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Jan 28, 2013

Understanding the industry’s ‘new normal’

In the current law firm world, everyone, lawyers and staff, is affected by the ongoing transformation in client expectations and legal service delivery. As the legal profession continues to contend with everything from layoffs to fee pressures, upheaval is the “new normal.” The world many firms previously knew is gone. Adapting to that change in order to stay competitive, to thrive in the “[...]

Sep 28, 2012

Luddites beware

This summer, the American Bar Association changed its definition of competence to include technological acumen. Being competent now includes keeping abreast of “the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology.” “Our definition of what a Luddite is, is going to change,” said Amy Plent of the North Carolina Bar Association Foundation.

Aug 31, 2012

Court: Real estate agent’s email doesn’t bind buyers to contract

Email is essential to the modern real estate agent. But technology is still no substitute for an old-fashioned paper contract, the N.C. Court of Appeals has ruled. The court found Aug. 21 in Manecke v. Kurtz that an email from a buyers’ agent did not bind his clients to a contract to buy a house. The email at the heart of the case told the seller’s agent that the buyers had accepted an $845,00[...]

Aug 31, 2012

No way to practice law

In a recent Wall Street Journal column, writers from the Brookings Institute espouse their philosophy for deregulating the legal profession and lowering costs for buyers of legal services: Let anyone practice law, whether they’ve gone through law school or not, and allow anyone to own a law firm. These are not new ideas, but the assertion that these ideas are the key to lowering costs of deliver[...]

Aug 31, 2012

Lights… cameras… cause of action!

Increasingly, attorneys are using their websites to deliver video content to educate visitors about common legal issues. Think of them as lawyer-as-teacher efforts, with the students frequently turning into appreciative clients. “Before we had the videos we lost a lot of clients in the intervening period between when they contacted us and when we were able to respond to them. I think the result [...]

Jul 20, 2012

Get used to unbundling, because it’s coming

Stephanie Kimbro has seen the future of the legal profession, and it is virtual. And attorneys who want a place in the emerging economic order need to figure out how to make the most of evolving technology.

Jun 22, 2012

The lawyer is booting up

Will the lawyer of the future be a computer? Two recent court rulings suggest that, for some of the most basic legal work, it may be the very near future—and some experts think that it won’t be long before computers can perform even more complicated legal tasks.

Jul 1, 2011

Tools to manage current clients and drum up business

Customer relationship management software can help attorneys manage clients, calendars, tasks and more, either in one application or in a suite of applications. Here are some examples that can help you drum up new business, manage your current client base and make sure potential customers know where they can go for help.

Jun 17, 2011

Technology has revolutionized the law, but apps marketed to lawyers mostly ignored

Maybe you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but you can teach him new ways to perform his old tricks. The practice of law has long been defined by large offices with documents spilling out from every available corner. But since the advent of cellular technology (and the laptop … and the BlackBerry … and the iPad), some law offices have reduced real estate, found the ability to work on ai[...]

Jun 3, 2011

Future Tech: Looking ahead at the technology changing law practice

Twenty-five years ago, law practice looked very different from today. Consider the accoutrements that a lawyer in 1986 did not have: • A laptop computer • A tablet computer such as an iPad • A cell phone • The Internet • Online research (although the firm might have a new Westlaw or Lexis terminal in the firm library) . • Email. What the 1986 lawy[...]

Apr 21, 2011

Legal Currents: Useful iPad apps for the tech-savvy lawyer

A friend of mine from my Public Defender days who still works at the PD's office recently emailed me and asked to write an article about iPad apps for lawyers. I was happy to oblige - especially since I regularly write about topics like this at my blog, the Legal iPad ( First off, before you purchase any apps, spend some time with your iPad, think about your workflow and decid[...]

Apr 21, 2011

Drawing boundaries with clients

While many lawyers pride themselves on client service, few enjoy losing their nights and weekends to client calls and emails. Lawyers must balance their need for personal time with the importance of providing great client service, advises Erik Mazzone (pictured), director of the Center for Practice Management at the North Carolina Bar Association in Cary. That said, "being a lawyer is a hard job a[...]

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