How can you know whether AI is real or hype? One of the best ways is to look for leading indicators:

Who is interested in AI? When you see top pros that you respect taking AI seriously it’s a pretty good sign that you also should take it seriously.

Joan Feldman, for example. Her latest Attorney at Work article analyzes the Thompson Reuters survey report on the impact of AI on legal professionals. Incidentally, the Attorney at Work newsletter is a great way to stay on top of practical developments of interest to practicing lawyers.

Nicole Black has thrown her hat into the ring in an excellent Above the Law article.

Sabrina Pacifici’s continuing project on AI in banking and finance is a must-follow item.

Yep, AI is for real.

Matthew Homan has what he tongue-in-cheek describes as “Idea Surplus Disorder.”  He’s never short of good ideas. Here is one of his better LinkedIn posts. Paralysis due to fear is one of the leading impediments to productive innovation.

Leaders, start reframing failure as “tuition.”

Tell your teams you’re happy to pay tuition to learn a lesson, but make it clear that you’re not willing to pay to take the same class twice. 

It will encourage your team to experiment and take calculated risks, but also remind them that they need to share the “classes they took” with everyone for your organization to truly grow.

Will AI put you out of a job? Or just revolutionize the way you practice law? Maybe. The jury is still out on AI, but design thinking is an approach that might help you make your law firm seriously more profitable in the short-to-medium range.

Design thinking is a systematic approach to rethinking your business model with the goal of finding and implementing major beneficial changes. It’s innovation on steroids. Check out the Harvard Business School definition. At least some sophisticated organizations are beginning to appreciate the potential for large benefits.

The best current reference on this topic for lawyers is Design Your Law Practice: Using Design Thinking To Get Next Level Results. Jessica Bednarz, Catherine Sanders Reach and Juda Strawczynski, Editors. (American Bar Association 2023). Available direct from the publisher or via Amazon.

My review is available at

Will Twitter recently rebranded as “X,” go under? Maybe, and that might not be a bad thing. Whether or not that happens, one or more other social media platforms will remain one of the best places to market law firms, so understanding the basic principles of social media is essential for ambitious lawyers, who can learn something from chess players.

Chess players are often advised to select a prominent player to be their “chess hero.” The idea is that intensive study of their opening repertoire will help players develop their own repertoire. The same idea works on social media. Following a “social media hero” is one of the best ways to up your game. Greg Siskind’s Twitter account is a great place to start.

Greg, an immigration lawyer with a national reputation, has also been a leader in showing lawyers how to use technology since the publication of his groundbreaking book, The Lawyer’s Guide to Marketing on the Internet (1996) a quarter century ago.  He’s now a leader in the use of Twitter by lawyers.

Gaffney’s article Law Practice Magazine article Practicing With Twitter: An Immigration Lawyer’s Social Media Journey is a good profile of Greg Siskind.

Greg has extended his leadership to social media, and is a leading legal voice on Twitter. No doubt, he will be a leader in the Twitter rebrand, “X,” or whatever is the next dominant social media platform? Here are some key quotes from Gaffney’s article:

Siskind joined Twitter back in 2008, in the early days of the transformative social media phenomenon. He believed the platform offered a way to reach potential clients and to share news of immigration law developments. While he initially gained few clients, Siskind continued to tweet out information when he found the time to do so. Then one day, everything changed. “One tweet got me on a list of people to follow for immigration news. After that I started to blow up,” Siskind said.

That tweet sparked the flame for Siskind, and he began dedicating more time to Twitter, making sure that people were receiving accurate immigration news (and his opinions on immigration politics). Over time, Siskind amassed a dedicated following of reporters, lawyers and others affected by and interested in immigration law. His relevance and following on Twitter earned him a “blue check” of verification, and soon new clients were reaching out to him through Twitter.

Lesson: Getting the attention of the right people makes all the difference. There is no better way than social media and no better model than Greg Siskind.

Good work from the Department of Interior Inspector General. Their conclusions apply just as well to law firms. The length of a password is more important than complexity. It’s better to have a phrase like JonesAndSallyLoveBaskingInSunshine than #si30_584JKL.

Implementing this advice is a no-brainer, since a well chosen phrase is easier to remember than a cryptic string of numbers, characters and letters.

It’s more difficult to implement MFA (multi factor authentication) but it is also essential for key applications.

Theoretically unbreakable encryption schemes like those underpinning blockchain have proven to be less than impermeable in practice, as users of Coinbase discovered upon losing fortunes. Attackers go after the weakest link in the chain, usually the way in which the algorithm is implemented. Perhaps more ominous, the emergence of a new class of devices called quantum computers threatens to eat the algorithms that underlie crypto for lunch. 

Jerry Lawson and Elizabeth Southerland

The rest of the article discusses the non-technical reasons why cryptocurrency mania must come to and end–possibly very quickly.

Asking questions can benefit audiences—and presenters—in multiple ways. The biggest personal benefit I have found is simple: I learn things.

Even when an audience answer is off the mark it can prompt me to think about issues in different and better ways. Audience answers often spark useful ideas that never would have occurred to me if I had not asked a question. Sometimes audiences teach me more than I teach them.

The mother of a boy named Izzy had the right approach. Every day when he came home from school she had one query: “Izzy, did you ask any good questions today?” Every day the same demanding and persistent query: “Izzy, did you ask any good questions today?

Is it really a complete surprise that Izzy grew up to be Nobel Prize winner Dr. Isidor Rabi?

From the article Presenter’s Guide Series Part IV: The Power of Asking Questions.

Elizabeth Southerland knows how lawyers should talk to to clients. A sample from her article at

Sometimes lawyers—and others trying to sell me professional services—seem to believe that I must treasure their 47-page footnoted memo because their craft is so complex that only something that reads like a technical manual or Ph.D. thesis is adequate to convey their scintillating insights. There is one problem with their approach: I wouldn’t pay for these professional services.

Best analysis I’ve seen on the impact of AI on the practice of law. A key quote:

[M]ost of the short-term claims being made about its impact on lawyers and the courts hugely overstate its likely impact. More significantly, I think that most of the long-term claims hugely understate its impact.

Read the rest of it.

Thanks to Jennifer Wondracek for putting this on my radar screen, to Richard S. Granat for introducing me to this thinker and to Richard Susskind for being truly brilliant.

My article on AI, Susskind and the ABA’s eLawyering Project will be ready soon. Watch this space.