ILTA 2016 Roadshow – Mobile Apps

Jasper Canada road Tim Gouw Unsplash Cropped
We’re headed to Philadelphia and Cleveland with an ILTA lunchtime session on:

Mobile Apps – The Balance Between User Experience and Security

Meet with other Legal IT professionals in your city and learn more about mobile apps for legal teams.

Our next cities:

Philadelphia, Wednesday, Feb. 3rd, hosted by Morgan Lewis. Details and register for Philadelphia here. 

Cleveland, Thursday, Feb. 4th, hosted by Reminger. Details and register for Cleveland here.  Continue reading

Doubling Down on ILTACON 2015

Caesars Postcard

Isn’t this a fantastic photo of Caesars – when it was smack in the middle of the desert?

ILTACON 2015 kicks off at the modern day Caesars Palace on August 30th. The technical content is invaluable and the people are fantastic. Peer-to-peer sharing of successes and networking with like-minded techies are the hallmarks of ILTACON.

If you use DMS including NetDocuments, or SharePoint, mark our session on Wednesday, 3:30 PM, in your conference app and join us:

“DMS & SharePoint – Mobile Productivity is Easier than You Think.”

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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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Making the Most of ABA TECHSHOW – April 16-18

ABA Techshow 2015 Orange Logo

Who doesn’t love to go to Chicago – the food, the music, the architecture and… ABA TECHSHOW.

If this is your first time to attend, be sure to read The First Time Experience Guide.

Have you heard of Taste of TECHSHOW? These dinners are unique to TECHSHOW and a fun way to meet people with the same tech interests as you. Each dinner has a tech theme such as the Cloud, security or mobility. Some dinners are sponsored but most are “dutch.” Check out the selections and choose your favorite tech topic or Chicago restaurant. Taste of TECHSHOW will fill up so don’t miss out – register today.

The EXPO at TECHSHOW buzzes with energy. We’d love to meet you and to show you a demo of our  LINK mobile app. With LINK lawyers can:

  • Work seamlessly with DMS including WorkSite, NetDocuments as well as with SharePoint and CIFS file shares.
  • Open, review and forward .nrl attachments.
  • Manage, search, sort and file emails.
  • Find, review and interact with email attachments.
  • Use SharePoint while mobile. Access SharePoint data, files, and lists are all easily available online and offline from a smartphone or tablet.

Enter our drawing for an Amazon gift card – see you at Booth 113!

–Maureen (@MobileHelix)

Legal Disrupted. A Case of the Innovator’s Dilemma

lawyer-450205_150 Scales of JusticeNo profession is immune from disruption. A business with a value of $400 billion per year is a attractive target for newcomers, ranging from financial institutions to startups. Can legal ward off its challengers? Not without changing.

“The Innovator’s Dilemma” refers to Clayton Christensen’s theory that successful companies are too focused on customers’ current needs and that they fail to adopt technologies that will fulfill customers’ future or unspoken needs. When the goose is laying the golden eggs, it can be challenging to focus on what happens after the goose is gone. Think of Blockbuster’s collapse to Netflix or Amazon’s decision to develop the Kindle. The question for the mammoth book retailer was whether they should dig in their heels and fight ebooks which threatened to cannibalize their hard copy book sales. Jeff Bezos was savvy to the Innovator’s Dilemma and chose to lead in ebooks. Today Amazon controls 67% of the ebook market.

But the Innovator’s Dilemma pertains to technology. The legal profession is not about technology…or is it?

For context, let’s look at the thoughtful internet debate over the past few weeks. The catalyst was the post, “The Profession is Doomed,” by Toby Brown, published in 3 Geeks and a Law Blog. Toby had participated in a National Conference of Bar Presidents panel on the future of the profession.

One of the panel members described a change coming in Washington State where the first licenses to Limited Licensure Legal Technicians (LLLT) will be granted this spring. An LLLT is a new non-lawyer legal professional who may advise and assist clients. An LLLT must meet certain criteria but can qualify with an associate level degree. Approval of LLLT was opposed by the Board of Governors of the Washington Bar Association but was approved by the Washington Supreme Court. Brown writes that the focus of the conference presidents and executives was on finding ways to kill the LLLT.

Brown left the conference that day convinced that the profession is doomed because those in power in the profession won’t drive change, leaving it open to disruption from without.

Another compelling post on this topic, “Big Law as Legal Fiction and the Lack of Innovation,” is written by Ron Dolin who is with the Stanford Center on the Legal Profession. Dolin looks at how Big Law firms make decisions and how they decide to innovate, or not.

Dolin points out that the stagnant growth in 75% of the AM100 contrasted with the rapid growth in lower margin legal services startups such as LegalZoom and Rocket Lawyer is evidence that change in Big Law is needed.

Dolin references Prof. William Henderson of Indiana University Law School who commends the innovation of Bryan Cave, Seyfarth Shaw, and Littler Mendelson, yet estimates that “only 10-15% of large law firms have embarked on strategic initiatives that take into account the ‘New Normal.’” Henderson has warned of a train wreck along the lines of the Innovator’s Dilemma coming in Big Law in the next 5 to 10 years.

So why are Big Law firms moving slowly? Per Dolin, Big Law grapples with various paralyzing questions: Is change really needed? Would it best to see if a few firms fail before action is taken? How significant will the costs be? It’s easy to see that PCs make sense, but how does one know how far to take new technology? And, will the benefits of these new potentially expensive changes be realized after current partners retire? Dolin points to the partner system as deterrent to innovation in Big Law.

Our view is far brighter. Today’s solutions can enable traditional legal to become more nimble and cost-effective. As a matter of disclosure, our company, Mobile Helix, provides a mobile app designed specifically for lawyers which allows lawyers to work with DMS, files, SharePoint and email from anywhere. In essence, we enable lawyers to be more responsive to clients and to get greater value from their time.

Mobility is a huge gift to lawyers. Every day we support firms which are earnestly working to provide more productivity to their lawyers. As one legal IT director stated, the ROI on any ten or fifteen minutes which a lawyer can recoup on the go is high and the personal satisfaction is great.

Mobility reduces costs because time is used more productively. Lightweight mobile solutions are a very effective way for law firms to drive efficiencies. There are technologies, including ours, which can be adopted today without massive investment. The ROI begins on the first day, not years from now.

Toby Brown did legal a service by raising the flag on this subject. Legal need not be doomed. But innovation and action is required…and the clock is ticking.

–Maureen

Mobile File Sharing – It’s About More Than the Cloud

Credit: Viktor Hanacek

Credit: Viktor Hanacek

You’ve been in this situation. You prepare for a client meeting or for court. You’ve got digital copies of all of the documents that you will need. Until you don’t. While you are in transit you get a message which changes things. You will need a few more files, but you have no mobile file sharing from your smartphone or tablet.

Files. After mobile access to email, files are the medium which we most need on the fly. We swap them with colleagues. We prepare and send docs to clients, who send them back and ask for changes. We change them, save them, and send them back.

It’s a tremendous productivity boost to have mobile file sharing from our smartphones and tablets.

Here is the challenge for IT. Where are the files which employees need to share from their smartphones stored?

Wait, you say. Isn’t this simple? Aren’t files all moving to the Cloud?

No, not in all cases. And definitely not in the near-term. While file storage in the Cloud is growing, there are many sectors and companies which won’t migrate to the Cloud for many years, if ever. Gartner’s 2013 CIO Survey1 found that 28% of CIOs expect to source all critical applications and operations via the Cloud by 2016, and 55% expect to do so by 2020. On the other hand, this means that 45% of CIO’s do not expect to source via the Cloud by 2020. While a significant portion of companies can move to the Cloud, for others it’s a more complex matter.

By some estimates, 20-30% of all file storage may never migrate to the Cloud. The Everest Group, in their Cloud Adoption Survey 20132, found that 21% of surveyed enterprises have no plan to migrate collaboration and content management systems to the Cloud.

Law firms, financial institutions, and other regulated industries will, in many cases, not be able to meet security and confidentiality requirements with Cloud storage. Amongst other issues, the concern that governments may require Cloud storage services to release files to the government is a major deterrent to Cloud-based file sharing at firms with highly sensitive data.

The reality is that file storage is undergoing a major transition which will last for many years. Some legal and financial firms do store certain classes of files, for example, those used for training, in Cloud storage. In the ILTA/Inside Legal 2014 Technology Purchasing Survey3, 35% of participants reported that they had purchased Cloud storage (e.g., Dropbox, Box, ShareFile or OneDrive) in the last 12 months. However, only 17% plan to make Cloud storage purchases in the next 12 months. A wholesale conversion to Cloud storage is not in the works in the legal sector. At many firms, files will remain on-premises, behind the firm firewall, for years to come.

What this means is that mobile solutions must support sharing of files stored in a myriad of repositories, both on-premises and in the Cloud. Files may be stored in Windows shares, SharePoint, or WorkSite on-premises, or in NetDocuments, OneDrive, Box, or Dropbox in the Cloud. Files may be on-premises this quarter and be migrated to Box next quarter. To the mobile professional, where the files are stored must be transparent. All that matters to the user is that file sharing on a mobile device is fast and easy. Therefore, IT needs one mobility solution which lets mobile users share files no matter where they are stored.

–Maureen

  1. Gartner CIO Agenda Report 2013, p. 8; http://www.gartner.com/imagesrv/cio/pdf/cio_agenda_insights2013.pdf
  2. Everest Group Cloud Adoption Survey 2013, p. 9; http://www.everestgrp.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/2013-Enterprise-Cloud-Adoption-Survey.pdf
  3. 2014 International Legal Technology Association/InsideLegal Technology Purchasing Survey, p.6; http://insidelegal.typepad.com/files/2014/08/2014_ILTA_InsideLegal_Technology_Purchasing_Survey.pdf