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.

My ABA Journal Tech Columns

Someone recently asked me if all of my monthly American Bar Association Journal articles are collected in one place.

They aren’t, but I wanted see if I could create a link to saved search that would, as a practical matter, let people see them all in one place. (Here’s the link.)

When I did that, I noticed that I am fast approaching 5 years of writing the column. It first appeared in November 2007.

I remember how excited I was to get the call from Ed Adams about taking over the tech column. It’s a great list of topics that the columns have covered and my editor, Reg Davis, has been, if I may use the word, awesome to work with over the years.

The idea of the column is to write in a very practical way about a useful technology audience in a way that potentially appeals to all lawyers who read the ABA Journal. That can be a challenge, to put it mildly, but I always have fun writing the column. I’ve also enjoyed the comments most of the columns have generated. Well, except maybe the comments taking me to task for not covering everything about a topic in the 600 words I have to address the topic.

Anyway, here’s a link to a saved search that will take you to all the articles I’ve written for the ABA Journal (link).

I’ve been vowing to update the list of all my articles over the years, but I haven’t made much progress. However, you can go to the “Articles” category archive on this blog to find many of my articles. I’ve also been toying with the idea of putting together a selection of my best articles and blog posts as a low-priced or free ebook. Let me know if you might have any interest in that so I can gauge the potential interest and audience.

[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.

Twitter Talk – My Latest ABA Journal Column

My latest ABA Journal tech column is called “Twitter Talk: Its Search and Trends Can Keep You Up to Speed.” The column provides some practical pointers on ways lawyers can benefit from using Twitter without the need to learn how to “tweet.”

In my experience speaking to lawyers, Twitter is the social media platform lawyers have the most difficulty seeing where the value might be. In this column, I focused on the non-tweeting side of twitter – search and trends.

I cover the basic details and highlight ways lawyers have used and might use Twitter search and trends. I’ve long used these tools and have always found them valuable. I always encourage lawyers to experiment with search and trends before they write off Twitter as something that makes no sense for them. You should do that too – you might be surprised at how much you can learn by using Twitter without actually tweeting.

Money quote:

Even if tweeting does not make sense for you, Twitter Search and trends as monitoring tools might.

Read the entire column at Twitter Talk: Its Search and Trends Can Keep You Up to Speed.

[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. 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.