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    October 14th, 2009

    ♬ We’ll find another way to dance, we’ll find another way to dance
    If you get the chance you must dance, dance, dance….♬

    Lyrics, music and recorded by Dan Keyes.

    Oct. 2, 2009 marked the latest edition of The Pacific Legal Technology Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada. With speakers such as Dr. Michael Geist, who spoke on how blogs, Twitter, web sites and other internet-driven collaboration tools have changed how governments shape legislation, it was not surprising that this year’s program saw record attendance numbers!

    Other popular session topics were: Going Paperless, virtual lawyering, privacy and security and ethics concerns and of course, iPhones, Blackberries and other smartphones. The conference also dealt with time, task and email management using technology and how to focus your financial system to direct your future and achieve your goals…financial and otherwise. The conference closed to a ’60 Tips in 60 Mins” presentation that saw at least 100 tips being mentioned, displayed and discussed. Copies of most of the power points can be found at: Written materials (in CD-ROM format) are also available from the conference for $149 + taxes from:

    What was most interesting from my perspective were the comments and discussions that resulted from the sessions. In particular was an email exchange that I had with Grant Sutherland, a lawyer in Vancouver (I have his permission to post his comments here).

    He stated that:

    “You mentioned that you are a Mac user. After struggling with Vista, I purchased a Mac a year ago and will never go back to a PC. The Mac is terrific!

    I am practicing part time. I have office space available at a law firm in downtown Vancouver but spend most of my time working out of my condo. I am 63 years old and have been in practice for 37 years.

    There are probably a lot of lawyers like me who are getting a little long in the tooth but don’t want to retire and have a lot of experience and some useful advice to impart to clients and younger lawyers.

    Technology allows people like me to work out of my home and assist clients with their legal issues. I have fully embraced technology and am always looking for new tech tips to help in my practice. (Who says you cant teach an old dog new tricks?) Your conference was very timely for me.

    You may wish to consider targeting older lawyers who want to transition from an office to a home office. In my view, they are ideal candidates for the tech information you have to offer.”

    So I asked Grant what are the technologies that he uses to be a mobile and virtual lawyer. Here is his reply:

    “I use a MacBook Air. Weighs 3 pounds. Excellent for travel and taking to meetings locally, Starbucks, etc. I have the Super Drive to plug in to USB if I need to load software or view a DVD. I don’t take the drive with me when I travel. Don’t need it and it is excess weight.

    For backup I just bought a 1 terabyte Time Capsule. I also have a couple of USB Flash Drives that I bring with me when I travel.

    I have an HP Officejet Pro 7780 All-In-One copier, fax, printer, scanner. For big print or copy jobs, I email The Printing House with a file attached.

    I have a Blackberry 9630–the new World Phone. Works on both GSM and CDMA so works most places in the world. I use Blackberry email and instant messaging a lot. Very efficient!

    Finally, I have an iPod touch. This is useful when traveling as it has my music, photos etc so it helps to pass the time on aircraft. It is synced with my Macbook Air email through MobileMe so it serves as a backup for my email in case I encounter a problem with my computer.

    I closed my downtown office at the end of February and have some legacy PC hardware and software with my accounting information. I am a stickler for precise accounting and I have a bookkeeper that comes in once a week to look after my accounting.”

    Grant has found a new way of continuing to practice, in a way that supports his lifestyle and his needs, using technology to reach out to the world (or have the world find him). I would like to thank Grant for taking the time to share his perspective here for others to read and hopefully, emulate.

    After all, if we still hear the music once we no longer wish to practice 50+ hours a week in a glass tower, we need to start finding a new way to dance….

    This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 14th, 2009 at 10:43 am and is filed under Adding Value, Change Management, I'm a Mac, Law Firm Strategy, Make it Work!, personal focus and renewal, Technology, Trends. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

    One Response to “Finding a New Way…”
    1. Zool Suleman Says:

      David, I have been a fan for some years. The PLTC was great and inspired me to enter the world of social marketing. I have started a blog at and have a twitter account @canadavisalaw. Thank you to you and the rest of the gang for the inspiration.

      PS:who knows might even join the Mac world one of these days.

      Signed, a not so old dog (yet).

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