People who hear me speak say I’m a good presenter, and that I provide practical, actionable advice.

But, I’m not right for every group. So read on to make sure I’m right for yours…

Here’s my focus

I help fellow lawyers in small firms earn more and accomplish more, while working less—by streamlining their practices using technology.

Most lawyers feel frazzled having to manage a never-ending stream of tedious administrative tasks. And they do this while also having to devote MOST of their time to solving their clients’ legal problems.

I felt frazzled too. That was back when I was a partner in a large firm with mindless bureaucracy and ridiculous billable hour quotas.

I hated practicing law because everything was a monumental struggle. It got to the point where I felt like quitting the practice altogether.

But then I discovered how technology could make my practice run smoother and more profitably.

I became paperless, which enabled me to automate key workflows (instead of begging other people to do the work, and then having to stay on top of them to make sure they did it right).

By harnessing technology, I was able to start a lucrative (and enjoyable) solo practice.

I was able to work how I wanted, when I wanted, and wherever I wanted to— which gave me a tremendous sense of satisfaction and freedom.

Other lawyers asked me how I was able to do this and I happily showed them. I traveled around the country giving speeches to bar associations, writing articles and books for the ABA, and appearing on legal podcasts.

For well over a decade I’ve been on a mission to help other lawyers transform their practices just like I did.

During that time I’ve helped hundreds of lawyers achieve breakthrough success, even so-called “dinosaur lawyers” who barely do email.

Most people who help lawyers with technology just spew out random tips. Too few offer meaningful insight.

And no one (that I know of) provides busy lawyers with the #1 thing they need most…

A clear blueprint for leveraging technology in a step-by-step fashion.

Look, what I’ve discovered is this. Any lawyer can learn to use technology to transform their practice, if they do it sensibly and strategically.

And what I do is show them exactly how to do that—in simple terms that anyone can easily grasp (even so-called “dinosaur lawyers”).

So that’s my 100% focus, and…

If you talk to folks I’ve helped they’ll tell you I’m pretty good at it too.

(in fact, scroll down to the “Lawyer Testimonials” and read some of their comments)

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…
Mark RobertsonABA

“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.”

Stephanie PhelanMyCase

“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).

Speaking Topics

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 the one called “LawFirm Autopilot,” where I discuss my 3-part process for successfully leveraging technology. 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.

To download a PDF copy of my Speaker Brochure, click here.

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.

Speaking Time

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.

LAWYER TESTIMONIALS

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 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 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

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 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

My Biography

(If you book me to speak feel free to copy whatever you want to use as a biography)

Ernie Svenson worked in a large New Orleans firm for 18 years doing commercial litigation. Becoming partner in a prestigious firm was supposed to be wonderful, and at first it was. But eventually ridiculous overhead, high billable hour quotas, and mindless bureaucracy left him burned out and disillusioned.

Then he learned to leverage technology to create a simpler law practice (e.g. being paperless). His low-cost website attracted a steady flow of good clients, which made his solo practice financially successful as well.

Now, through his LawFirmAutopilot website he helps fellow 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.

He has received numerous awards for his work, including the ABA’s 2018 Solo & Small Firm Trainer Award. Ernie was also chosen to be a FastCase 50 honoree.

Topics I Present

LawFirm Autopilot

Session Description

Learn to create a practice so smooth-running that it feels like it’s on autopilot. Discover how you too can earn more while working less, so you can spend more time away from the office doing fun things besides practicing law.

All you need is a proven blueprint that shows you how to use technology sensibly and strategically. And that’s what this presentation will give you.

Session Covers

  • The 3 pillars that will transform your practice into a self-driving profit machine.
  • How to use automation to get work done faster and better. And for much less than you’d pay semi-skilled & totally unmotivated employees.
  • How to reliably establish and build trust to get better clients more easily. You can even do this online, with people that don’t know you from Adam (FYI: This process can be automated!)
  • How to find rockstar VA’s to handle all the grunt work you hate doing (these folks will also work part-time if you want).

Paperless Law Practice

Session Description

Imagine being able to instantly access information in your client files, anytime—even if you’re out of the office. Or imagine being able to automate workflows so things get done quickly, reliably and inexpensively (without human intervention). That’s what a paperless practice will give you. And in this session we’ll talk about how to create that kind of practice smoothly—without disruption or complaints from naysaying colleagues and staff members.

Session Covers

  • 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!)

Online Trust Building

Session Description

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.

Session Covers

  • 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.

Cloud Lawyering

Session Description

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.

Session Covers

  • 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.

Online Security

Session Description

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.

Session Covers

  • 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

Session Description

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.

Session Covers

  • 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.

Effective Email

Session Description

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.

Session Covers

  • 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.

Call Ernie About Having Him Speak