This is the age of information overload, and lawyers are all super busy. So, if a speaker is going take up an hour of their time they’d better be really good at presenting, AND have some incredibly useful information.
People who hear me speak say I’m a good presenter, and that I provide audiences with valuable, concrete information (scroll down to read some testimonials). But, I’m not right for every group.
Here’s my focus…
I help fellow lawyers in small firms gain efficiency and eliminate chaos by streamlining their law practices (which is something I learned to do when I moved from a large firm practice, which dismissed the use of technology, to a solo practice where I assumed full responsibility for leveraging it effectively).
Any lawyer can learn what I teach, even those whose tech skills are limited to sending and receiving emails. Best of all, they can easily put my recommendations to immediate practical use, without disruption.
In short, I help my fellow lawyers find the low-hanging fruit and avoid the land mines and quicksand in the world of legal technology.
That’s my niche, and I’m really good at it.
Working with me
You’ll find that I’m respectful of the challenges that event organizers face. People who invite me to speak say that I’m easy to work with, and that I give great presentations that audiences love and learn from. They even say so in public…
“I have known Ernie for a number of years as a member of the Law Practice Division of the American Bar Association and worked with him in his speaking and writing capacity – helping lawyers become better lawyers. Ernie is a terrific writer and speaker and I would endorse him and give him high marks in both areas.” —Mark Robertson, ABA
“Ernie was really amazing to work with from start to finish. He was responsive and had great suggestions. He always responded to my requests same day and provided materials well ahead of deadline.” —Stephanie Phelan, MyCase
“When my company was looking for a presenter on that topic for a webinar to be broadcast online and for our holiday party, Ernie’s was the only name I considered…Ernie brings good humor and an engaging affability to every presentation he gives, and is always thoughtful and professional. He is sensitive to deadlines, prepares himself well and can adjust to technical difficulties and unexpected hiccups. Ernie the Attorney is, without a doubt, one of the top continuing legal education presenters in the United States.” —Jared Correia, Massachusetts Bar Ass’n
“As Conference Chair for the recent Solo & Small Firm Technology Conference at The Florida Bar Winter Meeting, I was thrilled with the service that Ernie provided me and all of the conference attendees. From assisting with planning the conference and speaking during numerous segments during the conference, Ernie has proven himself to be a fantastic resource for all things technology based as they relate to the practice of law. He is a dynamic speaker who really really knows his stuff!” —Sean Desmond, Florida Bar Ass’n
“As Vice-Chair of the Indiana State Bar Association Solo Small Firm Conference, I had the pleasure of asking Ernie to give the Keynote Address at our Conference in June, 2012. Having seen “Ernie the Attorney” several times as a speaker at ABA TECHCHOW, it did not surprise me that Ernie gave one of the most compelling presentations I have ever seen, giving his viewpoint on the advantages of the solo practice of law. The audience … gave Ernie one of the highest speaker ratings given to a presenter in the history of the Conference. I would highly recommend Ernie as a speaker and cannot wait to have him return.” —Marc Matheny, Indiana Bar Ass’n
My Speaking Guidelines
There are a couple of things you should know before you invite me to speak to your group.
Honoraria, Travel & Hotel Costs etc. – I don’t charge an honorarium for speaking to law groups like bar associations because I know that they operate on limited budgets. But if the location is one that requires me to travel by plane then I need to have the following costs reimbursed: plane fare and two nights hotel stay (or an additional hotel night per each additional day of speaking that you want me to do).
Speaking Topics – I believe that the best presentations are developed over time, and refined by frequent repetition. Therefore, I only speak on topics that I’ve developed and refined. If you invite me to speak, I’ll provide you with a list of available topics, with descriptions you can use for your promotional materials. (Scroll down for a sample list of my topics).
Co-Presenters – Developing and refining a presentation is hard enough as a solo presenter, so I don’t do joint presentations or panel presentations.
Written Materials – I have developed written materials for all of my presentations, and carefully edited them. I sell those materials online, publishing them in PDF format so that I can include helpful links. I will not create new written materials, nor will I supply my materials in anything other than the PDF format that I use when I sell them online.
Assisting with Promotion – I’m happy to help promote events I’m invited to speak at via Facebook posts, Twitter, and other social media. I will not write blog posts, nor send emails to the people that have opted into my list because those folks do not generally want to get that kind of information.
At the Event – I love meeting folks at the events I speak at and will happily attend any dinners, receptions or other events. My mission in life is helping small firm lawyers improve their practices, and there is evidence that I’m pretty good at it.
“Ernie helped me organize, mobilize, and optimize my personal injury law practice…Following his advice, I’ve made more money than ever while lowering my stress levels and overhead.” — Parker Layrisson
“I had the chance to hear Ernie at a Florida Bar conference, all I can say is wow. I thought I was pretty tech savvy before hearing Ernie speak. After about 5 minutes I stopped doodling and started listening. My first day back at work had me implementing his tips, purchasing his book and signing up for his newsletter.” —Don Morrell
“What I found most appealing about Ernie’s presentation though was his genuine and sincere desire to help fellow lawyers leverage technology to achieve their goals.” —Sierra Anne Pino
“It is rare to find someone who is truly an expert at something, and is also great at presenting their expertise. Ernie is both.” —Kelly G. Richardson
“I have had the opportunity to hear Ernie present on law and technology multiple times in different settings. I first heard him at the LSBA Solo and Small Firm conference in 2010. Since then I have attended several CLE’s that he presented. Each time I have found his presentations engaging and informative. His passion for learning and using technology to improve the practice of law is evident, and the practical solutions offered in each presentation reflect his depth of knowledge and well preparedness. I have left each presentation with new ideas and techniques to implement in my own practice” —David Ogwyn
“I both give and hear a lot of speaches. Ernie, who I first discovered as a fellow blogger back in the long ago days when blogging was a rarity for lawyers, is first class. I recently heard his speech on Adobe Acrobat, one of his areas of expertise, and not only thoroughly enjoyed the presentation, but learned a lot, even though I thought I was a pretty experienced user. Highly recommended!” —Michael Fox
“I recently attended a presentation by Ernest at the 2014 ABA Tech Show about the use of Adobe Acrobat in a law practice and was extremely, extremely impressed. Ernest is extremely knowledgeable about technology issues and a superb public speaker. As a result of his one-hour presentation, I learned a tremendous amount about the use of Acrobat that will make me a more effective and efficient attorney. And Ernest went above and beyond the call of duty, and helped me set up a digital signature using Acrobat following his presentation. I cannot recommend Ernest highly enough – if you are looking for a speaker on technology issues (especially Acrobat), Ernest is the one you want – you will not find anyone better!” —Greg Goonan
“It is clear that you love helping people”—Catherine Fairchild
To view these testimonials firsthand visit Ernie’s LinkedIn page (and scroll down).
Phone: 504-202-0688 (direct)
(If you book me to speak feel free to copy and paste whatever you need to use as a biography…)
Ernie Svenson is a New Orleans commercial litigator who spent 20 years practicing law in a big firm, totally dependent on secretaries and paralegals to manage bulky paper files. Then he learned the secret of paperless lawyering, which led him to go out on his own and create a practice so smooth and efficient that it practically ran itself.
Now, as a nationally recognized speaker and author of the PaperlessChase.com website, he helps fellow small firm lawyers harness that same stunning “automation power” to cut overhead, boost profits, attract better clients, and easily outmatch arrogant, lumbering opponents.
He’s a regular speaker at state bar association events and industry conferences, including the ABA TechShow. He has written two ABA-published books: Acrobat in One Hour for Lawyers, and Blogging in One Hour for Lawyers.
More recently, he published PDF Essentials for Lawyers, which helps lawyers get started leveraging the power of PDFs to create a paperless law practice.
He is the co-founder of PaperlessChase, where he helps lawyers in small firms leverage technology to attract better clients, cut costs, boost profits, and outmatch attorneys in larger firms. He also runs live events called Small Firm Bootcamps.
(FWIW, I describe the struggles I went through in learning to leverage technology in this blog post).
Topics I present
How to Make Your Small Firm Practice Vastly Easier to Manage
How would you like to make your practice exponentially easier to manage? And more profitable? When you leverage the power of automation and outsourcing you can that and more. But you need the right map, and that’s precisely what this session will give you.
- The “treasure map” that can reliably transform your practice into a self-driving profit machine. 100/ proven to work.
- Why most attempts at law firm automation quickly lead to inefficiency and frustration.
- How to use automation properly to get 80% of what you want with 20% effort (or time or money).
- How hackers are likely to steal or compromise your data, and the little-used method for preventing 95% of cyber attacks.
- How you can get better clients, at higher fees, with less hassle (i.e. using surprisingly effective automation)
- How virtual assistants can boost your productivity exponentially, at a ridiculously low cost.
Developing a Paperless Law Practice the Simple, Easy Way
Imagine being able to instantly access information in your client files, anytime—even if you’re out of the office. Learn the simple, sensible method used by a commercial litigator who went from paper-intensive big firm practice into a low-overhead solo practice. You can smoothly make the shift to an efficient, low-stress paperless practice even if your computer skills are limited to doing email and surfing the web.
- The biggest myth about paperless lawyering.
- The best scanner for small law firms (there is only one choice).
- Which documents you MUST keep in paper form.
- The top 5 benefits of a paperless law practice.
- Why PDF skills are crucial, and how to learn them painlessly and quickly.
- How to start transitioning (the answer will surprise you!)
Managing Your Online Reputation Ethically & Professionally
Your legal reputation is influenced by what you DO. But words also matter, especially what other people say about you on the Internet. You can influence online dialogue to enhance your professional stature. But you need to use tasteful tools and methods appropriate to lawyers.
- The #1 most powerful thing you can do to impact your online reputation.
- Why an effective website is crucial for small firm lawyers and WAY more affordable than you probably imagine.
- A fantastic tool for following up with site visitors that’s incredibly dignified, but strangely overlooked by 95/ of small firm lawyers.
- How social media is over-rated and mostly useless for influencing your online reputation.
- Why the most powerful secret to online reputation building isn’t technology, but something simpler and more profound.
Cloud Services for Lawyers- Practical & Ethical Considerations
Storing documents in the cloud is now easy and affordable for businesses of any size. But are cloud services secure and appropriate for lawyers? And how can lawyers evaluate cloud services? Come to this session and find out.
- What “cloud services” are, and which ones you’re almost certainly already using.
- What ethics rules govern your use of cloud services, and how to make sure you comply.
- Why managing your own server(s) is expensive, no longer necessary, and likely to result in a serious security breach.
- The #1 WEAKEST LINK is in your law firm’s security chain, and how to fix it.
- Which cloud services are appropriate for lawyers, and which will make your practice easier to manage.
Security for Lawyers: How to Be Totally Secure From Common Cyberattacks
Hackers are a constant, serious threat. They’ve set up automated bots that scour the web for vulnerabilities, and odds are you’re on their hit list. And yet, if you know what to do, you can protect yourself against virtually all of those common attacks.
- What the #1 weak link is in your security wall (and hint: it’s not anything that runs on electricity)
- Why weak passwords are the #2 weak point, and how to quickly and easily prevent hackers from gaining access through this channel.
- How hackers use the same ploys that con artists and magicians use. Once you understand how the trick is done, you will see it coming and finally be able to avoid it.
- How you can stop a hacker from gaining access to your online accounts EVEN IF they have your password.
- The best tool for improving your password security, that makes your life even easier. And it’s totally FREE!
Visual Persuasion: Surprisingly Powerful Influence Tactics
Psychology & neuroscience have uncovered simple but powerful methods for persuading people to accept messages in text or visual form. This session will show you step-by-step tactics for getting people to better remember, and later act on your messages.
- How to effectively and quickly capture anyone’s attention, even in a world of pervasive and countless distractions.
- Why the human brain absorbs visual information more easily, and more quickly.
- Why visual information helps us remember even boring information reliably and easily.
- How you can instantly improve your memory by 200% using a simple trick first developed by the Greeks over 2,000 years ago.
- How to use visuals to better explain complex ideas, and persuade people in subtle ways that they won’t even notice.
The Shockingly Effective Guide to Efficient & Productive Email
Email is now the bane our existence: necessary, but overwhelming. Email often keeps us from accomplishing more important tasks. And it definitely stresses us out. But, there are ways to keep email in its place, be productive, and minimize stress. This session will show you how.
- Why our brains were not equipped to deal with a constant stream of emails
- How to process emails in a way that doesn’t mess up your hypersensitive “cognitive machinery.”
- How to filter unproductive emails automatically (without spending even one minute setting up filters or fooling with technology).
- How to spot emails sent by hackers who are waiting for you to click a booby-trapped link so they can get complete control of your computer and all of your data.
- How to crank out responses to emails 300/ faster than you’re used to.
If you want to hire me to speak at your event just shoot me an email, or give me a call (504-202-0688). My speaking calendar fills up quickly, and I accept only a limited number of out-of-town engagements, so it’s best to contact me well before the date of your event.