Podcast: The Future of the Professions: An Interview with Richard and Daniel Susskind

So what is a professional? Wikipedia explains the term this way:

“A professional is a member of a profession or any person who earns their living from a specified activity. The term also describes the standards of education and training that prepare Future of the Professionsmembers of the profession with the particular knowledge and skills necessary to perform the role of that profession. In addition, most professionals are subject to strict codes of conduct enshrining rigorous ethical and moral obligations. Professional standards of practice and ethics for a particular field are typically agreed upon and maintained through widely recognized professional associations.”

In their new book, The Future of the Professions, Richard and Daniel Susskind discuss how ever more powerful technology tools impact the future of most professionals, not just lawyers. As many of you know, Professor Richard Susskind has done extensive research and has written several books relating to the future of the legal profession. The father-son duo were guests on our Digital Edge podcast The Future of the Professions: An Interview with Richard and Daniel Susskind.

They discuss the concept of “the grand bargain” where professionals were granted exclusivity in certain fields generally through a licensing process in order to serve the public interest. The professionals regulated their own professions and provided professional standards. They enforced these standards through various ways including dismissing from the profession those who could not or would not comply. Even though the members of the profession may have benefited from this self-regulation and exclusivity in many ways, including financially, the main goal was to serve the public. There is really no realistic way that those without training and expertise could set the standards for architects. Even if a legislative body attempted to do so, it would have to rely on the expertise of members of the profession.

Enter the machines–the information technology machines. At first they serve as tools to assist the professionals, as when architects work more quickly and effectively using computer-assisted design (CAD) software. But clearly we are moving away from what the authors call our  “printed-based industrial society” to a digital information-based society. We are seeing a lot of realignment. And we will be seeing more, just as the printing press eliminated the the need for scribes who made copies of documents by hand and making flight reservations online severely reduced the number of travel agents.

In education for example, more people have already signed up for Harvard’s online offerings than have enrolled at Harvard in the history of the university.

We professionals are proud of our expertise, skill and training. Some of the concepts in this impressive book are challenging. You may disagree with some of the authors’ conclusions. But none of us can deny many changes are occuring. Some patients now spend more time with a nurse practitioner or physician’s assistant associated with a doctor than the actual doctor. That change has more to do with cost control than technology. Every lawyer is aware of the online legal document assembly services. I hope many of you will read their book, but you can list to this outstanding podcast right now. It is a bit long than our typical podcast because the conversation was so fascinating.

Daniel gave us an example of the card game Solitaire. According to the rules you must play a red card on a black card and vice versa. When one plays with physical cards, you can play a red card on a red card and no one stops you. When you play Solitaire on a computer, however, you cannot make that play as the computer will not allow it. You can extrapolate that concept to technology-assisted administration of medication where the “machine” would not allow one to administer an overdose or to pick the wrong bottle of medicine.

Sharon and I hope you enjoy our Digital Edge podcast The Future of the Professions: An Interview with Richard and Daniel Susskind

Podcast: The Future of the Professions: An Interview with Richard and Daniel Susskind

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Drug Possession Charges Tulsa 405-673-8250 Best Felony Drug Crime Lawyer Tulsa,OK

Thoughts on Social Media: Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties

Have you heard of the new mind reading app? It lets you know the thoughts and emotions of others, especially those from your past that you have not seen in a long time. You can use it to find evidence about everything from people are lying about why they really missed work to why they are angry with their spouse. It is the stuff of science fiction. It is called Facebook.

Now that we have experienced several years of everyone being able to publish their thoughts instantly to a world-wide audience at essentially no cost, we have all learned it is a mixed blessing. Most of us have seen social media missteps and mishaps. Some lawyers have already used them as evidence. Some of these are really funny. Like when the CEO of Frito Lay tweeted out a long series of items he meant to type into the Google search bar, ending with these two tweets “who is tweeting my google searches?” and “who’s watching me?” The answers were “you are” and “as word spreads, millions using social media are.” Social media balls

In my column for the Oklahoma Bar Journal “Thoughts on Social Media: Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties,” I cover several aspects of social media including lawyer marketing via social media and online reviews. This article was a bit stressful to finish as I had done my research weeks earlier and Facebook made a lot of changes as I was finalizing it, including killing the Facebook for Business help pages i was intending to reference. Online reviews are potentially problematic for lawyers. A satisfied client wanting to give you a great review may inadvertently say things that violate the Rules of Professional Conduct and the losing opposing party in litigation may decide to post terrible reviews pretending to be an angry former client.

Here is some back story. Facebook is taking on Yelp with a new local business finder feature that was announced in December. The announcement caused a dip in the price of Yelp stock. Review sites are very popular, but no review site would be worth much if a business could cause any negative reviews to be deleted. (You would end up with the review site equivalent of the Lake Wobegon effect where everyone was above average.) So Facebook only will delete a review on a Facebook business page (to use lawyer language) for good cause. I have concerns about this for lawyers and so have included in my article a workaround to disable reviews entirely, which is more difficult than you might think. Of course, it is Facebook, so that could all change tomorrow.

But I do believe that many lawyers, particularly small firm lawyers, should explore using paid social media campaigns and with Facebook you need some sort of business page to do that.

Enjoy the article, but I will say in advance that there are still changes ahead on  how we use social media, including social media marketing.


Thoughts on Social Media: Risks, Rewards and Uncertainties

Toward a Less Stressful Workplace (and More Clients)

MeditatingToward a Less Stressful Workplace is my column in the January/February 2015 issue of Law Practice Magazine. Law offices often deal with very high stakes matters under strict time deadlines. It is not news to those in the legal profession that there is a lot of stress associated with being a lawyer. So there may be nothing earth-shattering for you in these tips. But it is the beginning of a new year and aiming for less stress in your life and the lives of your coworkers has to be a good thing. So read and feel free to share.

And the “more clients” part? Well this issue is the marketing issue of Law Practice magazine. Marketing is about getting more clients and better clients. The first feature is a three part discussion on branded legal networks. So if you are not sure what those are or how they relate to you, this may be a great magazine for you to read − virtual cover to virtual cover. Note: If you are an ABA Member, you can join the ABA Law Practice Division to receive the physical magazine or if you are not in the ABA, you can always subscribe to the magazine.

Toward a Less Stressful Workplace (and More Clients)