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    Archive for April, 2009
    Owed to the West Wind, er, Blackberry…
    Tuesday, April 21st, 2009

    ♫ Thy magic reunites those
    Whom stern custom has parted;
    All men will become brothers
    Under thy gentle wing…♫

    Lyrics by Friedrich von Schiller; music by L. van Beethoven; Ode to Joy”.

    When my trusty but basic cell phone died, it was time to look for a replacement.  I knew that it was time to stop my resistance as one of the last holdouts against the western phenomenon that has blown thru the business world, namely the Blackberry.  It was a difficult decision but ultimately driven by the need to carry my calendar around with me without carrying a paper printout.  I thought that these tiny black megaliths would soon start to have an influence over my life much as the black megalith slowly but surely changes the primitive ancestors of man in: “2001 A Space Odyssey“.   What I should have realized much sooner is that this influence could be both positive as well as possibly negative.  I also realized that as a self-confessed tecchy, I was failing to drink my own Kool-aid.

    The rest of this blog post can be read at www.slaw.ca

    Posted in Change Management, humour, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    The Rule of Law (Week)…
    Wednesday, April 15th, 2009

    ♫ Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!
    Get up, stand up: don’t give up the fight!

    Music and Lyrics by Bob Marley and Peter Tosh, “Get Up, Stand Up!

    April 16 marks the kickoff of Law Week in Canada, a national event sponsored by The Canadian Bar Association. In BC, Law Week is marked by a number of events include Dial-A-Lawyer, mock trials, essay and public speaking contests for students, free law classes, citizenship ceremonies, courthouse tours, and a fun run and free public forum in Vancouver.  Events in British Columbia will be held in Cowichan Valley, Fort St John, Kamloops, Kelowna, Maple Ridge, Nanaimo, New Westminster, Prince George, Terrace, Tri-Cities, Vancouver and Victoria.

    All this is to  mark the signing of the Canadian Declaration of Rights and Freedoms which guarantees certain rights and freedoms in Canada.  It is therefore appropriate that the theme of this year’s Law Week is Access to Justice.

    Coincidentally, the Globe and Mail just ran an article (April 15, 2009) entitled: “Afghan women among the most vulnerable in the world“.  The article states:

    “Violence against women is widely practised and tolerated. Abusers are rarely prosecuted and the authorities seldom investigate complaints of violent attacks, rape, murder or suicide of women. Women who report rape face being locked up and accused of having committed crimes of zina (that is, laws that criminalize sexual relations outside marriage). Nonetheless, the recognized need to combat violence against women is gaining ground.”

    In this context, where Canadian men and women are serving and unfortunately, dying, attempting to establish in Afghanistan an equivalent of the Canadian rule of law,  it is just  that we take a week and acknowledge those same Canadian rights and freedoms that we so take for granted here at home.

    Those same Canadian troops in Afghanistan, I am sure, in a nod to the Rule of Law, would say in unison with the lawyers: “Get up, stand up: stand up for your rights!

    Posted in Law Firm Strategy | Permalink | No Comments »
    Something to Twitter About…
    Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

    ♫ Tell me something good
    Tell me that you like it …
    What I got to give will sho nuff do you good.. ♫

    Lyrics and Music by Stevie Wonder, recorded by Rufus and Chaka Khan, “Tell me Something Good“.

    While Simon Chester may be leading the discussion on the application of Twitter for lawyers, there is no question that Twitter has proven its value for legal technology conferences.

    There were many new and exciting aspects about ABA TECHSHOW 2009 including Richard Susskind’s keynote address on the end of lawyers. But to me, in looking back at ABA TECHSHOW, it was the influence and power of Twitter that is leaving the biggest impression.

    You can read the rest of this post on www.slaw.ca “Something to Twitter About“.

    Posted in humour, Issues facing Law Firms, Law Firm Strategy, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »
    Ride the Lightning at ABA TECHSHOW 2009
    Friday, April 3rd, 2009

    ♫  Thunder and Lightning
    I tell you it’s frightening
    It’s thunder and lightning
    And you’re in control…

    Lyrics and music by Chi Coltrane, “Thunder and Lightning”

    A funny thing happened on the way to ABA TECHSHOW – perhaps it was the effect of the downswing in the economy – but a real emphasis at this year’s show was how technology can produce real returns for real lawyers.

    One of the great themes was the power of Web 2.0 and how it can be levered to reach out to clients, to build dealrooms and reach out to clients in new ways.  Another theme was how social networking can be used to produce a great ROI for your marketing spend.  Richard Susskind, in his keynote, noted how the web is a disruptive technology.  The web can be equally viewed as a threat or it can be embraced as a way for lawyers to craft their own future. He challenged lawyers to exercise leadership and figure out how to break your legal service into discrete parts and send these parts out to contract suppliers to reduce the cost of the overall legal service.

    One of the other important trends at the show was the extensive use of Twitter (www.twitter.com) and the continual posting of tweets by attendees.

    There was a specific Twitter feed (#TECHSHOW) that allowed any twitterer to post and have their tweet seen by anyone who subscribed to the hash feed.  This resulted in a metric of sorts:  You could judge the most exciting presentations by the volume of tweets that referred to that session!

    Furthermore, the bloggers were busy – aside from looking at attending the social event such as Beer for Bloggers sponsored by Kevin O’Keefe of Lexblog and the ABA Journal – they posted to their blogs during the show.  Examples were:

    and many many others.

    It highlighted that if you add real content to your blog that provides value to your audience, they will keep coming back!  Furthermore, as a lawyer you can promote your value and expertise by blogging and indicating your interest in and awareness of current events and their implications for your clients.  After all, aren’t you trying to attract clients by demonstrating your insight into those changes that affect your clients?  A blog is an excellent way of doing so.  So as a lawyer – if you attend a CLE event – blog about it and the implications of the new developments for your clients.  You will show to your clients that you, too, are riding the lightning!

    By the way, this blog post was written right at ABA TECHSHOW during the 60 Tips in 60 Minutes presentation by Dan Pinnington, Reid Trautz, Nancy Duhon and Ben Schoor.  Great Stuff!~

    Posted in Adding Value, Budgeting, Change Management, Issues facing Law Firms, Make it Work!, Technology, Trends | Permalink | No Comments »