Around the Blawgosphere: More Lawyers Working Via Smartphone; Can Poetry Help You Get to the Point?

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Smartphones Taking Hold

At iPhone J.D., Adams and Reese partner Jeff Richardson shared some stats from and thoughts on the results of the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center’s 2011 Legal Technology Survey Report. This year, 88 percent of the 838 lawyers who responded to the survey reported that they owned smartphones and used them for law-related tasks, up from 79 percent last year. That number went up to 98 percent of respondents from law firms of 100 lawyers or more and down to 78 percent for solo or small-firm lawyers.

“Most solo attorneys I know make even better use of technology than attorneys at large firms, so these numbers surprised me a little,” Richardson wrote, “but perhaps that says more about the attorneys with whom I socialize.”

And this year, for the first time, the survey asked lawyers which smartphone they used. The results: 46 percent use BlackBerry, 35 percent use iPhone, and 17 percent use Android. And 13 percent of lawyers reported using an iPad.

Poetry in Motions

With haiku becoming a trend in the blawgosphere, Jordan Furlong, a law firm consultant based in Ottawa, Ontario, had this suggestion at Attorney at Work: “Have your lawyers share, once a week, a single poetic expression of legal information.”

Many lawyers have a tendency to overwrite that needs to be overcome, Furlong asserts. “Most lawyers are perfectionists who believe that comprehensiveness is next to godliness; they never leave anything out because they fear that a single omission will be the one upon which the matter turns.” But this exercise would serve to help train lawyers to express themselves as concisely and effectively, Furlong writes.

Why Not Get a Pro?

Thomas E. Baker, a law professor at Florida International University, posted at Prawfsblawg about an ad for a Miami business called Actors at Law, which provides professional actors to read depositions at trial when the actual witnesses are not available. Baker says he thinks it’s an ingenious idea. “Hire a professional actor to read a deposition instead of some law office staffer. The actor performs the role of the deponent in character. More interesting. Attention holding.” But he wonders if any procedural or evidentiary limits might apply to such a trial strategy.

Roads to Leadership, Independence

A couple of posts this week highlighted some resources for women who are looking to move up in or out of their law firms. A 35-year-old mom wrote in to Corporette this week after recently being promoted as the youngest member of her company’s executive team. She feels like she’s becoming “tough in the negative as opposed to assertive and confident” and wants to grow her leadership skills—ASAP. Blogger Kat Griffin links to nearly a dozen titles of free newsletters, magazines, and books for her reader to check out. She also suggests asking a mentor—or a subordinate, even her assistant, if she’s close to her assistant—to sit in on meetings she leads and get feedback. “Finally, figure out if your hurdles are your own psychological ones, or if there are really external things you can/should be doing to improve your leadership style,” Griffin writes.

And this week at Solo Practice University, Connecticut solo Susan Cartier-Liebel touts a book to which she is a contributor: The Road to Independence: 101 Women’s Journeys to Starting Their Own Law Firms. “This book is a compilation of mini-autobiographies of 101 women lawyer/entrepreneurs who have journeyed into solo or very small law firm practice spanning from 1954 to today,” she writes. “But they are not just auto-biographical in nature, they offer very real advice gained in the trenches on how to succeed, how to overcome fears and professional barriers. The contributors (PDF) are not the usual suspects or those who frequent social media.”

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