BY THE TIME this issue of Law Practice hits your mailbox, most of the major activities of the 2013-14 year have either taken place or will take place shortly, and planning is already underway for the 2014-15 bar year. CLEs take a long time to get organized, books and articles have an even longer lead time and other programs need to be coordinated with other bar-related groups.
Education programs on technology in law practice and books and e-books about tech issues have been at the forefront of Law Practice Division (LP) activities this year. Even educational programs that aren’t about technology—such as the Marketing Strategies Conference (May 1-2)—have a strong tech component, with topics such as driving business to your website and measuring the results of your online performance. Technology seems to be what it is all about, and LP is working overtime to provide lawyers and law office staff with the latest information in this rapidly changing environment.
Always at the forefront of technology education, the flagship ABA TECHSHOW 2014 was held March 27-29 at the Chicago Hilton. This year’s conference highlighted the very latest in legal technology in its expansive Expo Hall and expert-led CLE programs. This year’s TECHSHOW not only maintained its standard features, but attendees were able to find a prescription for their technology problems in the Legal Technology Resource Center’s new Solutions Lab. They could also learn firsthand how to work with certain technologies in the new “how to” track sessions. If you missed this year’s TECHSHOW, plan to attend ABA TECHSHOW 2015, which will be held in Chicago next spring.
The eLawyering Task Force, LP’s long-running think tank on practicing law online, continues to focus on innovative uses of Internet-based resources to improve both the private practice of law and various legal aid programs, which helps provide low-income citizens better access to justice. This year, the task force is working with the ABA Journal, Suffolk Law School and others to organize a program on access to justice at the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston this summer.
The LP Publications Board continues to publish consistently high-quality books on law practice management topics and expects to release more than 20 books during the 2013-14 year. Titles include Personal Branding in One Hour for Lawyers, The Lawyer’s Guide to Microsoft Outlook 2013, Adobe Acrobat in One Hour for Lawyers, Succeeding as Outside Counsel, and a series of books on alternative fee arrangements for litigators, real estate and transactional lawyers.
More and more people are reading books on their phones, tablets and other handheld devices. LP now has more than 35 e-books available for download, including such titles as An Introduction to Law Firm Practice by LP Chair Mike Downey, iPad Apps in One Hour For Lawyers by Tom Mighell, Google for Lawyers by Carole Levitt and Mark Rosch, Cloud Computing for Lawyers by Nicole Black, Electronic Discovery for Small Cases by Bruce Olson and Tom O’Connor, and How to Build and Manage a Personal Injury Practice by me. A complete listing is available at americanbar.org/groups/law_practice.