Purpose: My wife Juanita  has been hospitalized since early September. The longtime office manager for the Washington DC law firm  Regan Zambri and Long, she has many friends.  The most concerned have been calling me, sending me texts and emails about Juanita’s status. I welcome this concern but responding to each communication is burdensome. I will be updating this page to keep Juanita’s friends and colleagues updated on her status. 

Juanita was diagnosed in early September with a rare brain disease, Encephlitis, HSV type. She is being treated by an excellent team of doctors and nurses at Inova Fairfax Hospital, rated by U.S. News and World Report as the best in this urban area.

Juanita is suffering from Aphasia (thinking OK, difficulty in communicating) and Dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing). Here are some details:

  1. Juanita is quite responsive when I talk with her.
  2. After four weeks in the hospital she is frail.
  3. She needs intensive speech and physical therapy.
  4. The hospital anticipates releasing her soon to a skilled nursing facility or letting her return home for care by nurses and therapists. I have not decided which option to choose.

The address for this page is: https://www.newideaslegaltech.com/juanita

I encourage you to share this address with anyone interested in Juanita’s medical condition.

I will be posting updates and suggestions as to how her friends can help her..

I am working on a dedicated replacement for this interim page that will use the URL https://www.healingjuanitalawson.org

Jerry Lawson

Here is the complete text of the Preface to Jerry Lawson’s upcoming book Knowledge Management for Lawyers: Building a Culture of Success, scheduled for publication in April 2022. It was originally published at LLRX.com and reprinted at The Impact Lawyers.


I first learned about the joy of efficiency from my high school Geometry teacher, Miss Freida Riley. On submitting a proof for her approval, her usual reaction would be: “It’s OK. Can you do better?” What she meant was make it simpler, more streamlined, more efficient.

If more work resulted in better insights, I might hear words like: “That’s good, Jerry. That’s what we are looking for.” 

Miss Riley prized efficiency, what mathematicians call “elegance.” She showed me what poet Edna St. Vincent had in mind when she wrote “Euclid alone has looked on Beauty bare.”

Valedictorian of her high school and college classes, Frieda Riley could have been a star teacher at virtually any school in the country. She chose to teach in McDowell County, the heart of the West Virginia coal fields. It was the poorest county in the poorest state in the nation. The poverty in McDowell County is so deep and so persistent that the New York Times used the county in an article portraying it as the poster child of poverty in the United States.

Miss Riley blessed her students with better ways of thinking and approaching problems. She opened the door to new worlds, new possibilities.

Frieda Riley died of Hodgkin’s Disease at age 31. Today she is honored in the National Museum of Education, but her most important legacy is the countless students she inspired–and equipped–to meet challenges. Continue Reading KM Book Preface: Freida Riley

Many lawyers, possibly to help preserve their peace of mind, tend to underestimate the potential impact of AI on their practices. Professors Elizabeth C. Tippett and Charlotte Alexander have a key insight in their article Robots Are Coming for the Lawyers:

Imagine what a lawyer does on a given day: researching cases, drafting briefs, advising clients. While technology has been nibbling around the edges of the legal profession for some time, it’s hard to imagine those complex tasks being done by a robot.

But, as we discovered in a recent research collaboration to analyze legal briefs using a branch of artificial intelligence known as machine learning, lawyers’ jobs are a lot less safe than we thought. It turns out that you don’t need to completely automate a job to fundamentally change it. All you need to do is automate part of it.

 

Lawyers sometimes are so busy practicing law and mastering technology that they make the mistake of considering workouts a luxury, something fun. Workouts can and should be that, but they are so much more: A key to productivity.

Jerry Muncy, owner of TypewriterCentral.com, shown here in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, is a classic example. Old enough to be a member of the Big Creek High School Class of 70, he nevertheless maintains a level of fitness such that he routinely outdoes 20-somethings in hiking mountains–and also in office productivity.

Roman Zelichenko‘s recent LinkedIn post questioning the value of LinkedIn prompted me to provide him a recommendation:

On getting back into the legal tech game after being out a few years working as a civil service lawyer with a knowledge management specialty, I needed to get up to speed on recent developments  at a 0 to 60 pace. Of course, developing a facility with LinkedIn was a top priority.

Make LinkedIn Work for You: A Practical Guide for Lawyers and Other Legal Professionals by veteran legal tech gurus Dennis Kennedy & Allison C. Shields (now Johs) was by far the most useful guide I found.

It is the best $25 investment I know for the LinkedIn-ambitious lawyer crowd.

Successful Innovation Book

A bonus observation: While getting a copy of the LinkedIn book, also pick up a copy of Kennedy’s Successful Innovation Outcomes in Law.  Both books were self-published via Amazon. See my post Is Self-Publishing Right for You in case you are interested in exploring this promising new approach to book publication.