Two New Tech Columns: Law Firm Apps and Departure Policies

My latest two ABA Journal tech columns are called “Apt to make apps? What you need to consider before jumping in” and “5 tech policies law firms should consider to prep for job departures.”

1. Apt to make apps? What you need to consider before jumping in

In this column, I did a little investigation into mobile apps (really, iOS apps) that law firms and lawyers had created so far. My research was not scientific or thorough, but it gave me an indication of what the typical person looking for law firm apps would find. I didn’t find a lot of these apps, but, to generalize, most fell into the megafirm category or the auto accident firm category.

Some of the apps look to be be useful, and some are underwhelming.

The exercise gave me something think about in how lawyers might create mobile apps and I try to draw a few practical conclusions and give some tips about costs and approaches to apps.

The money quote:

In some ways the current app environment is reminiscent of the early days of webpages in 1995 or blogging in 2002 or 2003, when there was a small number of early adopters among the legal profession. For some, moving to the Web or blogging was a rewarding and successful step. For at least as many, it was a move that did not make sense. And for the majority, their efforts did not make much of an impact.

While I don’t expect law firm mobile apps to become as ubiquitous as law firm websites, I’m intrigued by the ways law firms might take advantage of the apps platform.

Read the entire column at “Apt to make apps? What you need to consider before jumping in.”

2. 5 tech policies law firms should consider to prep for job departures

This column was suggested by a lawyer friend of mine in St. Louis when we had breakfast a few months ago. He mentioned that knowing what to do when a lawyer (or any staff member) left a firm was hard enough, but determining what to do about technology when someone left was really difficult. He talked about some of the approaches he had seen and taken and thought that the topic would be good for a column. I agreed.

I focused on five key policies, but want to emphasize how important it is to be flexible and have a good understanding of what is happening at the time and what is at stake.

This area struck me as one where lawyers were likely to be advising clients on appropriate employee manuals and policies, but not bother to implement them for their own firms. It’s also an area where manuals and policies can only take you so far. I vividly remember when the IT director at my then firm left a manila envelope with some notes and a “yesterday was my last day” letter on my chair for me to find when I came in in the morning.

The column focuses on some of the biggest issues (there are more, to be sure) and makes a few practical suggestions for each.

The money quote:

Common responses to the technology issues raised by a departing lawyer or employee can be ad hoc, chaotic and woefully incomplete, raising more problems than the firm solves.

If you haven’t given this subject some attention recently, there is no time the present to revisit it with fresh eyes.

Read the entire column at “5 tech policies law firms should consider to prep for job departures.”

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

New Article: Manage App Overload on your iPad or iPhone with Folders

My latest ABA Journal tech column is called “Manage app overload on your iPad or iPhone with folders.”

Most of us are starting to see a proliferation of apps, especially if you take advantage of the many free apps available. Sites like Apps Gone Free also let you know about pay apps that are free for a limited time. Before you realize it, you can have a lot of apps on your smartphones and tablet devices.

At that point, just finding apps can become an issue. You probably also wish that you could organize your apps neatly and logically.

However, accomplishing that is still not as easy as you might hope.

The column covers the basic approaches to app management – “on device” and “through iTunes.” I use iOS devices (iPhone and iPad) as the model. There are similar approaches for other mobile OSes.

There’s still plenty of room to improve app management. I’m looking forward to seeing those improvements, but, for now, it’s good to know that some basic approaches exist and will help you.

Read the entire column at “Manage app overload on your iPad or iPhone with folders”.

How do you manage all your apps?

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

New Article: Does Your Firm Have a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy?

My latest ABA Journal tech column is called “Does Your Firm Have a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy?” The column is just a simple introduction to the two main approaches to the increasingly-common desire of employees to use work technology devices for personal purposes and personal devices for personal purposes.

The two approaches, not surprisingly, have their own acronyms – BYOD and COPE. BYOD stands for “bring your own device” and COPE stands for “company-owned, personally enabled.”

As I say in the column:

With BYOD, a separate, secure area for work data and activity is created on an employee’s personal device. In COPE, a separate area for personal data and activity is created on an employee’s otherwise securely protected work device. The concepts are simple, but the devil is in the details.

I go on to discuss the general concepts and some practical issues and questions involved in each approach.

Money quote:

The consumerization of IT is another example of how a standard technology brings up many issues about the culture of a firm, how to treat those who work for it, and the blurry line between work and home. Firms need to understand the main approaches and the vocabulary for the discussion because this trend is likely to keep gathering momentum.

Read the entire column at “Does Your Firm Have a Bring-Your-Own-Device Policy?”.

How is your firm or organization choosing between these two approaches?

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW 2013?

[Note: I’m running a Q&A series all the rest of December on DennisKennedy.Blog (details here).]

Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW?

The answer is: Yes, I have been invited to speak at two sessions. I definitely want to make my return to ABA TECHSHOW after the blood clot in my leg last spring forced me to cancel my trip to ABA TECHSHOW 2012.

ABA TECHSHOW 2013 will be held April 4 – 6, 2013. If you are interested in learning practical ways lawyers can use technology better, it’s the place to be.

On Thursday, April 4, from 2:00 to 3:00, I’ll be co-presenting with Allison Shields a session called “Leveraging LinkedIn & Finagling Facebook: Building Relevance on Leading Social Media.” It’s on the Social Media Track and is labeled for an “Intermediate” audience. Here’s the description from the schedule:

LinkedIn is no longer just “the professional’s” social network any more than Facebook is just the “personal” social network. The volume of users and traffic requires that you market to both. Learn how to derive value from both of these essential platforms. Explore the differences, identify necessary information to complete profiles, and learn valuable insights into the best features. Review tools to maximize the benefits of these services, and acquire up-to-date information needed to customize privacy settings to avoid ethical pitfalls.

I wanted to be clear that I wouldn’t have chosen the word “finagling” to use in this title and am not quite sure how it’s being used, but let’s agree to use the word in the sense of one of its dictionary meanings: “to plan out usually with subtle skill or care.” Maybe we can get the title changed.

Allison and I plan to share as many practical insights and tips from our Facebook and LinkedIn “In One Hour” books as time will permit, so you should get especially good value from the the session.

The second session I’m scheduled for will be with Patrick Crowley and is simply called “Mobile Collaboration.” It will be on Friday, April 5, from 2:30 to 3:30. It’s labeled for an “Introductory” audience. Here’s the description:

Technology can cut the costs of working with others in a variety of locations, locally or abroad. Google+ Hangouts, Facetime, Google Drive, Cloud Connect, SharePoint and others can help you not just keep in touch, but collaborate with other lawyers in your firm, co-counsel, or clients in real time. Learn how you can utilize your mobile device to provide better service to your clients by sharing documents, developing ideas, and boosting your productivity whether you’re in or out of the office.

I have written a new article about mobile collaboration that is scheduled to appear in the Law Practice Today webzine in January. Mobile collaboration will be one of the hot topics in legal tech in 2013, so I’m excited to get the chance to speak at this session.

Although not yet finalized, I’m expecting to be co-hosting a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner event with Allison Shields with a social media theme and another with Tom Mighell, probably with a future of legal technology theme. Watch for the opportunity to sign up for the dinners on the TECHSHOW website.

Note that there is a mobile app for TECHSHOW available and you can follow Twitter posts about TECHSHOW by searching Twitter for the #ABATECHSHOW hashtag.

Hope to see you there. If you are a reader of this blog, please introduce yourself. I always enjoy speaking with readers of my blog.

If you have a question for me to answer in this series, you may submit it for me through the usual channels – email at denniskennedyblog @ gmail . com, a comment left on the original post about the Q&A series, this post or a subsequent post, or through Twitter (@dkennedyblog), or whatever other way you want to reach me.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Law Technology Today Post – LinkedIn Endorsements

The ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center is now part of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section and I’m on the LTRC board this year. We have some great plans and be sure to keep an eye on LTRC over the next few months as we launch some new initiatives.

One of the things I’ll be doing is contributing at least one guest blog post each month to the Law Technology Today blog, which I recommend subscribing to in Google Reader or your other favorite RSS reader if you have any interest in legal technology at all (which you must, if you are reading this blog).

My first guest post appeared today and it’s called “‘Liking’ Your Connections with the New LinkedIn Endorsements.” Not surprisingly, it’s about the new LinkedIn “Endorsement” feature that makes it it easy to acknowledge the skills of your LinkedIn connections. I like the new feature so far. Check out the post to see why.

There will be a stellar cast of guest bloggers on Law Technology Today, so I definitely recommend it to your attention and to your regular reading list.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version here). Our previous book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers is also available and also can be downloaded as an iBook. Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.