Zoom is Safe for Lawyers (if you use it right)

legal innovation Mar 26, 2020

Update April 4, 2020: Zoom has been under quite the microscope this past week, and there's no shortage of reports about its various shortcomings. Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of this post (there are two updates) to get the whole picture. But I stand by this punchline: If you know what you're doing with Zoom, it is an effective, affordable, easy-to-use tool for holding group conversations—even sensitive ones. As with any tool, there are ways to screw it up, and I'll admit that Zoom could have originally made its default settings more intuitive to prevent those screw-ups. But I'll give them this: Zoom has been quick to respond to the barrage of criticisms they've received, and they've already made several changes to their tool to address user concerns. You'll have to make up your own mind whether Zoom is right for the specific uses you have, but it works well for mine.

As lawyers necessarily move their conversations online, Zoom has been one of the most popular...

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Disruptive Innovation & the Latent Market for Legal Services

legal innovation Mar 10, 2020

Last week I was honored to give the kickoff keynote for the Portland node of the Global Legal Hackathon. The hackathon itself was to follow two tracks, Business of Law and Access to Justice, but I made my case that there are plenty of opportunities to cover both of those topics with product or service offerings at the same time.

Unfortunately the talk wasn’t recorded, but I did my best to re-create it in the video below. Take a look to see why the old and established firm PWC is actually doing a better job at Disruptive Innovation than the recently defunct Atrium did (and why the British Columbia Civil Resolution Tribunal may be the most disruptive technology of all).

I also make my case for the latent market for legal services not by using the $1.4 Trillion figure that seems to be making the rounds, but by building a case that there is a $10M potential market in Oregon just helping people file pleadings on family law cases.

If you like what you see, please be sure to join my...

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Handoffs Are Making Your Matters Late

Unless you're a lone wolf, your project is going to have hand-offs.

Sorry, did I say "project?" I forgot for a moment that this is a legal blog. I meant "matter." Or "case." Or whatever else you call that "individual or collaborative enterprise that is carefully planned and designed to achieve a particular aim."1  For consistency with the rest of the business world, let's call it a project.

Oh, and even if you're a lone wolf you'll have at least one hand-off (assuming you have a client). Unless you're working on something for yourself and you plan to work it from start to finish in one sitting, every project has some transfer of work from one resource to another. And those transfers are one of the biggest reasons your projects fall behind schedule. (They are far from the only reason, which is why I'm calling this post Part 1).

The most obvious source of a hand-off is when the project (or any task within it) passes from one person to another in order to get something done. But...

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