Does Poor Technology Equal Poor Morale? – Podcast

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Does Poor Technology Equal Poor Morale?” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#38) description:

The word on the street is that associates and young partners are very unhappy with the state of technology in their law firms. The results of a new survey of associate satisfaction tells us just how unhappy associates might be. Or might not be. In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell dive into the results of the 2010 American Lawyer Associates Survey, what the answers reveal about how associates view technology and technology spending at their firms, and the ramifications for firms delaying technology upgrades.

In this episode, we focus on what conclusions we might be able to draw from the recently-released 2010 American Lawyer Associates Tech Survey, especially the results on associate satisfaction with technology.

Not surprisingly, the survey indicated that associates aren’t very happy with the state of technology in large firms. One notable exception is my former law firm, Thompson Coburn, which has topped the survey for several years. I mention some of the things I like about the approach their IT Director, Phil Rightler, has on addressing the technology needs of lawyers.

We note some of our observations about the impact of this dissatisfaction (retention issues) and some of the simple efforts that produce big results in dealing with technology dissatisfaction.

My big point: you have to LISTEN to what associates are saying and understand what motivates most of the complaints – the desire to have tools to help them do their work better.

If you unpack what is being said, you will see that in many, many cases, it boils down to having inadequate collaboration tools.

Charlie Mead’s article on the survey also gives you a strong sense of two trains heading in different directions – compare the concerns of associates with the comments from management. It’s no secret that lawyers do leave big firms to start their own firms in no small part due to frustration with technology. I see technology issues becoming a serious lawyer retention issue, especially if the economy improves.

In our Q&A session, Tom and I answer a couple of questions from our audience. Thanks to those of you sending us questions, espcialy those who responded to my call forquestions on Twitter. Send them to us at any time. First, Mike McBride asks if we see a connection between the survey finding we talked about in the main segment and the growth of “Shadow IT” tools like Google Docs in firms where there is dissatisfaction with technology. Yes, we do. Second, Matt Buchanan asks about the current thinking on using an online form of client engagement letter.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom goes all Google, and raves about Gmail’s new priority inbox and the new instant search form of Google’s search engine. I note that Google Instant freaked me out so much that I turned it off immediately, and I pointed people to a couple of article about the “balkanization of the Internet” from the Economist (A virtual counter-revolution (the balkanisation of the internet)) and Wired (The Web is Dead – Long Live the Internet)

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[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

Managing Your Online Presence – Upcoming Webinar

I wanted to point you to a webinar on Thursday (September 16) from the ABA Law Practice Management Section and the ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education called “Managing Your Online Presence.”

The webinar features as speakers two of the best subject matter experts you can find, Jim Calloway and Kevin O’Keefe. I’ll be part of the webinar as moderator of the session. Jim and Kevin have told me that they expect me to be an “active moderator” and to throw in my insights on the topics, even though my plan is mainly to try to make sure the audience gets the best of Jim’s and Kevin’s impressive experience and expertise. That said, you’ll probably get to hear some of my tips and commentary on this topic.

I can assure you that you can expect to learn a lot from this presentation.

Here’s the program description:

More and more clients “meet” you online before even deciding to meet you face-to-face. In this fast-paced session, you’ll learn the best ways to build and grow a sustainable online presence, enabling more potential clients to find you and existing clients to access more helpful information provided by you. Topics covered will include: 1. Choosing (and using) a blog or Web site as your online “home base;” 2. Utilizing social media sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to connect with clients and build your professional footprint; 3. Magnifying your online presence by distributing your existing content seamlessly to multiple places online and 4. Monitoring and managing your online reputation. Your existing clients will be more informed, and your prospective clients will be more impressed.

The webinar will take place on Thursday, September 16 at 1:00 PM-2:30 PM Eastern (12:00 PM-1:30 PM Central; 11:00 AM-12:30 PM Mountain; 10:00 AM-11:30 AM Pacific).

Registration and other details may be found here.

There’s a nice discount for ABA Law Practice Management Section members. Even better, there’s a nice discount for ABA members who join the LPM Section in connection with this webinar – definitely a win-win proposition. And there’s a great discount for law students.

Hope to “see” you at the webinar. As moderator, if you want to send me a question ahead of time, please do so.

[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

Where Everyone Knows Your Name AND Location – Podcast

Tom Mighell and I have recorded another episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast and it’s now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. The episode is called “Geolocation: Where Everyone Knows Your Name AND Location” (show notes here), and it’s sponsored by Clio. A special thank you to readers of this blog who listen to the podcast – consider trying out an episode or becoming a regular subscriber through iTunes or our RSS feed.

Here’s the episode (#37) description:

In real estate and on the Internet today, the key is location, location, location. Facebook Places, Google Latitude and Foursquare have opened our eyes to the potential benefits and concerns of geolocation services and features. Why are we voluntarily and publicly disclosing so much personal location information today? In this episode, co-hosts Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the growing role of geolocation services, how you might participate in and benefit from them, and how to make good choices about opting in and opting out of this brave new world.

In the last few weeks, use of web-based services that make use of your current location have become a hot topic. The combination of mobile phones, mobile devices, GPS, location apps, location services and the seemingly-unlimited willingness of people to share information about their current location has opened our eyes to a new stage in the evolution of the web.

The title of the podcast is especially interesting in light of the quote I just saw tonight from Google’ Eric Schmidt: “We can suggest what you should do next, what you care about. Imagine: We know where you are, we know what you like.”

We start with a look at the location-based “check-in” services, starting with Foursquare and the high-profile launch of the new Facebook Places. These services allow people to “check-in” and announce that they are at certain places through social media tools. the idea is that you can potentially identify other “friends” at the same location, find restaurants, et al. Sometimes, there might be “game” aspects where you might get recognition, points or awards for checking-in multiple times at a location.

Tom likes these services and uses them. I’m far more wary of them and am uncomfortable with giving up location information. We take a bit of a point/counterpoint approach to the pros and cons of these services.

We also make some predictions about the way these services might affect lawyers and the practice of law. My take is that there are probably some ways these services will have an impact, possibly significant, in some areas of the practice of law, and there are some interesting opportunities for creative lawyers to use these services in their practices. However, I’ll need smelling salts if lawyers take to these services in a significant way in the next year or two. If you are an innovator, put on your thinking cap and you might find that you can capture some areas long before anyone else gets there.

That is, if you are comfortable with the whole idea of giving up location information to the public. I must admit that I find it interesting to see people freely giving up information about their movements and whereabouts on the Internet when there would be a firestorm if government agencies announced that they wanted to collect the same location data. Geolocation is a trend worth watching simply for what it shows about our evolving sense of privacy.

In our “stuff Tom and Dennis have been talking about” segment, Tom reveals that he has recently purchased an iPad and I take advantage of the time slot to ask some specific questions that will impact on my own buying decision. Tom’s answers will be quite useful for anyone contemplating an iPad purchase.

We end the podcast with our Parting Shots – practical tips you can use right away. Tom solidifies his position as DropBox’s #1 fan, and highlights some new features of this highly-praised online file storage and sharing service from DropBox. I point you to the recently-released 2010 Inside Legal / ILTA legal technology survey and the insights it will give you about trends and developments in legal technology today. Rodney Dowell has a great podcast interview with JoAnna Forshee and Jobst Elster of Inside Legal covering the highlights of the survey.

Give our new episode a listen and let me know what you think. Show notes for the podcast are here. And try some of the back episodes as well. You can also now follow the podcast on Twitter at @tkmreport.

[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