Here’s another interesting statistic for you: of the nearly 60 experts scheduled to speak at ABA TECHSHOW 2005, nearly 20 percent of them have law-related weblogs. To me, that’s no surprise; bloggers are people who “get it.” They embrace new forms of technology, both for themselves and for their practice. Here's a brief (alphabetical) introduction to the ABA TECHSHOW speakers who also happen to be bloggers; if you aren't already reading these blogs on a daily basis, you should start, now.
Bob Ambrogi, LawSites (http://www.legaline.com/lawsites.html) – Bob has been thinking and writing about Web sites for the legal profession for a long time. His book, The Essential Guide to the Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web is in its second edition, and he is the newest member of the Law.com Legal Blog Network. Bob can always be counted on to provide links to new and intriguing web sites, and he'll be doing that in two sessions at ABA TECHSHOW. First, he's be co-presenting "Cost-Effective Sleuthing on the Internet" with Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch, providing great tips on locating people, researching businesses, and other fact-finding sites. Bob is also part of the always-popular "60 Sites in 60 Minutes" along with Jim Calloway and Jeff Flax.
Jeff Beard, Lawtech Guru (http://www.lawtechguru.com/) – Jeff is truly one of the great gurus of legal technology; he regularly comments on some new product or utility that will help lawyers more efficiently automate their practices. Recently Jeff has posted great, must-read pieces on anti-spyware products and Wi-Fi detectors. When he presents "Best Practices—Applying the Lessons of TECHSHOW" along with Adriana Linares, Jeff will be pulling together all of the information presented at TECHSHOW (a huge task, to be sure) and showing how it all fits into a law practice. Jeff is also leading one of our new roundtable discussions, where he'll be talking about "What's New in Scanners, Printers, and Other Devices," a subject Jeff knows well.
Larry Bodine, Professional Marketing Blog (http://pm.typepad.com/professional_marketing_bl/) – I wrote about Larry's marketing blog a few months ago, and I'll say it again: this is one of the best resources for lawyers on keeping current with the latest news, trends, and suggestions for marketing their practice. At ABA TECHSHOW, Larry will be discussing ways lawyers can market through the use of technology. His first session, along with Matt Homann, is the appropriately-titled "Marketing with Technology," where they will discuss marketing your practice through your web site, problems with e-mail marketing, and conducting informative webinars for your clients, among other things. Larry will also lead a roundtable discussion on "Search Engine Optimization for Your Online Content," which will discuss ways to make sure your web site gets noticed by the major search engines.
Jim Calloway, Law Practice Tips Blog (http://jimcalloway.typepad.com/lawpracticetips/) – the Chair of the ABA TECHSHOW planning board is the latest newcomer to the blawg-o-sphere, and a welcome arrival he is. Jim has been providing law practice help to Oklahoma lawyers as Director of the Oklahoma Bar Association's Management Assistance Program for some time, and now he's bringing it online. You'll find loads of helpful information here, from alternative billing to law firm management and law office hardware and software. Jim will be presenting his favorite and most useful web sites along with Bob Ambrogi and Jeff Flax at "60 Sites in 60 Minutes."
Ron Friedmann, Strategic Legal Technology
– Ron is a lawyer with extensive experience
in legal technology. He makes his living showing lawyers
how to use technology to gain a competitive advantage.
Better yet, on his weblog he gives away for free a
lot of his considerable knowledge on this subject.
Ron will discuss online collaboration tools for attorneys
Together, Right Now: Using the Internet to Communicate
and Collaborate" along with Simon Chester
and Rick Klau. And as part of TECHSHOW's Hot Topics
track, Ron also will present "Where
are We Going? Lawyers as Technology Leaders,"
with Toby Brown and Marc Lauritsen.
Matt Homann, the [non]billable hour (http://www.nonbillablehour.com) – I also mentioned Matt in my marketing links column a few months back. In my opinion, Matt is writing some of the most original material on the Internet about the business of law, and his new project is no exception. He's getting ready to release a series of essays on "Building the Service-Centered Firm," so don't miss out. At TECHSHOW, Matt will be presenting "Marketing with Technology" along with Larry Bodine, as well as "The Traveling Lawyer: Handling Business Anytime, Anywhere" with Ross Kodner.
Dennis Kennedy, Denniskennedy.com (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog) – Dennis knows almost every rock song in existence, and more importantly, how they apply to technology. He also knows a fair amount about legal technology. When you read his blog you're guaranteed to find amazing new ideas on legal technology issues, and the guy's funny, too. Dennis demonstrates his versatility at TECHSHOW by speaking on three topics. First, he'll be presenting "The Sky is Falling! Disaster Recovery" with John Simek, and later that day he'll co-host a roundtable discussion on "RSS and News Aggregation" with me. Dennis will also talk about instituting Internet use policies for your office with Blair Janis in "The Annotated Technology Use Policy: Reining in Your Click-Happy Firm."
Rick Klau, tins::: Rick Klau's Weblog (http://www.rklau.com/tins/) – Rick and blogging go way back; he was one of the first to grasp the great communication potential of weblogs. Nowadays Rick talks about a little bit of everything—technology, politics, and other fun stuff. You can see Rick at TECHSHOW when he presents "Come Together, Right Now" with Ron Friedmann and Simon Chester; he'll also be a part of the "Meet the Bloggers" roundtable discussion with Sabrina Pacifici and Ernie Svenson.
Tom Mighell, Inter Alia (http://www.inter-alia.net) – my own weblog has been around since August of 2002, dispensing helpful news and tips about Internet legal research as well as technology, legal and otherwise. Visitors can sign up for the Internet Legal Research Weekly, a free newsletter that provides even more research goodness. At TECHSHOW, I'm pleased to be speaking on my favorite topic in "Becoming a Power Searcher: Tips and Tricks for Getting the Most out of the Internet," along with Sabrina Pacifici. I'll also be discussing ways to liberate your inbox with Storm Evans in "E-Mail Emancipation," and hopefully talking with many you during the "RSS and News Aggregation" roundtable discussion.
Sabrina Pacifici, beSpacific (http://www.bespacific.com) – Dennis Kennedy named beSpacific the Best Legal Weblog of 2004, and I couldn't agree more. Sabrina has been providing accurate and timely law and technology information for many years, both on her weblog as well as the highly-regarded legal research site, LLRX (http://www.llrx.com). In addition to speaking with me on "Power Searching," Sabrina will also be presenting on a favorite topic of hers in "Cyber Self-Defense: Protecting Yourself from Spyware, Adware, Viruses, and Phishing Attacks," along with David Ries. Finally, she'll take part in the "Meet the Bloggers" roundtable discussion with Rick Klau and Ernie Svenson.
Ernest Svenson, Ernie the Attorney (http://www.ernietheattorney.net/) – before we even knew what blogging was, we had heard about "Ernie the Attorney." Ernie has been blogging so long, he decided one weblog was not enough. So he started PDF for Lawyers, a terrific site devoted to the use of PDF in the practice of law. He'll be demonstrating his experience in this area when he presents "E-Filing and E-Briefs" with Joe Kashi. He'll also be speaking on "The Trial Lawyer's Laptop: A Primer" (perhaps from a Mac perspective?), along with David Masters. Last but not least, he'll also be a part of the "Meet the Bloggers" roundtable with Rick and Sabrina.
If you're new to reading weblogs, the eleven listed above are a great place to start. If you're interested in learning more about blogging, or meeting some of these rock stars of the blog world, you'll get your chance at the "Meet the Bloggers" discussion roundtable; bloggers old and new will gather to share their insights, and you may even get to see some actual blogging before your very eyes.
See you in Chicago!