groups. He is responsible for defining the intersection of legal blockchain and legal artificial intelligence for IBM. In this podcast, he talks with Jim Calloway and Sharon Nelson about why lawyers should be interested in cognitive computing (or augmented intelligence). We hope you enjoy our podcast How Augmented Intelligence and Cognitive Computing Serves the Legal Profession.
Next week is our Opening Your Law Practice program here in Oklahoma, but one of the major resources we provide is available online to all lawyers.
We at the Oklahoma Bar Association Management Assistance Program team put on this program three times a year right after the new lawyers admission ceremony. Next week, the daylong class will be held October 3 at the Tulsa County Bar and October 4 at the Oklahoma Bar Center in Oklahoma City. Earlier this week 205 applicants became Oklahoma-licensed lawyers. We wish all of them would attend our program, whether they are opening up their own law practice or not, because we provide a lot of information about manage a law practice. You can see the class schedules at the links above.
If you are interested in starting a new law practice, you’re welcome to visit our OBA-MAP Starting a Law Practice Web Directory. There are quite a few downloadable documents and links to many resources, including many of those published by other state bar associations who have practice management advisors like myself on staff. Between our resources and their resources, there is a lot of valuable information completely for free.
All Oklahoma lawyers are welcomed to take this free training. We do accept walk-ins, but would appreciate it if lawyers who want to attend would contact my assistant Nickie Day before close of business Friday, September 29 so we can have sufficient lunches for everyone. For many years now, lunch for the attendees at this program has been graciously provided by Oklahoma Attorneys Mutual Insurance Company.
This program is primarily about the business of law, which today includes much more about technology than it would have many years ago. While we will have mostly brand-new lawyers in the audience, in the past we’ve had a mix of attendees including lawyers leaving large firms, recently retired judges and district attorneys. It is an in-person attendance only event. One of my favorite comments was from a retired judge who told me afterwards This was an incredibly valuable seminar because it became very clear to me that I don’t want to do all that stuff. He works as a mediator for a mediation practice now and is quite happy with that decision.
Some lawyers open a new practice directly out of law school because it is been their long term dream. Some open their own practice because they didn’t find employment after graduation. Some join an established small firm practice that could use a bit of updating with its processes. Helping new lawyers begin and seeing their excitement at the beginning of their careers is one of the most satisfying things I get to do.
Lawyers help their clients manage many legal and business risks. But law firms have many risks of their own to managetoday. Fromransomware and other cyber attacks to losing a key client or key lawyer, the way to manage these risks is to think about the risks in advance and make plans from creating an incident response plans to purchasing insurance. In my column Risky Business: Managing Law Firm Risks for Law Practice magazine, I cover several risks and how to begin the planning processes to mitigate them.
The September/October 2017 of Law Practice magazine is a Finance themed issue. Every lawyer in private practice should be interested in law firm finance. Noteworthy articles include Budgeting for a Banner Year by Ellen Freedman, Identifying Your Ideal Clients by Mary Juetten and Using Small Data to Make Big Decisions by Fastcase CEO Ed Walters.
Managing both finances and potential risks more effectively are great topics for law firm improvement. There is much to consider in this issue of the Law Practice Division’s flagship publication.
My “Big Idea” for the Big Ideas issue of Law Practice Magazine was a column titled The Law Firm Portal: A Must-Have Client Service Tool. I hope you can take the time to read it.
In all honesty perhaps the biggest idea today for solo and small firm lawyers (who have not already done so) is to work from digital client files, powered by practice management software which allows lawyers to securely communicate with clients via secure client portals and reduces the use of insecure email with clients.
Darla Jackson, Oklahoma Bar Association Practice Management Advisor, and I did a webcast for the American Bar Association called Client Portals: Why Attorneys are Flocking to Them earlier this year early this year. It is still available on demand. The ABA apparently had one of their writers attend the program and that summary was circulated to the entire ABA membership in June: Why attorneys are flocking to client portals. It is a quite good summary of the program and the concept.
Now the world has watched as hurricanes have destroyed and damaged many buildings in Texas and Florida. There really cannot be a better argument for preserving client information in a manner where it can be easily accessed to be used for the client’s benefit. In the even of a natural disaster, as soon as both the lawyer and the client locate electricity and an internet connection giving access to a cloud-based practice management system or portal provider, the law firm is operating and there are secure communications with the client, no matter who might be excluded from office or home.
Darla Jackson will also be presenting a program on client portals at the Oklahoma Bar Association Annual Meeting in November 2017.
One year ago I was the guest on Digital Detectives podcast on the topic of Cyber Security for Small Firms and Solo Practice.
This is an important subject and I decided this podcast deserved a repeat promotion. I had occasion to listen to the podcast recently and my five cybersecurity tips are still important for lawyers, especially in smaller firms.
One thing that has changed since we recorded the podcast is that the ability to pay the ransom (if you are so inclined) is now often nonexistent. Once the infection is out in the wild, the authorities can’t do much about preventing the spread, but they’ve been successful in quickly blocking the methods used to pay the ransom in bitcoin.
I was interviewed by my good friends, Sharon Nelson and John Simek and I can guarantee that you will never hear a podcast about cybersecurity with more laughter. The information about today’s cyber threats seems much less scary when it is interspersed with laughter.
Share the link to the podcast with someone you know that needs to listen to it.
The Big Ideas issue of Law Practice Magazine is one of my favorite publications each year. As a member of the LP Magazine board, I love watching it take shape.
The most recent Big Ideas issue not only has great content, but also one of my favorite covers for the magazine ever.
Among the many great articles contained in this issue is Transforming a Law Practice with Technology by Nick Gaffney, one on how legal operations professionals can bring a data-driven approach to law firm budgets, and an article entitled Gray but Not Gone by Roberta Tapper and Elizabeth Deane, which focuses on the role of senior attorneys who do not wish to retire. There are also columns on artificial intelligence in the practice of law, the current state of digital maps and the Legal Board, a keyboard design for lawyers.
Brooke Moore writes Client Driven Firms: the Future of Law Is Now. There can be no more true statement today about the future of law practice today than this one. Clients are pressuring the law firms that serve them to improve.
Summer may be ending, but your summer reading list hasn’t been completed until you have digested the big ideas contained in this great Law Practice magazine.
We really enjoyed recording our recent Digital Edge podcast- Teaching the Technology of Law Practice to Law Students.
Our guest was Darin Fox, an associate dean at the University of Oklahoma College of Law. He oversees the law library, information technology, and the school’s law practice technology training program, called the Digital Initiative Project. Not only is theUniversity of Oklahoma College of Law myalma mater, but the Digital Initiative Project is a great concept for the training of future lawyers. Every incoming law student gets an iPad, withaccompanying training and legal-specific software apps. They offer many tech training classes and have a certificate they offer to graduates as well. But listen to the podcast and you can learn of all of the interesting concepts OU is using for lawyer training. (And let me add, as we approach the fall football season, BOOMER SOONER!)
Three University of Oklahoma College of Law faculty members attended this year’s ABA TECHSHOW, participating in TECHSHOW’s academic track. Planning is underway for the next ABA TECHSHOW now and there will be an academic track for law school faculty again next year. So if you haven’t yet gotten it on your calendar, now is the time. ABA TECHSHOW 2018 will be held March 7-10, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Whether you are a law school faculty member or a practicing lawyer, there’s no better place to learn about the latest advances in law office technology, get advanced training on the tools you use and meet some really great people than TECHSHOW.
And, yes, unless you are a recent law school graduate, things are changing in law school instruction just like they are in all aspects of our profession.