Margaret Heffernan discusses the importance of conflict in creating thinking organizations. Do you promote constructive conflict among the employees at your firm, department or organization? If not, take a listen.
The State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center is currently offering Lunch and Learn, a series of educational seminars held during the noon lunch hour. Participants learn to utilize current technology within their law practices while enjoying soup from Zoup! The next Lunch and Learn seminar, at noon on Wednesday, June 18, will cover "Facebook 101":
You think you're a Facebook Jedi master—you can post photos of your cat from your smart phone like nobody's business. You shared "What does the Fox Say" from YouTube before your friends had even heard of it. You always have the best snarky comeback to your sarcastic teenage nephew's posts. You don't need an introduction to Facebook, right? Wrong. This session is an introduction to using Facebook professionally, teaching you to set up a page for your firm or professional organization to help you reach the site's one billion users.
More upcoming Lunch and Learn seminars will cover "Unleash the Acrobat in Adobe" on June 26, or "Create a Presentation in Prezi" on July 8.
Attention law students: It's not too late to sign up for a marketing seminar put together by the State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Resource Center that will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Cooley's Auburn Hills campus. Law students can attend the seminar for free.
The seminar will feature speaker John F. Reed, an attorney and marketing expert, as well as SBM Practice Management Advisor JoAnn Hathaway.
Program Introduction –Business Development and Marketing (BDM) –What should your BDM plan include? –Tools & information you will take away from this program
Building Your BDM Plan Personal Branding –Defined –Applications –Alignment with your firm's brand
Personal Marketing –Personal marketing vs. firm marketing –Goals & objectives –Tactics & leverage
Networks & Networking –Target audience vs. network –Assessing the value of a contact –Managing your network –Cross-promoting your network –The role of social media
Business Development –Building relationships –Business development conversations –Converting conversations into clients –Cross-selling –Tools & techniques –Creating a touchpoint system
Putting Your Plan in Action –Custom-fitting your BDM plan to you –Managing, monitoring, & measuring –Reasonable expectations & investment
Read Keep Calm and Carry On, 27 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 55 (2014), by Rene ́Reich-Graefe of Western New England University School of Law, who takes on those who forecast a relentlessly negative future for the legal profession:
Somehow, in the current climate, it seems easier for lawyers and legal educators—to the point of complete hysteria and delusion—to embrace the purported ‘all-goes-to-hell’ status quo of legal education and the legal profession. Pessimists may love this stuff. As a collective response of our profession, however, it seems time—indeed way past time—to stop such nonsense.
Lawyer retirement, population growth, and wealth transfer, he says, are the ticket to future lawyer prosperity. Money quote:
[R]ecent law school graduates and current and future law students are standing at the threshold of the most robust legal market that ever existed in this country—a legal market which will grow, exist for, and coincide with, their entire professional career.
There's more than one reason why suing a client for unpaid legal fees is usually considered inadvisable, even if you're the world's largest law firm. Here's one -- your ex-client may countersue, accuse you of a “sweeping practice of overbilling,” and offer your own emails as evidence. And then, insult to injury, a global newspaper like the New York Times may put the story on its front page, including emails like:
“Now Vince has random people working full time on random research
projects in standard ‘churn that bill, baby!’ mode. That bill shall know no limits.”
Update: Reuters reports that DLA Piper now has said in an internal
memo that the series of emails written by former (emphasis added) DLA Piper lawyers
about the law firm's billing practices had been "an unfortunate
attempt at humor by three former (emphasis added) lawyers of the firm."
Are you a dedicated Internet Explorer user with a spelling problem? Here is a solution: ieSpell is a free Internet Explorer browser extension that provides spelling assistance in web page text input boxes. Install this free add-in and you will have a spell-checker similar to the one found in Microsoft Office applications that can be used in interactive message boards, web-based email, posting to your blog or working on your website. After installation, the app can be accessed through IE’s Tools menu. Once launched, it spell checks the entire page. Read more
This super thin overlay keyboard is an amazing advance, bringing true touch typing to the iPad while adding almost nothing to its profile or weight. The transparent keyboard attaches magnetically to the bottom half of the iPad in a profile so thin you can “swipe” right through it to see the keys underneath, and so flexible it can be folded out of the way. Some early reviews of the Touchfire include:
New York Times - "The keyboard is incredibly simple to use. Typing on it is like typing on a physical keyboard"
Wired - "Two Seattle-based inventors have come up with an iPad keyboard that could dramatically alter the tablet keyboard landscape"
FastCompany – "Turns the iPad into a true laptop killer"
CNET – "The super-thin-and-lightweight TouchFire adds virtually no physical bulk"
Legal Talk Network's "The Un-Billable Hour" host Rodney Dowell and State Bar of Michigan Practice Management Advisor Diane Ebersole explain how document assembly applications have advanced in the last few years and how these applications can increase the bottom line for your law firm. Listen to the free podcast (34 min) and download the accompanying list of resources to explore the many ways a lawyer can increase productivity, particularly for document intensive practices.
If you need to send large files and have struggled with different solutions, spend a few minutes exploring Adobe® SENDNOW. This service provides a way to send large files, convert the files to PDF prior to sending, limit the amount of time the recipient has to retrieve the file, provide an email receipt when the file has been retrieved, attach personal branding items, and supply detailed tracking. Functionality options vary according to pricing plan. You can get a free version of the plan, or spend $9.99 a month for the Basic Plan, or $15.83 a month for the Plus Plan.
The blogosphere and mainstream media are blowing up with reports that LinkedIn has suffered a serious data breach, and that hackers have stolen upwards of 6.4 million user passwords from the social networking site. Online security experts are recommending that all LinkedIn users change their passwords to protect themselves.
Reuters reports: "The data was found on underground websites where criminal hackers frequently exchange stolen information, including scrambled passwords. The files only included passwords and not corresponding email addresses, which means that people who download the files and unscramble the passwords will not easily be able to access any accounts with compromised passwords. Yet analysts said it is likely that the hackers who stole the passwords also have the corresponding email addresses and would be able to access the accounts." For more information, read the rest of the Reuters story.
If you've got a LinkedIn account, you can follow these easy steps to change your password:
1. Login to LinkedIn
2. Click on your name in the upper right hand corner of the page
3. Click on "Settings" in the drop-down menu
4. About halfway down the next page, right under your e-mail address, it says "change password" in blue - click that and then enter your old password and enter your new password twice.
If the reports are true, however, LinkedIn users who have used the same password on other sites and accounts may have some serious password-changing homework to do.