Greedy Opportunists & Lovable Fools
The reason lawyers aren’t better at harnessing technology isn’t their lack of tech skills. It’s because they haven’t found the right people to help them.
A lot of people that seem helpful aren’t all that helpful. Some are greedy opportunists. Some are just friendly fools. And, of course, some are sanctimonious demagogues.
Here’s a list of people to be very wary of, starting with…
The CLE Ethics Scold, who says…
Did you realize that the ethics rules were changed?
And some verbiage in a comment now REQUIRES that you PAY ATTENTION TO TECHNOLOGY!!!
This is VERY SERIOUS!!
What does this mean in practical terms?
Well, it means you better GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER buster!!!!
What? You have a question!?
‘Do I have any helpful advice about HOW you should use technology?’
Most certainly NOT!!!!
My job is to fill the room with sanctimony.
You can figure out how to use technology on your own as far as I care.
The Scattershot Consultant, who says…
I help solo and small firm lawyers use technology better.
I’m always doing 5 things at once, and none of them well.
But I do them a lot faster because I’m a whiz at technology.
I love doing CLE presentations entitled “60 Tech Tips in 60 Minutes.”
Bar associations love them too.
Here’s one of my favorite recommendations:
You should have at least 4 different email addresses.
That’s the key to being efficient with technology.
Oh yeah, and lots of domain names too.
You can never have too many of those!
Ze Website Artiste, who says…
I make ze pretty websites. So, so lovely websites.
You too want ze lovely website, yes?
I make yours so beautiful Michelangelo would cry when he see it.
I have no idea how to build a website that makes you more money. But that is not what you should worry about.
Money is a mere collective fiction.
Art, now that is what we’re put on earth to create. To dance to dream to sing…
Yes, this is what matters most…
The power of art. I believe in this with all my soul.
But, most of all, I believe in the power of ze beautiful website.
The Waggy-Tail Startup Guy, who says…
Are you one of the 75% of lawyers who don’t use practice management software?
Well I have some really good news.
Guess what my company sells? Yes, how did you know?
Okay look, stop rolling your eyes!
Our practice management software is truly better than the other 200 existing options out there.
So it’s a really good thing you didn’t decide to use PMS before now.
A really, really good thing. And here’s why…
Unlike all the other options, ours is truly all-in-one.
We call it…*drum roll*…
Law Firm In A Box™
I think that explains it pretty well.
But if not, here’s the key point: our software will do EVERYTHING for you.
Just install the software and your law firm will begin to run by itself.
Your firm will be 100% automated.
Just make sure that, after you install the software, you watch ALL of the training videos.
We have about 147 of them so far.
They’ll help you configure all the preference settings.
How many hours will it take to watch the videos?
You know, I’m not sure.
Honestly, I’m just a software guy.
And the reason I created this thing is because I heard that lawyers have lots of money to spend on software.
You do have lots of money, right?
The Pompous Visionary, who says…
I have one big superpower: I know where the practice of law is going.
Best of all?
I’ve learned how to monetize this superpower.
I write provoking books and give stirring speeches.
I have a Scottish accent and I’m not afraid to use it.
Especially when lawyer groups call to ask if I can speak at their events.
I charge $25,000 a pop. YOWZA!
So how do I help lawyers exactly? I’m not really sure.
Look, don’t expect me to get into nuts and bolts.
I’m not a plumber. I’m a visionary.
The Fear-Mongering Security Expert, who says…
Be afraid, be very afraid… of technology.
What? You’re not yet a quivering blob of jelly?
Not a problem. Spend a few minutes with me, listening to terrifyingly vivid descriptions of all the ways you can be beaten up in the dark alleys of the Internet.
The more I talk, the more panicked you’ll become.
If you listen to me for more than an hour, you’ll decide not to use computers anymore, especially not ones connected to the Internet.
But don’t worry, I’ll recommend some safe solutions. Android is safe, especially if you pay us to tell you how to set everything up.
I don’t like Apple products, so you shouldn’t either.
Don’t worry your pretty little head about why. Just listen to me and be afraid.
The Social Media Ditz, who says…
I really believe in the power of social media. And by the end of my talk, you will, too. #youwilltoo
By the way, could you post what I just said to Twitter? (And please retweet #RT)
I tweet dozens of times a day. Because that’s how you #do it!!
#lawtech #law #socialmedia4lawyers #lovingit
Social media is truly amazing. Instagram. Facebook. Snapchat. LinkedIn. Pinterest —GOD HOW I LOVE PINTEREST!
Almost as much as I love #twitter
I’ve had a lot of reporters reach out to me just based on my use of Twitter.
I can go on and on about how much social media has helped my #practice (and that’s what I’m going to do for the next 59 #minutes by the way).
So let’s start with a compelling #story about #the power of social media…
Because I’m a patent attorney, I was tweeting a lot around a Shark Tank TV episode, and I got a message from someone who said “I think you’re a cool lawyer. I’m going to invent something so I can work with you.”
See what I #mean?
#trending #lawfirmtech #law #tech #lawtech #techlaw #tech #ILoveHashtags #IActLikeIm28OnlineButReallyIm54 #PleaseRT #lawtech
The Sleazy SEO Gigolo, who says…
Are you desperate for more clients? How desperate, exactly?
If you’re recklessly desperate, that’s perfect. Let’s talk.
We’ll set up a website for you and sprinkle it with magic “SEO dust.” Within days, you’ll start getting calls from prospective clients.
Now, these won’t be stellar candidates—and more than a few wrong numbers—but hey, your phone’s ringing!
That is, until it stops ringing. But we’ll keep charging you the same monthly fee.
And remember: we gave you a great looking website as part of the deal.
Don’t forget that. We really do care about you.
You’re frankly lucky to have someone who knows so much about SEO and online marketing.
Of course, Google occasionally penalizes our lawyers’ websites, because we don’t always follow their required rules (like not putting duplicate content on multiple sites).
Silly Google. How else are we supposed to make it easier to mass-publish on behalf of our clients?.
Don’t ever think of leaving us by the way. We own your website and all the content on it.
Oh, you didn’t read our terms and conditions closely, did you?
Well, that’s probably because you were so desperate.
The Ex-Lawyer Entrepreneur, who says…
I was a scrappy solo, but then built a firm where everyone in it knew how to use technology well. That was a big turning point.
Now I sell “interesting sounding solutions” to Bar Associations.
I’d offer it directly to lawyers, but I don’t really know how to market stuff.
I do, however, have a Ph.D. in Communicating With Clueless Bureaucracies.
For example, when a bar leader asks what my company does, I say:
“We focus on the intersection of the legal profession, the business of law & technology, and we offer consulting services, and a range of alternative staffing services for law firms with a real focus on creating operational efficiencies in law firms.”
Obviously, that’s clear as mud.
But you know what happened when I said that to the American Bar Association?
They signed up right away! Crazy, right?
Yeah, we thought so too.
So what exactly do ABA members get when they join our program?
Check back next year; we’re still beta testing a lot of cool options.
The Millennial Lawyer, who says…
I figured this crap out, so why can’t you?
I’ll tell you why.
Because you have too much hair growing out of your ears.
You think I’m arrogant, but I don’t care.
True, I may not know much about practicing law, but my army of robot lawyers will crush you and completely revolutionize the legal profession.
Did you read that article about the 16-year-old kid who built a chatbot that fixes parking tickets?
Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about.
The revolution is on, geezer, and you will not be part of it.
The Amiable Tech Journalist, who says…
I attend pretty much every legal tech conference and I know all the players.
I used to practice law and it was hard.
Now I get paid to write about “the next new thing” and it’s easy.
I’m respected by conference organizers, even when I criticize what they’re doing. They understand that I have to criticize at least one thing.
Makes sense, right?
I have to prove that I’m discriminating. Otherwise, I just look like a shill for the fawning vendors.
For example, I enjoyed the last conference. Mostly because of the good food, but that’s not enough.
So I said the food was good, but the session topics were sort of meh.
I didn’t attend the sessions mind you.
But here’s a discriminating observation I made…
“Too many of the session titles were about nuts and bolts, not about the future of law.”
So that was my one dig. Which the organizers didn’t mind so much.
After all, I did praise the sessions entitled “How to Use Virtual Reality in the Courtroom,” and “Whether Law Firms Can Accept Bitcoins.”
Those titles were really exciting.
Look, if you aren’t excited about technology you probably aren’t going to enough legal tech conferences.
You can pick up some great tips at those conferences.
For example, did you know that having at least 4 email addresses can make you more efficient?
Yeah, these legal tech conferences are truly the place to be.
#Law-Tech-Forever #All-Expenses-Paid #Boondoogle-in-a-Box
Would You Prefer Better Guidance?
Stop expecting help from these people.
They’re fixated on shiny new tech objects like robot lawyers and bitcoin.
You’re trying to build a successful law practice, not become the next Elon Musk, right?
The Bottom Line…
Too many solo and small firm lawyers are overworked, underpaid, and under appreciated. My mission is to help them create practices that are easier to manage, more profitable, and much more fulfilling.