I relish any opportunity to speak to lawyers who yearn to make big improvements in their practices.
For well over a decade I’ve helped hundreds of solo and small firm lawyers (even so-called “dinosaur lawyers” who barely do email).
I’ve won awards, including this one from the ABA. But my greatest satisfaction comes from seeing hard-working lawyers create more prosperous, and enjoyable law practices.
Working with me
I understand of the challenges that event organizers face, and I try hard to make their lives easier. People who invite me to speak say that I’m easy to work with, and say so in public…
Event Organizers Say…
“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.”
“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.”
Jared CorreiaMassachusetts Bar Ass’n
“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.”
Sean DesmondFlorida 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!”
Marc MathenyIndiana 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.”
My Speaking Guidelines
Here are some things you should know before you invite me to speak.
Honoraria, Travel & Hotel Costs etc.
I don’t charge for speaking to bar associations (or similar organizations) because I know that they operate on limited budgets. But if the getting to the event requires me to travel outside of Louisiana then I need to have the following costs reimbursed: plane fare (or car mileage) and two nights’ hotel stay (or an additional hotel night per each additional day of speaking that you want me to do).
I only speak on the topics that I’ve refined through frequent presentation (scroll down to see the list). I do NOT modify my presentations (unless I’m being paid to speak).
My signature talk is “LawFirm Autopilot,” where I discuss how lawyers can leverage technology to work smarter, not harder. The other topics I cover build off of this presentation, so I recommend you request the LawFirm Autopilot presentation if you’re only having me speak once.
Developing and refining a presentation is hard enough as a solo presenter, so I don’t do joint presentations or panel presentations.
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.
My talks are created to last for 60 minutes. But some state CLE rules call for 50 minute talks to get 1 hour of credit. Bottom line? I will adjust the time of my speech to meet your requirements. Just let me know how long you want me to speak.
And just so you know, I’m obsessive about ending on time (or before my time is up). I know how disruptive it is for event organizers when speakers exceed their allotted time.
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
My biggest sensei in starting my solo law practice was Ernie Svenson. Not only did he give me good advice about the business end, he was also my spiritual guide…Ernie is an amazing guy.David Sparks
I both give and hear a lot of speeches. 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 have had the opportunity to hear Ernie present on law and technology multiple times in different settings. 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 practiceDavid Ogwyn
An incredible value and experience! Ernie gave me so much information that I was looking for in planning my solo firm, and saved me so much time, instead of trying to find answers on my own.Carlee Gonzales
I recently attended a presentation by Ernie at the ABA Tech Show about the use of Adobe Acrobat 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 Ernie went above and beyond the call of duty, and helped me set up a digital signature using Acrobat following his presentation. I cannot recommend Ernie highly enough – if you are looking for a speaker on technology issues (especially Acrobat), he is the one you want – you will not find anyone better!Greg Goonan
It is clear that you love helping peopleCatherine Fairchild
(If you book me to speak feel free to copy whatever you want to use as a biography)
Ernie Svenson worked in a big firm for 18 years handling complex, paper-intensive business litigation matters.
Then he learned to leverage technology to create a paperless solo practice. His low-cost website attracted a steady flow of good clients, which made his practice financially successful as well.
Now, through his LawFirmAutopilot website, he helps other lawyers build their own dream practices. Ernie is a nationally recognized speaker and author on various topics such as paperless lawyering, email efficiency, document automation, and online marketing.
He speaks regularly 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.
Topics I Present
Most lawyers want to work less, but need to earn more. They also want more time with family, hobbies, and other things that make life worth living.
Are these things incompatible? It might seem so, but not if you learn to work smarter. Technology is a big part of working smarter, but it’s not the most important part. Come discover the elusive keys to getting everything done faster and more easily —and with much less stress.
- The #1 key to creating a smooth-running, happy law practice.
- The essential tech options that every lawyer should leverage fully.
- The best options for outsourcing work you can’t or don’t want to do.
- The best way to make radical improvements in your practice, sooner and easier.
Paperless Law Practice
Imagine instantly accessing information in your client files, anytime, anywhere—even if you’re out of the office. Or imagine being able to automate workflows so things get done more quickly, more reliably and less expensively. That’s what being paperless means, and that’s what this session will help you achieve in your practice.
- 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.
- Why PDF skills are crucial, and how to learn them painlessly and quickly.
- How to start transitioning (the answer might surprise you!)
Online Trust Building
Most marketing is unseemly, expensive and not very effective. Online marketing is also complex and mysterious.
Here’s a simple truth that most of us overlook: lawyers should earn trust by being sincere, approachable, and empathetic. There is a little-known process for doing this well, even online—with people that have never met you before.
- The #1 most powerful (and ethical) 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 building trust online that’s totally tasteful and dignified, but strangely overlooked by 95% of lawyers with websites.
- Social media is mostly useless for influencing your online reputation, but it can be used effectively in one special way.
- Why the most powerful secret to online reputation building isn’t technology, but something simpler and more profound.
Remember dealing with Redweld folders stuffed with legal briefs, agreements, paper clips, and old
school fasteners called staples? Oh, are you STILL doing that?! Well, let’s talk about using modern age cloud services instead.
The cloud is easy and affordable but are cloud services secure enough for lawyers? Come to this session and find out.
- What “cloud services” really are, and why you’re probably using many already that you don’t even realize.
- Which ethics rules govern your use of cloud services, and how to make sure you comply.
- Why managing your own server(s) is too expensive and no longer necessary. And more 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 (hint: it’s not a computer).
- How to evaluate the various cloud storage options: find out which ones are best for lawyers.
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!
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.
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 leaves you feeling calm, confident, and in control of your life.
- 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.