Email is Alive & Kicking

Email Jay Yarrow delete 2K emails

Ah, email. Can’t live with it; can’t live without it. If, like me, you work with clients and people outside of your company, email is probably your lifeline.

At the same time, many of us are inundated with email. The Inbox is so overwhelming that people turn to chat to rise above the noise. Thus the debate as to whether email is dead.

Email Productivity Curve

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Enterprise: Time to Get Onboard, “Mobile is Eating the World”

Photo: Charles Forerunner/Unsplash

Photo: Charles Forerunner/Unsplash

Inspired by data from “Mobile is Eating the World” by Benedict Evans of Andreessen Horowitz venture capital firm, aka A16Z. 

Smartphones and the software which runs on them are changing everything we do. How we take photos has radically changed. We pay for lunch with our phones and order groceries from an app. It’s easy and efficient.

I am interested in enterprise mobility. Some of the data in “Mobile is Eating the World” should be a wake-up call to businesses. Below, marked with bullets, I have cited a few data points from “Mobile is Eating the World.” My thoughts on enterprise mobility are in blue font.

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ILTA Docks at the Inner Harbor – SharePoint Symposium 2015

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This year the ILTA SharePoint Symposium, June 9-10, is in Baltimore, right on the Inner Harbor at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.  The Inner Harbor is vibrant and a model of urban revitalization. I’m looking forward to both the SPS and exploring the Inner Harbor. Below is a terrific drawing of the Baltimore harbor in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the background.

Baltimore Harbor from Federal Hill in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the Background - Public Domain

Baltimore Harbor in 1849 with the Washington Monument in the Background – Public Domain

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The Law Firm of the Future – Will There be Robots?

head-376942__180 green pixabayFollowers of technology know that AI (Artificial Intelligence) and the invasion of the robots is a trending topic. One of the themes is that the robots are coming and they are going to take all of our jobs. Venture capitalist, Marc Andreessen, not a fan of the “sky is falling” thinking, tends to tweet humorous quips about the looming robot crisis.

On March 6th, when the latest employment data were released, Andreessen tweeted the chart below with the comment, “The robots are really dropping the ball.”

FRED Employment Data

A few days earlier I had attended a panel on “The Law Firm of the Future” sponsored by CodeX and the Palo Alto Area Bar Association. CodeX is a multidisciplinary laboratory operated by Stanford Law School and the Stanford CS Department.

The arc of the meeting was set by the first speaker, Vivek Wadhwa, who presented research on the results of IBM’s Watson AI Engine in diagnosing cancer. Watson’s successful diagnosis rate for lung cancer is 90 percent, compared to 50 percent for human doctors. Wadha’s position is that an AI engine can easily store the entirety of legal case data and can be trained to make legal decisions, perhaps to make even better decisions than humans, also known as lawyers. This is a challenging stance for many of us to grapple with today.

However, in the audience the General Counsel of a local university made the point that their university frequently hires outside counsel. He routinely inquires as to the likely outcome of the case and what will it cost. The answers which he gets are along the lines of, “my gut tells me X.” The GC made the point, “If Watson or AI can provide better answers to those questions, I’m all for it.”

Other panelists illustrated how their organizations combined the strengths of man and machine in order to practice law more efficiently and predictably.

Attorney Natalie Pierce of Littler Mendelson P.C. presented their CaseSmart litigation management and analytics solution. Littler specializes in employment and labor law. Built into CaseSmart is their data from tens of thousands of their cases. In essence, they have data pertaining to case type, jurisdiction, judge, and opposing counsel, therefore, they can provide the odds of outcome and cost of a pending case.

Litigator Ray Gallo, principal of Gallo LLP and Gallo Digital, showed how human skills plus technology can expand a practice. Gallo has won more than 85% of his cases which were brought to verdict, demonstrating exceptional skills. But one person does not scale. He developed a way to use internet technology to support class action and mass action suits. These particular suits would not have been economically viable without automation of data collection and client communication. In doing so, Galli has won judgements for many plaintiffs who would otherwise have been unrepresented.

Another panelist, Derek Bluford, is the President and CEO of QuickLegal, which is an online and yes, mobile app, legal advice service. QuickLegal connects clients with lawyers via audio and video chat. Service is immediate – Derek pointed out that if one is in a car wreck or arrested, one needs help then and there. On the other side of the coin, there are many attorneys who don’t want to be tied to a desk 50 hours a week. They want to have more freedom and flexibility. Therefore, QuickLegal is an efficient market for highly qualified professionals and clients.

When I engage with the law firm of the future, will I pick up an app and be interviewed by an operating system, who will then exchange data with the opposing party’s OS? Will the two systems then calculate the outcome based on precedence? Probably not in my lifetime. Certainly, however, we can already see the big gains to be made by Business Intelligence, software supported client communications, and mobile apps. The changes in legal are well underway.

Kudos to PAABA President, Roger Royse, for putting together a diverse and interesting panel at CodeX.

–Maureen Blando

I tweet at @mobilehelix

 

 

ABA TECHSHOW and the Mobile Lawyer

ABA Techshow 2015 Orange Logo

Lawyers, if “60 Apps in 60 Minutes” brings a smile to your face then you are likely a fan of the ABA TECHSHOW. “60 Apps” is one of the most popular sessions each April at the TECHSHOW. The iOS apps session will be standing room only. The apps session is followed by “60 Sites in 60 Minutes,” featuring the most useful websites for lawyers today.

This year TECHSHOW has 15 tracks with several geared toward the mobile lawyer, including “iPAD,” “Mobile,” and “Advanced IT.” TECHSHOW is especially valuable for lawyers in solo to medium-sized firms. If you are responsible for IT, litigation technology, or marketing, TECHSHOW is a wealth of information for you. TECHSHOW sessions will illustrate how to optimize today’s technology, for example:

  • Introducing Your iPad into Your iPractice
  • Litigate on the iPad
  • How Lawyers Can Effectively Engage in Social Media

The ABA TECHSHOW is a great place to meet new and long-time peers. The networking is as good as the content.

Our company, Mobile Helix, will be at ABA TECHSHOW again this year. Please stop by booth 113. We will be happy to show you our LINK mobile app for lawyers. LINK gives you access to your email and files in one encrypted app. With LINK, it’s easy to find a document, review it, and then email it to a client from your smartphone or tablet, no matter where you are located. LINK gives you a great mobile experience and lets you be productive even when you are not in the office.

See you in Chicago, April 16th to 18th!

–Maureen

The Legal Mobility Disconnect

DeathtoStock_Wired6 (small)

Some interesting and thought provoking data on legal use of Mobile Technology from the ABA Techreport 2014¹, highlighting a significant “Legal Mobility Disconnect”. Though 91% of lawyers use a smartphone, and 49% are increasingly using tablets, work related mobile device use by lawyers remains limited to checking email (95%) only.

This is surprising. The ABA Legal Technology Survey shows that lawyers, like the rest of us, use mobile devices increasingly frequently in their personal lives. For example, camera (used by 66% of legal smartphone users), GPS/Maps (77.5% of legal smartphone users), Instant messaging /Chat (44% of legal smartphone users), and Text Messaging (73% of legal smartphone users).

In addition, though lawyers regularly download apps to their mobile devices for personal use (as reference, by October 2014, 85 billion apps had been downloaded from the App Store²), the majority of lawyers have never downloaded a legal-specific app (57%) or a business app (55%) to their smartphone or tablet. This highlights a significant Legal Mobility Disconnect. Most lawyers surveyed are failing to use their mobile devices to their fullest potential for work.

Why is this and what will it take to reverse this trend? Security, cost and complexity are the most often cited barriers to mobile adoption in studies of mobile enterprise adoption³. These are good reasons why lawyers have been reluctant to embrace mobility for their work.

However, there is another critical reason for the “Legal Mobility Disconnect” that has yet to be discussed. That is usability / ease of use. Since the mobile computing revolution began in 2007 with the arrival of the iPhone, we have become very sophisticated and discerning mobile users. We are quick to embrace new capabilities that are truly valuable and are easy and intuitive to use. Until this is true, new capabilities remain niche and unused, embraced only by the most geeky early adopter users.

What do we mean by usability / ease of use in a legal context? Well, we have a lot to say on this topic that we will share in blog posts to come. In addition, we are working hard to deliver a new mobile app designed specifically for lawyers that addresses this problem.

Please stay tuned – there is a more coming soon on the Legal mobility disconnect.

– Matt

1. ABA Techreport 2014 – Mobile Technology by Tom Mighell.
2. Statista Mobile Internet & Apps Portal – October 2014.
3. Fierce Mobile IT, IBM CIO Survey.

My Favorite Reads of the Week

Each week I share a few of the more interesting tech and business pieces which I have read. Uber and Barbie got a lot of ink last week. You probably read enough about Uber, but did you see the scorn of the book, Barbie: I Can Be A Computer Engineer? If Barbie wants to become a real developer, she should review the list of highest paying programming languages.

I. These Are The Highest-Paying Programming Languages You Should Learn, Ranked By Salary

Interesting list. It tops out with Ruby-on-Rails at $109K/year. But becoming a Salesforce architect pays almost twice as much. By Lisa Eadicicco, @LisaEadicicco, in Business Insider.

Credit Jeff Sheldon

Credit Jeff Sheldon

II. 50% of CIOs Think Mobile App Development Takes Too Long

In this post, Eric Carlson, @ericjohncarlson, of Propelics refers to new data from a recent Kinvey survey entitled, The State of Enterprise Mobility. The survey data indicate that the average app takes 8 months to develop at a cost of $270K. Kinvey, Propelics, and Mobile Helix each provide ways to make the development of enterprise mobile apps easier and quicker.

III. Georgia Tech Student Rewrites Barbie Book

Did you read about this last week? A blog post about the 2010 book, Barbie: I Can Be a Computer Engineer, went viral. As one Amazon reviewer had written, “Barbie admits, ‘I’m only creating the design idea, I’ll need Steven and Brian’s help to turn it into a real game.’”  In response, a Ph.D. student at Georgia Tech wrote a “remix” of the book with Barbie a full-fledged developer. You can view, and even download, the remix here. From hometown paper, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, by Adam Carlson, .

IV. 2015 Corporate Equality Index 

The Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s 13th report on workplace LGBT equality across U.S. enterprises has been released. This year 386 businesses earned the top score of 100%. The Legal sector is the highest scoring sector. Law firms make up 89 of the top scoring entities.150 companies in the Fortune 500 achieved a 100% score.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

–Maureen, @MobileHelix

My Favorite Reads of the Week

Each week I post a few of my fave reads related to tech and business. This week: addictive apps, being a minority in tech, what you owe your employer, and why some workers don’t love BYOD.

VW bus

Why Your Workers Hate BYOD

Hoping to get away without sharing your location with your law firm IT department? Using a health-related app on your personal smartphone? Device management by employers is getting some backlash. Tom Kaneshige, @kaneshige, writing in CIO.com, explores these concerns with BYOD. Disclosure: our Mobile Helix Link mobile app does not track employee movements or capture information regarding personal apps.

Five Things You Owe Your Employer – And Five You Don’t

Liz Ryan, @humanworkplace, CEO and founder of Human Workplace, with some solid pointers. For example, you do owe your integrity; you don’t owe your soul.

The Other Side of Diversity

A sobering narrative of Erica Joy’s career moving from “a young black lady to a black woman in the predominantly white male tech industry.” From Alaska to the San Francisco Bay area and points in-between.

Why Messaging Apps are So Addictive

Who doesn’t want to build a habit forming app? Nir Eyal, @nireyal, author of Hooked: How to Build Habit Forming Products, outlines how hooks work in apps. This is good stuff.

–Maureen, @mobilehelix