Client Technology Surveys – A Powerful Little Tool

Client technology surveys are an easy and inexpensive way to improve your use of technology and make it easier for your clients to work with you. In my latest ABA Journal tech column, A Powerful Little Tool You Must Use, I talk about the basics, benefits and best tips for using client technology surveys.
To summarize:
“It’s a great time to focus on client technology surveys. They are simple, surprisingly effective, can fit on a single page and can be used as a script on a phone call.”
I prefer a short and simple approach and suggest five types of questions to use. Tom Mighell and I also have a sample client tech survey in our book because these surveys can really help you pick the right collaboration tools to use with your clients. It’s also worthwhile checking with Adriana Linares for her latest suggestions about client tech surveys.
I also suggest some good times to use a survey and how it can be a way to create a positive “touch” of your best clients, an especially good idea in tough economic times.
I invite you to read the whole article and let me know your thoughts on the topic.
[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
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Will Law Firm Technology Budgets Be Decimated in 2009? Discuss.

I’m running a little late on my annual legal technology trends article, but I’ve been thinking a lot about it and reading other technology predictions to give me ideas and help me clarify my thinking. I especially liked those from TechnoLawyer and Ross Kodner.
I was thinking about the topic today, with the idea of doing some writing, and I realized that there were two real (as opposed to many imaginary) reasons why the article was difficult to write this year.
First, to a certain extent, I’m not sure that what I wrote about 2008 trends doesn’t still basically apply for 2009, perhaps with a little more oomph in certain places, especially in the evolution of collaboration technologies.
Second, the discussions of legal technology and law practice management, for the most part, seem to be more optimistic than I feel about the topic and the economic crisis seems like the elephant in the room that no one wants to mention in polite conversation.
Today, I read and considered a number of items that I recommend to all my readers as they think about technology in 2009.

Fabius Maximus on Situation Report About The Global Economy, As The Flames Break Thru The Firewalls
Ron Friedmann on The Crisis Goes to Waste as BigLaw Muddles Through
Ron Baker on Recession-proofing Your Firm
Shelley Powers on The Frugal Algorithm
Bruce MacEwen’s Report from London
The Greatest American Lawyer on The Adam Smith Blog Contemplates the Potential Consequences of Economic Downturn on the Legal Profession
Jordan Furlong’s Avalanche Alert
Wendy Werner on Starting the New Year with Optimism
What Should You Do Now? A Roundtable Discussion on Law Practice in a Time of Great Economic Turmoil
LawPro’s Surviving the Slide (pdf)

You get the idea.
Here’s my thinking. You don’t really see much discussion of the impact of the economy on legal technology.
Yet, if law firms are laying off lawyers and staff in large numbers and those who haven’t been laid off at least a little nervous because no one knows where things are headed, should we still conclude that it’s business as usual for legal technology, including electronic discovery?
In my original mindmap for my trends article, one of my trends was the likelihood of frozen budgets, of little or no new spending, of making do with what you had, and the likelihood that most of the legal profession would elect to skip a generation of Windows (Vista) and Office (2007).
Most of that is likely to stay in the version I’m writing, but the discussion I’d like to have (and where I’m starting to think that we are really going) is whether we are going to see just lack of increases or budget freezes.
Technology budgets at many firms have increased steadily over the years and have grown to be a significant line item in firm budgets. Significant line items are likely to get cut this year and there’s probably plenty of misdirected tech spending in many firms to cut, although decision-makers aren’t always able to see and understand that.
I chose the word “decimate” in my title for a reason. It originates from an extreme Roman practice that killed one out of every ten soldiers as a form of punishment, or a decimation. It has evolved to have the sense of drastic reduction.
The question I have, and I’m inviting you to think about with me, is whether we are in fact likely to see or might already be seeing 10% or greater reductions in legal technology spending by law firms and law departments for 2009? That’s the question I’d be asking if I were attending Legal Tech NY next week to as many people who would listen to me and not try to change the subject.
I think that’s where I’m headed in my trends article, but would like to discuss this and see if people can convince me otherwise.
So, the question on the test is: “Will law firm technology budgets be decimated in 2009? Discuss.”
[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
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52 Books in 52 Weeks – 2009

In the last few years, I’ve enjoyed reading the posts of several bloggers who are trying to read 52 books in 52 weeks. I’ve also wanted to find a good way for me to keep track of the books I’ve read.
Last year, I decided to try to do the 52 books in 52 weeks meme (and encourage others to do so). I made it to 64, which seemed pretty good. Here’s the post with the 2008 list.
I’m doing the same thing in 2009, but with a few lessons learned, especially that it’s definitely not worth the hassle of adding Amazon links for each book I read.
My approach is the same as last year – I’ll simply update this specific post from time to time throughout the year as I finish books.
December
November
October
September
46. Free Agent, Jeremy Duns
45. The Age of the Unthinkable, Joshua Ramo
44. The Expediter, David Hageberg
43. The Mad Ones, Tom Folsom
August
42. The Venona Cable, Brent Ghelft
41. The Victorian Internet, Tom Standage
40. Final Notice, Joe Gores
39. Blank Spots on the Map, Trevor Paglen
38. A Brief History of the Future, Jacques Attali
37. The Gemini Contenders, Robert Ludlum
July
36. The Matlock Paper, Repbert Ludlum
35. The Osterman Weekend, Robert Ludlum
34. The Scarlatti Inheritance, Robert Ludlum
33. Say Everything, Scott Rosenberg
32. The Rheinemann Exchange, Robert Ludlum
31. The Matarese Countdown, by Robert Ludlum
30. The Matarese Circle, by Robert Ludlum
29. The Parsifal Mosaic, by Robert Ludlum
28. The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea, by Michael Harney
June
27. Making it All Work, by David Allen
26. Year of the Dog, by Henry Chang
25. The Icarus Agenda, by Robert Ludlum.
24. Bricklin on Technology, by Daniel Bricklin
23. The Chancellor Manuscript, by Robert Ludlum
May
22. Extreme Measures, by Vince Tynan
21. Maui Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook, by Andrew Doughty
April
20. The Cry of the Halidon, by Robert Ludlum
19. 7 Deadly Scenarios, by Andrew Krepinevich
18. Moscow Rules, by Dan Silva
March
17. Divine Justice, by Dave Baldacci
16. The End of Lawyers?”, by Richard Susskind
15. Rules of Deception, by Christopher Reich
February
14. Inevitable Surprises, by Peter Schwartz
13. Our Iceberg is Melting, John Kotter
12. Ghost War, Alex Berenson
11. The Spies of Warsaw, Alan Furst
10. Inside Drucker’s Brain, Jeffrey Krames
9. Kiss Me, Deadly, Mickey Spillane
8. The Big Kill, Mickey Spilane

January
7. One Lonely Night, Mickey Spillane
6. Vengeance is Mine, Mickey Spillane
5. My Gun is Quick, Mickey Spillane
4. I, The Jury, Mickey Spillane
3. Enough, John Bogle
2. The Parsifal Mosaic, Robert Ludlum
1. The Culture of War, Martin Van Creveld

[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
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Recent Microblog Posts – January 24, 2009

DennisKennedy.Microblog is a supplement to this blog that can be found on Twitter at @dkennedyblog. I invite you to become a follower. An explanation of the microblog can be found here.
Here are posts from the microblog for the last week or so:

The Fully Connected Law Firm – http://bit.ly/10Cqy I wrote this several years ago, but it still seemed fresh to me today.
“Collaboration relies on the frame,” says @jackvinson about #collaboration structures – http://bit.ly/1uW8iB A must-read.
Adam Singer concludes this about social media: “don’t chase spikes, pursue linear growth through participation.” – http://bit.ly/2fq9
Berin Szoka asks, “Who needs a DVR when you’ve got Hulu?” – http://bit.ly/lnS0
Thought-provoking in major kind of way: @johnrobb on protection rackets – http://bit.ly/chbv – much to think about here.
Sobering graphics on bank market caps and shadow banking from Rob Paterson and @johnrobb – http://bit.ly/7b5E & http://tinyurl.com/9y94t4

In law school, I expected to be the last of lawyers who took a state bar exam. Wrong! Maybe a national exam is coming – http://bit.ly/ISdmF
Looking for your help on a #collaboration tips project – http://bit.ly/4jf7 – #collabtips
JP Rangaswami: insights into Twitter as a submarine in the ocean of the web – http://bit.ly/1emXgX
From Noah Shactman at Danger Room (http://bit.ly/kh8u): Martin Miller discovers real WMDs – http://bit.ly/iUrZ – awesome photos
This brings back great memories: Charlie Bess on rebirth of HyperCard – http://bit.ly/DEZmj HyperCard => http://bit.ly/4y5Ko3 Signed up.
Helpful explanation of key gmail concept – labels, not folders from Google Operating System blog: http://bit.ly/18eCK
Paul Caron points to a new series of IRS podcasts to assist taxpayers – http://bit.ly/14Uc0 – seems like a great idea to this podcast fan
Watch @collabtools and http://bit.ly/kNao for chance to help “crowdsource” list of #collaboration tips for #techshow handouts and more
Yet another reminder how great Twyla Tharp’s book The Creative Habit is – http://bit.ly/USNS – it’s going on my to-reread list for 2009

Let me know what you think about the microblog idea.
Also, Tom and I have started to do some regular posting at the Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration blog. I invite you to check it out and add it to your RSS reader.
[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
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Celebrating the Martin Luther King Holiday – 2009

As longtime readers of this blog will know, I’ve written before (here, here and here) that the Martin Luther King Holiday is one of my favorite holidays of the year. It’s a perfect day to take some time to reflect. It also seems lately that it’s one of the few holidays that people actually get off work anymore. This year’s holiday also clearly has a special significance.
I also enjoy monitoring Technorati for the posts about MLK and Twitter Search. Try it.

Lots of interesting posts to find today.I like Bert Decker’s Master Speakers King and Obama, the Teaching Company has a free mp3 download of a lecture about MLK , and Art Howe’s The Arc of the Universe Is Long But It Bends Towards Justice (wow, what a sentiment that is!). Check for yourself and see what you find. As they say, “Make It a Day ON, Not a Day Off!”

[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
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