Productivity Tips

Email Problems Clear, Solutions Aren’t

WaPo article How Gmail, Outlook and Yahoo Mail became a mess, and how we might fix it convincingly analyzes some of the biggest problems with email. Little new here to people like Dennis Kennedy, who have been following this issue for years.

Some new consumer products (including Hey) are trying radical new approaches to email, but none (yet) look like painless replacement, including a relatively easy way to build a personal white list, as illustrated below. 

Investing some time upfront and paying for the new service might pay for itself over the long term. AI does not look like a magic solution (yet). I’ll pass for now.

Productivity Tips

Internet for Lawyers: Books and CLE

Good book. Will have a detailed review later:

Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet: Conducting Effective Free Investigative & Legal Research on the Web ( 14th edition Revised 2019) and several other books.

Authors Carol Levitt and Mark Rosch have operated the Internet for Lawyers website since 1999 and offer a variety of CLE programs. Their blog is available.

Productivity Tips Security

Nicole Black Tips on Collaboration

Very timely! LLRX is hosting Nicole Black‘s article “Securely Collaborate and Communicate Remotely: A How-To for Lawyers.” Nicole likes portals.

Glad to see her emphasize a recent change in the ABA Ethics Committee’s recent change in its approach to unencrypted emails:

[I]n the mid-1990s, bar association ethics committees across the country began to approve the use of unencrypted email when communicating with clients and for nearly two decades lawyers used email to communicate with clients since no other more secure methods were available. But most ethics opinions acknowledged that the standard established was an elastic one that could conceivably change as technology advanced and more secure options became available.

Since then, technology has improved significantly, and more secure electronic communication methods have emerged, rendering unencrypted email insufficient for certain types of client communication, as the ABA acknowledged in Formal Opinion 477 last year. In this opinion, the Ethics Committee concluded that unencrypted email may not always be sufficient for client communication.

Specifically, the Committee advised that lawyers must assess the sensitivity of information on a case-by-case basis and then choose the most appropriate and sufficiently secure method of communicating and collaborating with clients. Options offered in the opinion included encrypted email and “the use of a Virtual Private Network, or another secure internet portal.”

Productivity Tips Security

Zoom Security Tips

Thanks to Jim Calloway for timely tips in his post Zoom Security Tips.

Productivity Tips

Perform Online Legal Research Without Spending a Dime 

Working on a budget?

ABA Law Practice Today has an article by Judy Davis and Carole Levitt explaining a variety of ways to perform legal research at no cost. This includes:

  1. Casemaker4 and Fastcase7 — Offered through state bar associations. Both include some cite checking.
  1. Google Scholar — Surprising number of cases and articles about law.

Marketing Productivity Tips

How Carolyn Elefant Does It

Never stop thinking, never stop working.

No wonder we can’t keep up with this woman.

Productivity Tips

Techshow & An Alternative

There are good reasons why ABA Techshow is considered the world premiere legal technology conference, and it’s not too late to register. However, if you’re not in a position to take the time to attend, you could do a lot worse than multitasking while listening to a few episodes of Dennis and Tom’s fine podcast, the Kennedy-Mighell Report.


Productivity Tips

Don’t Write Me A Novel!

One CEO’s method of avoiding long emails she doesn’t have time to read:

“I also always say to my team: ‘Please don’t write me a novel, I won’t read it.’ I just don’t have the time. Instead, write in the subject line what it is that this is about. And tell me upfront–is a decision needed, or do you need me to look at something, or is it a ‘When you have time, take a look at this’?–so I can prioritize effectively and be responsive when I need to be.”

Source: Life Would Be Better If We Added This Line to Every Email

Productivity Tips

New Dennis Kennedy Book: Successful Innovation Outcomes In Law

Since having the pleasure of working with Dennis Kennedy for three years on The Internet Roundtable, an column about lawyer marketing on the Internet, I’m not surprised that The Artificial Lawyer has a favorable review of his new book, Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law: A Practical Guide for Law Firms, Law Departments and Other Legal Organizations. It’s now available from Amazon.

Dennis has well deserved reputation as an expert on legal technology He is also a dynamic speaker, worth considering the next time you are looking for a keynoter.

Kennedy Innovation Book
Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law
KM Productivity Tips

Are Robots Replacing Lawyers? Not Like You Think | ABA Law Practice Today

Dorna Moini’s Law Practice Today article takes a sanguine view of the threat of automation taking lawyer jobs:

Automation is playing a major role in helping create more legal opportunities rather than eliminate legal jobs. In fact, according to a recent UCLA Law Review article, two leading experts on automation say that technology complements the work of many lawyers, rather than replacing it. Similarly, a recent study of 20 corporate law firms byDocumate found that selling online workflows increased the revenue generated from first stage incorporation work by 210% in just the first two months. These findings are backed up by statistics from the McKinsey Global Institute, which found that only 23% of lawyers’ current jobs could be fully automated.

If automation is not replacing lawyers, how it is impacting the legal profession? Widespread automation of routine documents and legal forms, particularly in areas such as family law, estate planning, or employment law, has helped to introduce more consumers to the availability of legal services. While the lawyers may no longer be handling the routine work that comes with the templates, providing automated forms opens the door for those lawyers to offer their services to a wider segment of the population and to provide other, more nuanced legal services to the consumers who are using those forms. The end result is an increase in their overall workload and their total number of hours billed for higher-value work (or, alternatively, more free time).

The popular notion that automating a single aspect of the law will necessarily obviate the rest of lawyers’ jobs is misplaced. For example, automated forms are undoubtedly increasing the number of clients who now have access to legal representation and reducing the number of hours lawyers are spending on manual, routine tasks. Nonetheless, the bulk of legal practice is at no risk of being replaced by technology. Human lawyers will always be needed for the more critical tasks, like formulating arguments, advising clients, negotiating deals or settlements, and appearing in court.