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. 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 ‘techshow’

#ABATECHSHOW: LinkedIn How-to Session and Much More

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

It’s time for ABA TECHSHOW and I’m wrapping up my preparations. Hope to see you there. If you can’t be there, remember that you can get a peek of what is happening at the conference by checking out the Twitter hashtag #ABATECHSHOW. I’ll note that you can still get registered and attend. You can also get an Exhibit Hall pass for a day, and I always strongly encourage law students in Chicago to take advantage of special deals for law students.

I have a typically busy schedule, starting right away with an introductory “State of Legal Technology” panel presentation at the opening of TECHSHOW with Adriana Linares, Tom Mighell, Allison Shields and Paul Unger that will give a fast-paced summary of highlights from the 2013 ABA Technology Survey.

My main presentation is 2:15 PM on Friday, March 27, when Allison Shields and I will present a session on LinkedIn for Lawyers as part of the “How-to” track. We have decided on what we hope will be a great approach to learning LinkedIn. We’ll focus on LinkedIn Profiles and do some real-time editing of my LinkedIn Profile in an interactive way to help people learn how to edit their own Profiles and follow along and make changes during the session. I think this will be fun, practical and also result in me getting some updates to my own Profile actually done.

For people who want to talk more about LinkedIn after the session or can’t attend the session, Allison and I are hosting a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner on Friday night at Roy’s Hawaiian Restaurant. Be sure to sign up for the dinner before it sells out. For an even more radical approach, I believe there might still be an opportunity to sponsor the dinner.

Obviously, both the session and the dinner will help get the word out on our two new LinkedIn books, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition) and LinkedIn in One Hour. LIOHFL 2ed Image

Allison and I have published a couple of LinkedIn articles in 2014: Fourteen LinkedIn Tips for 2014 and Making the Most of LinkedIn. Allison’s LegalEase blog also has great ongoing coverage of LinkedIn for lawyers. We’ll also be presenting a webinar on LinkedIn for Lawyers: Getting Real World Results from Online Networking for ALI CLE on April 7.

I’ll also be co-hosting a Taste of TECHSHOW dinner on Thursday night on the topic of living in two tech worlds (Mac and PC, iOS and Android, et al.). Tom will be speaking on iPads for Lawyers at the Chicago Apple Store on Michigan Avenue tonight. There’s also what should be another excellent LexThink .1 tonight.

I’ll also be working booths for the ABA Law Practice Division Publishing Board, the Legal Technology Resource Center, and the Conference Concierge booth (Saturday morning 8:00 to 9:30 (maybe the best time to talk to me)). I’ll also be involved in a “So You Want to Write for the ABA” session, where I’ll discuss ways to write for the Legal Technology Resource Center (a great opportunity for anyone interested in legal technology).

Wow, I’m going to be busy, but ABA TECHSHOW is always my favorite technology conference. And, as I’m sure I’ll be reminding myself, it’s the good kind of tired.

Hope to see you there. If you read this blog, be sure to introduce yourself.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). 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: 13 Facebook Tips for Lawyers in 2013

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

In perhaps the classic example of “I didn’t have enough time to write a shorter article, so I wrote a longer one,” I have a new article out in the February issue of the Law Practice Today webzine. It runs about 3,000 words and is called “Thirteen Facebook Tips for Lawyers in 2013.”

As the article summary says:

Still scared of Facebook? Come on, it’s 2013 already—can 1 billion users really all be wrong? Here are 13 tips to guide even the most reluctant late adopter on how to get the most of the most popular social media tool.

The article offers some of my observations about lawyers using (and, mainly, not using) Facebook, thirteen practical tips (anybody else notice that matching the number of tips to the year has upped the degree of difficulty for these types of tips articles?), and three simple action steps to get yourself going on Facebook.

The money quote:

There are many reasons lawyers probably should be using Facebook, but I’m not sure that convince many reluctant lawyers with those reasons. Instead, consider my view that there may be no better resource than Facebook to help you reconnect with people who were important in your life with whom you have lost contact.

I expect that Allison Shields and I will cover many of these tips in more detail in our upcoming presentation on LinkedIn and Facebook at ABA TECHSHOW 2013 in Chicago in April.You will also have the chance to talk about these topics with Allison and me at the Taste of TECHSHOW dinner we will be hosting on April 4.

Hope you find the new article helpful.If you want to dive even deeper into Facebook, you might consider reading Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, the new book from Allison Shields and me, which is also available in an iBook version.

What other tips do you have for for lawyers to make better use of Facebook?

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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?

Thursday, December 27th, 2012

[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 (]

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.

A Non-Attendee’s Guide to “Attending” ABA TECHSHOW 2012

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

As I’ve mentioned, my recent bout with a blood clot in my leg is preventing me from attending ABA TECHSHOW 2012, my favorite legal tech conference of the year, later this week. That made me think about ways to “attend” TECHSHOW without actually being there. In fact, Tom Mighell and I talked a bit about this idea in our latest podcast called “Turning TECHSHOW Topics into Technology Agenda.”

The great thing about blogs, social media and especially Twitter these days is that you really can keep up with what’s happening at conferences that interest you. TECHSHOW generates a lot of traffic along these lines, so it’s a great place to see how social media works in connection with a conference.

Blogs. There is a concept known as “live blogging” where bloggers take notes during sessions and post them on their blogs after each session they attend. Some bloggers do an excellent job of this, which I admire, because I simply can’t do this. Watch the blogs of your favorite legal tech bloggers to see what they post. I find that the best blog source for legal tech conferences is JoAnna Forshee’s daily summary posts at the InsideLegal blog. She has already posted “ABA TECHSHOW 2012: What You Need to Know.”

Twitter. TECHSHOW can really help you understand what Twitter is and how it might or might not be useful to you. If you haven’t used Twitter Search much yet, TECHSHOW is a great time to try it. You can search on “TECHSHOW” or the official “#abatechshow.” The latter is what is known as a hashtag. Anyone posting from TECHSHOW can include this hashtag in his or her tweet and everyone can easily find all TECHSHOW-related posts. You might see tweets summarizing key points from sessions and other info from the conference. At TECHSHOW, the volume of tweets can be high and repetitive, but you can get a good feel for what is happening at the conference and capture a fair amount of information content from the show. You can also follow the tweets of certain speakers or attendees. I always enjoy Gwynne Monahan’s high-volume tweets as @econwriter5 and Tom Mighell’s helpful tweets at @tommighell. You’ll be able to identify other quality tweeters to follow by monitoring the Twitter search results.

Other Social Media. Of course, what you will get depends on the connections you have in LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media platforms, but these platforms can also bring you information from the conference.

Handouts. Tom also pointed out on the podcast that you can also purchase the TECHSHOW conference materials. TECHSHOW has always successfully encouraged speakers to submit quality handout materials.

Participation. Using social media, you can do more than just monitor the conference. You can actually participate in discussions on Twitter, comment on blog posts and the like. You can also invite people to connect on LinkedIn, friend people on Facebook and follow new people on Twitter.

Frankly, all of this is not really the same as being there, but it’s the next best thing and it’s getting better. I’m so disappointed I can’t in person, but I’m happy I have so many ways to be part of TECHSHOW virtually.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

An Attendee’s Guide to ABA TECHSHOW 2012

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

ABA TECHSHOW runs from Thursday to Saturday this week. It’s my favorite legal technology conference, although I might be a bit biased because I was on the TECHSHOW Board for a few years.

Unfortunately, as some readers already know, I’m not going to be able to attend this year because I’m in the process of recovering from a blood clot in my leg. I’m feeling better, but not enough. That’s very disappointing to me because I was scheduled to speak at two sessions, the book Allison Shields and I wrote, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers, will debut at TECHSHOW, and I’ll miss see all of my friends in the legal technology world.

As I thought about this development, I decided that I’d write a blog post that was a little bit about what I’d do if I were at TECHSHOW and a little bit about what I’d recommend others do while at TECHSHOW.

My first recommendation would be to read Peter Bregman’s great Harvard Business Review article about attending conferences called “How to Attend a Conference as Yourself.”

The secret to attending TECHSHOW is to realize that it’s a great gathering of lawyers who want to use technology in their practices. In many firms, these lawyers can’t find other lawyers with the same interests and passion about technology. At TECHSHOW, lawyers often say that they didn’t realize that there were so many lawyers like them.

The best thing you can do is to introduce yourself to and talk to others at TECHSHOW – attendees, speaker, vendors. Especially speakers. TECHSHOW speakers enjoy talking to attendees about technology. See the speaker ribbon on an ID badge as an inviting to say hello, not as a barrier.


There’s a smartphone app for TECHSHOW. Download and install it in preparation. I’d also go over the agenda and identify the sessions you want to attend. TECHSHOW has always focused on education. It’s a conference where it makes sense to attend as many educational sessions as you can. The speakers always have a practical focus. Arrive at TECHSHOW with your list of the sessions you want to attend. Also, it’s OK to slip out of a session if it’s not what you want and move over to another session. The sessions are close to each other in location.

Wednesday Afternoon.

If you arrive on Wednesday, get yourself registered and get your name badge right away on Wednesday afternoon. Wear the badge so others know that you are attending TECHSHOW and introduce yourself to other attendees.

Wednesday Evening.

I’d recommend trying to get into the LexThink .1 event. It’ll be a fast, thought-provoking and fun session of twelve 6-minute presentations. Matt Homann and JoAnna Forshee know how to put on a great show. And it’s free. Make it your mission to talk to as many new people as you can.

There’s also an opening reception. I wouldn’t miss it.

Then take advantage of any opportunity to hang out with other attendees after the event in the hotel. A key point: you can’t really network from your hotel room.


Especially if you are a first-time attendee, but everyone should see TECHSHOW chair Reid Trautz’s intro address first thing in the morning. Reid is a great speaker and he’ll help you map our the highlights of TECHSHOW.

Then, make it your goal to wear yourself out by attending as many sessions as you can, visiting the exhibit floor and meeting as many people as you can. People are very welcoming at TECHSHOW. Find an empty seat at a table at lunch and invite yourself.

Also, take advantage of the Conference Concierge booth, Adrian Linares’s great contribution to the TECHSHOW. The Conference Concierge booth sits at the entrance to TECHSHOW is staffed by speakers and TECHSHOW Board members with the goal of answering all your questions. From directions to sessions and restrooms to signing up for Taste of TECHSHOW dinners to answering tech questions, this booth is the place for information. You’ll often find the speakers you want to meet at the booth helping out. It’s a great place to talk to speakers you’d like to meet. I always found the booth so much fun that I worked it even at times I hadn’t volunteered for.

If you’ve done your pre-work, you will have identified the sessions you want to attend and vendors you want to visit. I’ll recommend especially the two sessions I’ll be missing in action as a speaker. First, Allison Shields at 10:30 in the Meet the Authors session for our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers. Allison is so knowledgeable on LinkedIn and she’s planning to answer questions about how lawyers can best use LinkedIn. Then, at 2:00, check out the session called Coffee Shop Office: The Ethics of Mobile Computing, where Sharon Nelson and Tom Mighell will be speaking on the vital topic of mobile security. I’ve seen the slides and the session should be excellent.

End up your first full day with the traditional opening reception.

Did I really say end your day? Not at all. One of the great thing at TECHSHOW is the Taste of TECHSHOW dinners. Arranged by topic, these dinners allow about ten people to sign up for dinners at nearby restaurants hosted by topic experts. Some are already sold out, so check out what’s available online. You can also sign up at the Conference Concierge desk. Here’s a little-known tip: there are usually some last-minute cancellations, so check at the Concierge booth to see if a spot will open up for you. Also, watch for places other attendees are hanging out in the hotel in the evening and join in.


Get up early and dive right in. Repeat the overloaded schedule from Thursday (get your money’s worth). I’ll recommend what would have been my other session at 3:30 called Running Your Practice Entirely in the Cloud: From Start Up to a Large Virtual Firm, with Chad Burton and Catherine Sanders Reach. Again, I know what will be presented and it should be a great session.

Make sure you spend time on Friday visiting all the vendors whose products you want to learn more about.

End the day with the Beer and Bloggers event, another Taste of TECHSHOW dinner or have dinner with new friends you’ve met. My motto: If there’s an event on the schedule, try to attend it.

Extend your evening by finding where people are hanging out at the hotel. You can learn a lot in these evening conversations.


It’s the good kind of tired, believe me. The Saturday sessions are usually excellent. I especially recommend Jim Calloway’s plenary session on the future of law practice. TECHSHOW closes with the traditional 60 Sites in 60 Minutes session.


Whether you use LinkedIn, email or phone, make sure you stay in contact with the new friends you made. Most importantly, if you are not already a member of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section, give very serious thought to joining the Section.

As I like to say, technology is more about people than it is about technology. Nothing proves my point more than TECHSHOW. I’m so disappointed I won’t be able to attend, but I hope this guide helps you get the greatest benefit from your experience.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

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

The new book Allison Shields and I have written called “LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers” is now available. Also, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

By Request: Will You Be Speaking at ABA TECHSHOW This Year?

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Note: As part of my ninth blawgiversary celebration, I’m answering reader questions. You may submit your questions by leaving a comment to this post, sending me an email (denniskennedyblog @ or contacting me through my social media outlets.

First up:

Will you be speaking at ABA TECHSHOW this year? What will you be speaking on?

The ABA TECHSHOW has long been the legal technology conference I enjoy the most and the one I try to go to every year.

I’m please that I was invited to speak at TECHSHOW this year, and am greatly looking forward to doing so.

My speaking agenda:

Thursday, March 29, 2:00 PM – Coffee Shop Office: The Ethics of Mobile Computing (with Sharon Nelson)

Practicing anywhere at any time is no longer just a dream. From SmartPhones, laptops, and tablets, to the use of cloud-based tools; from Wi-Fi hot spots to remote access services, wireless technology is changing the paradigm of modern legal practice. But that new freedom requires heightened security practices to meet ethical standards. Our techno-ethics experts walk through best practices for taking your office on the road.

Friday, March 30, 3:30 PM – Running Your Practice Entirely in the Cloud: From Start Up to a Large Virtual Firm (with Chad Burton)

Setting up a viable cloud-based or virtual practice requires many careful steps — there are many ethics dangers along the way. Learn how to do just that with our speakers, as they show how every aspect of the law office can be put it in the cloud regardless of firm status, i.e. start up vs. existing practice, or firm size. See specific examples of how to share documents, client information and more – all in the cloud!”

And . . . although it’s not on the schedule on the TECHSHOW website, I understand that Allison Shields and I will be hosting a “Meet the Authors” session for our new book, LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers.

I’ve been working with my excellent co-speakers and believe we have great plans for these sessions – they should be jammed with lots of great practical information.

As usual, I’ll probably spend my spare time staffing the conference concierge desk and spending time visiting with as many people as I can. Be sure to come up and say hello if you attend TECHSHOW. Do I really have to say that if you are a regular reader of this blog, you should definitely attend TECHSHOW this year? TECHSHOW registration info is here. I noticed that the early registration discount window has been kept open for a few more days.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.


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 (]

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 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

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

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.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 Twitter: @collabtools

IgniteLaw 2011 and The Freemium Practice of Law

Monday, March 7th, 2011

I was disappointed not to be able to attend the first IgniteLaw in 2010, although close observers will catch my very brief virtual appearance on the video from last year. I’m planning to make it to the recently-announced IgniteLaw 2011 that will happen on April in Chicago on the evening before the start of the 25th ABA TECHSHOW.

IgniteLaw (“The Future of Law Practice, in 6 minute increments”) is presented by my friends Matt Homann (LexThink) and JoAnna Forshee (InsideLegal). IgniteLaw uses the popular “Ignite” format with speakers getting 6 minutes to present with 20 automatically-advancing slides. The videos from last year will give you an idea of what to expect.

I thought it would be fun to come up with a possible presentation. While my first choice was to do a dramatic re-enactment of Doug Sorocco’s tremendous presentation from last year, I quickly realized that Doug’s presentation simply cannot be duplicated. We have to talk Doug into coming back this year.

The topic idea I submitted is called “The Freemium Practice of Law” and here is the description I wrote:

Richard Susskind meets Chris Anderson meets Larry Lessig on the road to new legal business models based on the notion of “Freemium.” How might lawyers give away traditional core services and products (think documents) to generate new flows of income, happy clients and personally-fulfilling work using technology readily-at-hand, Open Source principles, and new technology on the horizon?

I wanted to pull together some provocative ideas I’ve thought about off and on for the last couple of years, but haven’t written about or presented before. The talk would take me into some different areas than I’ll be presenting on at TECHSHOW (collaboration tools for transactional lawyers and Open Source software for law firms).

I’m excited about this topic and presentation. So much so that I’ve already sketched out the slides for the presentation. There’s a voting process for IgniteLaw, so I’m hopeful that my topic gets picked.

If you will be in Chicago on April 10 (for TECHSHOW or otherwise), I encourage you to attend IgniteLaw 2011. Tickets are free, seats are limited, and the information you need about tickets is here. Hope to see you there. I’ll be pestering you about going to TECHSHOW and talking a bit more about my presentations there in a future post.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

Follow my microblog on Twitter ñ @dkennedyblog. Follow me ñ @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 Twitter: @collabtools