♫ Let’s tell the future
Let’s see how it’s been done
By numbers, by mirrors, by water
By dots made at random on paper…♫
Lyrics, Music and recorded by Susan Vega.
(images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fire_craker.jpg and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:San_Diego_Fireworks.jpg – creative commons licence)
“The Best Way to Predict the Future is to Create it” has been variously attributed to many authors, particularly Dennis Gabor.
Accordingly this is a call for all gentle readers to contribute their tips and predictions for 2014! Last year we heard from Stephanie Kimbro, Nate Russell, Tom Spraggs, Richard Granat, Jean Francois De Rico, Mitch Kowalski, John Zeleznikow, Andrew Clark, Colin Rule, Robert Denney, Ross Fishman, Noric Dilanchian, Steve Matthews and of course, Jordan Furlong.
I think that this is the most interested series of posts in the year and so I invite everyone to submit a post and we all can see what everyone thinks the future of law and legal practice will be like!
Let’s tell the future!
Will you fight for your name? ♫
I have to say that I was quite taken by this book. In keeping with the “One Hour” theme, it packs a lot of thoughtful ideas into its 98 pages. It starts out with the expected question: “What is Personal Branding?” and takes you thru an exploration of “Why Does Your Personal Brand Matter?” I particularly liked the chapter on “Is Your Personal Brand Happy?” with such sub-topics as: “Step into your Creative Brain” and “Who Cares about Joy?”. Now you may ask what does “Joy” have to do with branding or even the practice of law? As it turns out, quite a bit, apparently! SO many lawyers I have talked to do not find much joy in what they do. Yet Goshtasbi states that “People buy the products and services that ultimately bring them joy.” If you don’t project joy in your daily life, in your career and in what you do, then how do you make your clients happy?
Goshtasbi states: “What if you went on a campaign to make sure every legal client and prospect felt utter joy and happiness anytime they ran across you, your name, your firm name, or any mention of you and your legal services? Your business would boom, and your ability to produce quality legal product would increase as well.”
Once you have grasped the fundamental point that communicating joy is key, then Goshtasbi advises you to find your natural talent and make it your intention to make sure you perform it daily to bring joy to your work as you have brought it to your life. With that as your foundation, she then takes you on the process to establish your unique selling proposition (what sets you apart from other lawyers), visual branding, marketing materials, networking and communicating your personal brand.
This is one book that I would highly recommend that every lawyer and in particular, young lawyers, read. It is available online from the ABA for $49.95 (USD) or $39.95 if you are an ABA Law Practice Division member. Now, what would you do after you are branded?
♫ Silver whistle and an old clipboard
A polo shirt and a pair of gray shorts
In that summer haze, remember those two a days
Tougher than a 10 pound sack of nails
He’d throw down his hat and start to yell
At the top of his lungs, front and center, son
What were you thinkin’ on that play?
Take a lap and when you come back
Maybe you’ll do things my way
Let me tell you why I don’t let things slide
If you can live through me, boy, you can get through life
‘Round here what I say goes ‘cause I’m the coach..♫
This is another guest post from Beth Flynn at the The Ohio State University Leadership Center. I know that sports metaphors sometimes are a bit overdone in the context of business leadership and coaching, but this post struck a nerve with me and I felt it went beyond the typical stuff that is written in this regard.
Accordingly here is Beth’s post on what we can learn from sports coaches:
- To ask ourselves if we have communicated the goal for the team we lead.
- In order to communicate the goal, we have to know and believe in the result we want to achieve.
- It doesn’t matter what the goal for the year is if the people on your team don’t trust your motives.
- You have to possess personal values that the people on your team respect. Or put a different way, they need to see a level of personal integrity on your part that gives them the confidence to follow your leadership.
- You have to know it to lead it.
- You have to know your business (know the sport) and be dedicated to constantly improving your knowledge of it.
- You have to lead each individual.
- The coach knows that his or her efforts can’t be directed at the group exclusively. He or she will have to teach the fundamentals individually to each player.
- Create a team to be a leader.
- The coach also knows that after the individuals know their fundamentals, it’s up to him or her to create a winning team. The coach knows that she/he has to take individuals and determine how to put them together for maximum benefit (Monastero, 2010, p. 60-63).
From: Monastero, S. (2010). Winning at leadership: how to become an effective leader. Bloomington, IN: IUNIVERSE, Inc.
Winning at Leadership is available from the OSU Leadership Center. Click here to borrow this resource or any other resource. Once you are on their website, click on the Spectrum icon.
Learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world at http://leadershipcenter.osu.edu
To begin receiving Leadership Moments, or to update your information, please click on OSU’s Join Our Mailing List button on their website.
Thanks Beth for keeping us up on leadership moments and not letting things slide!
♫ Digital, criminals you’ll make meals in cyber-crime
Let’s all plan ahead, 2 times, I keep the chimes to a great mind… ♫
Lyrics and music by GZA, Inspectah Deck, Killah Priest.
LawPro, the Lawyers’ Professional Indemnity Company (LAWPRO) has announced that they will be providing a $250,000 submit coverage for eligible cybercrime losses in the 2014 policy year.
LawPro is a wholly Canadian owned insurance company that provides professional liability insurance to lawyers in Ontario and TitlePLUS title insurance coast-to-coast. LAWPRO is headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
The cybercrime coverage appears to have been prompted by cyber attacks in 2012. According to LawPro’s newsletter:
In late 2012, LAWPRO learned of a high-value cyber attack on an Ontario firm. The attack was highly sophisticated and complex, and was designed to permit the fraudster to gain direct access to a firm’s trust account using online banking privileges. For details about this attack and how to avoid being the victim of a similar fraud, see our December 21, 2012, post on the AvoidAClaim blog:
avoidaclaim.com/2012/ontario-law-firm-victim-of-large-frauddue- to-infection-by-trojan-banker-virus/. This is in addition to instances reported in the media involving cyber attacks against several law firms to access confidential client information.
According to LawPro:
At LAW PRO, we believe that preventing breaches in confidentiality and financial losses due to these cyber attacks is a responsibility we all share. Law firms and individual staff members and lawyers who work in them must educate themselves about cyber risks and take all reasonable steps to ensure that data and funds are securely protected. Insurance against resulting losses should be viewed as a worst-case remedy, and not a replacement for preventive and protective steps.
The particulars of the coverage are to be found in the 2014 policy. LawPro states:
Lawyers should also understand that the sublimit provided, like all areas of the policy, applies to losses arising from lawyers providing professional services as lawyers. Losses that a firm might experience that go beyond this type of insurance coverage include reputational loss, physical damage or business interruption.
While this coverage is innovative in Canada, it does not alleviate the necessity for law firms to be vigilant and take every precaution to avoid being taken in by digital criminals.
On Friday Oct 4, 2013 a unique event will occur in Canada’s legal community. For the first time there will be a Canadian Legal Technology conference that will be accessible right across the country, courtesy of the ability to webcast all tracks and sessions concurrently (except for the noon keynote that will be recorded and put up for viewing later due to technical restraints).
The Pacific Legal Technology Conference is accessible from 8:45 Pacific to 5:30 Pacific – in person or on the web. This conference has grown and grown due to one important factor: its foundation is the result of an on-line survey of all past attendees. That on-line survey, designed by the planning board, contains all the possible topics that they can think of – then it is the survey respondents’ turn to tell us what topics are most important to them. This conference is not just about legal technology – it incorporates technology right down to its core. Its focus is that of the practising lawyer who is battling with all types of problems – and who is looking for concrete and practical solutions to help her practice better, faster and not the least of all, cheaper (such as the session “Tech applied to Dull Ordinary Things that MUST get Done”).
The theme this year is “Lawyers, Leadership and Technology” and focuses on leadership and change management. These are themes that are coming to bear on the practice of law as we move forward, underscored by the increasing rate of change in technology with which all of us have to cope. The session: “Implementation: The Hardest Technology to Change is the Human Brain” deals with the challenge of incorporating change into our environments.
Dan Pinnington in his post on Slaw on the conference stated that: “I think this is the best legal technology conference in the country.” As a past American Bar Association TECHSHOW Chair he should know. Dan also said:
I am disappointed that I can’t attend or speak this year because of conflict. As a past attendee and speaker, I can say you will get the same high quality content, speakers and materials that you would get at ABA Techshow.
While we will miss Dan this year, there will be experts from right across North America – from Florida to Alaska and of course, across Canada. Simon Chester (a past ABA TECHSHOW chair), Richard Ferguson (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), Debbie Foster (an ABA Techshow Chair), Joe Kashi (an ABA TECHSHOW speaker), David Paul QC (long standing CBA author and presenter) and others round out the rich roster of speakers.
Sessions include a heavy emphasis of ethics: “Backups, Security, Privacy and Ethics in a Mobile World” and “Ethically Growing your Practice with Social Media”. The conference qualifies for 6.25 PD credits in Ontario and 6 in Saskatchewan and BC.
Litigators have their own track that includes “What Technology should you Take to Court or a Mediation (iPads to Electronic Courtrooms)” The closing session “All the Gadgets, Sites and More we can Squeeze into 60 minutes” focuses on providing as many useful tips as the speakers can fit into an hour.
The next Pacific Legal Technology Conference won’t be until 2015. Just imagine how much the legal technology landscape will have changed by then! I can hardly wait!
(cross posted to SlawTips)
♫ It was the night things changed, can you see it now?
These walls that they put up to hold us back fell down
It’s a revolution, throw your hands up, ’cause we never gave in..♫
Lyrics, music and recorded by Taylor Swift.
“Change the firm but don’t change anything about how I work”
Those were the instructions that I received from one managing partner after being called into a firm to help them with coming up to speed on a number of fronts. They knew they needed to change…in many fronts..such as in technology and other areas. The firm didn’t even use a consistent letterhead format. The challenges that they faced were manifest, deep and long-reaching.
However what was apparent was without the support of the managing partner, bringing about any meaningful change…at least in the short term…was simply not going to be possible.
In this situation I was left with the possibility of …either refusing to work with the firm …or trying to work with the firm and produce the changes that they needed…from as many different perspectives as possible. I chose to work with the firm and start the slow process of change.
These days with the rate of change increasing, it is vitally important that an organization adopts a change mindset. That mindset starts at the top. If the staff get an inkling that those at the top don’t embrace change, they will get the message and maintain the status quo.
With the growing competition in business, failure to adapt to change is deadly.
Oftentimes the changes that must be adapted to are not ones that a person chooses. The corporation, organization or business for whom they work has deemed that they change the way that they perform their tasks to be more effective or efficient. Or it could be that the organization needs to meet new and competitive challenges arising from new competitors.
In any case the organization has to deal with the fact that changes must be implemented to continue in business in order to survive. Woody Allen in one of his movies famously once said:
“A relationship, I think, is like a shark, you know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark.”
One thing that any organization, and in particular a law firm, doesn’t want to be is a dead shark. So it has to learn to continually change – to move forward to survive. It needs to find, grow and nuture the leadership that will take it to its future. The walls holding back change have to fall down…
(cross-posted to slawtips.ca).
Making good choices in a bad situation
♫When people run in circles
It’s a very very
Mad world, mad world … ♫
Music and Lyrics by Tears for Fears, recorded by: Michael Andrews & Gary Jules.
All of us are DNA hardwired for ‘fight or flight’. Being lawyers, the fight option has been honed to a fine edge. However, there are times when the other option may be the better option. It is inevitable that we are going to encounter people who attack us, counter us, oppose our ideas or simply do not like us. Our immediate impulse is to react and attack. It is not easy but ultimately fighting is not the best reaction – it turns a one-sided reaction into a battle of two egos. We end up responding to a tussle of who is right?
As a practice advisor I see this scenario played out all the time. Giving objective advice when one is on the outside is completely different from being on the inside. Having had a recent personal encounter in such a situation, I can say that it is much harder to make the right decisions when you are the one involved. I went searching for answers. So here are some tips that I have found for helping to make the right choice:
- Anger feeds anger: This is a downward spiral that causes us to feel more compelled to defend ourselves the angrier our thoughts become.
- It is about them: Most times negativity is a reflection of the other person’s inner state. It isn’t about you – you just happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. They are frustrated, angry and in conflict and they are looking for someone to take down with them.
- It is a waste of energy: Do we really want to invest all that time and emotional energy in responding?
- It is going to affect you: If the fight response emerges, you are going to drag that negativity into other parts of your life when you get home. Do you really want to poison your positive home life this way?
- You can choose: Ultimately you can’t control what people do and say; what you can decide is how you react. You can choose a better way.
- Wait it out: Draft the response letter and lock it away in a drawer for Monday. Chances are by then you will have different – more rational – options to deal with this person.
- Forgive: Yes forgive. If you don’t then the negativity takes hold inside you.
- Go for a Run: Get away from the situation and expend some physical energy. You will feel better for it.
- Best/Worst case analysis: Negotiation theory speaks of BATNAs: The Best Alternative to a Negotiated Situation. What is the best and worse case scenarios if you do and do not respond.
- Evaluate from Your Perspective: Recall that this person is trying to draw you into their game plan. Ask yourself: Will responding to this person advance the things that are most important to me?
- Look for the Lesson: Inside each difficult situation is something that will help you grow as a person. Don’t lose the opportunity.
- Let Go: Write out all your thoughts about this situation – roll the paper into a ball and throw it away. Now – carry on with your life!
Responding to mad people is not easy. If it was, then the world wouldn’t have negative people running in circles making life difficult for others.
This article originally appeared in the Canadian Bar Association, British Columbia branch’s publication BarTalk.
♫ And there’s a road I have to follow, a place I have to go
Well no-one told me just how to get there
But when I get there I’ll know
‘Cause I’m taking it
Step by step, bit by bit,
Stone by stone (yeah), brick by brick (oh, yeah)
Step by step, day by day, mile by mile…♫
Lyrics and music by: Even Stevens, Eddie Rabbitt and David Malloy, recorded by Whitney Houston.
This is another great gust post from Beth Flynn of the Ohio Leadership Center. In this post she concentrates on the 15 steps for effective communication:
- Let go of your own ideas, role, and agenda and try to understand what the other person is saying.
- Become curious about what makes them tick.
- Before you speak, draw out the other person’s ideas.
- Search behind the words for the other person’s meaning. Especially is he or she disagrees with you.
- Discover and manage your listener’s unspoken expectations.
- Respond respectfully and nondefensively acknowledging and addressing the other person’s concerns first.
- Choose an appropriate form of communicating.
- Speak respectfully, empathically, and responsively.
- Demonstrate that you heard the other person’s deeper needs and feelings.
- Anticipate objections and address them before they are raised.
- Clarify and emphasize our agreements.
- Acknowledge differences and restate issues positively.
- State your interests instead of your positions.
- Ask for feedback.
- Compliment the other person for listening
From: Cloke, K. & Goldsmith, J. (2011). Resolving conflicts at work: ten strategies for everyone on the job (3rd Ed). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, p. 51-54.
Click here to learn how the Ohio State University Leadership Center is inspiring others to take a leadership role that empowers the world.
To begin receiving Beth’s Leadership Moments, please click here.
21st Century Leadership Series: These professional development opportunities are open to current and aspiring leaders interested in increasing their leadership knowledge and skills. Held on the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus, this leadership series is designed with relevant solutions to current leadership issues. Certificates of participation are available for individuals seeking professional development hours.
Thanks Beth for another great tip that will help us change one step at a time!
♫ Innovate and stimulate minds
Travel the world and penetrate the times
Innovate and stimulate minds
For now I appreciate this moment in time…♫
Lyrics, music and recorded by Hard Driver.
The 2013 edition of The Pacific Legal Technology Conference, Canada’s first and foremost conference on all aspects of legal technology, will feature two major new developments this year!
First: This year’s conference will be webcast….all three concurrent tracks in the morning and in the afternoon…making this conference fully available across Canada and the web (all except for the lunchtime presentations -we are still seeing if we can make this work from a logistical standpoint. But the lunch presentations will be recorded as will the other presentations for viewing on the web afterwards). We will be seeking Professional Development credit from as many jurisdictions as possible that allow for on-line PD credit.
Join us (in person or over the web) as Primafact and other exhibitors such as our Platinum sponsor Dye & Durham return to the PLTC Conference Friday October 4th, 2013 at the Vancouver Trade & Convention Centre.
The best part: You can have a hand in helping design this year’s conference! As in all past years, attendees and interested parties can have a hand in helping to design the conference sessions that you would like to see.
Our Advisory Board [Simon Chester (Toronto) ( SChester@heenan.ca), Richard Ferguson (Edmonton) (firstname.lastname@example.org), Joe Kashi (Alaska) (email@example.com), David Paul (Kamloops) (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Darin Thompson (Victoria) (email@example.com ), Ron Usher (Vancouver) (firstname.lastname@example.org) , Dan Parlow (Vancouver) (email@example.com), S. Ester Chung (Vancouver) (firstname.lastname@example.org ), Nicole Garton-Jones (Vancouver) (Nicole@bcheritagelaw.com) and your humble scribe (Vancouver) (email@example.com)] has been hard at work narrowing the range of possible topics to the short list that is the subject of this survey. Now it is your turn to tell us which issues and courses are the MOST important ones to you!
Our Theme this year is “Lawyers, Leadership and Technology”. Steve Jobs once said: “Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” (“The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs,” 2001).
This year we are seeking new ways to help lawyers and others innovate and become true leaders. We want to explore ways to help legal professionals take their practices to levels they couldn’t imagine.
By completing our survey, you help us by selecting the best sessions for lawyers, legal administrators, paralegals, notaries and staff like you. And all of us will benefit by becoming an innovator within a practice empowered through technology.
This is the only legal technology conference in the world where you, the past attendees, have a direct hand in designing the Conference to suit your needs!
At the end you will be eligible for a draw for 2 free admissions to the 2013 Conference as our way of saying thanks for completing this survey as well as a special rate for attending the 2013 Conference (available only to those who complete this survey) (the two winners will each receive a free admission only..transportation costs are not included). *(survey must be completed by June 30, 2013 to be eligible for the draw).
You must complete the survey by Sunday June 30th in order to be entitled to this special rate and to be eligible for the draw (for attendance in person or online).
Help us Innovate and stimulate minds by completing our survey - and see you at the Conference!
♫ Got a secret
Can you keep it?
Swear this one you’ll save
Better lock it in your pocket…♫
Music, lyrics and recorded by The Pierces.
(This post was just posted to Slawtips.ca and I thought it fit here as well).
Prism, the National Security Electronic Surveillance program operated by the United States National Security Agency (NSA) has caught a great deal of press lately. This surveillance program has raised questions as to how individuals can protect their data from being snooped upon. These revelations have led to discussions on ways that allow people to use encryption for protection.
I have been advising lawyers to use encryption technology for some time. When contacted by a lawyer who has had a laptop stolen from a car or elsewhere my first question to them is: ”Did you have the laptop encrypted or just password protected?” I have yet to encounter a yes to encryption. Unfortunately it is all-too-easy to break a Windows password or otherwise gain access to the data on the laptop – for example, see: How to Break Into a Windows PC (and Prevent it from Happening to You).
Encryption works. Properly implemented strong crypto systems are one of the few things that you can rely on. Unfortunately, endpoint security is so terrifically weak that NSA can frequently find ways around it.
So what is encryption and how do you use it?
Wikipedia states: “In cryptography, encryption is the process of encoding messages (or information) in such a way that eavesdroppers or hackers cannot read it, but that authorized parties can.”
Encryption can be used to encode messages as well as encrypt files or folders on a hard drive (or the entire drive itself).
From a management perspective (for this column is intended to be about management tips) it behooves a law firm to ensure that there is as much protection around their and their client’s data as possible. After all, wouldn’t you prefer to say to a client that the firm had a laptop stolen but all the data on it was encrypted with a state-of-the-art algorithm over saying that you had a laptop stolen or lost that only had a Windows password….
Let’s look at disk encryption. Windows version 7 in the Ultimate and Enterprise editions comes with Bitlocker. Bitlocker can encrypt the entire drive and any file that you create.
Macs come with FileVault that is built into OSX. Once you turn it on, it encrypts everything – all disk contents and actively encrypts and decrypts data on the fly. Techhive has a blog post on how to encrypt a hard drive.
What about the endpoint security that Edward Snowden was speaking about as being so terrifically weak that it poses a problem for encryption?
In network security, endpoint security refers to a methodology of protecting the corporate network when accessed via remote devices such as laptops or other wireless and mobile devices. Each device with a remote connecting to the network creates a potential entry point for security threats. Endpoint security is designed to secure each endpoint on the network created by these devices.
Usually, endpoint security is a security system that consists of security software, located on a centrally managed and accessible server or gateway within the network, in addition to client software being installed on each of the endpoints (or devices). The server authenticates logins from the endpoints and also updates the device software when needed. While endpoint security software differs by vendor, you can expect most software offerings to provide antivirus, antispyware, firewall and also a host intrusion prevention system (HIPS).
Endpoint security is becoming a more common IT security function and concern as more employees bring consumer mobile devices to work and companies allow its mobile workforce to use these devices on the corporate network.
Accordingly, management must be concerned with both encryption as well as possible access to the network via wireless devices and laptops to ensure high IT security and prevent ways to get around that highly secure encryption.
After all, we all want to keep our secrets now, don’t we?