Category Archives: finanancial

it’s about time (and billing)

Its About Time (and Billing)

It's About Time (and Billing)

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Chrometa - Automated Timekeeping

Join me for this complimentary webinar about time and billing

Thursday, June 18, 2009
2:00 PM Eastern/1:00 PM Central/12:00 PM Pacific
sponsored by Chrometa

Lawyers underestimate their time by 25% due to bad recording habits, disorganization, and bad management. Enroll in this complimentary webinar and learn how to:

- Capture activities that you’ve been missing
- Create a back-up for time-keeping purposes
- Find out what you do most (and least); and
- Maximize billiable time by minimizing waste

Have your questions answered live by our panel.
Mazy Hedayat – Legal technology writer and practicing attorney
Kristi Royse – Speaker and legal time management and billing expert
Brett Owens – Software entrepreneur, CEO and co-founder, Chrometa

Sign up here.

ABA TechShow: The Video

Live from TechShow 2009 ...

Live from TechShow 2009 ...

 

Thought I’d share some choice video from TechShow 2009 featuring all 4 of the Best of Show winners that I wrote up in TechnoLawyer, plus interviews with some of my heroes such as Bob Ambrogi, Jay Funeberg, and Kevin O’Keefe, as well as sightings of legal blogging all-stars like Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighelle. I’m still excited.  

 

See related videos here and find me on YouTube as practicehacker

ABA TechShow 2009 – Short and SaaSy

Were the ABA Damnit!

We're the ABA Damnit! We own you!

This was my 10th year at ABA Technology Show in Chicago. This year was particularly cool.  Here’s why:

Meeting The Heavies: To me, seeing people like Dennis Kennedy, Tom Mighelle, Bob Ambrogi, Jim Calloway, Kevin O’Keefe, Brett Burney, Andy Atkins, Jay Foonberg (!) and the rest of my pretend blog friends … I mean pretend LinkedIn friends … is like reconnecting with long lost relatives. Exciting and a little intimidating. But all of them were really great and down to earth. Except that Kennedy. Such a prima donna. I kid, I kid.

Meeting Canadians: Who can forget meeting the Great Librarian of Upper Canada! Beat that. Then there was Phil of the Future (my name for him), Steve Matthews (nice guy), Brett Burney (I think he’s Canadian), Dominic Jaar (vive la Quebec libre!), the boys from Clio (or as I called them, the Booth Babes), and a host of other talent from the Great White North. It was great to meet you all: now go back where the ice doesn’t melt until July.

Technology Becoming Accepted: This year for the first time in memory I noticed a preponderance of grey hairs and the careful gait of partners scoping out potential buys for their offices.  This was not the brash, flash-in-the-pan TechShow of the late-90′s in which the Internet was decried as a fad.

SaaS, Saas, and more Saas: Software as a service was all over the place, and by next year it will be pervasive. This year I was knocked out by the number and variety of kick-ass SaaS providers at the show including Clio, RocketMatter, and VLO Tech. Clio was my hands-down favorite for a number of reasons – I intend to use it in my own practice. Whatever your cup of tea, the idea of throwing away the IT department in favor of the Cloud is gaining traction fast.

Less is … Less: One lamentable fact about this  year’s show – there was less of it than I’ve seen in a long time. Another casualty of the economy I’d say, but we shouldn’t overlook the fact that many legal technology vendors have been slaves to profit instead of boosters for innovation and the slow economy is making it painfully apparent what a royal screw job they’ve been giving lawyers all these years. Many players couldn’t make it ? Good riddance to bad company.

Other than that however, it was a great experience as always and one that I heartily recommend to one and all. If you haven’t been to TechShow, go there. If you have, come back. A splendid time is guaranteed for all.

For more coverage see my SmallLaw Column in TechnoLawyer.

Check out Twitter coverage of TechShow.

As always, I’d love your thoughts. E-mail me at mhedayat[at]mha-law.com or tweet me @practichacker.

ttyl :-)

Oh, the humanity!

law firm layoffs continue ...

law firm layoffs continue ...

I just discovered a blog (I refuse to say “blawg”) called Lawshucks that’s done a really impressive job of tracking the carnage created by big-firm layoffs (now a weekly announcement). Here is a set of quick links to their well-designed graphical representations

Follow this link to see the whole post.  Once you sneak a peek you may wonder, as I did, whether these high-profile layoffs are merely normal attrition; or the result of outsourcing; the economic downturn; an excuse to shed sub-standard performers? Or were there really just too many lawyers to begin with? Maybe these big firms have really been bottom-heavy, lumbering organizations and law schools should have applied the breaks years ago when everybody in the industry saw this coming? Any chance of that?

still a bargain at $1,000/hr

Who says lawyers can’t get good work these days? Take this piece for instance from the ABA Journal:

Kirkland & Ellis Seeks Fee of $18.50 a Minute for Bankruptcy Work

Posted Jan 28, 2009 By Debra Cassens Weiss

Kirkland & Ellis has requested a fee of $1,110 an hour in a corporate bankruptcy, a possible record amount, according to one expert. The hourly rate breaks down to $18.50 a minute, Bloomberg reports. The law firm is seeking the fee for its representation of titanium dioxide-maker Tronox Inc. Two other law firms are seeking nearly as much, requesting hourly rates in excess of $1,000, according to the story. They are Sidley Austin, in the restructuring of the Tribune Co., and Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, representing Circuit City. Bankruptcy law professor Lynn LoPucki of the University of California at Los Angeles told the wire service that fees for lawyers and other professionals in bankruptcy cases are growing at four times the rate of inflation. “As the economy gets worse, the bankruptcy lawyers are charging more,” LoPucki told Bloomberg. “It seems that each month one sets a new record for hourly billing rates. $1,110 is, to my knowledge, a record for the debtor’s bankruptcy counsel.”

And you thought the economy was having problems!

NextFest 2008 – Twitter Posts

As promised here, below are my Tweets from the Chris Anderson presentation entitled The Future of Free. You can also follow me on Twitter to stay plugged in or to see more updates.

Where Business Is Headed?

10:00AM Sitting in the front row listening to The Future of Free; Chris Anderson discussing supply and demand on the Internet and how to get value by giving things away

10:09AM Our language reflects what we think of the concept of free in that there is both “good” free (liberation) and “bad” free (come-on) but there is no “free” lunch (so to speak)

10:14AM The different types of “free” that make up the freeconomy

Cross-Subsidy: see King Gillette and the disposable razors. It’s about loss leaders; give-a-ways; disposable products

Too Cheap To Meter: See Moore’s Law of Diminishing Costs – ever-cheaper inputs yield ever more complex products that can be made for next to nothing; telephones, gas, electricity, computer memory, computing power, Internet bandwidth

Ad-Supported Free: This is 3rd party subsidization – i.e. TV, Radio, Internet – and it is the model of the 20th century (the one we all know)

Allen Kay > developed graphical user interface at Xerox Park > used by Apple and MS Windows > lead to Tim Berners Lee and HTML > gave us the WWW >  what’s next?

10:38AM Moore’s Law leads to novel and “wasteful” ways to use technology – which can change everything – the Internet is all about waste, new ideas, frequent failure, occasional successes, and the cycle

Technologists have only one legitimate job >> make it cheap and fast then get out of the way and let the crowd decide how to use it. Don’t try to tell us what to do because you can’t see the forest for the trees.

10:48AM The rule in the “free” Internet economy … marginal cost = zero, so in order to make money you must give it away in exchange for the new currencies of attention and reputation [the Internet leads the way here]

Attention = links

Reputation = page rank

The new paradigm: give away 100 to covert 1 and still cover your costs

10:57AM In the Q&A session Mr. Anderson answered my question about converting groups of professionals and other scarcity-based “knowledge workers” like Attorneys, CPA’s, Physicians, etc.

things your cell phone can’t do .. yet

from Read/Write/Web comes .. a glimpse into the future

 

Universal (Geo) Tagging

Take a picture. Add comments. Your phone will automatically tag the picture  and send itto a central online location like Flickr. Others can find your picture using its location or tag and cross-reference it on a  map. Bye-bye privacy …

 

Instant Information

Your phone will soon be able to provide background information on pretty much anything. Better yet, assuming that a sufficiently large photo-tag database develops, your phone will be able to recognize the object in question automatically and retrieve the right information.

 

Recommendations on Demand

You want to go to a certain restaurant or see a movie. Do you know anyone who’s been there?, seen it, or done it? Soon you’ll be able to find out immediately and search for their recommendations and reactions.

 

Proximity-Based Contacts

Friends and colleagues  in your vicinity will be detected automatically. You can  contact them  right away to set up that long-overdue meeting.

 

Cash, Credit, or iPhone?

Walk into a store and choose the credit card icon to communicate securely with the register via Blue Tooth or Wi-Fi. The transaction is secured via biometrics (fingerprints, retinal scan, etc.).

 

The Demise of Paper

Get receipts and business cards on your phone via Bluetooth or Wifi; they will also be automatically uploaded and backed up online. Enhance and annotate the information with instant access to online sources keyed to your subject as well.

 

Critical Data on Demand

What’s better than keeping personal information on a flash-drive for emergencies? Keeping it on your phone so you can access it anytime.

 

Deals, Deals, Deals

Retailers can now track your location and send competing deals to your attention – before you buy from Toys R Us, consider this offer from KB Toys for instance. The possibilities are limitless.