Online Legal Research Without Spending a Dime

This Law Practice Today article summarizes several key ideas from the new second edition of the related Levitt/Davis book  How to Perform Online Legal Research Without Spending a Dime | ABA Law Practice Today

Good article, but it’s no substitute for getting the book. It’s currently available from the ABA.

My detailed review will be available soon.

Law Practice Today: Greatest Hits

The monthly ABA magazine  Law Practice Today always has good articles, but the July issue is something special. It is a compilation of some of the magazine’s best articles. In this case, recycling is good.

It’s hard to pick my favorite article, but a top candidate is the summary of the intersection of cybersecurity and legal ethics by David Reis. He’s written several books on related topics was the featured guest in a recent edition of one of my favorite podcasts, Digital Detectives. The interviewers were no slouches, either, being Sharon Nelson and John Simek of the Ride the Lightning blog.

Ride The Lightning: SANS Suffers Data Breach After Phishing Attack

When I used to do more computer security-related work, my go-to resource was the SANS Institute. It’s discouraging but educational that even top pros like them can fall for a phishing attack.

Phishing attacks are probably the most serious computer security threat out there now.

Dennis and Tom in a recent Kennedy-Mighell podcast noted a recent example that tended to show training employees had only limited benefits. Testers sent simulated phishing emails to a firm’s employees after they had been warned that such a test might be performed. Nevertheless, nearly all the employees fell for the phony emails.

Nevertheless, it’s foolish not to at least attempt to attempt to educate your employees. If it prevents even one incident that otherwise might result in ransomware or worse, it would be worth it.

Threatpost has some other suggested defensive tips.

 

Seth Grodin: Selling Results

Good insight here from Seth Grodin for lawyers willing to try something different:

“We don’t pay surgeons by the hour. […] When you sell your time, you’re giving away your ability to be a thoughtful, productivity-improving professional. Sell results.”

H/T to Mary Ellen Bates.

Presentation Tip 12: Online Presentations Intro & Camera Selection

Everyone understands why online presentations have become more important than ever. This is the first in our series of online Presentation Tips. We invite you to travel along with us.

Selected Resources

Here are a few of the better resources we’ll be discussing:

  1. Top Tips & Tools for Better Online Presentations
  2. Video & Audio Quality Matter — Make Your Remote Work More Professional

The first order of business for online presentations is deciding on your level of ambition. Tom Mighell summaries the issue concisely at the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast:

So what do you want? Do you want a professional setup for talking to clients or colleagues? Do you want a more polished setup to record videos for YouTube or other services? I think the purpose that you have is going to determine the kind of setup that you have got. And I tend to agree with you, if you want something that’s more professional, more polished, if you tend to want to make more of what you are going to be doing with this, what you have likely is not going to work.

Video Quality

Dennis Kennedy‘s followup provides a perfect example for the ambition issue: Use the camera built into your laptop only if you don’t care about quality.

Cameras are typically not a primary consideration for laptop purchasers, so manufacturers tend to use very cheap cameras. What if you are more ambitious?

  • Cameras in smartphones or tablets provide an easy way to get a better result. This may seem counterintuitive, but it makes sense. Since camera quality is a discriminating factor behind mobile device purchases, manufacturers strive to provide higher quality cameras. Mighell observes: “I decided to use my iPad to attend a Microsoft Teams meeting and the quality difference in the camera was 1,000% better on the iPad.” A USA Today affiliate article has some advice.
  • Dedicated high-resolution web cameras are the next step up. Logitech is a reliable brand name. Mighell recommends the Logitech C930, but they are in short supply, and vendors recently have taken advantage of the market to bump up the price. A Google search will find one, or a model of comparable quality.
  • If you are striving for the highest quality, a DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera may be your best choice. These are general purpose cameras that can be adapted for online use. They generally have the best quality. The downside is that they can be trickier to set up. Engadget has good advice on the ins and outs.

Microphone selection is similar: Choose the level that best matches your ambition level. More on microphone selection in our next Presentation Tip post.

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 LLRX.com column about lawyer marketing on the Internet I’m not surprised at the quality 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, where it has a four star rating.

Reviews are available from Artificial Lawyer and TechLaw Crossroads. The Kennedy-Mighell podcast contains some of Kennedy’s thoughts on his magnum opus. My preliminary assessment of this important book is at Amazon and I’m working on my own detailed review.

In the meantime, I note what may be the book’s most insightful observation:

 [N]othing can prepare you for the Byzantine politics of a legal organization.

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.

Transitioning from Twitter to Blogging

Bob Ambrogi interviewed Lindsay Griffiths, author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking blog. Sometimes 280 characters just won’t cut it:

Originally, I thought that it didn’t make sense for me to blog. And I didn’t think I had anything to say. But I started on Twitter first and I realized that when I would respond to things that people were saying or questions that people had that I had much more to say than  140 characters at that time permitted me to answer…I started to realize that maybe I did have something to say and I did have a viewpoint that felt valuable and I could interact on a larger platform.

Is Now The Right Time to Start  A Podcast?

The Kennedy-Mighell report is consistently  a source of useful insights into legal technology. A recent edition discussed ways to improve audio/video setups. Two of the best tips:

  1. iPhone and iPad cameras are enormously better than the cameras built into laptops and PCs
  2. Counter-intuitively, sound quality is more important than visual quality in making a good impression.

A piece of “strategic” advice may be more useful than any of the technical tips, though. As Dennis explains:

No, it’s like all these people are doing podcasts now and you are competing with actual entertainers and people are doing high quality productions and all those people tend to do very long podcasts, so how are you going to break into that?

And so, I think this stuff is super-difficult to sustain especially as you kind of get back into this to swing of — if you go back to work, if you are still working from home what you’re probably going to discover is that if you take the commute out of your day, you will free up a significant amount of time that you could put into an outlet, but I think it’s hard to know whether you are a writer, you are a podcaster, you are a video person, and then how you can do it, and we are lucky being part of Legal Talk Network is that we can just be talent and we can do our show and it gets produced for us and gets distributed for us, and that’s awesome. If you are trying to do all that yourself it’s going to be difficult and you think you are going to do it once a week and it’s going to be once every two weeks and once a month, and then once every six months, and nobody wants to be the person who launches the new podcast, and then it has one episode which people have done, believe me.

So I think there is no time like the present in some ways, but you’ve got to be realistic about it, and the fact is that if you haven’t started a podcast by now you want to think about why that’s the case.

Greg Siskind’s Travel Ban Advisor App

Greg Siskind gets it. He knows far better than most lawyers how to do well by doing good. His new Travel Ban Advisor app is a perfect way to get new clients: Help the people you want to be your new clients.

I expect no less from the author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet. More on this later …

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