It is an experiment that could be instructive for lawyers everywhere: A law firm goes through a major technology upgrade as a blog follows its progress with posts and videos. This is the premise of RealLawyerNews, a blog written by Texas technology consultant Jamie Parks as he and others work with the Zivley Law Firm to transform it from tech tyros to geeks.
The blog started in September with a description of Parks’ first meeting with the firm’s founder, Perry Zivley, and his wife Harriett, also a lawyer. The post included video of Harriett discussing her interest in launching a blog and extended audio of the entire first meeting. In an Oct. 13 post and video, Parks followed consultant Dave Broeckleman as he finished setting up a new network server for the firm. Parks reported:
“Perry is happy because he no longer has to wait 10 minutes each morning for his machine to boot up and he doesn’t have to rely on a peer to peer network to manage his data. The days of the computer constantly being thrown into lethargic mode every time his paralegal needs to access a shared directory on his hard drive are finally over!”
After that, Parks had occasional posts on other topics but not on the Zivley’s upgrade, so I e-mailed him asking about the status. He responded in this post yesterday, reporting that “everything is really coming together faster than they expected.” He points to the firm’s beta launch of its new Web site, but cautions that some links are not yet active, including the one to the Zivley blog:
“Although the Zivley’s venture into the blawgosphere has still consisted primarily of reading blogs, please do bare with them. They are both very excited about publishing their blog and are really looking forward to interacting with the community and fellow blawgonauts.”
I first read about this project on Neil Squillante’s TechnoLawyer Blog in September. He wrote then, “So far this experiment is more interesting in theory than in practice.” That remains true today, largely because the postings are infrequent and short on details. Still, the concept of blogging about real-life management challenges such as the Zivley’s technology upgrade is compelling and could provide valuable insights for others facing similar challenges. Perhaps other firms will follow suit.