Previous month:
March 2014
Next month:
May 2014

Will lawyers take advantage of wearable tech?

Stacked3This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Will lawyers take advantage of wearable tech?" My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

*****

Will lawyers take advantage of wearable tech?

Wearable technology: it’s been the topic of discussion in technology circles for some time now. Pundits have forecasted that in 2014 there will be a rapid uptick in the use of wearable technologies such as smart watches and Google Glass as prices drop and they become more readily available.

 

Last week, some of those predictions came true when Google Glass was finally released to the general public — albeit for just one day at the very high price of $1,500. Even so there continue to be well-founded reports that a consumer version of Glass will be released in the fall for the much lower price of $600 and that Apple will most likely release the iWatch in September.

 

The question remains, however: will these technologies catch on with the general population? And even more importantly to readers of my column, will lawyers have any practical use for these devices?

 

Some lawyers have been convinced from the get go that Google Glass has a place in law office. One such lawyer is Mitch Jackson, a California personal injury lawyer. In November 2013, Mitch suggested on his blog that lawyers would indeed find uses for Google Glass, such as during voir dire (online: http://jacksonandwilson.com/48-hours-of-google-glass/): “Last night I was playing around with Glass and trying to figure out how to have notes or an outline appear. For example, maybe notes to use during an interview or an outline to use during a deposition or jury selection. I may be picking a jury and starting trial in 2 weeks using Glass. The judge is OK with me using Glass in court … I’ll be using the outline functions I mentioned above and, recording my voir dire for later review and use.”

 

Of course, not everyone is convinced that Google Glass will benefit lawyers. Jeffrey Taylor of the Droid Lawyer blog, a staunch believer in the effective use of technology in the practice of law, remains unconvinced (online: http://thedroidlawyer.com/2014/04/google-glass-may-finally-have-a-place-in-law-firms/): “Long-time readers know that I’m not too enthusiastic about the potential of Google Glass in law firms. Namely, I’m just skeptical that Glass actually adds value to a lawyer’s tech arsenal. Of course, I’m not saying Glass isn’t valuable or useful, I just don’t know that lawyers can fully benefit from such an expensive piece of technology.”

 

But even Jeffrey was impressed by one Phoenix-based personal injury law firm’s recent use of Google Glass. As reported in a recent Business Insider article (online: www.businessinsider.com/lawyers-use-google-glass-to-win-cases-2014-4), attorneys James Goodnow and Marc Lamber from the law firm Fennemore Craig started using Google Glass in a very creative and innovative way as a means to record the effects of serious injuries on their clients’ lives.

 

For example, they loaned a Google Glass device to one of their clients, a double amputee, so that he could wear it to record and document his day-to-day activities and the severe limitations that he faces because of his injuries. Thus far it proven to be a novel and effective use of Google Glass.

 

So there’s a lesson to be learned here, my fellow lawyers: don’t automatically discount new technologies just because they’re different and untested. Instead, learn about them, keep an open mind, and think critically — but not skeptically — about their use in your practice.

 

Not all emerging technologies will have a place in your practice, but some have the potential to streamline your practice and allow you to better represent your clients — it’s oftentimes simply a matter of being able to imagine the possibilities.

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase, an intuitive cloud-based law practice management platform for the modern law firm. She is also a GigaOM Pro Analyst and is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached atniki@mycase.com.


Tips on standing out in a competitive market

Stacked3This week's Daily Record column is entitled "Tips on standing out in a competitive market." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

*****

Tips on standing out in a competitive market  

 

I’m often asked — by lawyers and non-lawyers alike — for tips on how to stand out in today’s competitive job market. People are often referred to me because of the way I’ve used my online presence to leverage my connections and reach to find a niche and job that I enjoy immensely.
As a result, I often find myself talking to young lawyers, lawyers seeking to change their current job situation, or people in other fields who are looking to alter their career paths.

Without fail, I tell each and every one of them that the key is to get out there. Don’t just sit behind your computer, looking for job openings and blindly sending out resumes. Instead, identify your chosen niche and make it yours.

Learn all there is to learn about it. Subscribe to blogs where people write about your chosen focus. Subscribe to Google searches that will bring news articles about your future job right to you.
Next, locate the movers and shakers in that field, whether it’s a specific area of law practice or another career path in a different field. Start to follow what those people are saying. On a daily basis, read their articles, blog posts and social media posts.

Reach out to them, whether via email or on social media, and ask for their advice. And whenever possible, take the online relationship offline. If they live locally, suggest meeting for coffee. If they live far away, suggest a phone call or attend an industry conference that you know they’ll be at. Once you have their ear, pick their brain and — most importantly — listen to what they have to say!
Next — and this is key — make yourself a part of the space you want to be a part of. Join a few select social media sites and connect with the people you’ve identified as important in the space.
And then, start a blog. No, I don’t want to hear excuses. Just do it. And do it now. As long as you have basic writing skills, you can start a blog. Your blog can consist of in-depth posts about topics that interest you — topics that you’ve been reading about now that you’re following people who write about your chosen field.

You can quote a line or two from one of their posts and then add your own spin on the issue. And then — this is key — drop that person an email and let them know how much you enjoyed their post, tell them why you liked it, and let them know you wrote about their post and provide a link.
Share your post — and theirs — on social media, along with links to other content relevant to your chosen field, and continue the conversation. Like I said — make yourself part of the space.
Alternatively, if you hate writing, then create a blog that features videos or podcasts or simply a microblog where you provide short commentary on relevant topics. But the point is — create a blog that showcases your ideas and your interest in the industry that you’ve chosen.

And — this is important — keep blogging! It doesn’t matter if you don’t have a large audience. That’s not the point. By blogging, you are accomplishing a number of important things.
First, you’re forcing yourself to stay abreast of topics trending in your field of choice. Second, you’re engaging in conversations with people interested in the same ideas, both by blogging about their thoughts and by sharing — and discussing — your posts on social media. Third, you’re creating a body of work that showcases your thought processes and your passion for the field you want to become a part of — something you can refer to when you apply for jobs or connect with others in the space. Finally, you’re interacting with others in your field of choice. This type of engagement is invaluable and is often what leads to connections and referrals that will lead to a job offer.

So, if you’re looking for a legal job or are simply looking for a change, that’s what you need to do. Good luck, and may the force be with you!

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase, an intuitive cloud-based law practice management platform for the modern law firm. She is also a GigaOM Pro Analyst and is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at niki@mycase.com.


How to reach legal consumers using online video

Stacked3This week's Daily Record column is entitled "How to reach legal consumers using online video." My past Daily Record articles can be accessed here.

*****

How to reach legal consumers using online video

By now, most lawyers understand the power of online marketing, but many are still unsure how to go about using online tools to effectively and affordably reach potential clients. Oftentimes, lawyers struggle to find the proper balance between promoting their practices and creating content that is discoverable by search engines while simultaneously providing information that is both interesting and helpful to legal consumers.

Developing an online marketing strategy is not an easy proposition when it comes to written content, and things become even more complicated when lawyers venture into video marketing. Many lawyers have no idea where to start or what to say.

Fortunately, there are a few lawyers who have been very successful in this arena, one of whom is Gerry Oginski, a New York City medical malpractice attorney. I recently caught up with Gerry and asked his advice for lawyers who were interested in creating online videos to reach potential clients.

By way of backdrop, Gerry first explained how he began to use video marketing for his solo practice.

“It was 2006 and this new site came online that accepted user generated content — it was called YouTube. Maybe you’ve heard of it,” he laughed. “But the only law-related videos I could find on YouTube were lawyer commercials, which were pointless. They weren’t teaching anyone anything. So I decided to create a video that taught potential clients something they didn’t know.

“My first video was awful. It was 6 minutes long, grainy and dark, and explained how to hire a New York medical malpractice attorney. Remarkably, despite the poor video quality, I received lots of calls from people who’d viewed it,” he said.

He quickly realized he’d hit upon a successful marketing formula — providing legal consumers with much-needed information about the litigation process — that worked well for his practice. So well that, according to Gerry, he’s now made over 1,000 videos.

“Now fast forward 8 years and I have over 1,100 videos to market my solo practice. These videos have directly accounted for 8.5 million dollars of settlements. In fact, it was such a successful endeavor for my firm that I started a business, The Lawyer’s Video Studio, to help other lawyers learn how to make video marketing work for their practice,” he said.

According to Gerry, video marketing is a great way for attorneys to stand out from the crowd: “Online video marketing makes you more approachable so that legal consumers who are looking for information online feel more comfortable reaching out to you to learn more. They love the fact that you’re available and teaching them something they don’t know compared to your competitors who aren’t doing anything like that.”

Of course one of the most difficult parts about creating online content, whether written or video, is deciding what to discuss that will interest potential clients. However, it’s not as hard as you might initially think.

“There are so many different ways to skin the cat to come up with ideas that will interest legal consumers, Gerry explained. “The legal process is confusing. So teach them how it works. Think about the hundreds of steps that occur in a case from start to finish. Write down every step of the process from when they first call you to the very end of the case. You’ll find that all of sudden you’ve got tons of great content and that the hundreds of different steps are are great fodder for blog posts, FAQs, videos and more.”

So if you’ve been considering video marketing and wondering whether it might work for your law practice, wonder no more. Instead, pull out a notepad, outline the steps — from start to finish — of cases that you handle, and then get started. Create interesting content that will simplify and explain the legal process to your potential clients.

And then who knows? They might just pick up the phone and call in order to learn more information from you. So give it a shot and see. It never hurts to try.

 


Read more: http://nydailyrecord.com/blog/2014/03/24/legal-loop-how-to-reach-legal-consumers-using-online-video/#ixzz2xjT9xUKL

Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and Director of Business Development and Community Relations at MyCase, an intuitive cloud-based law practice management platform for the modern law firm. She is also a GigaOM Pro Analyst and is the author of the ABA book Cloud Computing for Lawyers, co-authors the ABA book Social Media for Lawyers: the Next Frontier, and co-authors Criminal Law in New York, a West-Thomson treatise. She is the founder of lawtechTalk.com and speaks regularly at conferences regarding the intersection of law and technology. She publishes four legal blogs and can be reached at niki@mycase.com.