Friday, October 13, 2017

Why is baseball the greatest sport in the world?

baseball greatest game

Why is baseball the greatest sport? Because just when you think you’ve seen it all, you witness what the Cubs did in their playoff win over the Nationals last night.

With two outs in the top of the fifth inning the Cubs saw four consecutive batters reach: one by an intentional walk, one on a passed-ball strikeout, one on catcher’s interference, and the fourth on a hit-by-pitch.

Those four events have never happened before in the same half-inning, at least not in the more than 2.73 million half innings in Baseball Reference’s database.

Only 22 half innings have had 3. Only 5 games had all 4.

The Cubs somehow pulled that off, to the chagrin of Nats’ manager Dusty Baker who was dying watching it, seemingly for the first time in the history of the sport.

In case you’re wondering how many ways there are to get to first base. Six. Add a fielder’s choice and a fielder’s error, the later of which would arguably include the pass ball on a third strike. I’m not counting going on as a pinch runner.

So, the Cubs did cover each of the ways to get to first without an out — all in a half inning and in consecutive batters.

May never happen again. Pretty neat.


Why is baseball the greatest sport in the world? posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Legal Trends Report : Referrals the leading way lawyers get clients

Clio Legal Trends Report

Despite all the money law firms spend on Internet marketing, more people choose a lawyer by a referral from a friend, relative or another lawyer than any other method. By far.

This from the 2017 Legal Trends Report, just released by Clio, a leading practice management solution provider.

When it comes to looking for a lawyer, consumers indicated that they sought referrals from friends/family (62%) and from other lawyers (31%). Online search (37%) and directory listings (28%) trailed. TV ads (13%), online ads (13%), radio ads (7%), and billboard ads (6%) had a much lower influence among respondents.

How do consumer find a lawyer?

Clio releases its annual Legal Trends Report to help lawyers make smart decisions about the future of their practice. Using anonymized data from 60,000 users, supplemented by large-scale surveys, Clio was able to make numerous findings, including where lawyers spend their time and where their concerns lie.

Business development, for lawyers, is the near the top of the list on both fronts. 33% of lawyers’ non-billable time is spent on business development. 41% of lawyers said they would spend even more time, if they had it, getting clients.

While data has become the world’s most valuable commodity, lawyers make their decisions in the dark. Lawyers go with what they think versus what they should know, based on data. Often it’s just “do what other lawyers do.”

Client procurement fits that mold perfectly. Survey results showed that 54% of law firms actively advertise to acquire new clients, yet 91% of firms can’t calculate a return on their advertising investments, and 94% don’t know how much it costs them to acquire a new client.

The data also shows that advertising is not the best use of a lawyers money – whether the ad is online or offline. Putting time and money into generating referrals is what the data shows lawyers should be doing.

Fortunately for lawyers, the Internet enhances a lawyer’s ability to get referrals from friends, family, business associates and fellow lawyers. Referrals are all about relationships and having a strong reputation. The Internet accelerates relationships and the building of a name.

Lawyers have the time for business development. 33% of their non-billable time is going into getting clients. The problem lies in spending their time doing the right thing.

Lawyers need to move away from promoting themselves on the Internet. That’s advertising.

Lawyers need to put their time into networking online. Think listening to the online discussion/writing of their target audience, including influencers and engaging that audience where they gather.

This comes from using a news aggregator or Twitter for listening, a blog for engaging in the “conversation,” and the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter for further engagement and networking.

Sure, it takes time to learn how to blog and use social media, effectively. It takes even more time to do it.

But it’s time lawyers actually have, according to the Legal Trends Report. A third of a lawyers non-billable time is going into client procurement.

It’s data that’s been lacking. Lawyers put their time and money into things that don’t work and have no idea how much time it cost them to acquire a new client.

No more. With the Legal Trends Report, lawyers know that their time is best spent in activities that generate referals.

With the Internet, that means building relationships and a name through blogging and social media.


Legal Trends Report : Referrals the leading way lawyers get clients posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Monday, October 2, 2017

Law schools need to introduce social learning

law school social media

I’m headed back to the Midwest this week to speak to another law school class. I have to tell you, nothing gets me more jazzed than speaking to law students about the opportunities they have to use the net to learn, network and build a name.
Little question that some law school students are using social media and blogging to build a name for themselves. I shared the stories of a few law grads a couple weeks ago.

But how many law students are blogging and using social media for learning? How many law professors and law schools are promoting its use for learning?

Sadly, not many — and that’s a loss for the students and possible malfeasance on a law school’s part for failing to do so.

ZDNet’s Dion Hinchcliffe recently reported that though technology has long been used to improve how we learn, today’s digital advances, particularly with social media, have taken learning in a powerful new direction.

[The digitization of learning] allows learning — for better or worse, depending on the critic — to be far more situational, on-demand, self-directed, infinitely customized, even outright enjoyable, depending on the user experience, all of which leads to more profound engagement of learners.

In addition, the rise of social networking technology has allowed people with similar learning interests to come together as a group to share knowledge on a subject — and perhaps even more significantly — to express their passion for an area of learning. This can create deeper, more intense, and more immersive educational experiences within a community of like-minded learners.

“Social learning” is more than theory, the use of digital platforms and social networks to bring together communities has proven to work.

The early numbers from social learning make interesting reading. Initial studies have shown that there’s as much as a 75:1 return-on-investment (ROI) ratio for the approach compared to traditional Web-based education. As a result of such insights, this year fully 73% of organizations are planning on increasing their investments in social learning.

How would social learning work in law schools? What media would be used?

  • A recognition that social will not be for everyone. People learn and teach in different ways.
  • Get students and professors using, for learning, the social media that are readily available and already being used, en masse, by the public.
  • Create a first year class on the use of social media and blogging, just as legal writing and research are taught. It’s just as important to learn from students, professors and lawyers beyond the law school. Make sure the professor or teacher — maybe they come from tech or the law library — are credible users of social media who have had personal success in social learning.
  • Teach Feedly as a news aggregator for following sources and subjects, blogging on WordPress (already used by 70% of content management systems), Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook. Most law students, law professors, law school administrators and lawyers using these media have not a clue what they are doing and have a poor experience as a result.
  • Cover the big picture of what blogging and social media are all about — listening, engaging, relationships, sharing insight, building a network — not search rankings, self promotion, noise, and followers.
  • Review the concept of algorithms and influence. The more you use social media the more valuable it becomes as a network’s algorithms surface information and people who will add value to your life — advertisements and junk are eliminated.
  • Have a social media “resource desk” where students and professors can get ongoing information and questions answered. Maybe it’s part of the library reference desk.
  • Get the faculty and law school leadership using blogs and social media for dissemination of information and engagement with students.

These are my thoughts. Law schools will know more about the ins and outs of what can work for teaching and on-boarding a social learning program. Schools will differ in what will work best for them.

After speaking with authorities, Hinchcliffe suggests organizations lay a foundation for social learning. In the case of law schools, a foundation means creating a positive environment for social media and blogging.

Do professors and the dean use social media? Are they demonstrating by example that social is important for learning and networking.

In many cases not only are these folks not using social, they’re scaring students from using social. “Writing unedited content is danergous. Blogging is not professional. Everything you put on the net will remain there forever. Divide your personal lives from your professional lives as a lawyer doesn’t let people know them personally.”

If the law school’s dean and influential professors aren’t on board, forget it. But if they’re not, you have to ask yourself whether they’re fit for the job.

No one is expecting every dean and professor to start rampant blogging and social networking. But an acknowledgement that the stuff is legit and represents a learning opportunity for students is key. Better yet, learning social themselves through a little trial and error.

In 2012, the CEO of Mayo Clinic, calling social media not an option but a requirement, launched the Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media to coordinate and focus the Clinic’s various social media initiatives for among, other things, the education of patients, students and employees (doctors and in-house counsel included).

The healthcare industry, which was facing a world of problems, and the clinics employees were skeptical — to say the least. The doctors and lawyers at Mayo Clinic weren’t social media users, let alone users for professional purposes.

Mayo now dominates social in medicine. Their patients, students and employees are learning more and are more engaged — through their personal use of social media.

Change takes time, but law schools and law school deans need to say, “Yes. Social learning is important. Social is something we need to learn and something we need to teach.”

Students — and professors are owed it.


Law schools need to introduce social learning posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Sunday, October 1, 2017

What is Loss of Consortium?

Loss of consortium is a term used in law that refers to the deprivation of the benefits that a family relationship provides due to injuries. Historically, the relationship between husband and wife has been considered a matter of value worth protecting. Loss of consortium arising from personal injuries was first recognized under English common law […]
What is Loss of Consortium? posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Friday, September 22, 2017

#ClioCloud9 Roundup

The much-anticipated Clio Cloud Conference kicks off on Monday in New Orleans. As an official media partner, LexBlog used the week leading up to the conference to shine a light on some of the speakers for the event. We were even fortunate enough to feature guest posts from Clio employees who offered unique insights on the company, and the Clio Cloud Conference. Below you’ll find links to all these features, as well as links to connect with each of the speakers.

An interview with Haben Girma, a disability rights advocate and the first deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. She’ll be giving the opening keynote speech on Tuesday morning, and can follow her on TwitterInstagram, and Facebook.

An interview with Doug Edmonds, the Assistant Dean of IT for University of North Carolina School of Law. He will be speaking on Tuesday with Andrea Stevenson, Mirriam Seddiq, and Chris Heslinga on “Access to Justice: Technology and the Justice Gap.” You can follow him on Twitter @doug_edmonds and on Linkedin.

A guest post from Erin Hall, a Customer Support Specialist at Clio. Erin will be speaking on Monday from 3:30-4:50 in Bolden 1, on “Staying Sane and Keeping your Firm on Track.” You can find her on Twitter @eriinh and on Linkedin.

An interview with Nicole Abboud, the founder of the Generation Why Lawyer podcast and Abboud Media. Abboud will be speaking on Monday from 11-11:30 in Empire Ballroom D on “Millenials: Understanding Your New Clients and Colleagues for Law Firm Growth.” You can follow her on Twitter @nicoleabboud and on Linkedin.

A guest post from Andrew Gay, Clio’s Manager of Strategic Partnerships. He’ll be running a workshop from 1:50-3:30 on Monday in Bolden 6, for Clio Certified Consultants. You can find him on Twitter @ahlgay and Linkedin.

An interview with Andrea Evans, an attorney who runs her own intellectual property law practice. She will be speaking on Monday from 3-3:30 in Empire Ballroom A & B, on “The ‘Refrigerator’ Social Media Method: Cool, Modern & Connected.” You can contact Andrea through her website, or on Facebook or Twitter.

A guest post from Joshua Lenon, Clio’s Lawyer in Residence. He will be speaking with Joshua Browder on Monday in Empire Ballroom D on “Innovation in Legal Tech: The Chatbot Revolution.” You can follow him on Twitter @JoshuaLenon or connect with him on Linkedin.

 


#ClioCloud9 Roundup posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Three ways you can help LexBlog cover Clio Clon in New Orleans

Clio Cloud 9 Clio Con

I am headed to New Orleans Sunday, accompanied by LexBlog’s CTO Josh Lynch and head of business development, David Cuthbert, for Clio’s Annual Cloud Conference, running next Monday and Tuesday.

Clio has asked us to cover Clio Con and we’re honored to do so. Not only will be we covering the conference from New Orleans, via Facebook Live, but we’ll have people in Seattle conducting interviews (some are up on the LexBlog Network) and “Storifies” of keynotes, presentations and events.

Storify is a social network service that enables us to create stories or timelines using social media such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as source.

Tweet and tag. As you always do at Clio Con, Tweet and use other social media like crazy reporting on what speakers are saying and what you’re observing. Take pictures and shoot videos. Share them on social media – especially Twitter, using the hashtag #ClioCloud9.

We’ll pick up the Tweets, including pics and videos at LexBlog Seattle and include them in our Storify coverage with an attribute to you.

Blog. Looking for more coverage of your blog posts about Clio Con? LexBlog’s got you covered. Send your posts (or a link to your post) to tips@lexblog.com. We’ll publish your posts to The LexBlog Network, giving you the attribute and indicate the original url for the post so that there is no duplicite content issue and share word of your post via our social networks.

Be on Facebook Live. I am going to be interviewing speakers and exhibitors and probably doing some roundtable conversations with my friend, Bob Ambrogi. I’d like to catch attendees as well, so stop LexBlog’s media table, catch me walking around, ping me on social or drop tips an email.

Don’t forget to catch my presentation on content marketing/blogging/social media on Monday too. I’ll do my best not to make Clio look bad in inviting me.

Kidding aside, it’s privilege to speak at Clio Con. If it’s not the best, it’s one of the best conferences I go to each year.

Wonderful speakers (far beyond the legal realm) that expand our horizons, always new products from Clio (espcially this year), top notch social events, cammeraderie among attendees and incredible passion from team Clio, which runs a conference with now over 1,000 people all on their own.


Three ways you can help LexBlog cover Clio Clon in New Orleans posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Large law lawyer leverages technology, data and systems to change defense of mass tort claims

Mass tort defense

Twenty years ago, I terminated my firm’s Westlaw subscription and outsourced our legal research. How so? Law clerks attending law school whom I met on AOL message boards.

A clerk did the research, using free Westlaw, drafted a motion, memorandum or brief, forwarded it to my assistant to be put on a case caption and reviewed by my associate.

In a contingency fee case, a big savings of time for us. My associate could work on more valuable things. On hourly work, clients got a bill for a clerk’s time at $40 an hour while we paid them $15 an hour. Clients loved the savings and the innovation.

Without the Internet and a willingness to be different, none of that would have been possible.

Now I hear that a friend of mine, Attorney Steve Embry is doing a little bit of the same — except on a much larger scale that is likely to have a lasting effect on large law.

For years, law firms have defended mass torts the same way. Put an experienced mass torts lawyer on the case to lead strategy and execution and have legions of younger lawyers and in house staff do most of the work.

By leveraging the hourly rate, the defense of mass torts became wildly profitable for law firms, while terribly expensive for clients.

I should have known that Embry was onto something different when I first met him hanging out at legal tech and innovation conferences, even conferences dedicated to small law. You don’t see guys from large law (Frost Brown Todd) who have been defending mass tort cases for years at these conferences.

Embry was in fact out noodling on ways to be innovative in the defense of mass tort claims.

The problem with how mass torts have historically been defended is that, while the client can get great value and a great defense where there is an experienced lawyer engaged in what he or she does best, that is such things as strategy, handling and creating joint defenses, negotiations and even trial, most of the underlying work has been done by those who frankly are over qualified for what they are doing. There are better and cheaper ways to get most of the work required by mass tort cases done.

The answer, talking to Embry, is unbundling services. Unbundling legal services can be a dirty word to some bar associations and regulators, who’d like to require a lawyer do all the work from beginning to end.

But Embry believes that the work in a mass tort case can be “unbundled” so that much of the commodity type work is done by alternative legal service providers at flat fees. The more creative work is best done by a seasoned lawyer.

To make this work — and get over any unbundling issue, Embry says that the lawyer must remain in charge of and responsible for all the work and that there needs to be a partnership between the lawyer and any service providers.

The lawyer and the insurance provider have to trust each other, work together and have each other’s back. This can only be done on if there is a long term relationship between the two.

Embry is now walking the talk, something most lawyers would be scared to death to do. He reached out to Elevate, an alternative legal service provider employing lawyers, engineers, technology and medical professionals to study the idea. If viable, Embry wants them to help propose it to insurance carriers.

Elevate suggested getting my friend (small world) Dan Linna, a law professor and director of LegalRnD at Michigan State University College of Law, involved. Elevate had worked with Linna and LegalRnD on other projects over the past few years and Embry was familiar with Linna through legal tech events.

Linna likes the idea – and sees it as a bit of self preservation for large law.

Law firms need to proactively work with clients to disaggregate legal matters. Why wait for clients to disaggregate matters and tell you, the law firm, what’s left for you—if they keep you around? Law firms need to demonstrate how they can provide greater value to clients. Greater value goes well beyond efficiency and lower costs. By creating a culture of innovation and continuous improvement, improving processes, getting the right people doing the right tasks, becoming data driven, and embracing technology, law firms can improve work quality and obtain better substantive outcomes.

Linna’s a bit like author, speaker and adviser, Richard Susskind, who finds it hard to convince a room full of people making a million dollars a year that they have a problem that needs correcting.

Most law firms cannot get beyond short-term thinking. They’re get stuck on the idea that improving legal-service delivery likely means less revenue in the short term. But they’re missing opportunities to become more profitable while at the same time generating greater value for clients. Going down this path strengthens relationships with existing clients and creates opportunities for law firms to differentiate themselves. It positions them to land more work and develop new ways in which to provide value for clients.

The team has already secured the agreement of one of Embry’s insurance carrier clients. The carrier is intrigued by Embry’s approach and is looking to be a case study that Linna will do so that differences in results and costs can be measured.

As he should be, Embry’s optimistic.

I think we will find that the case could be handled just as well if not better and the transactional cost less using this model.

The group recently spent a day at Frost Brown with lawyers, paralegals and other professionals to map out getting work to the right people, improving processes, using data, and implementing technology. Linna tells me that rather than being defensive and territorial about the work, as I have personally seen in large tort claims with multiple parties, the group realized the benefits of collaborating to identify opportunities to improve the value provided to clients.

Embry, as expected, was concerned his firm would see this whole approach as a threat. But his firm acknowledges it as the new reality.

The practice of law is changing. While clients don’t mind paying for bespoke work, they are no longer willing to pay top dollar for commodity work that can be done cheaper someplace else. If we don’t accept that reality and try to meet our client’s needs, we risk losing the whole ball of wax.

Embry’s firm may have less work in the short run. But Embry believes that clients will see the benefit of the model and engage him and Frost Brown for future work.

Now we just need to have Embry out blogging what he’s learning and doing along the way — soon.


Large law lawyer leverages technology, data and systems to change defense of mass tort claims posted first on https://fergusonlawatty.wordpress.com