Whether you want to plan tactically or strategically, whether you need the basics or are interested in the next big thing, ABA TECHSHOW 2020 will provide sound information and advice from experts across the legal spectrum on practice management and technology. Registration is open and Early Bird pricing is in effect for ABA TECHSHOW 2020 in Chicago on February 26 – 29, 2020. NCBA members save even more with Event Promoter Discount Code EP2007. What will you learn? The following are some examples of the session takeaways from a variety of programs from ABA TECHSHOW 2019.
Reputation Management in the Digital Age
- 87 percent of consumers stated that an attorney’s “reputation” was one of the top two most important pieces of information they would rely on when making a choice to hire.
- The more reviews you receive, the more power you have to overcome any negative responses. In other words, the best way to handle a negative review is to encourage additional positive reviews.
- Successful reputation management involves accentuating positive reviews and responding to negative reviews.
From Speakers: Megan Zavieh and Jordan Schuetzle
The Human Side of Technology Implementation
- Even the best hardware, software, and cloud-based services can fail or be underutilized when the people side of making technology changes is ignored.
- Think about why you want to implement new technology. What problems do you think new tech will solve, and is technology the best way to solve these problems or are there other alternatives? Ask yourself, are these tech problems or human problems or a combination of both?
- Early and continuous involvement of staff and lawyers in all phases of the technology selection-implementation-maintenance process is the key to better results.
- Build the skills and capabilities of tech users by helping them understand the reasons for making the change, and by making their training active and continuous, with opportunities for practice between training sessions.
- Motivate firm members to accept and use new technologies by first creating a compelling story for the change and then by using a combination of extrinsic motivators (compensation, titles, promotions, perks, and formal recognition) and intrinsic motivators (fostering firm members’ feelings of mastery, relatedness, autonomy, and purpose). If necessary, make sure that firm policies and incentives change to support the adoption and use of the new technology.
- Look for diverse levels of status (partner/attorney/staff) and tech-savviness when identifying champions and change agents for the new technology – you don’t need to automatically pick the most tech-smart partners in the firm to lead the charge.
- Pay attention to how new technology will not only alter existing workflows, but also office dynamics and interpersonal relationships.
From Speakers: Andrew Elowitt and Patrick Palace
Strengthen Your Core: Add-ins for Microsoft Word and Outlook
- Simplyfile for Outlook helps you move emails to the client folder with one click, both from your inbox AND your sent messages.
- Office Tab provides a tabbed browser view for Word, PPT and Excel making it easy to navigate around a lot of open documents all in one Window within the applications.
- You know you can redact PDFs using various tools like Acrobat Pro and Nuance PowerPDF but Payne’s Redact Assistant redacts Word and Excel Files natively.
From Speakers: Nerino J. Petro, Jr. and Robert Ambrogi
Is Your Web Presence Customer Friendly?
- Use questions and answers in Google My Business to provide answers to questions frequently asked by clients and potential clients.
- Use automatic scheduling tools (i.e. Calendly, etc.) to make it easier for clients and potential clients to schedule meetings with you.
- Use client feedback surveys to learn where you have client-service blind spots and then work to improve them.
- Consistency of the information about your law firm online is important for people to be able to find you. This applies to everything from your office address and phone number, to your logo and branding on your website and printed materials, and to your actual URL and other social media handles being the same (or similar enough to be recognized as the same brand). Before registering a URL, check to see if the name is available on various on social media platforms. Use free tools at Moz.com to check your contact information all over the web (Moz has tons of free tools outside of this as well).
- Use heatmaps and Google Analytics tools to see how people are using your site, and adjust and experiment accordingly.
- Minimize the number of times someone must click or tap on your page to accomplish something or find info. Put another way, maximize the customer’s ability to accomplish their goal quickly. For example, on mobile, can people easily find your phone number and click on it on your website?
- ADA compliance naturally improves your SEO. At its very basic level, be thoughtful about your labels and alternative text and descriptions of the photos on your site. The data you enter about the photo on the back end is not only helpful for assistive devices but also gets indexed by search engines just like the rest of your site.
From Speakers: Julie Tolek, Esq. and Gyi Tsakalakis
Showtime in the Courtroom
- A trial lawyer who ignores technology is a dodo bird whether they realize it or not.
- Basic, inexpensive animations are like trial money-ball. So much bang for very little buck.
- Today’s jurors expect that attorneys will use trial presentation technology, and they also expect that attorneys will be able to use it efficiently and effectively.
- Know your equipment – do you know what kinds of adapters you might need to connect to a courtroom projection system? Make sure you learn the answer for your trial laptop or iPad before you show up for the first day of trial.
- If you are a newbie in a technology-enhanced courtroom, understand that the evidence camera (a/k/a Elmo) projects a live video feed of the document or exhibit on the camera evidence bed to the courtroom monitors. If you have a complicated exhibit on display, you may precisely identify the point of interest by pointing to it on the camera evidence bed instead of generally pointing at a courtroom monitor while awkwardly trying to describe the point of interest.
From Speakers: Herbert B. Dixon, Jr., Michael Ko, and David Sparks
Collecting and Preserving Discovery from Mobile Devices
- It’s estimated that between 80% – 90% of workers in the U.S. are now using text messages for communication and business purposes. If that’s how people are communicating, then lawyers must collect and preserve these conversations to know what people are saying!
- If you are not acquiring data from a mobile device using forensic tools, the most common way to preserve data is via a device backup. iPhone users should be using iTunes as a backup since it contains more data than an iCloud backup.
- Make sure you consider the level of data encryption found on a mobile device. You may need to un-encrypt data on the device before you can extract it successfully.
From Speakers: John Simek and Brett Burney
Mac Mastery: Top Mac Workflows Used by Real Attorneys
- Use Mail’s built-in shortcuts to quickly file emails to your Favorite folders; or use a third-party tool, such as Mail Hub, Mail Act-On, or MsgFiler, to file messages to any folder.
- Use a Mac application like Drafts as a daily notebook, in which you record notes (such as from phone calls) throughout the day. You’ll then have a searchable database of your work.
- Use a Mac automation tool, such as Keyboard Maestro or Text Expander, to create confirmation emails after telephone calls. An example would be an automatically generated email containing a meeting time and date, driving directions, and a list of materials to bring to the appointment.
From Speakers: Evan J. Kline and Julie Tolek, Esq.
Tame the (Data) Chaos with Your Mac
- The average person has 70,000 thoughts per day, that’s 49 thoughts per minute. You need a system to collect, organize, and store the data that collects in your head and doesn’t fit into your firm’s document or case management system (such as meeting notes, articles, business cards, and more). Get that info out of your head into a personal management system in order to create space for more important (thinking) activities.
- Most personal information management systems can capture and import PDFs and web pages, and many can capture and import other types of content, too, such as photos, audio files, handwritten notes, and email messages.
- You can create your own personal management system with several tools. Some of the promising options for Mac users include Apple Notes, Bear, OneNote, Evernote, and DevonThink.
From Speakers: Evan J. Kline and Heidi Alexander
Get Your Mobile Ninja On: Top iOS Tips, Apps, and Gear
- On your iPhone, go to Settings -> General -> Accessibility and turn on Magnifier. Now, in the future, you can always triple-click the side button on your iPhone (or the home button on older iPhones) to turn your iPhone into a magnifying glass, perfect for reading the fine print.
- To quickly show someone else where you are, go to Messages on an iPhone and type “I’m at” and then hit the spacebar. Then tap on the suggestion to send your current location, and the other person will see a map showing where you are located.
- If your iPhone isn’t getting a good connection, turn Airplane mode on, wait 10 seconds, then turn it off. Your iPhone will reconnect to Wi-Fi and cellular, often with a better connection.
From Speakers: Jeffrey Richardson and Brett Burney
Free Your Mind: The Flexible Law Firm
- Lawyers, especially those serving consumer clients, need to be more flexible about legal service delivery. This may include regular evening office hours, online service delivery, client portals, and limited scope legal services.
- Videoconferencing tools for client meetings are perhaps the most underutilized tech tool for client and lawyer convenience and efficiency.
- Successful virtual law practices (and limited scope practices) embrace the latest in technology tools, from workflow management to client portals to automated document assembly.
- Limited scope practices allow lawyers to serve the underserved with a sustainable for-profit model rather than donating their time.
From Speakers: Jim Calloway, Roberta Tepper, and Brooke Moore
What the Internet Knows (About You and Your Clients)
- Control how Google tracks you at google.com/myactivity.
- Delete your voice recordings at the Alexa Privacy Page.
- Advise your clients about what, how to obtain, and how to control the data Google, Facebook, Apple, and Amazon have on them.
From Speakers: Catherine Sanders Reach and Ian Hu
Bitcoin and Blockchain for Lawyers
- Ask clients about digital assets (bitcoin, other cryptocurrency, tokens) any time you ask about any other assets – estate planning, tax, responding to discovery, or marital dissolution. Do not assume a client or opposing party will not have tokens.
- Be careful accepting cryptocurrency as payment for your legal services — there are many regulatory issues that have not yet been ironed out.
- Dip your toe in the cryptocurrency market to get comfortable but treat it like entertainment — not an investment.
- Blockchain is more than cryptocurrency.
- Treat cryptocurrency like Monopoly money and you won’t be disappointed.
- Protect that digital wallet!
From Speakers: Lisa Bragança and Antigone Peyton
ABA TECHSHOW 2020 is a great event for legal professionals to spend a few days immersing in education to help them adopt and implement practice management improvements big and small. Whether you choose interactive learning in the Untrack for Doers, getting hands-on during the Saturday morning workshops, attending CLE programs, peering at the future in Next 20, engaging in dialog with your peers during the Meetups or Taste of ABA TECHSHOW dinners or spending time in the EXPO Hall, ABA TECHSHOW 2020 is a worthwhile investment in the continued success of your law firm. NCBA members get a special rate by using the Event Promoter Discount Code EP2007.