Technology-Lawyer

Dennis Kennedy

Technology Law and Legal Technology. Dennis Kennedy is one of the few technology lawyers who is also an expert on the underlying technologies. Dennis an award-winning leader in the application of technology and the Internet to the practice of law. DennisKennedy.com gives you access to a wide variety of Dennis Kennedy's resources on legal technology, his writings, his well-known blog, DennisKennedy.Blog, and information about how you can have Dennis speak to your organization or group.

Dennis Kennedy is one of the most knowledgeable legal technologists you will find. - Michael Arkfeld.

Dennis Kennedy, a lawyer and legal technology expert in St. Louis, Mo., has been a significant influence in the ever-evolving relationship between lawyers and the Web. - Robert Ambrogi

Posts Tagged ‘legal’

My Infatuation with Solid State Drives

Monday, December 19th, 2011

My latest tech column for the ABA Journal is called “Solid State Drives Can Bring Magic to Your Computer.”

This column grew out of two things: how much I love the solid state drive in my MacBook Air (as you’ll be able to sense from the article) and a fascinating podcast with Scott Moulton on Solid State Drive Forensics. Solid state drives (SSDs) bring great benefits, but they are also at the frontier of computer forensics.

The article is meant to give an introductions and overview of SSDs and get people thinking about the role SSDs will be playing in our computing experience.

There’s some good discussion in the comments about a number of the issues SSDs raise, even though the remarkably crabby “Jojo the Magic Monkey” seems to think the article is “garbage.” That’s disappointing, of course, because I’m generally more successful with the magic monkey audience.

You’ll also see in the comments and if you do some price checking, that the article was written before flooding in Malaysia helped push the prices significantly higher than at the time I wrote the article. That’s a danger of writing on print publication schedules.

That said, I don’t think I’d buy a computer without an SSD again even at today’s higher costs – it’s made that much of a difference.

Check out the article here.

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

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

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 Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcasts and Upcoming Audience Questions Episode

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

It’s time for an update on recent episodes of the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. We’ve really liked some of the last episodes and I want to recommend them to you. We enjoy making the podcasts, working with our great producers at Legal Talk Network, seeing our monthly downloads number continue to increase, and growing our sponsor list (now up to four).

We’re trying to put together an all audience question show for one of our upcoming episodes. If you’d like to ask us a question that we might try to answer on the show, you can email us at tkmreport@gmail.com, email either Tom or me, or reach us in one of the many other ways we can be reached. Or simply leave a comment to this post with your question. Because it’s a podcast, sending us an audio with you asking your question would be great.

Also, we’re happy to report that the show notes page is back. The show notes site will give you links to the podcasts, contents of each show, and links to sites and resources mentioned on each episode.

#68. Can Software Replace Lawyers?

From IBM’s Watson to Apple’s new Siri to the growth of predictive coding in e-discovery, it’s been a heck of a year for computers catching up to humans. Lately, there’s been a lot of discussion about the question, “Can software take the place of lawyers?” Can it, or will it? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the latest software advances and the likely impact on lawyers, how lawyers might benefit from these advances, and how worried lawyers should be about competition from machines.

#67. iPads for Lawyers

iPads are making serious inroads into the work environment, even for lawyers. What role might the iPad play in the daily lives of busy legal professionals? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell are joined by special guest David Sparks, author of the new book, iPad at Work, to discuss the potential benefits of using an iPad in legal work, practical iPad tips, and how the iPad and iPad apps are changing the way lawyers use technology.

#66. Kindle en Fuego: Next Generation Tablets

Amazon has just announced a new generation of Kindle devices, including a touch version and the Kindle Fire, a low-cost tablet device. The new Kindles start at $79. Are these iPad competitors, a new category of devices or another harbinger of the Post-PC era? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss how the new Kindles might help lawyers, whether the platform is now the message, and where the tablet category might go after the death of Steve Jobs.

#65. Easy Productivity Improvements

Why are more lawyers than ever using two (or more) monitors at their desks? Others use surprisingly simple tricks to make their days more productive and their lives a little easier. Once you’ve learned some of these techniques, you often think that they are “obvious” and something you should have implemented a long time ago. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss a few simple productivity techniques like using multiple monitors that have made a big difference for them, how those tips might benefit you, and steps you can take to make yourself much more productive than you were before you listened to this podcast.

Let me especially recommend the episode on iPads with David Sparks to anyone who owns or plans to buy an iPad. If you haven’t listened to the podcast before or haven’t listened for a while, give one or more of these a listen.

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

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

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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The Value of Podcast Listening

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

The ABA Journal has published my latest monthly legal technology column in its July 2011 issue. The column is titled “Ear! Ear! Podcast Gains Are in the Listening, Not Creating.” The column focuses on the benefits of listening to podcasts and how to listen to podcasts better and more effectively than you might be doing now.

I am a huge fan of the podcasting medium and I listen to a lot of podcasts. I’m always looking for ways to find great podcasts and to manage them in good ways so that I always have great podcasts to listen to all queued up on my iPod. Unfortunately, most of the articles and materials you can find about podcasts, especially for lawyers, seem to be focused on creating podcasts rather than on simply listening to them.

I decided to fill this seeming void with a practical article sharing some of my favorite podcast listening tips and making my case that podcasts can be a fantastic resource for lawyers. Read the article and see how well I did.

I talk about the different ways you can obtain and listen to podcasts and how, despite the name, an iPod is not a necessary part of the experience.

I sketch out the basic approach of using the iTunes store to find individual episodes and, more important, to subscribe to podcasts to automatically receive new episodes. I also mention the great Huffduffer website as a way to locate well-regarded podcast episodes. And I reveal my latest trick of finding podcasts or audios from seminar presentations as a way to quickly get an overview of and up to speed on a new topic.

I also advocate turning your car into a commuting education center by running podcasts through your car stereo. Best of all, I talk about the radically, yet incredibly effective, approach of listening to podcasts at double speed.

As I say in the conclusion of the column:

Podcasts are a wonderful learning medium for lawyers. The richness and value of the free content will surprise you. It’s an easy and useful way to keep up with developments in your field and topics of interest, and to make better use of your commute and other listening times.

Check out the article here. And, of course, you might just want to start out your investigation of podcast listening with the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast.

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

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

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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iCloud and Legal Technologists: New Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcasts

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

Tom Mighell and I have recorded two more episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here. Let me remind you that if you subscribe in iTunes, each new podcast episode will automatically appear in iTunes for you for easy transfer to your iPod, iPhone or iPad.

Our last two episodes:

Lawyers in the iCloud (#58)

The episode description:

We used to focus on new Windows announcements and the software we installed on our PCs. Times have changed. The recent Apple announcements about iOS 5, Lion and most important, iCloud, have captured most of the headlines. The action is increasingly happening outside Windows and outside PCs. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell talk about the recent Apple iCloud announcement, the possible implications of iCloud, and where iCloud suggests legal technology is going.

Tom likes to do topical news stories from time to time and recent announcements from Apple about the new Mac OS called Lion, iOS 5 and the iCloud certainly seemed newsworthy. We decided to focus on iCloud for this episode, even though I have a suspicion that iOS 5 might one day be seen as the biggest story.

Although admittedly, the fact that iCloud won’t debut until this fall made our assessments a little icloudy, we jumped right in and talked about the introduction of Apple’s big cloud computing offering. We start out with the basics and took off running with our observations about the implications of iCloud and how it might point to a post-PC world. We speculate on why Apple’s approach is different from that of Google and others (think apps vs. browser and invisible vs. visible).

We also touch on some of our favorite themes – mobile platform, anytime-anywhere computing, and, most important, how personal or home technology is forcing changes in technology and technology expectations at work. It’s a fascinating conversation and one that we had no idea when we started about where it would end.

In the second segment, we take on a question Paul Kedrosky raised in his blog post titled “What wow moments have you had in technology lately?” I’m not sure our answers will be a huge surprise, but it made us (and hopefully you) reflect on technology that really did change the way we thought.

In tour Parting Shots, Tom likes Seth Godin’s Email Checklist and I recommend the collection of speaker slides from ABA TECHSHOW 2011, during which Tom gives a realtime demo of how big a help the URL-shortening service Bitly can be.

So You Want to Be a Legal Technologist (#57)

The episode summary:

Over the last few years, legal technology has become a field, even a career for some. You will often hear the term ìlegal technologistî used to describe those in this field. How does someone get started in legal technology and what does it take to be considered a legal technologist? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the history of legal technologists, how to get started in the field, and what they wish they would have known when they started out.

Yes, the title is an illusion to a Byrds song later covered by Patti Smith.

In this episode, we discuss the idea of and the work of “legal technologists.”

People occasionally refer to Tom and I as legal technologists. We wanted to talk about what that means and the ways someone can become a legal technologist.

We start with a bit of history, invoking names like Bob Ambrogi, Ross Kodner and others. We make some distinctions between legal technologists and legal tech consultants for purposes of illustrating our points. We chart out our own paths to becoming known as legal technologists and then we offer a few thoughts about how people wanting to become a legal technologist might actually do that. We also discuss the advantages and disadvantages of being known as a legal technologist.

In the second segment, we answer an audience question about Google’s new “+1″ feature. After the my disappointment with Google’s Wave and Buzz, I found myself more skeptical than Tom is about this new feature and its potential impact on search results.

We end with our Parting Shots. Tom likes social email – Rapportive, Xobni and Gmail’s new social add-on. I recommend a post on the How-to Geek blog called “7 Search Tips You Probably Don’t Know About.”

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. As I said earlier, I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and eliminate the need to wait to find out about new podcasts until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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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Decluttering Your Hard Drives

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

The ABA Journal has published my latest monthly legal technology column in its May 2011 issue. The column is titled “Declutter Home Hard Drives and Aid Performance.” The column covers some simple ways you can declutter, clean up and organize your hard drives. I do focus on your home computer(s), but similar principles will apply in the work setting.

Here’s the inspiration behind the column. I got a new personal computer for 2011 (MacBook Air) and needed to load data and files onto the new computer. That process got me thinking about whether there were some good ways to keep drives organized and to get them in good order after, seemingly inevitably, they get cluttered and wildly disorganized.

As I say in the column, “While it’s tempting just to buy a bigger drive or rely on desktop search tools or the enhanced search tools in recent versions of Windows and Mac OS X, these approaches are only short-term fixes.”

Although I couldnít resist the chance to work the buzzphrase “data hygiene” into the column, I decided to focus on a few basic principles and techniques – pruning, decluttering and organizing.

In pruning and decluttering, you look to eliminate duplicated and unneeded files and stop your computer from automatically creating and saving excessive numbers of files to free up space. After pruning and decluttering, you take a closer look at your approach to folders and try to simplify your approach.

Just some nuts-and-bolts concepts, but if you are moving data to a new computer, you’ll appreciate the making some efforts in these directions. Even if you are not moving to a new computer, you’ll appreciate having a cleaner, better-organized file structure.

Check out the article here.

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

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

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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Freemium, IgniteLaw and ILTA

Monday, June 27th, 2011

I received a package in the mail today with several copies of the June 2011 issue of ILTA’s Peer to Peer magazine.

On page 22, you will find my article called “Freemium,” which is loosely based on the presentation I did for IgniteLaw 2011 called “The Freemium Practice of Law.”

Even better, you can find a copy of my article online here.

The article discusses the potential application of Chris Anderson’s free and freemium principles from his book “Free” to the practice of law. I managed to reference Monty Python, Open Source software and modern portfolio theory, although, alas, my favorite reference to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals in my IgniteLaw presentation hit the cutting room floor.

As many readers know, I occasionally use this blog to show some of my approaches to writing. You might be interested in comparing this article to my original IgniteLaw script to see the choices, especially in resequencing the points, I made when adapting the talk to an article format.

The rest of the issue looks great, but I wanted to highlight JoAnna Forshee’s article about IgniteLaw 2011 on page 132 (online here), which summarize IgniteLaw and points to ways others might use the “Ignite” format.

Let me know what you think of my Freemium article. I’d enjoy hearing about efforts to experiment with freemium approaches in the practice of law.

Thanks to the great people at ILTA (always a pleasure to work with) for their interest in this topic and for publishing my article. If you aren’t familiar with ILTA, you need to be.

[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 Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcasts: The Legal Tech Multiverse and Digital Manners

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

Tom Mighell and I have recorded two more episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here.

Our last two episodes:

Missing Manners for the Digital Age (#56)

The episode description:

Should you really be checking your BlackBerry while I’m having a conversation with you? Do you need to reply to every email, text message, cell phone call and Twitter direct message? When is it OK to unfriend people on Facebook? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss the evolving notion of “digital etiquette,” where people are most likely to make missteps in digital manners, and their take on guiding principles for good and polite behavior in our digital world.

Sometimes Tom and I know exactly where we want to go with our podcasts and sometimes it’s a surprise to us where they go. This episode is an example of the latter type. Before we hit record, we were saying that we had no idea where this one was going to go. At the end, we were quite pleased with the directions it had taken and some of the topics we touched on. See what you think.

The genesis for this episode was our appreciation for the new Slate podcast on digital manners called “Manners for the Digital Age” with Farhad Manjoo and Emily Yoffe. The premise is that our new digital world might well require a whole new set of etiquette rules.

We take a look at whether traditional etiquette rules, the old email etiquette rules, or even good old common sense get us to where we need to be in our new social media world.

We touch on WIlliam Gibson’s notion that, especially with smartphones, the Internet now has intruded into and is part of our “real world” experience. We also have the feeling that “common sense” really doesn’t get us far enough. We discuss some of our own pet peeves and take some tentative steps for suggestions for ways to deal with digital etiquette.

In our Q&A segment, we dive into the topic of QR codes (note this blog’s QR code below). Our Parting Shots deal with gadgets and keyboard shortcuts.

The Legal Technology Multiverse (#55)

The episode summary:

As the number of legal technology options and platforms have increased, management of legal technology has become more complicated than ever before. Routine recommendations are changing because of smartphones, use of Macs, Web 2.0 and other changes. In important ways, our view of technology and even the Internet has become more personalized and less universal. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss how our technology is becoming more complex and varied, the resulting changes to questions you must ask and traditional recommendations, and ways to start to address the implications of this trend.

I’m of two minds about this podcast. I’m so pleased with the actual content and our treatment of the topic. I also quite disappointed that I had a technical glitch that required the use of the backup recording for me. Thanks again to the stellar crew at the Legal Talk Network for salvaging the episode.

In the episode, we discuss what we are calling the “legal technology multiverse” – the idea that there is no longer one common, universal technology or Internet experience and that each of us is starting to have our own unique technology experience. Apps play a big role in this and there are implications in both tech support and the very discussions we have about technology.

I recently spoke to a group of third year law students and invited them to ask me whatever they wanted about legal technology. I knew that there was a risk I’d get stumped, but I didn’t expect that I might get stumped by the very first question or that the first question would get me thinking about the legal tech multiverse.

The first question was about what might be a good case management software choice for a start-up law firm with a mixed Mac/PC environment.

Now, there are many great experts on case management tools, so it’s never been one of my strong topics – I turn to one of my expert friends. I was immediately on shaky ground, but I took a deep breath, said, “that’s a great question,” and, fortunately, found an answer starting to form.

What I realized, though, is that the “standard” case management advice, which has applied for many years, no longer stands alone. There are many nuances and answers to this question will vary based on a number of factors.

In the podcast, Tom and I explore not just this question, but the transition of legal technology and law firms from a relatively homogenous environment to a much more diverse environment than we’ve ever seen before. It’s not just Macs or the cloud. Smartphones, apps and other Internet technologies are moving into standard use. There is also a growing interest in Open Source software.

All of this raises a multitude of new questions, including, not least of which, where do you find good help for what you want to do.

This episode is one of our best and it was so disappointing to me to find my main recording had come out garbled.

In the rest of the show, we answer a question about recommend iPad apps. Our Parting Shots cover turning dual monitors into quadruple monitors and the valuable blog about using iPads in business, iPadCTO.

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. As I said earlier, I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and not wait until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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 Episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast: Curse of the New and Cloud Storage

Thursday, May 5th, 2011

Tom Mighell and I have recorded two more episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here.

Our last two episodes:

The Curse of the Next New Technology (#54)

The episode description:

The newest, the latest, the greatest. Yesterday’s new technology is today’s old news. And we are already transfixed by next month’s technology, let alone what we are hearing is in the works for 2012. Does our obsession with what’s new have negative consequences? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss our seeming obsession with new technology, dealing with the pace of rapid technology change, and realistic strategies for dealing with new technologies.

Tom and I returned from ABA TECHSHOW with a few new topics for podcasts and lots of fresh ideas. In this episode, we take a look at the noticeable push toward getting the latest and greatest tech, especially gadgets. You can hardly enjoy a new technology before people are already focused on the next new thing.

At TECHSHOW, I was telling people that my new iPad 2 would be arriving soon and they would ask me if I was planning to get a BlackBerry Playbook or an Android tablet. My response: why? Slow down just a minute – I’ll need to focus on the iPad for a while and what would I need two tablets for?

However, I’m fascinated by how we’re pushed and pulled toward the newest tech. Tom and I talk about whether iPad 1 owners really “need” to move to an iPad 2 right now, the role of smartphone apps in this push/pull and the responses we see.

Using a 6 or 8 year old laptop because you are still waiting for the next new thing is probably not a wise move.

There’s no doubt that there’s more cool new technology now than ever. The best approach? Keep your focus on what’s right for you and what fits you best.

In the podcast, we also talk about some of the best things we learned at TECHSHOW, Tom’s new iPad for Lawyers blog (http://www.tommighell.com/ipad/), and a podcast with Moira Gunn and Steve Rosenbaum about Curation Nation.

My C Drive is in the Cloud (#53)

The episode summary:

It seems the cloud is everywhere these days. Amazon, Microsoft and others have announced new, low-cost initiatives for online file management and storage. File management services like Dropbox have already gotten a lot of attention and praise. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss a specialized part of the cloud that might provide value to everyone, the advantages and disadvantages of cloud-based file management, and what’s driving these developments.

In this episode, we discuss file management in the cloud and the idea and reality of anytime, anywhere access to all of your files. The topic was prompted by the recent announcement of Amazon Cloud Drive, but I’ve been intrigued with the idea of using the Internet as a giant hard drive since at least the launch of Windows 95. We talk about our experiences with cloud file storage, including SkyDrive, Dropbox and other tools. We talk at length about what we like, potential benefits, why Tom loves Dropbox, and potential reservations and concerns. A big issue is weighing convenience against loss of control.

We also answer a question about Twitter hashtags, Tom’s new book, Ipad in One Hour for Lawyers,” and a great podcast with Scott Moulton on Solid State Drive Forensics. I’m fascinated these days about ways you can use podcasts to get you up to speed on new topics.

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. As I said earlier, I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and not wait until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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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The Freemium Practice of Law and IgniteLaw 2011

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I did a presentation called “The Freemium Practice of Law” at IgniteLaw 2011 last Sunday night, produced by my good friends Matt Homann and JoAnna Forshee.

IgniteLaw takes a unique approach to presentations – 12 presenters each presenting for 6 minutes using only 20 slides apiece. And the slides advance automatically every 18 seconds.

It’s a challenging format for any speaker, no matter how experienced, especially if it doesn’t fit your usual style. Perhaps I understate that. It’s the speaking equivalent of riding in a top fuel dragster.

I found the presentation fun – in a challenging sort of way – but quickly struggled with time management. I got my points made, but not quite in the way I had hoped. My main points seemed to get across and I hope I was able to contribute in a small way to what was a fun evening with lots of high-quality presentations.

The videos will be posted soon, but I thought it might be fun to post the final version of the “rehearsal script” I had written. On that evening, the “script” turned out to be more ambitious than I’d hoped it would be (especially since I couldn’t refer to it), but I really liked the way this version of the script read. See what you think.

The Freemium Practice of Law – Rehearsal Script

1. Several years ago, when I was in the private practice of law, I had a meeting with a potential new client, a technology start-up. Things went well and they wanted to hire me. The initial project would be preparing terms of use and a privacy policy for their website.

2. I gave them an estimate and the president of the company joked that lawyers probably all used the same base documents and just changed the company names. Or at least we created documents with one push of a button. We laughed, although I felt the need to mention that even standard documents had nuances.

3. I thought a lot about that client’s view of legal work, especially documents, and the question kept coming back to me: “If clients assume we can use technology in this way and, technically, we can, why aren’t we”? I first implemented document assembly more than 20 years ago, so the issue is less technology than business model.

4. One of my favorite innovation techniques is to reverse my assumptions. I recently listened to a podcast with William Ury, co-author of a great book on negotiation. He said, “to change the game, you must change the frame.”

5. Here was my reversal. What if standard documents actually were provided to clients for free, perhaps as part of a service package? How would that work? I didn’t get very far myself, but Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson wrote a book in 2009 called “Free” that looked at the growing Internet phenomenon of successful businesses based on giving away what would traditionally be core products and services for free, and then making money in a variety of other ways.

6. Anderson’s book tells about Monty Python deciding not to sue the thousands of people who started to put video clips from their shows and movies on YouTube. Instead, Monty Python created its own YouTube channel and made high-quality video clips available for free. In exchange, they simply asked people to consider buying their products. The result: a 23,000% increase in DVD sales in 3 months, even though they were giving the same video content away.

7. That’s Freemium. Make something available for free, use that to extend your reach and audience, and then provide options for people to willingly pay for enhanced value. My definition of freemium tonight would be: Giving away “something” in order to create educated customers who better understand how to use your services and products in ways that better help themselves and for which they will happily pay to do so.

8. There’s been a lot of discussion about Richard Susskind’s custom vs. commoditized approach and you’ll be hearing more about that in the next few days at TECHSHOW. The most interesting thing about freemium, at least to me, is not so much that it will work in both contexts, but that I think it can work extremely well in the custom context.

9. Another example. Open Source software and Larry Lessig’s Creative Commons licenses. The free “something” is the software or the standardized license. The Open Source model, where the software itself is available for free, but a company like Red Hat can be quite successful selling maintenance, support, consulting services, and even T-shirts around the software, is perhaps the best example of the freemium approach.

10. Stewart Brand famously said, “Information wants to be free.” We clearly live in a world where we expect to get digital versions of music, video, books and information for free. How do lawyers fit into that world?

11. My favorite new band is Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. They let people post recordings of their live shows on the Internet. I doubt that I would have bought any CDs or even known of them if not for this approach. Now, I buy albums and would attend a show in a heartbeat. Bands can now be thought of as music services providers, giving away what we once thought of as core content and value – the music – to create revenue from shows, merchandise and other channels.

12. Now think about a “legal services provider” model. Law is certainly an information business. Are we like music? Encyclopedias? Newspapers? Other fields challenged by Internet models, aging business approaches and innovative competitors? Change the frame, change the game.

13. Lawyers often will say that clients buy documents or hours – a lawyer-centric view. When I did estate planning, I concluded that, at heart, clients were really buying peace of mind – assurance that their family would be taken care of after they were gone. In other practice areas, they might also be buying things like judgment or risk management – something they’d happily pay more for than a document or a unit of time.

14. That is the big disconnect between lawyers and clients and where the opportunity for freemium law practice comes into play. Change the frame, change the game.

15. Some ideas. Start with Anderson’s book. It has plenty of ideas that might Anderson has a lot of freemium ideas in his book that could apply to the practice of law. Here’s one of mine to start you thinking – moving from highlights to insights to personalized. Highlights: a free annual summary of important cases prepared by an associate. Insights: an audio or video where partners explaining why the cases matter. Personalized: Half-day customized presentations where your best people show a client’s legal and executive team how to address those new cases.

16. Barriers. Oh, there are a few. Not done before. It’s change. How do we bill? Bar regulation still applying a 20th century framework to 21st century client needs. Don’t underestimate – these will be difficult frames to change, but freemium is for innovators who like challenges.

17. It strikes me that simple technology can drive this. Document assembly has been around for years. Second graders are making videos these days. So much can be delivered easily via the Internet for free.

18. Where do you get ideas other than buying Matt Homann a cup of coffee? I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about Bryan Cave’s Trade Zone extranet application as a model. Other professional services firms, authors and consultants have successful models. Talk to young people, see what’s going on outside the US, and get a diversity of opinions.

19. Let me emphasize that I’m not for a second advocating a wholesale freemium approach. However, I do think that economic survival for the long term depends on taking a diversified portfolio approach. Using free to create enhanced-value freemium revenue streams should be one part of your portfolio.

20. 3 action steps for you:

1. Read Chris Anderson’s book. Even better, go to iTunes and get the audio version for free, and see if you go ahead and buy the book.

2. Carve out 30 minutes with a piece of paper and brainstorm ways you might try free and freemium, starting with places where you already heavily discount or write-off fees.

3. Change your frame and see if it changes your game

IgniteLaw 2011 was fun, fast-paced and informative. I congratulate Matt, JoAnna, all the other presenters and everyone else involved for putting on such a great event. And it was especially great to meet some other Grace Potter and the Nocturnals fans.

I’m hoping to post some reflections on TECHSHOW 2011 soon.

[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

Recent Episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report Podcast

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

LinkedIn. Backing up. The iPad 2. Beyond Keyword Search.

I thought I’d get you caught up on recent podcasts. Tom Mighell and I have recorded several episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast since I’ve last posted about podcasts on this blog. They are now available on the Legal Talk Network and on iTunes, with an RSS feed here.

We’ve moved past the 50 episode mark, added another great sponsor (Carbonite Pro), and, I think, done some of our best work. I invite to listen to the recent episodes, to subscribe to the podcast in iTunes and send us your questions and ideas for future topics.

Here’s a list of the last four episodes (in reverse chronological order) with the program descriptions:

What Comes After Keyword Search?

Despite all the talk about “search” on the web, the simple fact is that we’d trade all the “search” in the world for a lot more “find.” The good news is that there are some developments that will help us get the information we want when we want it. In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss what comes after traditional keyword search, new tools and techniques like recommendation engines and apps, and whether we are getting closer to being able to truly get the information we want when we want it. (Episode 52)

This podcast grew out of our recent perception that regular Google searching is increasingly unsatisfying. We talk a look at current and future alternatives, with a big emphasis on social search. In the second segment, we talk about our upcoming presentations at IgniteLaw 2011 on April 10.

Climbing Aboard the iPad 2 Train

The first iPad was incredibly successful and the launch of the iPad 2 has created a fresh surge of interest in the tablet category. Is the iPad 2 the tablet device that lawyers have been waiting for? In this episode, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell discuss their experiences in line at the Apple Store on Opening Day attempting to get the freshest information for their audience, talk about their early experiences with the iPad 2, and speculate about the “post-PC era,” the iPad 2 and its potential impact on lawyers and their clients. (Episode 51)

In this podcast, Tom and I decided it would be fun to try to get a new iPad 2 on launch night and report about our experiences. Tom was successful. I wasn’t. In fact, I had to give up on trying to get one at the Apple Store and am still waiting for mine to be shipped to me. Fortunately, Tom, who has written a new iPad for lawyers book, is able to share his real-world experiences, while I rely on what I’ve read and heard. In the second segment, we talk about the new social media phenomenon of group messaging, especially at conferences, and whether we think any of these services will catch on at ABA TECHSHOW in April.

You ARE Backing Up, Right?

Everyone (well, we hope everyone) knows data backup is important. That’s why we always vow to be more diligent after we lose more data at an inopportune time. Data backup has become more complicated over the past few years as our data moves out from our computers to the cloud. We know what to do, so why don’t we? (Episode 50

Tom had an issue with his blog where it looked liked he might have lost about a year’s worth of posts. Fortunately, they were restored, but it reminded us how important backup still is. We discuss new approaches that make backing up your data empire easier and cheaper than ever – if you’ll actually pay attention and make the backups. In the second segment, we talk about recent changes Google made to its search algorithm.

The Land of LinkedIn

Lawyers can’t go a single day without hearing how they need to be using social media. Social media, however, is a big topic and there are lots of social media tools. The tool lawyers most commonly use is LinkedIn, but are they really using it to good advantage? (Episode 49)

As I recall, the title was a hat tip to Lincoln’s birthday. Lately, I’ve been thinking that brad-based presentations to lawyers about “social media” are becoming less useful. Better, I think, to focus on one of the social media tools and cover it in depth. We delve into how we use LinkedIn and how you might use it better. In the second segment, we get a report from Tom about his trip to the 2011 LegalTech NY conference.

I invite you to listen to the episodes that interest you. I also recommend that you subscribe to the podcast through iTunes to get new episodes as they are released (and not wait until I post about recent episodes on this blog).

Let us know what you think about episodes. And try some of the other back episodes as well. Although we’re working on some technical issues (please be patient), the show notes for the podcast can be found at www.tkmreport.com.

We always welcome your questions and will try to answer them on episodes.

[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