ABA Tech Show: Kick-Off With Lexthink.1

Last night was Day .5 of the ABA Tech Show, and I have to give it up to Matt Homann, et al. for putting on a great show at the newly branded Lexthink.1. The billing for this event is twenty slides, six minutes, one topic, all on the future of law practice. Sure, the set up is no Battledecks, but it isn’t a cakewalk either. Even with all the preparation the format isn’t as easy as you might think, particularly when that slide changes and you aren’t ready to move on just yet. It’s designed to push you through a topic, quickly. As Matt said, if you don’t like a topic, you only have to wait a few minutes for the next one to start.

Now the videos of the presentation won’t be posted for another week or two, so I decided to give you my very, very quick short takes on each of the presentations. I’ll leave it to you to decide which ones you might want to watch.

  1. Mark Britton: Back to the Future. The internet represents multitude of communities. Lawyers should overcome their fear of technology, join these communities, and participate. To do this, lawyers should: set objectives, ID target audience, ID target time, establish CWB (core web presence), work social networks (push to CWB), stand out (report, don’t commentate), monitor and measure, and understand mobile.
  2. Richard Granat Legal Industry Startups: An Overview. Clients want fixed pricing, speed, transparency, convenience, and better technology. Start ups are eliminating the friction between these wants and legal services. Lawyers will be crushed by start ups unless they adapt.
  3. Roe Frazer: Being a Web 2.0 Lawyer in the “Thank You Economy”. Understand that Web 2.0 is coming for lawyers (you’ll be Yelped, Trip Advised, etc.), so develop a social media plan, and engage.
  4. Will Hornsby: Ignite This! Five Ethics Rules That Should Be Incinerated. Many disciplinary rules governing how lawyers’ market services are outmoded thinking. A 21st Century practice deserves 21st Century policies.
  5. Ruth Carter: Flash Mob Law. A flash mob lawyer, who also participates in flash mobs, talks about the multidisciplinary approach needed to be a lawyer who advices flash mob organizers. Think criminal law, torts, property, IP, and entertainment law.
  6. Jason E. Dyer: Where Canasta and Counsel Collide. Lawyers need to step back from technology and consider their clients needs and talents, particularly the elderly. Don’t sell them short, but also don’t expect technology to bridge a gap that’s really a personal shortcoming of yours.
  7. Eric Hunter: Moving Towards 100% Web. I don’t know what this was about. I listened. Hard. The only thing that made sense was when he said “box them with buzz words,” and mainly because he used so many of them I felt he accomplished his goal.
  8. Jay Shepherd: One Word That Will Reinvent How You Serve Clients. When things are complex, you experience problems. When things are simple, you experience success. Embrace the “Result Triangle”: (Clarify) Goals, (Show) Care, (Address) Fear. This is the formula for success. Comes with stories.
  9. Rachel Rodgers: Down with the Law Firm Template! [She was a no show.]
  10. Matt Spiegel: Don’t Just Communicate …. Number one client complaint: lawyer won’t call back. But calling more often doesn’t solve client problems. Need to think about clients as consumers of other services. For example, when was the last time you called the bank for your balance? Employ the same logic with your clients. You can be the best lawyer in town, but if your communication and collaboration skills aren’t, then you will fail.
  11. James F. Ring: Ending Cheap Talk in Legal Bargaining. Game theories and systems that can be used to get parties in the same position as they would find themselves on the eve of trial but earlier in the litigation. Undertone here is that lawyers get in the way of the process, and game theories can take them out of it.
  12. Steve Best: Passion. Find what you are passionate about and embrace it. Once you’ve embraced it, share it. Once you’ve shared it, encourage others to find theirs.
  13. Matt Homann: Client Service Design. [Matt added this little talk.] Think about who your average, ideal client is. Now be reasonable. Reasonable is “Bob”. Now think about what your business would look like if Bob designed it. Identify every step in Bob’s service experience, from waiting room to end of representation. Find out what annoys Bob (hint: same things that annoy you). Now find out how you can improve by dividing tasks into “easy,” “hard,” and “expensive”. Make changes you can, measure effects. Now serve all of your Bobs similarly.

Hopefully these quick summaries will help you decide what videos you’d like to watch. Day 1 sessions start today, so I’ll be checking out a few that sound interesting.

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