Lawyers e-Journal

Thursday, Feb. 12, 2009
From top to bottom:

Left to right: ABA TECHSHOW Road Show presenters included Dave Bilinsky, Debbie Foster, Jim Colloway, Alan Klevan, Rodney Dowell and Adriana Linares.

Members of the legal community are introduced to hardware, software and Web page solutions for their practices, at the Turbocharge Your Practice With Affordable Technology session at yesterday's ABA TECHSHOW Road Show.

Photographs by Tricia Oliver and Jennifer Rosinski

ABA TECHSHOW Road Show Debuts in Boston

More than 100 take advantage of event at MBA

More than 100 legal professionals made their way to the Massachusetts Bar Association's Boston office yesterday to take part in the first local version of the wildly successful ABA TECHSHOW held annually in Chicago. The MBA and the Law Practice Management Section of the American Bar Association teamed up to present the February 11 program, that showcased national presenters on the most current trends and tactics related to legal technology.
Informational sessions covered topics ranging from efficiencies gained from digital dictation and the benefits of using PowerPoint in the court room to archiving client and case information in Outlook and steps to a more profitable law firm. The day-long program ran from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with two concurrent tracks of educational sessions.  

The Mobile Office: Take Your Desktop in Your Pocket gave attendees an overview of the latest gadgets and accessories available to take the practice of law on the go. From comparisons between laptop and tablet PCs to security measures that include Lojack for your laptop and encryption, speakers Debbie Foster and Paul Unger provided practical tools to get started.

The other early morning session was New Resources and Personal Knowledge Management, which featured the best new sources of online legal and factual information, as well as how to use RSS feeds, social book marking services and online notebooks.

One of the most popular sessions was Turbocharge Your Practice With Affordable Technology held in the late morning and presented by MBA Law Practice Management Section Co-chairs Alan J. Klevan and Rodney S. Dowell. While attendees took notes on paper, laptops and mobile devices, the pair described free and low-cost technology solutions that included e-faxing, conference calls, file sharing, security and printing.

The other late morning session was Shock and Awe: PowerPoint for Opening Statements and Closing Arguments. Catherine Sanders Reach and Paul Unger shared basic and advanced tips for using PowerPoint to make opening statements and closing arguments more powerful and persuasive.

Lunch was then served while attorneys chose to attend 60 Law Practice Management Tips in 60 Minutes or 60 Essential Web Sites in 60 Minutes. Adriana Linares, chair of the ABA Law Practice Management Section’s Technology Core Group, along with speakers David Bilinsky and Jim Calloway, offered helpful URLs for streamlining functionality in the office and at home.

Following the lunch programs, PDF-ing for Lawyers and Look Who’s Talking! What Lawyers Need to Know about Digital Dictation and Speech Recognition were two sessions offered in the early afternoon.  

One of the last programs of the day was Accidentally Successful: How to Tell if You and Your Firm are Making Money. The session covered helpful law practice management tips that would lead to a more profitable and efficient practice. Speakers highlighted the importance of a sound business plan. Bilinsky explained how important it is for practitioners to develop an “outline of what your practice looks like on paper.” Calloway added how crucial the first meeting with the client can be. “The initial client interview is a time to shape expectations,” he said. Both speakers' suggestions underscored the importance of planning in the success of any law practice.    

The other final program of the day was The Lawyer’s Guide to Managing Client and Case Information with Outlook. The interactive demonstration covered pointers for attorneys on how to effectively archive client and case correspondence using Outlook. “Contacts are the center of your universe in Outlook,” said Linares, who co-led the program with Foster. Linares highlighted the “activities” feature in “contacts” in Outlook 2007, as a helpful way to better track attorneys’ interaction with “contacts” or clients.  
Following the program, the feedback from both participants and speakers on the comprehensive program was equally positive.

Carrying the momentum of the Feb. 11 ABA TECHSHOW Road Show, the MBA will host a free Legal Technology Expo at the Sheraton Framingham on March 20. Click here to register.
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