely information. As a writer, one of the greatest things about blogging is instant publication and getting your written immediately in front of your audience. I currently have several articles (and very good article, if I say so myself) written from more than a month to several months ago that are still waiting to come out in print. Since I usually don’t write on the same topics until an article I’ve written appears it print, it bothers me not to have that article and other thoughts on the same topic out. I’ll also be very happy when the book is out – I’ve never ever had so much material written for so long that hasn’t appeared in print or on the Internet. That will change soon, though, with the book release in a couple of weeks.
If you haven’t seen Tom’s post on recommended blogs for law firm management, then what are you waiting for? Head on over and check it out.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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KM for Legal Apps

Monday, February 25th, 2008

Judith Lamont’s KM World article “KM for Legal Apps: Time is Money” gives a good picture of some of the practical uses law firms are making with knowledge management applications. Conflict-checking, integrating paper and electronic document management and enhanced full-text search are some of the uses highlighted in the article.
The article also highlights a number of KM and other tech tools being used, including Microsoft SharePoint, something on which I’m quoted in the article. As Judith points out, “Kennedy also expects the various products used in law firms to work better together, more as an integrated whole than a series of functionally unrelated products.”
An interesting theme that the article covers is the move by law firms to find integrated search tools inside the firm and how KM products (sometimes already owned by firms) offers the potential to fill that need.
The money quote:

It’s one thing to fail to locate a document on the Internet using Google, but when in-house resources cannot be accessed effectively, time is wasted and complaints are loud.

There are some very good ideas in this article. Highly recommended.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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Dennis Kennedy’s Links of the Week – February 24, 2008

Sunday, February 24th, 2008

Links of the Week is a regular feature on this blog where I list some of the most interesting links I’ve found during the previous week – sort of a “best of” from my Google Reader Shared Items. The idea is that I pick out a set of links that I might have wanted to write about or that I found especially thought-provoking or useful. I might or might not agree with the posts or items I link to, but I found them to be something I wanted to share.
In general, I’m just going to give a link to the item, without any explanation. I’ll try to do this every weekend, and I’ll include the latest additions to my 52 books in 52 weeks project.
This week’s links:
Predicting the Future of E-Discovery
The Most Frequestly Used Features in Microsoft Office
7 Ways to Write with Numbered Lists
The Answer to the Toughest Interview Question
Interview with Linus Torvalds
Thinking Inside the Box
Must-Read Essay on Our Changing Profession
Success Secrets of Olympic Athletes
Cover Me
Alan Turing, Cloud Computing and IT’s Future
How Vulnerable is Google on Search?
Cold Boot Attacks on Disk Encryption
Give an Old Laptop New Life with Cheap (or Free) Projects
The Case for Collaboration Among Lawyers
KETC – The Future of Public TV – A Perspective
Seven Steps to Revolution
Inbox Heaven: The Ultimate Email Setup
This Week’s Additions to 52 Books in 52 Weeks:
The Art of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/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: What’s Your Best Advice for a Lawyer Wanting to Start a Solo Practice?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

With the economy looking a little shaky (or more than a little shaky) and some rumblings already about law firms considering laying off lawyers, the solo option will become a consideration for many lawyers in 2008.
The short answer to your question is to find a great mentor. However, that’s really the answer to any question about the practice of law and it’s easier said than done.
In my own case, the advice I got that really stuck with me was to be sure to be able to identify exactly where your first client from a client would come from. That simple exercise helps you move from fantasy to reality.
In my recent Blawggie awards, I singled out the solo practice blogs as being a great resource for solos and aspiring solos. You’ll want to do some reading there.
This question also gives me the chance to single out and praise Carolyn Elefant’s new book, Solo by Choice: How to Be the Lawyer You Always Wanted to Be. I had the privilege of reading a pre-publication version of the book and wrote the following short blurb about it:

Carolyn Elefant’s new book continues the tradition of her MyShingle.com website, which I once called “the perfect example of a great web resource.” It’s chock-full of exactly the practical advice I was looking for when I left a big firm to go solo. Highly recommended.

It’s the most current of the books about solo practice. It’s also worth tracking down a copy of the latest edition of Flying Solo (you’ll find a few chapters in there that I wrote) and, of course, Jay Foonberg’s classic, How to Start and Build a Law Firm.
However, after having left a large firm to go out on my own almost five years ago and spent a good deal of time thinking about the solo practice and how best to prepare for it and improve how you do it, I’ve recently found a resource that I plan to recommend so much that people will get tired of hearing it from me.
The best advice I can give right now is to watch regularly and study BBC’s Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares.

My cable company shows it on Thursday nights on BBC America, but you can also buy a DVD. I’ve recently started watching it and it’s a revelation to me. There’s so much that I can see in the show that I wish I would have known earlier.
In the show, restaurateur, chef and absolute master of dropping the F-bomb, Gordon Ramsay, visits and tries to turn around a struggling restaurant and its struggling chef and owner. What is key for a solo practice is how he helps you walk the line between business and profession, accounting and art.
If I were thinking of starting a solo practice now, I’d watch episode after episode of this until I started to see the repeating patterns, the common issues and the common solutions. It really does start to become clear what will work and what won’t (at least in concept – implementation and execution are vital factors as well). It strikes me that in the successful situations there is a fascinating balance between being ruthless objective about what you are doing and, at the same time, being very passionate about the service and product that you provide. In addition to some valuable business lessons that you’ll see play out in a number of settings, you will also get a feel for whether the life of running a business is something that you want to have. I can’t recommend immersing yourself in this show enough, and you will also get the side benefit of learning a whole lot about good food and fantastic new ways to use swear words.
That’s my best advice these days. That, and to be willing to be ruthlessly honest with yourself about whether or not the solo life really fits you. You do not want to become a effing solo practice nightmare.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
If you enjoy this blog, remember it has its own Amazon Wishlist and appreciates your generosity. ;-)
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By Request: What Will You Be Speaking About at TECHSHOW?

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

Yes, ABA TECHSHOW is getting closer and I’ve recently been working on the slides for my presentations, having volunteered to take on the task of creating the first drafts of the slides.
First of all, let me once again say that every lawyer who wants to learn about and get better with technology (and every lawyer is on his or her firm’s technology committee) really should try to attend one of the major legal technology conferences at least every couple of years. TECHSHOW is a great show for practicing lawyers because there is so much emphasis on the actual sessions and the sessions are directed at the interests of practicing lawyers. I’m a little biased in favor of TECHSHOW because I spent a couple of years on the TECHSHOW Board, but I also have spent time trying to figure out the differences among the major legal tech shows and the focus on practicing lawyers is what I consider the differentiator for TECHSHOW. Don’t get me wrong, I like all the shows (and was disappointed to miss LegalTech NY this year), but each has its unique strengths and audiences. You still have plenty of time to register for TECHSHOW.
But on to your question.
I’ll be speaking at two sessions, both on Friday, March 14, with two of my favorite co-presenters, Dan Pinnington and Tom Mighell.
Dan and I will be speaking at a session called “The Virtual Law Office: Is Software-as-a-Service Ready for Prime Time?” Long-time readers of this blog and my articles will know that the odds are very high that my answer will be “yes,” but Dan and I plan to take a realistic and practical look at SaaS and the pros and cons for practicing lawyers. We have some new ideas for presenting this topic that I think people will like.
Tom and I are doing a session called “Working Together Wherever You Are: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaborating on the Internet.” As the program description says: “Collaboration is no longer an option. Online tools like WebEx, Sharepoint, Acrobat Connect, Basecamp, Zoho, wikis and others make it easy for lawyers to work instantaneously with clients and colleagues, whether they’re across the hall or on the other side of the world. Come join the authors of a soon-to-be published ABA book on collaborative technologies as they discuss the options available to lawyers, developing a collaboration strategy, and the ethical implications of working with others in an online environment.” Yes, this session marks the official launch of our book, which is now at the printers and scheduled to debut at TECHSHOW. It looks like this:
COLLABORATIONcover200x286.jpg
Tom and I are also hosting one of the TECHSHOW dinner events for attendees on Friday night, giving TECHSHOW attendees a chance to talk about collaboration tools and technologies with us.
As usual, I will do everything I can to make myself accessible to readers of this blog while at TECHSHOW. Please say hello. I’d be delighted to see you at my sessions.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Coming Soon: The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.
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By Request Posts Coming Soon

Wednesday, February 20th, 2008

Got a little busier than I expected, so the blawgiversary series of posts hasn’t happened yet (always a danger of pre-announcing what you’ll do on your blog). Got the birthday celebrated, the book is at the printers and on schedule for a debut at ABA TECHSHOW, and watching the lunar eclipse here tonight took the place of catching up on the blog.
I’ve been working on some by request posts and will probably do them as a batch in the next couple of days.
If you have questions for me that you’d like to see answered as a “by request” post, go ahead and email me. I’ll add them to the list.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
If you enjoy this blog, remember it has its own Amazon Wishlist and appreciates your generosity. ;-)

Dennis Kennedy’s Links of the Week – February 17, 2008

Sunday, February 17th, 2008

Links of the Week is a regular feature on this blog where I list some of the most interesting links I’ve found during the previous week – sort of a “best of” from my Google Reader Shared Items. The idea is that I pick out a set of links that I might have wanted to write about or that I found especially thought-provoking or useful. I might or might not agree with the posts or items I link to, but I found them to be something I wanted to share.
In general, I’m just going to give a link to the item, without any explanation. I’ll try to do this every weekend, and I’ll include the latest additions to my 52 books in 52 weeks project.
This week’s links:
Law bloggers who link out the most carry the most influence
Learning More About Generation M
Knowing When to Ask for Help – Microsoft’s SharedView
Built for Speed: Part 1
Why WiMAX?
Why You Should Take a Look at the Free / Open Source Software Movement
100 Ways to Use Your iPod to Learn and Study Better
The Results are In (Microsoft Word)
JONNY’S LEGAL ADVISERS HEREBY INFORM YOU OF JONNY’S WISH THAT YOU ENJOY A HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY
Friday Flashback: KM 0.0 — A Pragmatic Approach to Social Networking and Knowledge Management for Business
Sites of the Week: Sites for Mac Lawyers

Wikis vs. Knowledge Management

What Diversity Looks Like Today
Top 10 iTunes Smart Playlists
50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily
Deep or Wide? You Decide
Don’t Cut IT During a Downturn
SaaS is the Future
2008 Corporate Legal Technology Trends @ InsideCounsel
This Week’s Additions to 52 Books in 52 Weeks:
The Shell Game, by Steve Alten

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/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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