My first car was a gray Pontiac Sunbird and, being that I was intrigued by manual transmissions, I had to have this feature even though I only knew how to drive an automatic. You may ask, “Why did you buy a new car that you couldn’t even drive?” Well, my rationale was that if the car was purchased, I would have to force myself to learn and face my fear. So, I bought the car and a good friend drove it home for me and, for about a month, I stared out the window trying to get up the nerve to learn how to drive it. One day, after growing tired of catching the bus, I found the nerve to learn and, of course, it wasn’t that bad. I drove that car for 13 years. Although it wasn’t new technology, it was new to me and it was a giant beast I had to conquer. (more…)
Has “The Art of Listening” become a thing of the past?
In today’s workplace, there are a tremendous amount of technological distractions. That’s evident by how much attention we get from our peers, friends or family members while engaged in a one-to-one conversation or meeting. There’s competition to be heard above the iPad, smartphone, social media sites, etc.
I grew up in a rather large family on both my maternal and paternal sides. Around the holidays, while there were many fun times and great memories, it was hard to get a word in edgewise. Thus, by default, I developed the art of listening and strategically knew the best time to ease into a conversation. Even at a young age, I studied body language, expressions and became more of an observer, which helped me to be more perceptive and to understand the uniqueness of each relative’s behavior.
When I came to Konica Minolta more than six years ago, our proprietary software, Dispatcher Phoenix, was being developed to include a legal solution. This is when my good listening skills kicked in, because I had to talk to our legal customers and listen carefully to their challenges to ascertain which features would be important to them. Some of these features included advanced document workflow solutions to automate document processing tasks, redaction, advanced OCR, and connectors to document management system, just to name a few.
“Change is the only constant in life,” so said Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher, around 500 B.C. As I look toward the legal environment in 2017, that saying is alive and well thanks to the emergence of robotics, other workplace of the future solutions and artificial intelligence (AI), the next critical wave of change in law firms.
What is different from Heraclitus’ time is the velocity at which change is occurring. Advancing law firm technology has pushed firms to move uncommonly fast to implement the changes necessary to garner the benefits that are possible for strategic growth and overall survival. The law firm of the future must address these coming influences that are re-engineering how work will be done. What are these influences that I believe will impact the legal arena in 2017? Here are my predictions: (more…)
Ever since I was young, I have had a gift for spotting antique furniture. Even if it had 10 coats of paint and was unrecognizable as a relevant piece of history, I could see past that and find the hidden gem. As a hobby, I go on “antique adventures” throughout New England in the hopes of spotting that piece of furniture to refinish and bring back to its glory days. I do this because these antiques are, indeed, relevant.
Most recently, I spotted an art deco statute that was being used as an outside doorstop for more than 30 years. To my surprise, it was a 1920s original bearing the signature of Mr. Arthur von Frankenberg, one of New York’s well-known artists and sculptors who owned Frankart, Inc. “The Lady,” as I have named her, has been restored and made relevant again. She holds my peppermint treats.
Unlike an old antique that may be pushed into a corner of a barn and forgotten, I have the power to keep myself relevant. The legal space is changing at lightning speed. With cyber and data security continuing to be a threat, law firms migrating to the cloud and information governance along with eDiscovery remain hot topics.
My current role as Konica Minolta’s national legal solutions manager entails following trends in the legal vertical to ensure we stay relevant for our customers and remain an industry leader and trusted advisor.
Over the past few years, I have obtained project management professional certification (PMP®) to understand project management methodologies and the PMI agile certified practitioner (PMI-ACP®) to understand agile business intelligence so that Konica Minolta’s legal vertical can move quickly as the market changes while keeping pace with customer demands. For example,
key offerings for the legal vertical are computer forensics, eDiscovery and managed review services. As such, I have obtained the certified eDiscovery specialist certification (CEDS®) to maintain my relevance and joined the Association of Certified eDiscovery Specialists (ACEDS) to network with my peers and to keep abreast of the ever changing eDiscovery landscape.
Lastly, I am almost at the finish line for my master’s degree in law and governance with a concentration in legal technology, compliance and regulations.
We don’t have 12 jurors to get a consensus of what challenges and trends will impact the legal profession come the New Year, but our vast experience with law firms allows us to play judge and jury to help enlighten you. Some of these may or may not come as a surprise, but they’ll be areas that the legal industry must consider to remain safe and successful.
For instance, we believe that cybersecurity will be the industry’s biggest challenge. We’re used to hearing news reports about breaches in the medical and retail worlds – like those from Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Target – but we never hear about breaches in the legal world. Law firms have become a veritable treasure trove for hackers in the past five to 10 years. Hackers are now getting to big corporate data through much less secure routes, such as outside counsel. Law firms must deploy advanced security measures – like those offered via All Covered Security Services – that identify and mitigate the risks to their clients’ and the firms’ assets, especially personally identifiable information (PII). (more…)
The golden rule for every business: “Put yourself in your customer’s place.”
– Orison Swett Marden
More than ever, organizations are keenly aware that they can have cutting-edge products, superior customer service and the best talent but, if they are not keeping pace with their customers’ needs, they don’t have a working formula for success.
In the legal industry, technology trends are rapidly changing. So, all aboard! The train has left the station and keeping pace is more paramount than ever.
Remember the ending of “Indiana Jones,” when the Ark of the Covenant is wheeled through a giant government warehouse, to be stored amid acres of similar boxes? That scene is reminiscent of the hunt a paralegal would undertake to find a piece of evidence, the proverbial needle in the haystack. (more…)
It’s no secret that mobile devices have changed the way people work. Recently, I have seen a number of articles highlighting how even technology adverse industries such as the legal community are embracing mobile technologies. It’s true – go into any law office or courtroom and it’s rare to see a lawyer without his or her smart phone or tablet computer.
There are many productivity apps (TranscriptPad, FastCase, Easy Biller, Black’s Law Dictionary) that help lawyers manage their cases, documents and time. However one app that is growing in popularity among lawyers is secure mobile printing such as Konica Minolta’s PageScope Mobile. In such a paper intensive industry, it’s easy to see why. (more…)