Beyond Text on a Page: Time for Lawyers to Think About Audio and Video

My latest column in the ABA Journal is called “It’s Time to Think About Audio/Video.”
Here’s the opening:

Lawyers love text on a page. The single-space letter or memo is the lingua franca of our trade. Our PowerPoint slides are usually dense with text, and even the mention of adding a chart, table or graphic to a document causes consternation.
My radical suggestion: It’s time to rethink the text-based world and think seriously about ways to use audio and video delivered over the Internet.

The idea for the article came from my editor, Reg Davis, who wanted to explore the question of whether audio or video might be “better” for lawyers.
My answer, not surprisingly, was a lawyerly, “it depends.” The column explores why the answer is “it depends” and offers some practice advice about ways in which lawyers might start using audio and video as both consumers and producers.
I tend to be in the audio camp these days and am a big fan of podcasts, but I also think that the long-term trend is toward video. I’m shorting the prospects for the single-spaced, twelve page letter in Courier type.
The fascinating thing about this column was that after I turned in the article, I had several conversations with lawyers about audio and video and, in every case, I was asked exactly the questions I tried to answer in the column.
A “money quote”:

Most lawyers will probably find the greatest short-term benefits from using audio and video as a learning platform. Those large stacks of ar­ticles, advance sheets and magazines to be read not only take up space but rarely make it to the “finished reading” category. Audio summaries, audio and video of seminars, podcasts and YouTube videos offer lawyers the same information in more succinct, accessible and portable form. Listening to a short presentation may also be much more effective than reading a 150-page law review article.
The key questions to consider: Where and how do you learn?

What do you think about the use of audio and video? I welcome your comments here or you can join the comment thread already started at the article.
[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog; Follow me – @denniskennedy
Now Available! The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell. Visit the companion website for the book at LawyersGuidetoCollaboration.com. Twitter: @collabtools
Technorati tags: