Inside Track: Top 8 Practice Takeaways from the ABA Techshow:

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  • April
    04
    2018

    Top 8 Practice Takeaways from the ABA Techshow

    State Bar Practice Management Advisor Christopher Shattuck shares insights from the annual ABA Techshow, with helpful tips on technology that can help determine whether your email address has been compromised and methods to improve the efficiency and security of your practice.

    Christopher Cody Shattuck

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    April 4, 2018 – The annual American Bar Association (ABA) Techshow bills itself as the place where lawyers, legal professionals, and technology all come together – a place where attendees “learn about the most useful and practical technologies available.”

    This year, I attended the ABA Techshow for the first time, and I can say that it delivers on its promise to bridge the practice of law with technology solutions. It packs a punch in three days. In this article, I will give you some insights on what I learned.

    1. 60-in-60

    One of the most popular events at the Techshow is the 60-in-60 event where presenters discuss the best tips and sites covered during the course of conference. The slideshow presentation can be accessed here. Several tips are worth checking out, including www.corrupt-a-file.net (allows users to corrupt a file and send it to the recipient, who will believe file sent timely, but got corrupted in the process), https://sidewaysdictionary.com (explains complicated tech concepts in a way that’s easy to understand), and www.hemingwayapp.com (helps improve writing).

    2. Most Helpful Website

    Do you know whether your email account has been comprised in a data breach? Wonder no more. The website www.haveibeenpwned.com allows a user to input their email address and check for free to determine whether the email address has been compromised. If there are no reported breaches, you will receive a good news response. If there are reported breaches, you will receive information concerning the type of breach involving your email address and the information that was breached.

    Christopher C. Shattuckorg cshattuck wisbar Christopher C. Shattuck, Univ. of La Verne College of Law 2009, M.B.A. U.W.-Oshkosh 2015, is manager of Practice 411, the State Bar’s Law Practice Assistance Program. If you have questions about the business aspects of your practice, call (800) 957-4670 or email org practicehelp wisbar wisbar practicehelp org

    If a breach occurred that exposed your username and password, change your passwords for the service that was breached, and passwords for other services where your username and password are the same (tip: they should not be the same).

    3. Most Interesting Presentation

    Clio presented highlights from its 2017 Legal Trends Report. Most interestingly, the report concludes that attorneys only spend approximately 2.3 hours of their 8-hour workdays on billable tasks. In the State Bar of Wisconsin’s 2017 Economics of Law Practice Survey, attorneys in Wisconsin reported spending approximately 50 percent of their time on billable tasks in an average work week. Hopefully, as advancements are made in practice management technologies and electronic filing, lawyers will spend more time billing and less time on non-billable tasks.

    4. Most Interesting New Product

    The product that really caught my eye was Tali, which allows you to tell your voice assistant (Alexa or Google Assistant, with Cortana coming soon) your time entries. Thereafter, you can review your entries in the product’s web dashboard and send it to existing case management software programs (Clio, Rocket Matter, and PracticePanther).

    The product is benefits attorneys who are always on the go or want a more streamlined approach of entering time into their case management software. Tali offers a free 30-day trial, so it’s worth looking into if you would like to determine the impact the product has on your billing practices. 

    Your State Bar Member Benefits: Explore the Possibilities

    Your State Bar membership offers you exclusive access to a wide variety of helpful resources and opportunities. Look for the pull-out guide in the April Wisconsin Lawyer magazine for a few of the hundreds of benefits that advance your practice, enrich your career, and improve the quality of your life.

    Discounts on Practice Management Software

    State Bar members are eligible to receive a 10 percent discount on Clio and MyCase web-based practice management tools. Learn more.

    5. Market Share

    The Techshow included a great representation of companies that provide various services for lawyers. However, what struck me the most was the fact that there were more than ten, large companies providing the same type of service.  For example, some of the exhibitors providing case management services were: Clio, Centerbase, CosmoLex, Legal Files Software, Inc., MyCase, PerfectLaw, Perfect Practice, PracticePanther, Smokeball, Tabs3 Software, and Zola Suite. 

    It’s not clear the number of new case management providers the market can support, but it seems to me that companies should join forces or become more price competitive to benefit lawyers and narrow the field.

    6. Artificial Intelligence (A.I.)

    A.I. was the subject of much discussion at the Techshow.  We are not even close to the point where computers could attempt to replace lawyers, but computers are gaining ground. Prior to the Techshow, LawGeex released a study that demonstrated computers were faster and more efficient than lawyers in contract review.  Although A.I. is quickly becoming the competition, A.I. currently assists lawyers with analyzing writings and cases cited in briefs.

    7. Blockchain

    Lawyers were definitely excited about the potential of blockchain technology in the legal profession. If you do not know what blockchain is or how it works, a great video to get you up to speed can be viewed here

    Essentially, blockchain technology is a method for collective users to interact digitally. The more users, the higher the security because each users’ interactions with the blockchain are utilized to verify transactions. A recent article discusses the impact block chain technology is currently having in the legal profession, such as advancements in contracting, legal documents, and allowing lawyers to be more efficient in their review of documents.

    8. Targeted Attacks

    There has been a significant increase in the amount of targeted attacks against law firms and large companies. For instance, hackers may use announcements of new staff to complete either a targeted attack on the new staff or send emails that appear to be coming from the new staff to other staff within the organization.

    As a best practice, do not open emails that look suspicious or provide sensitive information that is not typically requested by the sender. Even then, a quick phone call to confirm the accuracy of the request is a good strategy.

    Conclusion

    As the number of available technologies for lawyers continues to increase, so does the potential for attacks from hackers. Therefore, it’s important for lawyers to use software and hardware that will improve their efficiency without increasing exposure. If you need help determining which software or hardware is best for your firm, feel free to contact the Practice411 program for a confidential consultation.

    Lastly, each week a practice tip is posted on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Practice411 e-list on various aspects of practice management. If you are not already a member, feel free to join.

    That’s a Fine Idea: Wisconsin Legal Innovators

    It’s that time of year again. Through the "That's a Fine Idea: Nominate a Wisconsin Legal Innovator" initiative, the State Bar of Wisconsin annually showcases examples of legal innovation in Wisconsin. Nominations may be for an individual, a team of individuals, or even a law firm or other group serving Wisconsin's legal community.

    The innovation must occur within two years prior to this submission; thus, for a 2018 nomination, the initiative must have been executed in part or in full between July 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018. The innovation can be ongoing after the nomination is submitted. Complete and submit a nomination form now!




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