What I learned at my own seminar: Observations

I was one of three panelists yesterday for a full-day seminar in Concord, N.H., titled “Find it Free and Fast on the Net: Advanced Internet Strategies for the New Hampshire Legal Professional.” I’ve been putting on Internet seminars for lawyers for well over a decade now, and while my goal is always to pass on some of what I know, I always manage to learn a thing or two myself. I was helped in my learning yesterday by two well-qualified co-presenters: Kathie J. Sullivan, a law librarian and principal of Sullivan Information Management Services, Burlington, Vt., and Dennis C. Hogan, an impressive sole practitioner in Nashua, N.H.

So, in the category of general observations, here is what I learned:

  • Blogging is still a foreign concept to most legal professionals. Out of about 60 attendees (lawyers and paralegals), only two said they had ever heard of blogs.
  • The value of blogging is difficult to convey in a seminar. To appreciate blogs, one has to dive in and use them for awhile.
  • Legal professionals still look to the Internet primarily for free or low-cost sources of information that will help them in their day-to-day practice of law.
  • Legal professionals want seminars to focus on practical resources. The most common question at yesterday’s seminar could be summed up as this: “How will that help me in my practice?”

Nothing deep here, but a bit of perspective from lawyers in the trenches.