With LegalTech New York ready to go next week, affiliates Law.com and Law Technology News today announced a special platform to showcase those who will blogging from or about the Feb. 5-7 event. As many of you know, I coauthor Law.com’s Legal Blog Watch together with Carolyn Elefant. During LegalTech, Law.com will turn over Legal [...]
TAG | TechShow
If you have not signed up for next week’s LegalTech New York, whaddya waiting for? The conference — Feb. 5 to 7 at the New York Hilton — continues year after year to be one of the two top annual legal technology events (along with ABA Techshow). The line-up of programs and speakers is impressive. Even if you’d rather not pay the registration fee, you can attend the exhibit hall for free — usually the single largest collection of legal-tech vendors of any show. If you’re not sold by either the programs or the exhibitors, then at least go for the schmoozing. If you do go, say hello; I’ll be there Tuesday and Wednesday.
[The following column originally appeared in print in March 2007. I am republishing it as part of my continuing effort to maintain an archive of my published columns. Important note: I have not updated this since its original publication. While most of the sites remain as described, some may have changed. All information was current as of the date of original publication.]
Is your firm in the market for a technology upgrade but uncertain what to buy? For consumer-technology products, a shopper can find any number of buying guides. But what about legal-technology shoppers?
As it turns out, guidance is available, provided you know where to look. Here is a quick tour of sites to check if you are in the market for legal technology.
- ABA Law Practice Management Section. This ABA section devotes portions of its Web site to each of what it calls “the four core areas of law practice.” Yes, technology is one of them. Because this site serves as home to Law Practice magazine and the Law Practice Today e-zine and offers various CLE and audio programs, the shopping lawyer can find both reviews of specific products and broader guides to law office technology.
- ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. LTRC describes itself as “where legal professionals turn for technology information.” The site’s Info Centers zero in on technology in the law office, the courtroom, online and on the road. Among the resources you can find here are product comparison charts, product descriptions and how-to guides.
- Association of Legal Administrators. From the navigation pane on the left of the ALA home page, click on “Legal Vendors” to search for products by keyword, company name or category.
- Dennis Kennedy’s Legal Technology Central. From the home page of lawyer and legal-technology consultant Dennis Kennedy’s Web site, click on Resources/Legal Technology for a comprehensive collection of links to legal technology resources and vendors.
- FindLaw Legal Technology Center. Articles here discuss uses of technology in the law office and the courtroom. For the shopper, the site offers both product reviews and product announcements covering software, hardware, communications, e-discovery and networking.
- International Legal Technology Association. The focus here tends to be more macro than micro, with resources that tackle broad legal technology issues more than specific product advice. Depending on shopping list, however, you may find articles of interest. Good place to start: ILTA’s library of white papers and surveys.
- Law.com Legal Technology. In case you have not visited Law.com’s legal technology pages recently, you should. The editors here have been busy adding reams of content. The section combines articles original to Law.com with others drawn from ALM newspapers and magazines and other sources. The result is a diverse library of articles on software, hardware, security, networking, e-discovery and IT management. Disclaimer: I am a member of Law.com’s Legal Technology Advisory Board.
- Law Office Technology Review. Barry D. Bayer has been writing reviews of legal technology products for two decades. He puts only summaries of his reviews on his Web site but request one by e-mail and he will reply with the full review.
- Law Technology News. This is the Web site of the magazine Law Technology News. All LTN issues back to February 2003 can be found here, once you have completed the site’s free registration. More to the point of this column, this site is home to the LTN Resource Guide, an index of companies that produce legal technology products, organized by type of product. LTN’s site also provides announcements of new technology products, with links to the vendors’ Web sites.
- LLRX.com. This longstanding staple of legal technology and legal research professionals provides a monthly e-zine together with “resource centers” devoted to various topics. Articles cover a spectrum of subjects and free archives of previously published articles date back to 1996.
- MicroLaw.com. If you have ever attended a legal technology conference anywhere in the United States, chances are strong that you have heard a presentation from Ross L. Kodner, MicroLaw’s president. Jump to the Legal Tech CLE section of his Web site, and you will find the materials from many of those same presentations. Whether you are looking for the latest gadget or software for practice management, Kodner may cover it here.
- TechnoLawyer. Since 1997, TechnoLawyer’s electronic newsletters have provided product reviews, technology tips and articles on a range of legal technology topics. The company collects all those articles in an archive it calls “the most extensive legal technology and practice management resource in the world.” Search the archive free, but reading the full articles requires a subscription which ranges in price from $9 for 24 hours up to $65 for a year.
Various law-related blogs report on new software and hardware products for lawyers. Check their current postings and their archives for products that interest you. Among the technology blogs worth checking:
- ABA TechShow.
- The Common Scold (from LTN editor Monica Bay).
- I Heart Tech.
- Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog.
- LawTech Guru.
- Strategic Legal Technology.
With this list of sites and some virtual shoe leather, you should be able to find guidance on just about any legal technology product.
The popular public-records search site SearchSystems.net has won a federal court judgment of $780,000 against the competing site CourtsOnline, according to this press release. A federal judge in San Francisco entered the order against the site’s creator, Mark Musselman, for stealing content from SearchSystems.net, the release says. The order also bars Musselman and his associates from operating any Web business relating to public records access.
Two well-known practice-management professionals have launched what they plan to be a monthly podcast. Called “The Digital Edge: Lawyers and Technology,” it is produced as part of the Law Technology Today e-zine of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section. The first 30-minute episode is up, on the topic Electronic Marketing: Harnessing the Web’s Whizbang.
Hosting the podcast are Sharon D. Nelson and Jim Calloway. Sharon is president of Sensei Enterprises, a Fairfax, Va., computer forensics and legal technology company, and co-author of two ABA books, The Electronic Evidence and Discovery Handbook: Forms, Checklists and Guidelines
Jim has more about the podcast on his blog.
The world is shrinking, thanks to the Internet, and that includes the legal world. More and more, the practice of law is global. One legal organization that seeks to harness this global network of lawyers in furtherance of promoting online justice is InternetBar.org and its educational arm, the InternetBar.org Institute. This week on the legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we discuss the work of InternetBar.org with three of its key members:
- Jeffrey M. Aresty, president of InternetBar.org and a Boston lawyer whose various achievements include the co-founding of ABA TechShow in 1987.
- Amelia Rea Maguire, former Florida secretary of commerce, partner in the Coral Gables, Fla., law firm of Amelia Rea Maguire P.A.
- Kenneth J. Vacovec, founding partner of the firm Vacovec, Mayotte & Singer in Newton, Mass., and former president of the Massachusetts Bar Association.
Download or listen to the program from this page.
ABA TechShow kicked off today, and on our weekly legal-affairs podcast Lawyer2Lawyer, we have a preview of the show and of what’s hot in legal technology. We recorded the program yesterday with guests Dan Pinnington, director of practicePRO and chair of the 2007 TechShow planning board, and Adriana Linares, founder of LawTech Partners, author of the blog I ♥ Tech and a member of the TechShow planning board. Another planning board member, Tom Mighell, was scheduled to participate, but his airline decided otherwise.
Download or listen to the program at this page.
I have had several occasions recently to speak with Jeff Aresty, the Boston lawyer who is the founder and president of InternetBar.org. Although I had known about the organization, hearing what Jeff had to say has convinced me that InternetBar.org could come to serve a central role in shaping the future of law and justice worldwide. This morning, I joined. I encourage others to do the same if you are interested in how technology can transform the practice of law.
Some key points about InternetBar.org:
- Its core mission is to use technology and the Internet to harness “the world’s collective intelligence for the support of a fair and accessible global online justice system.” That is high talk, but the group truly is devoted to using technology to enhance civil and social justice throughout the world, particularly in developing countries. This means looking at online tools for dispute resolution, law practice, collaboration, communications and training.
- The group is already actively engaged in projects in China, Africa and elsewhere aimed at using justice systems to enhance e-commerce and economic development.
- It recently launched the InternetBar.org Institute to provide education and training in e-lawyering, online dispute resolution and emerging areas of law. Many of its courses are free.
- Its leaders are well-regarded legal and technology professionals with proven credentials. Aresty, for example, has a 30-year track record as a legal innovator, including having co-founded ABA TechShow in 1987, initiating and directing the Computer College Program in the mid-80s, serving as reporter to the ABA’s eLawyering Task Force, and currently chair of the ABA’s International Services, Technology and Data Protection Committee. Treasurer Ken Vacovec is a well-known Massachusetts tax lawyer and former state bar president who chaired a study on unmet legal needs in the state.
- It is developing alliances with other innovative organizations, such as the Center for Information Technology and Dispute Resolution at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with which it cosponored Cyberweek 2006.
- For lawyers in Massachusetts, InternetBar.org recently formed an alliance with the Massachusetts Bar Association offering special courses through its institute. Aresty is working with the MBA’s ADR Committee — of which I am a member — to develop programs and training in ODR.
- Last but not least — it is free to join. In fact — and frankly this seemed odd to me — it does not even ask your name or location, just your e-mail address. The organization may charge dues someday, but not anytime this year, Aresty said.
Consider joining. Take a look around the Web sites of the organization and its institute, read Aresty’s blog and the blog of the organization’s executive director, Susan Waters, and decide for yourself.