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2011: The Year in Tech

Matt Mullenweg is yet another tech billionaire college dropout. He may be less famous than Mark Zuckerberg, but the blogging platform he founded, WordPress, powers 25% of the web, including Slaw.

In a recent podcast, Mullenweg explained that most of the hot topics in technology that the tech press bombards us with at any given time are too early in their hype cycle, and that a better source of inspiration for tech projects is to look at what technologies were considered hot 5 years ago.

So I went back to 2011 and found a post entitled “2011: The . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Technology

Divorced From Reality

Gillian Hadfield just came out with a fabulous book: Rules for a Flat World: Why Humans Invented Law and How to Reinvent It for a Complex Global Economy. In it, she argues that the design machine we have for making rules that work for people in the world of today is broken. What it produces is of inferior quality: often out-dated, too complex, and it does not always solve the problem.

No wonder: the fast-moving, internationalized world of today with its technological developments and daily outpours of new, profound knowledge about our very being as humans is a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Scarcity and Justice

Close your eyes. Imagine living in a small apartment, with your partner and your two children. You bought it because four years ago a salesman told you it was cheaper to buy than to rent. You feel cheated because there’s so much to the deal that you feel he did not tell you. But you signed so you’re stuck, the bank says. You have a job as a foreman in construction – a flex-contract on which you’ve worked for more than five years. It asks long hours, regular work in the weekend, and provides limited long-term security. You think that’s . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Has Apple Lost Its Mojo, or Is Something Else Going on Here?

Apple had an event this week where they announced new products. But it lacked the excitement and wow factor that we have come to expect. Has Apple lost its mojo, or is something else going on here?

New product announcements from Apple and Google seem less impressive than they used to be. They seem more evolutionary than revolutionary.

There could be a number of reasons for that.

Product innovation is happening at a faster pace than ever before. Are we getting so used to that pace that we have higher expectations for innovation than before?

Is the smartphone / . . . [more]

Posted in: Technology

Library Services and the Mobile Lawyer

Technology, mobile devices in particular, has reduced the need for lawyers to be in a specific physical location. Lawyers can do their work from home, at a client’s workplace, or while on vacation. This mobility does have its downside: a lawyer of my acquaintance claimed to have holidayed in North Korea simply because no-one would expect him to check his email there.

The ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s 2014 survey found that 91% of lawyers used smartphones (with the majority using iPhones) and 49% used tablets (with the vast majority using iPads). While these lawyers were primarily using their mobile . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Information

Flexibility Isn’t Just for the Yoga Mat – Try It on Your Schedule

I will forever be indebted to the young mother, a senior associate at a big firm, who shared with me one of her secret recipes for handling the challenging tension between mom-time and lawyer time: the early escape.

Here’s how it works: One night a week she stays late at the office, until between eight and ten at night, depending on the week. Then, two days later, she leaves the office in the afternoon to pick her kids up early from daycare for some special time with them.

This wonderful “life hack” checks two important boxes for her. She checks . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law

Vendor Quiz: Sync.com

Welcome to Vendor Quiz, a periodic feature here at Slaw in which we ask a legal marketplace supplier a series of substantive questions about their product or service. Our goal is to provide insight and guidance to Slaw readers who might be considering a purchase, and who would benefit from practical information with which they can make a more informed choice. Vendor Quiz is an advertorial service, with each post sponsored by the featured vendor.

Sync.com is a secure cloud storage platform that makes it easy to store, share and access your files from anywhere. The client’s privacy is guaranteed. . . . [more]

Posted in: Vendor Quiz

The Future of Digital Reading

Recently my daughter gave me a book by Naomi S. Baron titled Words on Screen – The Fate of Reading in a Digital World (2015 Oxford). Naomi Baron is Professor of Linguistics at American University in Washington, D.C.

In the U.S.A in 2013, 30% of the books sold were eBooks – page 207.

Professor Baron states “for romance, erotic fiction and mysteries or thrillers, eBooks were strongly preferred over print”. Page 232.

Baron argues that careful reading and careful thinking are the hallmark of higher education, and that such reading and thinking is better done in print. Baron states “the . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

Tips Tuesday

Here are excerpts from the most recent tips on SlawTips, the site that each week offers up useful advice, short and to the point, on technology, research and practice.

Technology

On iPad/iPhone Turn Caps Lock on With a Double-Tap on Either Shift Key
Dan Pinnington

iPads and iPhones have a Shift key, which is handy when you need to type a capital letter. But what if you want to type something in all caps? Pressing Shift for each letter is a pain. …

Research

Ask Directions
Shaunna Mireau

I’ve been travelling in the Maritime this pas week. Like many . . . [more]

Posted in: Tips Tuesday

Divide to Conquer: Content Strategy for a Distracted Digital Age

There are two somewhat related media consumption patterns happening right now that most law firms haven’t given much thought to yet – mobility and distraction. You can use these developments to your advantage by building modular content that can be sliced and diced in a variety of ways to help you get more mileage out of your lawyers’ substantive writing and create a more unique online presence for your firm. Let me explain. . .

The first pattern is the ongoing shift to consuming content on mobile devices – by which I mean phones and tablets (and by all that . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Marketing

The Open Book

Rumors of the book’s death have clearly been exaggerated, and another lament is not needed. Still, I’m finding the books on my desk and shelves noticeably altered by the digital age of Kindles and iPads. My books have assumed a weight, for example, when I’m packing for trip, that I can’t recall them having had before. And sometimes when I turn the page, I have to pause over the extravagance of having had that page printed, assembled, bound, and shipped for me to read but once, perhaps adding a note to its luxuriant margin. Can it be that what remains . . . [more]

Posted in: Legal Publishing

20 Tips to Improve the Finances of Your Practice

The demands of individual files can make it a challenge to give your practice’s finances the time and attention they need. From the new issue of LAWPRO Magazine, here are 20 ways you can make or save more money in your day-to-day work. Most are relatively simple and can be implemented at little or no cost. Some are new habits you develop when dealing with clients and billing, and some are new technologies you can incorporate into your practice. While not every item on the list will apply to every practice, we expect you will find at least a . . . [more]

Posted in: Practice of Law: Practice Management