Julie Bays‘ new AI-focused blog looks promising. Suggestions possibly relevant to other new bloggers:

The link list in her April 22 post she & Catherine Sanders Reach put together is a good starting place for those wishing to climb on the bandwagon.

I greatly enjoyed working with  Greg Siskind on a few projects when the Internet was very new and alien to lawyers. One of the best things about working with him was always quick not just to understand new technologies, but to see ways in which they could be put to use for practical benefits.

Looks like Greg is fulfilling the same role with ChatGPT. The early involvement engagement with AI by him and other key visionaries, like Kevin O’Keefe, Dennis Kennedy and Carolyn Elefant with this new technology is a sure sign that AI is real, something lawyers must reckon with.

The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Work From Home Edition, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell is one of the most important legal technology books published at least since 2018, the date of the previous book in this ABA series. My review is complete and should appear at my favorite legal journal soon. In the meantime, here are a few suggestions as to how lawyers can get a head start on improving their bottom line through better collaboration:

1. Consume Some Key Podcasts

Check out key episodes of the Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast, particularly those segments focusing on collaboration. The most directly relevant are:

Not a podcasting fan? The ABA’s Legal Talk Network has the advantage of providing transcripts of each podcast that include hypertext links to resources mentioned. Nice touch, since you can scan a transcript in less time than it takes to listen to a podcast.

In whatever format you consume them, these podcasts are valuable because in some cases they provide useful ideas that go beyond the text of the book. For example, in the podcasts Kennedy and Mighell somewhat more directly address a downside of teleworking: People who spend less time in their physical office may be less competitive when decisions on prizes like partnerships are made. There has been so much euphoria about the freedom of working from home that this drawback is often underestimated. I also have a few thoughts on the issue.

2. Attend ABA Techshow

ABA Techshow is the world’s premier legal technology conference–by a large margin. This year, and every year, multiple sessions will deal directly or indirectly with collaboration.

Maryann Zaki is bitter–and it sounds like with good reason.

One of her many justified complaints after being pushed out of Biglaw is:

“I was told that I couldn’t “expect to have 3 kids and go on 3 maternity leaves, and make partner at the same time as everyone else” (uh, okay – good to know 🤔🤦‍♀️)”

No disrespect to Ms. Zaki at all, but many people in her position probably realized, at some level, that promises of “mommy track” equality were illusory.

My reaction is to wonder:

What are the chances that 5 or 10 years from now many people will be hearing “You can’t work from home 3 days a week and expect to make partner at the same time as everyone else.”

Working from home has its advantages but it’s unrealistic to expect that remote workers won’t be at a competitive disadvantage compared to those who spend more time in the office. Many won’t like to hear this, but that’s reality.

“He that’s not busy being born is busy dying.”

Bob Dylan had it right in his song It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding. This is why I try to keep learning and growing. Jeff Rovner‘s Concept Companion is a worthy tool to help.

It’s build on a simple idea: A deck of cards that explains key concepts. I loved it on first sight since I had found myself trying to explain many of the concepts during presentations. I consistently found that many of the ideas were unfamiliar even to many very sophisticates lawyers.

Check it out. Even if you only get one good new idea it will probably be worth a lot more than $35.

As many technically savvy experts predicted, the crypto house of cards is collapsing.

There are technical reasons why the crypto bubble is bursting, including the fact that 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

However, no technical expertise is needed to understand the historic and economic reasons for the impending demise of crypto—and its bastard offspring, NFTs (non-fungible tokens). They are the biggest speculative bubble since Dutch Tulip mania. Like tulips, bitcoins and other forms of cryptocurrency have no intrinsic value. They are not gold or pork bellies, nor backed by the good faith and credit of any government. A sane person should be wary when multiple prominent economists, including multiple Nobel prize winners, say cryptocurrency has no intrinsic value whatsoever. Angus Deaton’s assessment: 

“It’s better if you’re a criminal, I don’t know why else. The only advantage as far as I can see is you can be a crook [referring to the anonymity that cryptocurrencies allow]. It’s not an accident that people who demand ransoms demand them in bitcoin. I’m not sure anyone else does.”

Crypto is the most serious current example of the Greater Fool Theory. It’s based on the idea that you can make a profit even on a worthless asset, if you can only find someone stupid enough to take it off your hands. As noted by someone who should know, crypto and NFTs are “100% based on greater fool theory.”

 I loved the recent LinkedIn shout-out from Carolyn Elefant, which also made some important substantive points about blogging and lawyer use of newer social media.

As best I remember, it was actually a presentation for Maryland CLE when Carolyn first helped me. It doesn’t matter, since whoever it was they loved her ad hoc presentation as much as I did.

I like being a talent spotter. So far as I know, my invitation to her was her first opportunity to give a presentation on lawyer use of the Internet.

Carolyn’s blogging helped me find her. It made her stand out in my mind. Blogging worked then and still works, if you know how to use it, as Kevin O’Keefe never tires of reminding us.

True, much of the magic is gone, but the benefits can be large. Also note: Just about anyone who aspires to social media prominence can benefit by a supplemental blog. This is why Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell recommend the use of a blog as the hub of your promotional efforts. It’s good advice.