Category Archives: jobs

Law Clerk Connection – Legal Work Marketplace

Law Clerk Connection

Law Clerk Connection

Recently I ran accross Law Clerk Connection – a marketplace in which “clerks” (and presumably paralegals and maybe lawyers) can connect with “lawyers” (and perhaps small law firms or small companies) that need work done. In other words, those who need work connect with those who need work done. Readers will remember that I’ve documented attempts to bring such a marketplace to life, including Lawrex – a referral trading site created by my collaborator and blogging subject Krieg .

The founder of Law Clerk Connection, Laurel Edgeworth, who studied both anthroplogy and business, describes it as an attempt to supplant a bad business model with a good one (sound familiar?). Specifically, says Ms. Edgeworth

The traditional model of the prestigious big firm with high over-head has actually begun to stifle the firm’s ability to compete. Companies that could anticipate changes in the market environment and change their model to adapt have survived and succeeded. What I found in studying those shape-shifting companies was that they actually scaled-back their workforce, automated, and diversified. The difference: quick and agile beat out large and cumbersome.

A good observation and well phrased. But will it play in Peoria? The ABA Journal will be carrying a piece on the site and surely it will get at least some interest from various quarters around the country. I’m as eager to find out what happens as you are.

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 :-)

I wish I’d written that!

Don't Stop Swimming ...

Don't Stop Swimming ..

 

Hilarious and true: All the Depressing Info We Could Find on Your Future … In One PlaceThe Shark, a blog by Cal Law (California’s legal source according to its ads), posted an excellent and truly useful chart summarizing the layoffs, summer non-hires, and other good news flooding out of the legal industry and right into the brains of law students.  And the comments are as worthwhile as the post itself. I would subsribe to this blog just for the humor value; their motto is “Don’t stop swimming, it’s law school.” Ain’t that the truth!

Recent Twitter posts from The Shark

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.