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ACLEA President’s Column – Oct/Nov 2020

Posted By Alexandra Wong, ACLEA President, Tuesday, October 20, 2020
Untitled Document

It’s been several months now since we’ve all had to adjust our program delivery methods/models and to some extent our content. The COVID-19 pandemic has given all of us terrific opportunities to become more creative from a technology perspective. Some of us have even taken on additional technological responsibilities to assist with delivering programs; not something any of us would have anticipated.

With all of our programs in a virtual environment, technology, we know is not perfect. A number of factors can affect the outcome of the final product; internet bandwidth, audio/sound quality and speaker technology knowledge are just some examples.

I wanted to take some time to share with you what we have been doing in Continuing Professional Development (CPD) at the Law Society of Ontario (LSO) and some of the challenges that we are facing.

The availability of accessibility services such as closed captioning is limited with the legal system moving to a virtual platform for the most part and requesting reporter services is a challenge. For one of the LSO CPD’s recent programs, I had to go through several different vendors to try and secure closed captioning services for a program despite several weeks notice; usually, I’m able to secure a Captionist on the first request.

At the LSO CPD, we are very fortunate to have our own Production Services Team. We have relied heavily on the Zoom platform to connect all of our speakers on the backend of our webcasts; in turn, the Zoom feed is sent to our webcast system – Freestone. For the most part, our programs are delivered via live webcast with our speakers presenting from their home/office. There have been some programs where we have hosted speakers in our event space as well. In those cases, a lot of social distancing measures have been implemented to keep staff and speakers safe.  A lot of being aware of public health recommendations in process document creation on my part, but it has proven to be somewhat of a success to date.

Our Production Services Team has been able to ensure all faculty are able to see and hear each other during a program; at the same time, our faculty is able to hear the entire program while connected to Zoom. We do this by using several Zoom Rooms at the same time for each program.

We work with a webcast provider who has been able to help us with our webcast program delivery models and higher than normal virtual attendance numbers. This partnership has allowed us the capability to be creative and innovative, and at the same time, we have been able to live broadcast all of our Fall programs. During our Winter/Spring season, the majority of our programs were rescheduled or shifted to a pre-recorded format, which presented challenges in itself.

A lot of the magic happens behind the scenes from our Production Services Team who makes all the speaker transitions appear seamless from a technology perspective, the end result looks fantastic on the viewer side. At the same time, my Program Delivery Team who is used to having in-person programs has had to adjust and change their processes. They are now “Zoom Room Hopping” to check-in speakers. Not an easy task as some of our programs have over 20 speakers. 

As I write this, LSO CPD has successfully completed 3 full-day programs virtually with all faculty being completely remote with positive feedback from speakers and attendees.

It’s a huge team effort to be able to deliver the programs our members and customers look forward to, more so now that ever. We continue to improve our processes, but look ahead to future programs that will have additional elements as part of the program. For example, our annual Solo and Small Conference, has traditionally had a lot of in-person perks — professional headshots, networking, and exhibit hall on top of the content. We are starting to turn our heads to try to figure out how we can replicate the same experience in a virtual world for them. We’re several months away from the program, but as planners/programmers, we know the earlier you start to plan, the better the end result will be.

It hasn’t been easy to plan and deliver programs in a virtual world, using a hybrid model, but we are all in this for the long haul. I have attended several SIG calls and the sharing of ideas, frustrations, and best practices has been extremely helpful. Always remember, ACLEA members are in this together and we are not alone!   

Stay safe everyone, reach out to each other, and keep up the great work you’ve all be doing!

Tags:  ACLEA President  creativity  technology  virtual environments 

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Ready for the Future?

Posted By Jill Hoefling, Publications SIG Co-Chair, Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I joined ACLEA in 2000, the year also known as “Y2K.” The numeroynm was an abbreviation for the year 2000 software problem related to the formatting and storage of calendar data. Back in the 1960s, computer memory was expensive and scarce, so programmers decided to use a two-digit number to represent the four-digit year. Which wasn’t a problem until, well, the approach of the year 2000. Programmers scrambled to fix the problem and for the most part, things worked okay, but we learned a valuable lesson: when it comes to technology, we always need to be looking ahead.

For the nearly two decades I’ve been around, the Publications SIG has been discussing how to keep our products offerings relevant as technology transforms the legal industry. We know lawyers are typically “late-adopters” of technology, but according to the results of the Wolters Kluwer 2019 Future Ready Lawyer Survey, lawyer use of transformational technologies will double by 20222. The survey of 700 professionals from law firms, corporate legal departments, and business services firms focuses on current state, future priorities, and preparedness in three key areas: tools and technology; client needs and expectations; and organization and talent. The resulting report is a great resource for those of us planning products and programs for lawyers. The key trends expected to impact legal organizations over the next three years are:

  • Coping with increased volume and complexity of information;
  • Emphasizing improved efficiency and productivity;
  • Understanding legal technology of highest value;
  • Meeting changing client and leadership expectations; and
  • Coping with financial issues, including greater competition, new and alternative fee structures, and cost containment pressures.

The free survey report has a great deal of interesting statistics and findings, including how firms currently use foundational, enabling, and transformational technology; the emerging generation gap with transformational technologies; the top reasons new technology is resisted; and much more. I highly recommend checking it out!

Tags:  Publications SIG  Technology 

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Introduction of Boot Camp Scholarship Scheme

Posted By Alexandra Wong, Law Society of Ontario, Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Longstanding member Peter Berge stepped down from ACLEA’s Executive Committee just a few months before he was to become ACLEA’s President. In recognition of his involvement in ACLEA’s Boot Camp, where he has taught both technology and marketing to new members and his countless contributions to ACLEA over the years, not only as a member of the EC, but as co-chair of the Technology SIG, speaker/presenter on many occasions, and above all as a strong advocate of the goals and values of the organization, the EC is pleased to announce the annual “Peter Berge Boot Camp Scholarship”.   

 

This scholarship acknowledges Peter's exceptional and ongoing dedication to ACLEA and recognizes his significant role in our signature member orientation program, the ACLEA Boot Camp.  

 

The scholarship is intended to reflect many of the values that Peter holds dear to his heart – continuous learning, mentoring and giving back to the organization.   

 

We thank Peter for his commitment and generosity to ACLEA.  

 

The scholarship will be in place for the 2018 Mid-Year Meeting.  

 

For further information, contact Laurie Krueger, Executive Director at aclea@aclea.org

  

Tags:  ACLEA  ACLEAMTL  Boot Camp  Executive Committee  Technology 

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Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

Posted By Carmen Hill, Director of Marketing, Connective DX, Thursday, November 17, 2016

ACLEA’s 52nd annual conference in Seattle featured a series of TED-style talks focused on the future and what different aspects of the legal profession and continuing legal education might be like in 2025. This post is based on one of those talks, The Future of Marketing, presented by Carmen Hill.

Is the Future of Marketing Already Here?

By Carmen Hill

 

It’s hard to believe, but by the time 2025 rolls around, it will have been 50 years since the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the right of lawyers to advertise their services in the case of Bates vs. State Bar of Arizona. During that time we’ve seen changes that would have seemed like science fiction: the internet, smartphones, social media, marketing automation… the list goes on and on.

 

Meanwhile, legal marketing evolved (devolved?) into the over-the-top genre of late-night TV and billboard ads that inspired the hit Netflix series Better Call Saul. And it’s safe to say change is only going to accelerate between now and 2025.

Meet the Class of 2025

In 2025, there will be almost 10 more years of new, young lawyers in the field, and many older lawyers will have retired by then. Generation Z is the cohort of six to 18-year-olds that makes up 25% of the U.S. population. In just a few years they’ll account for 40% of all consumers.

 

It almost goes without saying that this will be a generation of digital natives. Lawyers who graduate in 2025 have never experienced life without the internet or Google. They’ve been able to tap an iPhone screen since they were in second grade, and swipe right for “yes” or left for “no” since they were old enough to go on their first date.

 

Meanwhile, millennials, or Generation Y,  are already the largest generation in the U.S. workforce. By 2025 they’ll make up nearly half of it. You may already be sick of hearing about millennials, but ignore them at your peril. More than 70% of millennials are involved in researching or making decisions about what products and services their companies buy (The Next Generation of B2B). And they are far more likely to use digital channels like search engines and social media to make those decisions.

The Future Is Already Here

It’s not just the future of marketing that will be digital; it’s the present. Today, you’re not only competing with other law firms for attention you’re competing with everything else on the internet. The days when you could buy an ad and expect millions of people to see it are long gone. Because at the same time marketers look to technology for new ways to reach consumers, those same consumers are finding new ways to filter them out.

 

First we had the mute button. Then we had TiVo and DVRs. Now, a lot of people—especially younger people—are getting rid of their TV altogether and watching online. Oh, and if you want to reach people online? That’s getting harder too.

 
  • There’s a less than one percent chance that someone will click on your banner ad (Think with Google).

  • And 41% of millennials will never see your ad to start with, because they’re using ad blocking software (Page Fair).

The Generation Gap

Jill Switzer, who writes for Above the Law, says both oldster and youngster lawyers are battling for the same slice of the shrinking pie. One of the “youngsters” is Bryan Wilson, from Fort Worth, Texas: The Texas Law Hawk. He graduated from Texas Tech law school a few years ago, and was voted “Most likely to do a TV commercial.” But he put a millennial twist on that notion: rather than pay big bucks for TV advertising, he made funny videos with his friends and posted them on YouTube.


This Fourth of July-themed ad is one of several that Bryan Wilson has produced. This one alone has had nearly 200,000 views on YouTube.

 

Wilson spent just $500 on his first ad and not a whole lot more than that on the others. But his phone is ringing off the hook. In this recent interview with D Magazine he said his biggest problem right now is that he has too many clients.

 

Others are disrupting not only legal marketing, but also legal services. Joshua Browder, a 19-year-old Stanford University student, launched a chat bot app called DoNotPay (Business Insider). It helps people who can’t afford a lawyer to fight simple legal battles like parking tickets for free. His “robot lawyer” has already beat more than 150-thousand tickets. Joshua Browder isn’t paying for advertising… he’s getting it all for free in the form of media coverage.

So, what’s next?

The Guardian writes that over the next 10 years most marketing will become like Amazon Recommends on steroids. If it creeps you out to have a pair of shoes you saw on Zappos follow you around the internet, just wait till your refrigerator tells you it’s time to stock up on ketchup—or even places the order for you on Amazon. Technology, combined with both big data and small data, will make it possible for marketers to be even more targeted, personalized and automated than we already are.

 

What if lawyer ads appeared on your car dashboard when you have an accident or get pulled over? This is not all that far-fetched. Several years ago Mercedes unveiled its concept of an augmented reality dashboard at the Consumer Electronics Show. And some predict that within only a few years, 90% of cars will be connected to the internet (CNN).

 

Wi-Fi-enabled cars could offer some intriguing opportunities for audience targeting: For example, parents and kids on the way to school or people commuting to work. What if you’re not even driving your car? How does a driverless car talk its way out of a ticket? This is what’s coming, sooner than you think.

Digital Trends You Should Not Ignore

It’s impossible to say for sure what marketing will look like in 2025, but many of the same trends are affecting every business. As we’re already seeing, communication will become increasingly fragmented, broken into smaller bits on mobile devices and social media. Generation Z will be filtering what they choose to see and hear with split-second speed and precision. And it will all be happening all the time.

 

While you’re waiting to see what comes next, there are a few future-friendly things that simply cannot wait.

  1. Make sure your website loads fast. You’ve only got a couple of seconds to show someone why they should stick around.

  2. Make sure your website is mobile-friendly with a responsive design that is easy for visitors to use on any device. If you don’t, site visitors will punish you by leaving, and Google will punish you with a bad search ranking.

  3. Invest in high-quality, valuable content that meets the needs of your prospective clients. Because if you don’t, your competitors else will.

Technology Is Just an Enabler

Regardless of where technology goes, the future of marketing still comes down to people. Nearly 40% of people still choose a lawyer the way they did a century ago: through someone they know (Moses & Rooth). No billboard, TV ad or even viral YouTube video holds a candle to the recommendations of trusted friends, family and colleagues. In short, understand the clients you’re trying to reach. Be helpful. Be interesting. And focus on providing the kind of experiences that clients love, even before they become a client.

 

Tags:  CLE  Marketing  Seattle  Technology 

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Compulsory Technology Programming as part of MCLE

Posted By Heather Elwell, Monday, October 24, 2016

Hello ACLEA!

 

Our CLE colleagues in Florida look to be the first jurisdiction required to navigate compulsory tech programming as part of mandatory CLE.  As described in the article below, Florida attorneys must complete 33 hours of CLE over a three-year period, of which three (3) hours must be an approved technology program. 

 

As an ACLEA member for the past 5 years,  I have been impressed by the significant effort that ACLEA has made to emphasize the importance of technology in our programs and publications for attorneys, as well as in running our own organizations effectively.  The Seattle conference, for example, included a plenary on The Future of Productivity, a deep drive on Reimagining Learning with Microsoft OneNote and Sway, and the famous tech tips and tricks session which focused on the iPad for CLE Professionals.  The upcoming Nashville conference will also walk the technology line with session on Redefining Technology Competence in a 21st Century Law Practice, Website and Search Engine Optimization, and PDF, Word, and Automation – How to Build an Effective Electronic Forms Strategy.

 

With regulators now joining the movement to incorporate technology into CLE,  we can expect technology and innovation to continue to be in the forefront of ACLEA programing.  Please share your experiences below.

 

https://bol.bna.com/florida-is-first-state-to-require-technology-cles/

Tags:  CLE  Florida  Nashville  Seattle  Technology 

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