Around the Blawgosphere

Law bloggers sum up their time spent offline and face-to-face at Techshow


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As usual, legal bloggers attended and presented at ABA Techshow in force—and often, they shared key information and their own thoughts online after all was said and done.

For the fifth year, LexThink.1—which gathers speakers for six-minute presentations around a central law practice theme—took place on the eve of Techshow. MyCase blogger Nikki Black noted the presentations she felt stood out. Among them was one from Scott Malouf, a Massachusetts litigator and e-discovery consultant. Malouf focused his presentation primarily on social media and legal ethics and “discussed the problems with the current set of rules regarding lawyers’ use of social media and advocated for a change of mindset and more uniformity on the part of the bodies of regulators that enact rules about social media use. He suggested focusing on the harms most likely to occur and the sites where they occur and draft rules accordingly.”

Lawyerist’s Sam Glover previewed LexThink.1 by creating a bingo card full of phrases he anticipated would be used during the presentations—such as flat fees, bitcoin and Richard Susskind—and suggested that readers who spot five in a line shout “bingo!” during the presentations. LexThink.1 founder Matt Homann addressed the game by trying to get #lawyeristsucks to trend on Twitter. The hashtag didn’t really take off—but then again, no one shouted “bingo!” during the presentations, either.

Glover and Aaron Street live-blogged much of Techshow in a continuously updated post at Lawyerist with anchor links to Day Two and Day Three. In a recap post Monday, Glover says the trend toward cloud-based practice management has passed from pretty clear to inevitable. “In other words, you will be using the cloud for practice management sooner rather than later—if you aren’t already,” Glover wrote, noting the products on the market. “This is, for the most part, a good thing. Cloud-based practice management software is ideal for collaboration across firms. The secure client portals built into many of the options are better than email for communicating with clients—and nearly as easy to use. Cloud software is platform-agnostic and usually mobile-friendly, giving more options to lawyers who use it.”

The Droid Lawyer’s Jeffrey Taylor also went the live-blog route, starting with LexThink.1. He noted the “initimate” group at the start of a “Litigators Guide to Android” presentation—“Certainly a telling aspect of Android and lawyers,” he wrote) at a Sunday post. Presenter Dan Siegel of Integrated Technology Services says the session had 30 attendees by the end.

Taylor noted that this year there was a help desk where lawyers could get help with their devices. “I wish I would have known—perhaps I did, but I just forgot—because I definitely would volunteer. That’s another great opportunity to have some one-on-one time with a legal tech ‘genius.’”

Thomson Reuters’ Legal Current’s Susan Martin also did recaps of Day One and Day Two of Techshow. The second-day post focused on the keynote by Google Ventures’ Rick Klau.

One of Klau’s big points was that data trumps opinion, and he illustrated it by showing “an example of an A/B test the Obama campaign conducted on a landing page for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign,” Martin wrote. “He showed the audience six examples of media and had us pick which one we thought they chose (three videos and thee images). Then he had us pick from four buttons to go on the landing page (Join us now, learn more, sign up now and sign up). The Obama campaign apparently had the same theory as the audience, who chose one of videos with the ‘join us now’ button. However, the data showed conclusively that video didn’t work. In fact, when a video was used on the landing page, they had 30 percent less traffic. Roughly 2.8 million more people signed up for the list on the landing page with the right image and wording on the button.”

ABAJournal.com did a roundup of the top swag from the ABA Techshow Expo, but Ben Stevens later did his own at The Mac Lawyer, taking note of the car dash phone holder from Uberconference and the wireless mouse from CDW.

Jeff Richardson of the iPhone J.D. was a co-presenter of 60 Apps in 60 Minutes and included the entire list at his blog, including links to prior reviews he may have done of the apps. “All of them are worth taking a look at, Richardson wrote. “Except for the Hangtime! app. I don’t care what Reid [Trautz] said, I beg you to avoid that one. Seriously, just don’t do it.”

Rocket Matter CEO Larry Port wrote at his blog that even though he’s a software engineer, he always learns a lot from lawyers at Techshow—which he’s now attended seven times—and this year is no exception. “Every year I go I pick up ways to spend less time doing stuff I hate doing. Ways to automate my business and spend more time devoted to my customers. Usually it’s from the Mac lawyers, who are on the cutting edge of things. I learn more important and rubber-meets-the-road technology information from the MILO guys than I learn in any software or leadership seminar or listserv I participate in.”

Obviously not everything said at Techshow or any other conference will be earth-shattering news, Techshow presenter Ben M. Schorr wrote at his IT company’s blog. “Did I reveal some great secret of Microsoft Outlook that nobody outside the hallowed halls of Microsoft knows about? I doubt it,” Schorr wrote. “In fact, I suspect most of what I talked about in my ‘Meet the Author’ session could be found in my book. But by discussing it face to face, we were able to put it in different contexts and find ways to help the audience use those ideas in new ways (or at least ways that were new to them) to be more effective.”

Updated April 1 with comment from Dan Siegel.

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