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

Advocating for change can be difficult. My 1995 experience at the National Archives and Records Administration illustrates a few lessons:

Innovation In A Change-Resistant Organization: A Story

In 1995 few federal agencies had robust Internet presences. Most had none at all.

As a lawyer with the National Archives and Records Administration my duties did not

“A Short & Happy Guide to Advanced Legal Research” (West Academic Publishing, 2020) by Ann Walsh Long

Available from Amazon in paperback or Kindle versions, as well as directly from the publisher (paperback and ebook).

Ann Walsh Long has a message for lawyers:

Over the last five years, legal artificial intelligence tools such

Most recent revisions: August 2, 2021. Projected publication date: September 2021.

Here’s a draft article I’m working on for intended for publication at LLRX.com. The issues we dealt with on the ABA’s  eLawyering Task Force concerning the use of technology to better provide legal services to consumers have continuing relevance. I welcome reactions/suggestions from entrepreneurs who are still struggling today with similar issues in the fields of AI and other cutting edge technologies. I’d love to include insights/quotes from those on the current front lines:

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Businesses like Hello Divorce are increasingly gaining traction, as demonstrated in part by a recent $2 million investment from a group including Jack Newton. Many are wondering about the future of such projects. Sometimes you have to know where you’ve been to understand where you are–and where you are going.

The American Bar Association’s now-defunct e-Lawyering Task Force is dead but its long tail of influence is still evident to those familiar with the project. The purpose of the Task Force was to smooth the way for lawyer entrepreneurs to better use the Internet to provide legal services to consumers.  Several factors, including the success of Jack Newton’s book The Client-Centered Law Firm, are drawing new attention to the Task Force’s goals.

Reviewed by Jerry Lawson

Conrad Saam’s Own the Map: Marketing Your Law Firm’s Address (ABA 2020)  is an intriguing new book that will cause many lawyers to think about marketing in new—and better—ways. Many, especially lawyer marketing service vendors, will find Saam’s ideas controversial.

Saam’s primary thesis is that most lawyers should concentrate appealing

Conrad Saam writes in his new book Own the Map; Marketing Your Law Firm’s Address that “[I]n general, social media as a direct-to-consumer marketing channel for the legal industry is ineffectual.” He explains that this is primarily because social media marketing requires building personal relationships with potential clients. Most lawyers lack the time or skill