Recent headlines in the The Mail Online and The Telegraph suggested that a (now ex) Barrister (who tweets as @Geeklawyer) had been struck off for inappropriate tweeting.
One year ago yesterday, on 1 January 2011, The Time Blawg materialised.
A brief, but handy, guide to aspects of the Law of the Time Lords and other cosmic civilizations
As a blawger you must be prepared to be put in the stocks from time to time with other blawgers hurling comments at you that you may find to be rotten.
On 1 January 2011, The Time Blawg materialised.
One year ago I looked back at the first year of The Time Blawg – One Year On.
Last week I looked back at what went on during the second year of The Time Blawg with specific reference to Social Media: The Time Blawg – Two Years On (Part 1: Social Media) and then Blawging: The Time Blawg – Two Years On (Part 2: Blawging) and in each post give my thoughts on what 2013 has in store for social media/blawging and lawyers. Today I will do the same but with specific reference to Legal Technology. Part 4 will follow on what might be left, which would appear to be last year’s posts on QualitySolicitors.
2012 was the year of the Legal Technology Conference. At least for me as I attended a few. But not for most law firm partners who were not seen anywhere near them. Charles Christian at LawTech Futures 2012 referred to getting law firm partners to attend as the “holy grail of legal technology conferences”. This gave me the title of my blog post on that conference: LawTech Futures 2012 Reviewed: The Search for the Holy Grail of Legal Technology Conferences has Begun!
Next up was Lex2012 Reviewed: Legal Innovation and Technology Conference reveals ‘Camel’ Computing. That title refers to a presentation by a law firm of their cloud computing solution that involves keeping the servers on your own premises although owned by the supplier and leased by the law firm. In my view this is not cloud computing as it should be but a hybrid designed by a committee of lawyers. Indeed at times I was shaking my head at the presentations at these conferences and thinking it was perhaps best for law firm partners not to be in attendance to hear the bad practice being espoused. Only 5% of delegates at Lex2012 were law firm partners.
Don’t get me wrong though. It was not all bad. Some of the presentations made you think and indeed some introduced me to legal technology that I was unaware of.
The most interesting legal technology conference of the year was LawTech Camp London. As I blogged in LawTech Camp London 2012 Reviewed: Time to Push it stood out from the rest by being somewhat unique in its format and content. Adopting the BarCamp or UnConference style this conference was shaped by those who wanted to talk and not by a programme designed solely by the organisers or influenced by sponsors. The use of six minute Pecha Kucha style sessions spiced things up a bit. This even inspired me to do a Pecha Kucha presentation at the Crofting Law Conference in September – a first!
The LawTech Camp London highlight was Michael Bossone’s ‘PUSH: A Spoken Word Poem about Law, Technology and Fear’:-
In a subsequent post I highlighted tweets from the conference: LawTech Camp London 2012: In Tweets.
In 2012 I was Speaking about Cloud Computing for Law Firms (my experiences of taking my law firm, Inksters, into the Cloud) and Reviewing Cloud Computing for Lawyers (the book by Nicole Black). Both (if you can excuse my lack of modesty) giving more insight into cloud computing than was evident at any of the legal technology conferences mentioned earlier.
My last legal technology post of 2012 was Is the Surface any good for lawyers? Part 1: First impressions.
The Future of Legal Technology
In 2013 I expect there will be as many legal technology conferences as last year. Whether I go to as many remains to be seen. LawTech Futures will be back (on 30 April 2013) bigger than before:-
With three presentation stages including a 400 seat conference room delivering multi-stream conference sessions, keynote presentations, panel discussions, interviews, debates and interactive demonstrations, ‘LawTech Futures 2013 – The Future of Legal Technology’ promises to be the biggest legal technology conference and exhibition outside of the U.S.A.
No word on Lex2013 as yet. LawTech Camp has been renamed ReInvent Law with a conference in Dubai in December 2012 and one scheduled for Silicon Valley on 8 March 2013. No word yet on a ReInvent Law London 2013 but hopefully that will happen. The one to watch out for in 2013 could well be Law Hack Camp London (the first law hackathon in the UK) organised by Amanda Bancroft and Jon Harman. Originally scheduled for the end of this month it is now planned for April 2013 (exact dates still to be confirmed).
Jon Busby tweeted during LawTech Futures 2012 “this is same people saying same thing as last year and year before that, nothing new which says it all really.” The challenge for legal technology conference organisers in 2013 will be to not fall into that category. Law Hack Camp London might just achieve that.
I predict that cloud computing will become more mainstream for law firms in 2013 and beyond. There will still be those that caution against it but pay no attention to them as they probably have never used it.
I will be blogging more about my experiences of using the Surface in 2013 (Part 2 of the series will be on connectivity). Lawyers probably will not take note of Windows 8 in 2013 given that most have yet to even experience Windows 7.
In previous years I have mentioned video and also legal documentation online when making legal technology predictions (e.g. Future Law: IT Predictions for 2011). There has been a bit of movement on both since 2011 but nothing major. However, with Legal Zoom (NB link is to US website as no UK one yet but apparently coming soon) and Rocket Lawyer both making the transition from the US to the UK that may be about to change so far as online legal documentation is concerned. Perhaps I will blog about that on The Time Blawg in 2013.
On 1 January 2011, The Time Blawg materialised.
One year ago I looked back at the first year of The Time Blawg – One Year On.
Two days ago I looked back at what went on during the second year of The Time Blawg with specific reference to Social Media and give my thoughts on what 2013 has in store for social media and lawyers: The Time Blawg – Two years On (Part 1: Social Media). Today I will do the same but with specific reference to Blawging. Part 3 will follow on the topic of Legal Technology and Part 4 on what might be left.
Very early in 2012 Flawging lawyers came out of their Chambers. I had blogged a lot about flawging in 2011 but there seems to have been less commotion around this subject in 2012. Perhaps it has been well and truly flawged
In February I highlighted What Blawgers can learn from Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. The bottom line is if you want clients to read your blawg don’t be boring, turgid and bombastic like Sherlock Holmes but produce great content which is of interest to potential clients as Dr Watson does.
In May I decided to start a new project on The Time Blawg: Travels through the Blawgosphere: A New Series Materialises. The idea was to have an occasional review of blawg posts that had taken my interest. I started with Travels through the Blawgosphere #1 (Innovation in Law). So far #2 has not materialised but hopefully it will in 2013!
In that first review I looked at a few blog posts on Innovation in Law including one on Stephen Allen’s LexFuturus Blawg. This had fast become one of my favourite blawgs of 2012 with regular incisive posts on the state of legal practice laced with a good dose of wit. But, unfortunately, on 1 July Stephen decided to call it a day. Taking a look at The Big Picture Stephen realised that time is better spent with those he loves. It would, however, still be nice to see the occasional blawg post from Stephen. A blawg/life balance may be difficult at times to find especially if you do blawg daily or several times a week. The key is to do it when it takes your fancy and you have the time to do it. You don’t have to blawg daily anymore than you have to tweet daily. My comments on Why lawyers can take breaks from Twitter apply equally to taking breaks from blawging.
In February Scott Greenfield, another prolific Blawger, appeared to call it a day after 5 Years of blawging at Simple Justice. An uproar in the blawgosphere ensued. I don’t think that made Scott return but I reckon he simply liked blawging too much and missed it. After a short break he was back blawging as often as he used to. The blawgosphere is much richer as a result.
Another Blawg that started in 2012 that caught my eye was Base Drones by Malcolm Combe. This blawg is of particular interest to me as it looks at Rural Land Law in Scotland and includes crofting law posts (not many blawgs out there that do that!).
Two years ago I predicted that UK blawging was just about to mushroom. Last year I accepted that it had not mushroomed as such:-
Some new blawgs may have arrived but on the whole the old stalwarts kept law blogging going in 2011.
The same was probably true of 2012. Mentioning old stalwarts brings Charon QC to mind. He is keeping blawging alive and kicking by taking it around the country with his UK law tour (in a jag rouge). I am looking forward to his arrival in Scotland in 2013.
In May 2012 Charon QC did a bumper UK Blawg RoundUp in 4 parts. The latest (Christmas) edition of UK Blawg RoundUp is by Michelle Hynes: UKBlawg Roundup 12 – Christmas Edition: There once was a Lady who lived in a Shoe. Do keep an eye out for the quarterly UK Blawg RoundUps (initiated and curated by Michael Scutt) as they are a great resource on UK law blogs.
The Future of Blawging
So what does 2013 have in store for Blawging? I predict nothing major. There will be no blawging mushroom. Scott Greenfield and Charon QC will still be at their posts (but with Charon QC touring in his Jag). New blawgers will come and go. Some old stalwarts may retire and some slightly younger ones will step into their shoes.
Law firms that get into blawging in 2013 will, I predict, on the whole produce fairly uninspired material. Content but not necessarily Valuable Content. For law firms in need of inspiration I would point them, as I normally do, in the direction of a couple of other blawging stalwarts: Tessa Shepperson and Paul Hajek both of whom know what works when it comes to blawging and business development. Check out the Landlord Law Blog and the Clutton Cox Blogs.
My last post on ‘Tweeting less but meeting more‘ has generated some debate with Brian John Spencer posting ‘A letter to Inksters: just because it’s winter it doesn’t mean that you can put your Twitter into hibernation‘.
This is an interesting topic and one worthy of some debate and consideration. I do, however, think that the other Brian has got hold of the wrong end of the stick and is missing what social media for lawyers is really (or should be) all about.
I am often referred to as a pioneer in the use of social media by lawyers and almost 4 years later my enthusiasm for and interest in social media has not dwindled. The fact that so much is still being written on the topic sometimes bemuses me though. Whilst Brian John Spencer appears, on the face of it, to be knowledgeable about my tweeting pedigree he actually only started following @BrianInkster and @inksters this past week.
Inksters tweeting had apparently always impressed Brian John Spencer, despite the fact he was not a follower, but suddenly they have fallen out of favour as a result of taking a 16 day Twitter break in November. What the other Brian does not appear to appreciate is that this was not Inksters’ first Twitter break and, in fact, it is consistent in Inksters’ history of tweeting for breaks to be taken from time to time. Indeed Inksters have had longer breaks from Twitter over the years than 16 days. This year alone there have been breaks of 17 days and 24 days and several breaks of between 7 and 10 days (when Brian John Spencer considers “you’ve entered into “dormant” territory”). I see no harm in such breaks and if anything (like taking a holiday) they are possibly a healthy thing to do. Indeed the 24 day break I referred to coincided with my own 14 day holiday to India this year during which time I did not tweet personally at @BrianInkster. We all need to switch off sometime.
Been on holiday (and took a break from Twitter too) for the past couple of weeks. Did I miss much?
— Brian Inkster (@BrianInkster) October 16, 2012
Brian John Spencer thinks that “when you don’t Tweet for a week or more you’re projecting an image of laziness”. Lawyers are, generally, very busy people with deadlines to meet and client work to complete. If a lawyer is not tweeting it is probably because they are having to concentrate on other matters of greater priority in their busy schedule and are far from being lazy. I was recently representing a crofter in a hearing before the Scottish Land Court for the best part of a week. I didn’t tweet once during that time. My week was fully taken up with doing the best job I could for my client. Tweeting was the last thing on my mind. That is how it should be.
The Intendance Report on Tweeting is cited by Brian John Spencer as an example of others saying why you should tweet regularly. Brian John Spencer might not appreciate the lack of credibility that Report actually has but long time readers of The Time Blawg will recall ‘Law Firm Twitteratigate – The Whole Story‘.
Brian John Spencer also cites other blog posts suggesting you should tweet every three hours if resources permit, no more than 10 times a day or hit the “sweet spot” of 4-5 tweets a day. What nonsense. You cannot define, limit or measure twitter usage in this way. Engagement on Twitter is the key to its success. You may tweet 20 times or more certain days because there is a lot to engage about and people to engage with. Does exceeding the “sweet spot” or the 10 a day limit mean you are not doing Twitter correctly?!
As Charon QC would say “there are no rules”. Different people use Twitter in different ways. Who is to say one way is the right way to do it and another is the wrong way. There are extremes where perhaps judgment can be made e.g. setting up a law firm Twitter Account and never tweeting from it at all. But taking breaks from Twitter from time to time does not mean you don’t get Twitter or have lost your way. As Miriam Said tweeted:-
@thetimeblawg Absence often makes the heart grow fonder…:)
— Miriam Said (@miriamsaid) November 26, 2012
Brian John Spencer suggested that I had not been too busy during the 16 day Twitter break at @inksters to prevent me from tweeting personally at @BrianInkster. That is not quite correct. A quick look at my personal timeline reveals a 9 day break during that same 16 day one. When I am tweeting from that personal account I am still tweeting as a solicitor from Inksters. That account or others within the Inksters portfolio of 12 Twitter accounts will possibly be tweeting when @inksters is sleeping. The battleship does not have to fire daily when the destroyers remain active as we all know from Jon Bloor’s seminal post on ‘Tweeting in Convoy‘. However, even the destroyers deserve a rest from time to time.
Previously on The Time Blawg I have referenced the post on Legal 2.0 (@legaltwo) by Amanda Bancroft (@_millymoo) on Twitter for lawyers…what is it good for? Her blog post gets to the root of what tweeting is about and how it can work for lawyers (if you ignore the marketeers):-
My advice? Ignore the marketeers, I have so far not found one who knows even the beginnings of what they are talking about regarding lawyers anyway. Stop thinking about Twitter ROI. See it as fun, carry on making friends, widening your circle, and enjoy the referral work which flows from that. Learn how to deal with clients who are outside the geographical range of your office on a remote basis.
A final thought. If you have been on Twitter a while and are not getting referrals, you are, I respectfully suggest, doing it wrong.
I have been exploring the use of social media for law firms first hand for almost four years as part of the continual growth of Inksters. I know what works for Inksters. I probably don’t always get it right. But I have seen Inksters obtain opportunities that would never otherwise have come the firm’s way had it not been for social media and the way Inksters use it. Inksters will continue, in the words of Brian John Spencer, to be “a vibrant, forward looking and an ever-classy Tweeting law firm”. Taking breaks from Twitter, as Inksters have always done, will not take that away from them.
Not since I was a young boy opening the box to a Dragon computer or a BBC Micro (I never had a Sinclair ZX Spectrum or a Commodore 64) have I had such anticipation over owning a new computer. My new Microsoft Surface RT was delivered on 31 October.
It is a slick looking piece of equipment. The tablet itself looks, on the face of it, like the iPad or other similar tablets. What is different is (1) the optional touch keyboard that is wafer thin and doubles as a cover; and (2) the kick back stand that enables the screen to be propped up for ease of working with (or indeed without) the keyboard.
The touch keyboard is surprisingly responsive and effective. The way it attaches to the Surface via magnetic contacts is also very neat. Lawyers like producing lots of words and a keyboard is probably essential to them for day to day working. Having said that the Surface is unlikely to replace the desktop PC but will be useful when on the move (I am typing this up on my Surface on the train from Inverness to Glasgow). If, however, you are going to use it more often than not with the keyboard do you really need a Surface rather than simply a laptop, notebook, ultrabook or netbook? More thoughts on that point later.
You can also purchase a standard style type keyboard/cover for the Surface. However, I can’t see any great need for that as the touch keyboard works perfectly well and will be more compact. Some lawyers may, of course, like something more traditional .
The touch cover comes in multi-coloured options but the UK online Microsoft store seems to encourage black and the only alternatives currently available for order from there are white and cyan. My one is black. Whilst the touch keyboard is also a cover it does tend to flap open unless wedged between other things in a bag or briefcase. You might still want a sleeve to put it into and no doubt plenty of accessories along those lines will be springing up if they haven’t already.
Once I switched it on (took me a little while to find the switch!) I was guided through a quick and easy setup.
The Home Screen has lots of tiles on it that you can move around to suit where you want them to be and click on to activate. This I was already very familiar with having had a Windows phone for some time. When you download Apps (formerly called Metro Apps but now simply Microsoft Store Apps) they sit here as tiles. Already installed are Apps for Mail, Messaging, Calendar, etc. Others can easily be downloaded from the Store. One criticism often directed at Microsoft is the shortage of Apps available compared to Apple or Android. Given that Microsoft has entered this area a little later than its competitors that is not surprising. My view is how many Apps do you really need? If your main purpose is business orientated (as mine is) you will probably be satisfied with what is currently on offer with a few desirable additions probably not far away. No doubt if the Surface and other Windows RT/8 tablets gain in popularity so will the range of Apps available. Tim O’Brien, Microsoft’s general manager of Developer & Platform Evangelism, recently said:-
I think when you look at the size and scope of the market opportunity just in terms of the number of devices going to market – and I appreciate that Apple’s done a tremendous job just driving consumer demand for the products that they sell and people really like – then you look at the order of magnitude on the PC side, on the Windows side, it’s… not tens of millions, it’s hundreds of millions.
I think if I was a developer I’d have to stop and think: is this something I really want to ignore?
One of the first Apps I downloaded was Remote Desktop as I was keen to logon to Inksters’ cloud via the Surface. This App allowed me to do so with ease. I had read that Remote Desktop was pre-installed on the Surface but I couldn’t easily locate it so just went to the Microsoft Store and downloaded it from there. When logged onto my law firm’s cloud the experience was no different from doing so via a netbook other than the ability to use the tablet’s touch screen. Indeed when I now switch back to using a netbook I have touched the screen expecting it to react but alas without any result. It is amazing how quickly you adapt to touch screen technology as the norm. If though I end up, on the whole, using the Surface just as a gateway to my law firm’s cloud would I not be as well just using a netbook? Will a touch screen add much to that experience? I will look at the advantages, if any, for a lawyer of a Surface over a netbook in a future blog post when I have had a chance to work out what they might be.
For a lawyer who uses Microsoft Word (the vast majority do) the Surface has Word (as well as Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote) pre-installed as part of Microsoft Office 2013 RT. This for me will be handy if I am somewhere without internet access and have a need to work on documents when not able to connect to my law firm’s cloud. That is becoming less of an issue though. Even the train between Inverness and Glasgow now has WiFi on it. I could, of course, already do this with my netbook so nothing new there for me. It does, however, add a dimension to having a tablet if you are a lawyer and want easy access to all Microsoft Office offers on that tablet. Easier integration clearly exists if all your devices are Microsoft ones. That is the view I took at Inksters when relevant staff were issued with Windows mobile phones rather than iPhones, Blackberries or Androids. I think it is that integration that should make the Surface more appealing to lawyers than other tablets on the market. That is if lawyers really need a Surface at all. For me the jury is still out on that question. I have only had a Surface for three days and really need longer to see if I use it as a tablet rather than just as I would use a netbook.
I will report further on my experiences of using the Surface in Part 2 of what will be a series of posts on the Surface for Lawyers.
Charon QC is about to embark (this coming Thursday 1st November 2012) on a law tour of the UK in a red Jaguar. This tour will cover the far reaches of the UK (including, with my encouragement and Inksters‘ sponsorship, Shetland), take him about a year and as he says will involve:-
“Podcasts, voxpops with a television camera, analysis of the legal events of the day, commentary on the changing legal landscape, ephemeral musings and anything else that comes into my surreal mind will be reported.”
Jon Harman has created a trailer for the tour:-
This is a hugely exciting project that could become “a legal domesday book”. I am honoured to be included amongst Charon QC’s Roving Reporters. Do follow the dedicated blog that will document Charon QC’s UK Law Tour.
An early part of the tour will see Charon QC put on ‘trial’ at a Twegal Tweetup with a difference. Again the talented Jon Harman has produced a trailer for the trial:-
This latest This is Your Laugh trial organised by David Allison follows on from The Trial of Three Twegals which was a fun event I attended in June. I have bought my ticket for The Trial of Charon QC at The Lamb Tavern in London on 21st November 2012. You can get yours (before they sell out as I am sure they will) at: We Got Tickets.
Update: 2 December 2012
The Trial of Charon QC has been covered by:-
And Mike Briercliffe has written a limerick:-
At the Trial of Charon QC
Were Inkster and Miles and me
and Chris Sherliker came, his Lordship to tame
Charon’s guilt was apparent to see
You can see a photo of Mike Briercliffe, Elizabeth Miles and Chris Sherliker enjoying the Trial in my post: Tweeting less but meeting more.
I have this year attended legal technology conferences in the UK where speakers and delegates were clearly confused about how lawyers should be using the cloud (e.g. LawTech Futures 2012 and Lex2012). For them and other lawyers faced with the brave new world of cloud technology the answer is to buy and read Nicole Black’s excellent book on the subject: ‘Cloud Computing for Lawyers‘.
Whilst this book is written by a US Attorney and contains many US references it is still a very appropriate read for UK or EU lawyers and I am sure lawyers globally. For example Nicole makes reference to EU legislation and helpfully points out that EU members may not legally handle or store data in the US. The ePrivacy Directive in the EU requires that a third-party who wishes to collect and store personal information must first obtain the consent of the user after providing them with clear and thorough information about storage and access. Storage of consumer data outside of the EU might be in violation of the Directive.
Nicole goes well beyond the basics of cloud computing to look at access by virtual assistants and virtual paralegals.
Stephanie Kimbro provides a guest chapter which poses many ethical issues to tax the mind of a lawyer planning a move to the cloud. Indeed this chapter could put the over cautious ones off from doing so at all.
We learn that there are multi jurisdictional issues in the US with different rules in each state. This would appear to be a minefield to negotiate at the best of times. There are office and residency requirements to consider. It does not follow that you can create a virtual presence in one state if you do not have a physical presence there.
Stephanie points out that because these ethical issues in cloud computing will never fit neatly into the existing rules of a single state or even country, the use of this technology by the legal profession may serve as a catalyst for some form of rule and ethics standardisation within the profession. We have recently seen this in Scotland with the Law Society publishing advice for the profession on cloud computing.
There are particularly detailed requirements in certain US Acts that would in some instances impose an obligation on law firms to include the specific language set forth in the applicable state regarding the disclosure of covered data to third parties in their agreement with their cloud computing provider. I would be interested to learn if we have any equivalent situations in the UK.
I was amused by the lengths some lawyers will go to with regard to backups:-
… I provide some security in case of cloud failure by hav[ing] two kinds of local backup on my office and home computers, and then I do an additional local backup on a portable hard drive … I use one cloud backup for my computer at my office. I use a different cloud backup service for active and important files/folders. I use Time Machine for a local backup. I also do a local backup on each machine using Super Duper.
That quote was from Robert J. Krakow. From my point of view Inksters moving to the cloud removed the need for manual backups within the office – the backups are now done only by the cloud provider.
Nicole points out that security issues are not always simple and can sometimes seem overwhelming – so much so that it seems easier to stick with the status quo rather than venture forth into unknown territory. However, Nicole then correctly recommends that you should resist the inclination to ignore this newfound technology. It is really not as complicated as it might seem at first glance. It is simply a matter of asking the right questions of your vendor and ensuring that the responses are satisfactory, given your needs or the needs of your clients.
The reproduction in the book of a guest post by Tomaz Stasiuk on The Mac Lawyer Blog is ideal reading for any lawyer with security concerns. A good analogy is given by Tomaz of lawyers storing paper based files. Often these files will be in filing cabinets, on shelves, on desks or on the floor. If archived they may be in cardboard boxes in warehouses controlled by third parties. Data in the cloud is more secure than that.
Nicole gives you new things to think about. Did you know that you can get cyber-risk insurance and utilise cloud monitoring services? I didn’t.
The chapter on implementing cloud computing into your law practice is a particularly good outline of all the considerations that a lawyer has to take into account when deciding to move their IT systems to the cloud.
As I read the book I found myself asking “I wonder if Nicole will cover…” and invariably she did. No stone is left unturned.
There is a chapter on cloud computing applications for your law practice. This looks at free applications such as Google Docs but points out that Google does not disclose the location of the servers that will house your data. The point here, of course, for UK lawyers is that this could be a barrier to using Google Docs because if the server is in the US the data will not be considered secure under EU regulations.
The web based law practice management solutions looked at by Nicole are almost all US based services with the unusual exception of LawRD based in Portugal! The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers has recently published details of UK based practice management systems in the cloud.
Examples given of cloud computing use by colleagues in their practice was surprising by the variety involved.
In her conclusion Nicole points out that technology is here to stay and lawyers cannot afford to ignore it. By embracing technology and positioning themselves for the future – rather than denying its reality – lawyers will profit in 2012 and beyond. Nicole asks: Will you be one of those lawyers?
I am pleased to be able to answer that question in the affirmative and highly recommend Nicole’s book to any other lawyers who want to join me.
Buying the Book
Cloud Computing for Lawyers by Nicole Black (ISBN 978-1-61632-884-9) is published by and available from the American Bar Association. It has not as yet been released in the UK but is available for pre-orders at Amazon.
Readers of this blog will be aware that I am often very critical of top legal Twitter lists. The Lawyer will be relieved that this latest post does not arise from a list promoted by them (see Law Firm Twitteratigate – The Whole Story and The Lawyer excludes Scotland and top Twegals from UK Legal Twitter list! #Twitteratigate2).
The latest gaffe (HT @GavWard) is in the July 2012 edition of Evan Carmichael’s Top 100 Lawyers to Follow on Twitter.
Evan Carmichael lists the number one lawyer to follow as @LandUseAttorney – Andrew Svitek. However, this ‘Top Twegal’ has not tweeted since February 2011 (when he tweeted three times) and the last time he tweeted before that was January 2010! Three tweets in two and a half years and this is the Top Lawyer to Follow on Twitter. I think not. What would possibly be the point in following him when he does not even tweet?
I don’t know how Evan compiles his list but he should perhaps review his methodology. There are certainly some worthy inclusions in it but @LandUseAttorney should not be there at all let alone in the top spot. That accolade simply discredits the list.
@LandUseAttorney does have an incredible number of followers: 184,027. Whilst he only follows 721. Perhaps, that is why Evan gave him the top spot. However, the number of followers is not necessarily indicative of an account worth following. Followers can be purchased and followers to following ratios can be manipulated (I don’t know and am not suggesting that this is the case here). In any event lots of followers does not make a Twegal worth following if they don’t actually tweet!
If @LandUseAttorney started tweeting again tomorrow I doubt anyone would raise an eyebrow. A quick look at the account shows little engagement with others when tweeting did take place with it mostly being broadcasting and the occasional retweet. Compare this, for example, with @LegalBizzle who took a break from Twitter for a couple of weeks or so this month. When he returned on 19 July there was an outpouring of relief from a huge number other Twegals – e.g. @Jezhop: *audible sigh of relief* (that you can’t hear, obviously) – @LegalBizzle is back
Now there you do have a Top Twegal and you don’t need a list to tell you that. You will soon find Twegals worth following via other Twegals. You will glean it from their mentions, retweets, #FFs and personal Twitter lists. That’s how Twitter works. My advice is to ignore the Top [insert number here] Twitter lists and follow your instinct.
In my last post I reviewed LawTech Camp London 2012. I finished that post with a promise to do a follow up post highlighting tweets from the Conference. I find tweeting at conferences a good way to record salient points for future reference and often it results in widening the debate amongst others who are unable to attend but are interested in the subject matter and thus the Twitter Stream.
This was one of the most Twitter friendly conferences I have attended (you were told at Lex2012 to switch your smart phones off to prevent audio interference!) with two large screens displaying live tweets. However, as has already been mentioned in my review, a shorter hashtag than #LawTechCampLondon should be considered for next year’s conference.
Ann Priestley’s graphs of tweeters and tweet volume at the Conference show that I managed to produce 5.5% of the tweets. Joint Champion Twegals are Paul Bernal and Chrissie Lightfoot both with 9.5% each of the tweets:-
Well here goes… a selection of Tweets from LawTech Camp London 2012:-
#LawTechCampLondon just got underway with a statement that “law schools should have laboratories”. I wonder what that means to #Lawyers
Ajaz Ahmed from Legal365 immediately points out the elephant in the room: customers hate lawyers!
Analysis of what’s wrong with the profession – cost, fee structure, service, accessibility. Ouch!
Need to wake up to the fact that customers (not “clients”) hate lawyers
Other than Riverview Law not a lot being done by lawyers to change how they do things
legal market too big to ignore by entrepeneurs – Ajaz Ahmed
Law firms are changing the window dressing with websites etc, but the industry requires fundamental change
legal356 founder not beating around the bush. Imperative to change biz model
Innovators will come from outside the industry. Won’t be lawyers who innovate
Entrepreneurs have the ability to put themselves in the customers shoes and have empathy for them – Ajaz Ahmed
Interesting. Ahmed attacks investors for focusing on ‘imaginary spreadsheets’ and not good ideas
#lawyers – client loyalty will be tested – new entrants can take market share. Put yourselves in client’s shoes
Customers opinion shouldn’t shape your proposition
Don’t sell law. Sell solutions to customers’ problems
Not about the brand (eg QualitySolicitors) but about disruptive change
Apparently lawyers are hated less than Lana Del Rey!
Feeling that lawyers had it too good for too long
#lawyers need to innovate – “a bit of a shake” keeps this going
Clients want lawyers to be enabled by tech, not replaced
Three businesses to any law firm: Rocket Science, Relationship and Routine
I want a lawyer who understands me / my business = RELATIONSHIP
Technology need to systemize the routine tasks, still needs work here
We tend to over-estimate short term effects and under-estimate the long term effects
Don’t let short term disappointment convince you to take your eye off long term effects
The end of lawyers? K Doolan from @eversheds says no (worst is over)
Absolutely right to suggest more joint ventures between client and lawyer
Huge demand for greater cost transparency, firm & client need to be in the same game
Prediction: Growth happening and we are now ready to take a big step forward.
What are lawyers for? asks @StephenMayson Answer: to protect and promote the public interest
Stephen Mayson – new tech, social media etc summed up by the word ‘difference’, not ‘replacement’, ‘annihilation’ etc
It is a profession in the context of a commercial venture.
Law can be a business within the context of a profession, not either or.
Lawyers: stop doing things you have done before either because you can’t make money or because you are not good at them
Cherish ethical and integrity in the profession and embrace competition – Stephen Mayson says
Two key messages: cherish professional integrity and embrace competition
Law historically began as a business not a profession but now has to rediscover business roots
Price for value not cost/time
Train lawyers for the future market not the past market
Strategise for difference
A lot of entrepenaurial commercial guys would love to shape up a law firm bit mostly blocked by intimidated partners
Public sector is institutionally routed in the past and resistant to change
Kent CC provides legal services to 330 other public sector organisations
legal services in Kent County Council now net income generator
Well if all public sector lawyers adopted Geoff Wild’s approach, the rest of us – lawyers and tax payers – be better off!
“The species that survive are those most adaptable to change” Darwin
Want to manage something? Measure it.
A quarter of a million dollars on conference calls. 30K on photocopying Not uncommon. Still crazy.
Gruner shows how lawyers must take VALUE seriously not just costs.
You cannot measure the value attorneys provide – Ron Gruner disagrees – underutilized information
SkyAnalytics will scare pants off most #lawyers I reck! Comparison value analytics in hands of #Entrepreneur clients OMG
Need to understand how law works so that tech can be applied to it
Lawyers are ‘proud to be archaic’
We are lawyers second and people first!
Some real bombshells coming out of #LawTechCampLondon – innovate, be clear on costs, apply technology, understand clients…? #revolutionary
Wake up or if you are the choir sing
Something tells me #lawtechcamplondon just disrupted the way we do “futurist” conferences. Take note. Do it different and bring change.
Analogy between publishing industry & legal profession – how will #lawyers react to disruption?
c15 years in legal profession, and I don’t think I’ve been at an event with so much energy and challenging thinking #LawTechCampLondon
Something accountants & lawyers don’t get: many clients don’t want to meet you in person. Skype, phone, email fine
Need to radically rethink legal ed. Little tech & little interactive tech
Unmet need for legal services is overwhelming
The greatest problem faced by the legal profession: law firms work for big companies, not real people
If speakers so far at #lawtechcamplondon are right, we’ve seen nothing yet. People here embrace it but rest of legal world miles behind
Technology making the law more efficient, but are we innovating to address the real issue?
Brilliant – do law firms want to be Kodak or Instagram?
Difference between Kodak and Instagram is culture – Renee points to as difference between winners and losers
6.5m pages on UK govt legislation website
Challenge for govt is keeping legislation database up to date with small editorial team
Expert Participation being launched by The National Archives to open source the legislation database
Should govt really be asking us to keep legislation website up to date? Surely that’s their job
Reckon Govt will spend more time/money reviewing third party legislation updates than they would if did it themselves
Wikipedia employs fewer than 80 staff yet 3rd biggest site on I’net. UK Govt might get more bang per buck.
Is secret to being a legal guru great hair? cf @richardsusskind @StephenMayson @JohnAFlood #countsmeout
@richardsusskind opening: “disconcerted the people here are even more evangelical than I am!”
Challenges: 1. more for less 2. Liberalisation 3. Technology
Richard Susskind doesn’t think the worst is over… very much the opposite!
Susskind hearing from in-house counsel that legal spend is going to come down further – worst not over for law firms
Susskind: procurement-driven 30-50% reduction in corporate legal spend expected in next few years
Key point is that law must be broken down and must ask what is most efficient way to deliver each one
Why don’t we redefine what lawyers are going to do?
“Lawyers may be relegated to sub-contractors on big disputes”: Navigant pitched this approach years ago
Questioning the acceptance by law firms of the change that IS happening in the market
LSA brought entrepreneurial spirit susskind says market will change – take 10 years
Liberalization will generate processes and techniques will be adopted around the world
Most lawyers and clients wish it was 2006 again
You rarely hear law firms say “let’s work differently”
Susskind ‘hinting’ law firms need to start accepting lower profit margins…..
Is Susskind skirting around issue of what lawyers are for? Taken for granted? More analysis needed here.
Reading the #LawTechCampLondon tweets interesting.. Is Nostradamus speaking?
All roads (in law) lead to technology – we live in a document intensive environment
Susskind: Alternative fee arrangements in most cases simply re-packaging of the same thing, without impacting on profit
To think that IT won’t be transformational in the legal market is absurd
There is no finishing line in IT
By 2050 average desktop machine will have more processing power than the whole of mankind put together
Why are so few #lawyers on twitter – are they waiting for it to take off?!
Yammer – why don’t more law firms use it?
Reluctance to use technology Richards calls it “irrational rejectionism” – lawyers want demo to not work
Susskind: amazing lawyers say Twitter doesn’t work for me, when they’ve never seen it
Accountants embrace new technology better than lawyers
As a former accountant, I fear Susskind overestimates how forward-looking accountants are!
More people in the world have mobile phones than toothbrushes.
Lawyers are not using big data – richard susskind – completely agree, the use will transform the market
If you want data, start a law firm on Facebook. 1bn members who need help when change relationship after holidays. DATA!
Now @richardsussking destroying relevance of legal education at #LawTechCampLondon massive disparity between training and skills needed
Legal knowledge engineering is the career for new lawyers: Susskind
The future of law is not Rumpole
You need to go where the law’s going to be, not where it was
Future jobs in law. Hybrid professionals dual qualified law WITH knowledge / tech/ management.
Susskind quotes Wayne Gretzky: skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it is now
Legal services should be sold in an Apple Store on iPads not in WH Smith
Most lawyers use technology (dictation, time recording) but not INTELLIGENT technology
20% of US cases filed handled by litigants without lawyers!
New services lawyers could offer expand market into untapped areas. Eg: legal check-ups: r u legally ‘healthy’?
Surprising that speakers talk about tech innovation whilst using 20-yr old PowerPoint technology. #prezzi way better.
Holmes’ Path of Law is such a great read. Every lawyer should read it!
Fantasy Supreme Court: 13,000 players who participate on how the Supreme Court will decide. Crowd is 80% accurate
View the law as data
Lawers need to be techy and collabarative in order to be innovative
Legal profession not techie or collaborative. This is the death nail
Client asked for skype call and word tracked document. Offered bad spiderphone and handwritten notes and double charged!
New word: Exaptation - a feature having a function for which it was not originally adapted or selected.
Seeing nice interface on case progress through Harlan.co
Need a virtual third place in legal market place. Discussion by video online with participation.
Imagine a legal app that worked like siri
The future is having technology assist in decisions
Law can take a lot of new tech and apply it to law, but can it innovate tech from law and give it to the world?
Average lawyer not using technology to help consumers
Is there a lawyer out there who’ll draft my will w/o expecting me to schlep to her office? She’ll win my business if so.
Methinks #LawTechCampLondon 2 should focus on the application of all these marvellous ideas. Many audience members with knowledge to share.
Epoq doesnt dig for the.gold, they offer online document to other legal service providers, amazing technology
Document composes itself! Client just provides basic info.
Will in London costs £750 by lawyer! Epoq wd be much less.
All businesses are relationship driven – Same as law and social media
Law blogging is here to stay
Contrast between Prezi (yay) and PowerPoint (yawn) is pretty clear from the presentations today
Law firms can’t manage or manage change
Don’t make money…make the future!
Hoped to learn about big data, but instead it’s how WestLaw search works – clever, I’m sure, but not same thing?
10417 Users online for Burger King case. Perhaps most were searching for a Burger
Advertising sales opportunity for Thomson Reuters? Promoted Cases like Promoted Tweets?
There appears to be some confusion in #legalit between #bigdata analytics + intelligent search
Self-driving car – if we can driveless car cannot we build a computer lawyer?
Predictive algorithms did cause a stock market crash and no one knows how it happened, what impact on law?
If we get a scientific predictor of judicial outcomes, it cd lead to rise in ethical (truthful) law firms
FB recommends friends, Pandora recommends music, *something* will recommend similar cases
We need disruptive players in the market so that legal services are delivered in a better and meaningful way
Will innovation run away from the lawyers?
How do you communicate with a lawyer? Confounding question
Don’t get tech out when selling it to lawyers. If you do they will shut down. Use pad and pen.
We don’t need to design better cameras, we need to learn how to use our cameras better
Challenge not innovation and technology but communication and implementation
Few people need to innovate, lawyers need to communicate
Partners in law firms fight one another. War zone… Of course sole practitioners don’t have that problem … and an ABS may not have that problem either
What Jon is referring to is that law firms are composed of interlocking competing network structures.
Law firms are Montesquieu structures. See E. Lazega, The Collegial Phenomenon.
Innovation is like agriculture, you have to create environment to allow seeds to grow you cannot build it as a mechanism
Learn to plant seeds and water, and then understand crop rotation
Innovation will come from positive deviancy – legal culture doesn’t cultivate this, actively discouraged
Not all lawyers are technology averse or inept.. Proof is there are a whole bunch of them at #lawtechcamplondon
have you seen this? http://t.co/2XX74irG The Lawyerbot – directly relevant to #LawTechCampLondon
I have to say #LawTechCampLondon has been exceptionally good. Congratulations to all involved!