Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Opening Shop in Silicon Valley

Change will not come from within a law firm. It'a up to law firms to look to the train head of innovation. To look, learn, reach out and even establish a bridgehead at the point where innovation is most concentrated. As the Harvard Business Review said:
"How can you build your organization’s ability to sense and respond to rapid improvements in technology? Many large, successful companies are creating offices in California’s Silicon Valley to spot big new trends and learn how they can transform their organization in ways they couldn’t otherwise imagine. It’s no longer good enough to wait for change to come to your industry; you need to be out there where it’s happening. And a lot is happening in Silicon Valley."
Read the original article in full here.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Guest Post - How Google+ Is Invaluable For SEO

[This is a guest post written by Marcela De Vivo, a freelance writer and online marketing professional in Southern California.]

Many people running small businesses don’t realize that Google+ very well might be the most powerful social media platform available to them. Google+ has nearly 350-million active members as of early 2013, and that number looks like it’s going to keep growing in a very significant way.

Right now, only Facebook has more users. Google+ even has more active users than Twitter. I bet that’s a statistic that surprised you!

But the real power of Google+ isn’t just in the number of users. The reason that Google+ is so important for SEO-based business should actually be really obvious – it’s owned by Google! Google is the world’s largest, most popular search engine hands down. In reality, it has no competitors.

You already know that your search rank is important when it comes to people finding your business and website on the internet, and you know those two things happening are vital for making your business grow. Building and maintaining an active Google+ profile can improve how easy your business is to find through search.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

The NewLaw business model

George Beaton, director of Beaton Capital and Beaton Research + Consulting wrote:
"The NewLaw business model for professional services is now the subject of intense interest. The Schumpeter column of The Economist on September 21, 2013 addressed ‘The future of the Firm’ with the upper case ‘F’ reserved for McKinsey. Schumpeter cited an October 2013 Harvard Business review article, Consulting on the cusp of disruption, by Clayton Christensen and others. For Australian start-ups challenging parts of McKinsey’s business, have a look at Vumero  and Expert 360, both following in the e-steps of the Gerson Lehrman Group, a premium virtual platform for connecting clients to experts and their insights." 
As I wrote in ‘Factories’ and ‘Brain Surgeons’ last year, firms like McKinsey are “self-generators of IP and have alliances with leading academic institutions; they don’t need scale”. But crowd-based providers meet many of the same needs at lower price points. And there’s excess capacity. These are the antecedents of disruption. 
Like butterflies in the Amazon, virtual and crowd-based professional services firms are starting to disrupt. They are leading the rise and rise of the NewFirm business model."

Further reading:

If you found this post of interest, you can find more on related topics from Bigger. Better. Both? here:
And also on the highly recommended Adam Smith Esq blog. In full here.

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Andrew Sullivan - Blogging has enormous depth

Andrew Sullivan said in 2006 on what blogging is:
"My own approach is I'm just a thinking out loud person. I'm a conservative who is attacking [George] Bush which is putting me in a strange position. The limitation of a blog is that it has to be instant; which means it can't be a terribly considered judgement. But it's also deep because you can have hyperlinks that link the reader to original sources and original texts. So readers, unlike TV, or even unlike newspapers, readers can look at my opinion and then they can go to the original source and make their own mind up. That is enormous depth."
In full here. Previous blog on Andrew Sullivan and legal blogging here.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Karl Chapman - "You tut if you want to, the [legal] market is for turning"

Karl Chapman slam dunks it in an interview with the legal tabloid Legal Cheek here. He said: 

"You tut if you want to, the [legal] market is for turning."

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Gary Slapper - Lawyers Must Change

Law columnist with The Times online,  Professor at the New York University, Director of NYU London and Chambers door tenant at 36 Bedford Row, Gary Slapper said on Twitter recently:

Sunday, 13 October 2013

Kevin Plank - Dictate the future

Kevin Plank, CEO and founder of Under Armour recently said on Bloomberg TV:
"The best merchants are the ones who dictate the future, not the ones who predict the future."

Saturday, 12 October 2013

From the world of Kodak to Instagram

Kodak used to have "140,000 really good middle-class employees. Instagram has 13 employees, period." Here.

Friday, 11 October 2013

Rocket Lawyer UK loves art

Talk about being different and letting your personality shine through.


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Kevin O'Keefe - The Perils of being a Law Firm/Lawyer/Law Student social media holdout

Kevin O'Keefe, attorney and head of LexBlog, spelt it out in plain English why lawyers not only should be on social media, but why they can't afford to not be on social media:

"How do you appear, as a lawyer or law firm, if you fail to embrace the methods other businesses are using to network, nurture relationships, and build reputations? Not only are you making it difficult for those whom you’d like to do business with to connect with you, but you are also looking old and behind the times.

If every lawyer in your law firm lost their cell phone today, you’d have them replaced by tomorrow, no questions asked. I’d act with the same sense of urgency in getting your lawyers using social. It’s just as important for long term success as a cell phone."
Pat Ellis of Michigan State School of law responded with a slant on how it is for law students, he said: 

"This idea applies with equal weight to law students. Sure, we don’t have to worry about being the “go to” lawyer (yet), but we must be tuned in to what is happening in our industry; now more than ever. Ultimately, students need to assess their own situation and the opportunity-cost of forsaking social media and blogs. For me, the cost is too high and it is a risk I am not willing to take."

Kevin O'Keefe responded here:
"Powerful position. The cost of forsaking social media and blogs is too high, a risk this law student is not willing to take."
In order, here, here and here. My previous post on the low uptake of career-minded social media use among students is here.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Karl Chapman - The Days of the Legal Technocrat are Over

Karl Chapman of Riverview Law, the non-law firm legal services provider and star performer at the FT Innovative Lawyers 2013 spoke with Legal Cheek about the need for law students and young lawyers to radically shift their plane of regard and perception of how legal services should be delivered. Here's some excerpts:
"Some of the big themes from business and commerce that are most relevant to future lawyers have nothing to do with law, but they have everything to do with the successful practice of law in the new market emerging. They are common-sense principles that have been applied in most other sectors of the economy, excluding much of the public sector, for decades. The future will see legal businesses and large organisations pay a premium for pragmatic, IT literate, numerate and commercially aware advisers who can communicate succinctly, play as part of a team and problem solve…oh, and who just happen to have a legal qualification (not necessarily achieved via university!). The skills they will need include: 
1. An ability to be proactive and pre-emptive:
lawyers tend to be reactive, responding to client requirements. But increasingly they will need to take the initiative too, demonstrating that their input pre-empts future risks and costs.
 2. IT and social media savviness:
Legal businesses and in-house functions will need to invest significantly in automation if they’re to drive efficiency, improve processes and transform their relationships with their customers.
3. Management information capabilities:
Lawyers will need to be able to capture, interpret and apply data and trend analysis to their clients benefit. Customers take it as read that lawyers know the law, so lawyers need to ask themselves what other value-add can they bring.
4. A customer service ethos: 
Lawyers really will need to pay more than lip service to building customer-focused service delivery and pricing models."

Very similar to what Forbes Magazine said here that, "The days of when students need just MS Word are long gone." Karl Chapman then spoke on the specific need for young lawyers to raw an active on social media:
"Returning to the 1980s for a moment: I really wish I’d known that many of my friends would end up as senior and managing partners in law firms. Given what we’re doing now I’d have kept in even closer contact with them than I have. Which brings me to one further really big point of advice for aspiring and young lawyers: even in a fast moving, social media-enabled world, never ever underestimate the power of relationships and personal networks. It’s amazing how often these come into play and, with hindsight, I wish I’d invested more time in maintaining my legal network."

In full here.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

The Main Street consumer - "That's the prize"

Ajaz Ahmed of Legal 365 spoke with the Financial Times and reflected on the latent legal demand from the man and woman on Main Street:
"The market will change, and when it does it will change fast. There are a lot of people who do not use lawyers because they cannot afford them. That's the prize."

'Reinvention takes lead at law practices', here. My previous article on the latent legal market on Main Street here.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Anne-Marie Slaughter - The changing parameters of law and business

In the Harvard Business Review here, Anne-Marie Slaughter said of law firms and the law of change:
"This fracturing and reorienting is happening in the corporate world as well. Turn to manufacturing and note that supply chains first shifted from vertical to horizontal, in-house to global. Then they moved from chains of contracted suppliers to networks of peer producers. Boeing refers to its global "value webs," an approach that turns managers into systems integrators. Large factoring companies assemble networks of designers and producers; they look for "network orchestrators." And as many companies begin outsourcing at least parts of their R&D, they are creating space for professional "inventers" operating through websites like Innocentive. 
When I was in law school in the 1980s one of my favorite professors pointed out that the entire world of law was being turned upside down by the advent of Lexis/Nexis and Westlaw on line. For generations West Publishing Company had published all U.S. cases and had decided how to organize them in meta-categories such as torts, contracts, civil procedure, criminal law, property, etc., and sub-categories within each of those. Those were the fields of law — as taught, practiced, studied. With the advent of Boolean online searching, however, a researcher could suddenly find all cases of every type pertaining to horses, or basketball, or diamond necklaces. Law could be divided and sub-divided in an infinite number of categories, depending on what was actually useful to lawyers, judges, clients, and anyone else creating value out of legal texts. 
Something similar is happening to all our professions. Information and communications technology is blowing the old categories into bits. But countless new jobs will be created connecting those bits in unexpected but useful ways. And who better to name them than you?"

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Beware, Your Twitter history could haunt you

Crude but a powerful metaphor that captures just how destructive social media can be:
"With twitter, once its out there & you try to remove tweets, it's like trying to taking piss out of a swimming pool."

There's just no hiding. The social analytics company Topsy now offers the entire history of public tweets on Twitter. Even deleting a tweet won't cover your back. If someone retweets the offending or questioned tweet it has been cast in concrete. As an Irish politician found out. Find out all about that here.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Daniel Hannan - The Lawyer's Cognitive Dissonance

Daniel Hannan explains here why we as humans, and thus lawyers, are instinctively skeptical of anything new:
"The phenomenon of cognitive dissonance... When presented with a new discovery, we automatically try to press it into our existing belief-system; if it doesn’t fit, we question the discovery before the belief-system. Sometimes, this habit leads us into error. But without it, we should hardly survive at all. As Edmund Burke argued, life would become impossible if we tried to think through every new situation from first principles, disregarding both our own experience and the accumulated wisdom of our people."

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