60 Sites in 60 Minutes 2000-2015 #ABATECHSHOW

Definitely one of the most popular presentations of TechShow is the last presentation held Saturday morning, entitled 60 Sites in 60 Minutes.  I had a link to the ABA website page which linked to all the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes presentations, but unfortunately, that link now returns an error. :(

So, being a resourceful type, I scoured the interwebs and  below are links I found listing the 60 Sites in 60 Minutes from 2000-2014*.

Please note this year’s TechShow Chair Brett Burney said: “the full list of sites will be available online through the ABA TECHSHOW 2015 website “in a week or so.”  so I included a link to an ABA article which at least discusses the presentation!

















*if you have a link for 2005, 2006 or 2007, please send it to me for inclusion! No amount of scouring seemed to turn up any but partial lists.  TIA.

Bruce M. Cameron

Rural Lawyer: Not Quite Mad Yet

March brings the first of spring’s gentle caresses to the little law office on the prairie and with them comes that mild madness that draws us out of our winter dens and onto the thawing landscape far earlier than prudence would dictate. Now, the heart becomes a bit lighter, lifted out of winter’s gloom; buoyed by the hope that we will be able to get an early jump on all that must be done once summer comes. For it must be a madness that possess us to venture out; March is nothing if not uncertainty – for what was a snowbank yesterday may be mud today and ice tomorrow and a balmy morning breeze can be either a harbinger of an evening’s icy blast or the handmaiden to a sun-drenched afternoon. While this madness may tempt us to greet Ostara sky clad, the prairie March teaches us to approach this turning point in the year systematically and to keep both winter’s outerwear and spring’s gum boots at hand.

Transitions seem beckon protocol and celebration – new years, birthdays, weddings, the seasons are noted and marked in a variety of ways. And yet, too often, the more mundane transitions that are a common place to a law practice go without a trace of pomp (to say nothing of the lack of circumstance) or protocol. Now, it would be madness to suggest that we provide cake and cookies each time we set up a new client file, receive a retainer, complete our monthly accounting, or close out a matter (though I will admit that completing one’s income tax does seem to call for chocolate and single malt) but these events, and the myriad of other transitions that abound in our practices, do call out for some type of protocol; some system to guide us as we mark their occurrence.

Perhaps it is the influence of my pilot training, but here at the little law office at the prairie checklists are the de facto protocol for common transitions. I like checklists for a number of reasons – they are simple (all you need is pen and paper to create a template) they are flexible (changes can be easily made), they are visual (I can see where I am and where I’m going at a glance), they can help prevent that nagging feeling you forgot something, and they are supported by my practice management software (supported, heck, they are built in and can be automated).

The only downside to checklists is that there will be a point when you start to think you might have a few too many and that it is somewhat ridiculous to keep filling them out now that you’ve been in practice for umpteen years now. First, let me go on record as saying there is no such thing as too many checklists (I have 13 pages of checklists for the single engine Cessna I fly and 24 pages for the twin engine Beechcraft and that’s just for the non-emergency stuff) but if it makes you feel better, simply stuff your checklists into a 3 ring binder, call it your risk management manual and send a copy to your malpractice insurance provider; they’ll love you for it and who knows, you might even get a discount on your premium. As for the assumption that experience trumps the checklist – let me point out that the pilots who safely landed their plane in the Hudson credit their success not to their 1000’s of hours of experience, but to their training and to their checklists. They flew their plane by “the book” not by experience.


Andy Peterson

Insanity logic?

I have heard the saying that “Insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result.”

Many on the internet debate who originated that quote or whether one could legally argue the psychological insanity of an individual based on this quote.  I would rather reflect on this as a metaphor and the all too common belief that things will just get better if we ignore them. While similar, but not related, Newton’s First Law of motion states that an object at rest or in motion will continue unless acted upon by an outside force.  A natural motion whether it is physical of fiscal will continue unless a separate act occurs.

Kahuna happens to exists in the middle of one of the greatest statewide madness debacles known to modern history.  Currently ranked 4th worst in the US for the largest state debt at just over $321 billion, Illinois is the epitome of a fiscal challenge which continues down a path of increasing debt.  Almost daily, every newspaper and TV news anchor in the state is reporting on the growing list of critics to the situation and those that don’t want to change.

Too often we are influenced only by the emotion of an issue, but fail to take a rational look at the situation outside of the emotional elements.  No one honestly wants someone to be out on the streets, to question proper fire or police protection, drive on roads that are dangerous, or our children to receive subpar education.  Unfortunately these forms of misrepresentation are the focus of the media and pundits to bolster their ratings or perception to the public.

Everyone is portrayed as needing assistance, but not wanting to give to help the overall cause.   This isn’t about the worthiness of any one department, group or need, but rather a focus on the merit in the long term choice to try to make a change and expect a change to occur.

I believe in a level of integrity that recognizes responsibility for any outcome, which can and will make a difference to everyone.  We don’t need to blame anyone for our challenges, and this realization should be carried into our public sector.  Making the conscious decision to accept this challenge and begin changing for a new tomorrow is the only chance to expect a different outcome.

A true test of character is not whether an individual takes advantage of a situation, but rather if they were given the opportunity to take advantage of a situation and chose not to do so.  Choosing to not taking advantage of the situation and an honest perspective of where we are, will produce a far better outcome in the future.


Jeff Lantz

Understanding the Internet Marketing vs. Internet Presence Difference

In celebration of March Madness, this article addresses a different type of bracket challenge – the importance of beating competitors for top rankings on Google for key search terms.  It also addresses a common (and related) misunderstanding of what qualifies as Internet marketing, and why attorneys sometimes think Internet marketing is not important to their practice.

At our company, we sometimes hear attorneys profess that “Google rankings don’t matter for our firm, because we get all our clients from referrals.” When we check Google, we often find that the websites for these attorneys are shown low in the rankings, often 5 or more pages from the first page of the search results on Google.

Typically, these lawyers are not aware of such rankings.  What they do know is that although they have a website, their firm isn’t receiving any calls or new clients as a result.  They therefore conclude that websites aren’t effective for new client generation for their practice, since the only new clients they are receiving are from referrals.

How Important are High Rankings for Generating Clicks and Website Visits?

In about 58-70% of searches, users click on a link on the first page of the search results.  This percentage climbs to over 90% when the first three pages of the search results are considered.  Users rarely go past the first three pages in the search results unless they are searching for something very specific.

Even on the first page of the search results, being listed in the top spot in the organic (non-paid) listings is significant.  First position listings generally have an average Click Through Rate (CTR) of about 30%, while the second and third place listings on the first page have CTRs of approximately 15% and 10%, respectively.  This means that the first 3 listings on the first page of the search results receive about 50% of all clicks.[1]

Internet Marketing vs. Internet Presence

If links to your firm’s website are not appearing on the first three pages of the search results for key search terms, your firm is easily missing out on more than 90% of potential clients who may be searching for your firm’s services.  Although your firm may have a website, low search engine rankings are the online equivalent of advertising on billboards on highways where very few people drive.

While your website may be helpful in promoting your firm to those to whom your firm has been recommended, a key marketing component that should be associated with your website is missing – high rankings to connect potential clients searching for your services to your firm’s website.  Thus while your firm has an Internet presence with its website, the website is not effective for Internet marketing with respect to potential clients searching for the services provided for your firm.

Low rankings in turn lead to the Internet marketing fallacy noted above – that websites are not helpful for a firm’s practice because the firm is not receiving any calls from potential clients searching on the Internet for the firm’s services.

What Should You Do?

If you have not done so recently, check your website’s rankings based on terms prospective clients are likely to use to see where your website ranks.  Then, if your website is not ranking highly, consider developing an SEO program designed to increase the rankings of your website for key search terms relevant to your firm’s practices.

[1] See, for instance, Google Organic Click-Through Rates in 2014; http://moz.com/blog/google-organic-click-through-rates-in-2014.  There are a number of studies that address CTRs; the above rates are fairly representative of various studies.

David A. Moore

17 Ways to Beat Procrastination

150309 Procratination_quote_IMG_0392In politics, there is the strategy of “deny, deny, deny” when you get in trouble. Many times, the more overwhelmed I get, I start to “delay, delay, delay”.

I am a world-class procrastinator. I can put things off and delay up until the very last minute. But…when it’s crunch time, I can always deliver.

I think that’s part of my problem. I don’t realize some of the negative effects of procrastination, because I do meet deadlines and deliver quality under pressure. I consider myself a “productive procrastinator”.

So it’s early Monday morning as I write this article. But I’m writing it now, only because I received an email this past weekend as a reminder. (So naturally I’d write about procrastination.)

You can train yourself to beat procrastination. Everybody is a little different. Here are a few ideas that have worked me:

1. Morning ritual

When I’m functioning my best, I am usually very consistent with my morning routine. I’m getting up at the same time everyday, listening to a good book, working out, and eating well. Find a consistent routine and stick with it.

2. Clear your work area

When I get overwhelmed, I procrastinate. And messy or cluttered surroundings tend to give me a sense of overwhelm. I can always tell, the messier my desk, the more I procrastinate and the less productive I get.

3. Have a clear plan

Without a plan, you don’t have direction. You can waste tons of time just fiddling with your schedule or trying to figure out where to start. Have a clear plan on the three big tasks for the day (everyday).

4. Eliminate distractions

Shut off email notifications and silence your phone so you don’t hear new texts coming in or the phone ringing. Close your door and get busy. 

5. Beat the clock

Set a timer. A Pomodoro is 25 minutes but set the clock for just 10 minutes and try to complete a task. Gamify your project. Once you get started the 10 minutes will turn into more.

6. Get some fresh air

Get outside, walk, take some deep breaths. Breaking up the routine may give you a kick start.

7. Get some help

Team up with someone. Not only may they be able to help with the workload or creativity, but they will hold you accountable. 

8. Prepare in advance

Have the necessary materials and information gathered in advance. Before it’s time to actually do the task, do all the preparation work. That way, when the time comes, you are ready to go and don’t find yourself distracted.

 9. Break it down

If it’s a bigger project, bite off tiny pieces of it. Do these bite size tasks every day.

 10. No TV

I like to work with noise in the background, usually a TV in my office. It may have a DVR show, the news, or CNBC on the screen. But when I’m having trouble, I must shut off the TV.

11. Power nap

The benefits of napping are clearly documented. Seems very counter-productive but a quick power nap in the afternoon and help you finish strong.

 12. Feel the beat

Crank up the music for a few minutes. Your favorite music can change your mood and energy level. And play it loud! (co-workers would appreciate the use of headphones)

 13. Take a drink

Coffee is the standard go-to. But try some tea too. And, for me, I love a good Red Bull every now and then.

14. Eat something

It doesn’t have to be much. Something as simple as chewing gum or a piece of hard candy can do the trick. I like an apple, banana or crackers.

15. Just do it

Easier said than done. But sometimes you just have to suck it up and JUST DO IT!

16. What’s the downside

If you fail to deliver, what are the consequences? Some are motivated by the fear of failure. Will procrastination have negative financial impact? Or will your personal reputation or credibility suffer? Usually the answer is “Yes”.

17. Reward yourself

Lastly, give yourself a big fat prize for overcoming the procrastination. I won’t give myself a new set of golf clubs for delivering this article, but I will turn on the TV and watch a DVR’d show.

There you have 17 ways to beat the procrastination habit. Are they foolproof? Not hardly, but they certainly help me. Procrastination is part of me and something I find even the most productive people struggle with. But look, I just delivered my article on time and feel great about the rest of my day. Good luck.



Top 8 Things You Can Do to Get Yourself in Trouble with Technology

On March 10, 2015, The TASA Group in conjunction with legal ethics expert Jennifer Ellis and technology consultant Daniel Siegel, presented a free, one-hour interactive webinar presentation for all legal professionals.

Ms. Ellis and Mr. Siegel discussed the steps that should be taken to ensure security while using Wi-Fi, email and the cloud. They also covered: • Confidentiality • Routers and firewalls • Technology risks while traveling • Choosing cloud service providers • Data security while using smart phones and tablets.



#LTNY 2015 – What A Trip!


New York Hilton; LTNY 2015 Expo Hall Entrance, Sponsor/Techs and hallway; The Legal Connection #LTNY15 Lunch Daniel Gershburg & Andrea; Andrea & Christy Burke; Andrea & Ben Schorr & Lisa Solomon

As a professional who has worked virtually for over a decade, when the opportunity to meet with people in real life presents itself – I grab on with both hands!  I am definitely what you would call a “people” person. I like nothing more than to sit down, in a relatively quiet space (with a beverage) and really get to know the attorneys, law firm IT guys (and gals), the administrators and all those IN the trenches getting the day to day work of law firms out the door.

I also attend trade shows like LNTY and ABA TechShow to meet with those who offer services and technology they say helps attorneys, law firm IT peeps and the firm – to literally confirm that they are not clueless when it comes to the basics of having access to attorney-client work product. Believe you me, there are a ton of them out there who think of legal as nothing other than a different ”vertical” and are certain attorneys are clueless and have deep pockets.

Finally, I also like to check out the swag – having produced a report on the funky and fun stuff going on so those who follow me get a good taste of the show I am at. Some of my past LTNY escapades are captured herehere, here, and all the tweets from 2013 here. I was not able to attend 2014 because of the weather and almost didn’t make it this year either!

That said, LTNY 2015 was quite a trip!

For many years I have arranged a lunch and Expo Tour and this year was no different.  The choice of restaurant was new – Virgil’s BBQ  <– cuz who doesn’t LOVE good BBQ right in the heart of Times Square?! The lunch was delish and certainly not overpriced plus the atmosphere was perfect for our large gathering, which included, another non attorney: David Roden, and NYC area attorneys: Laura Mann, Andrew Barovick, Justin Meyer, Trippe Fried, Karel Karpe and Daniel Gershburg. After feasting on BBQ – we walked the 10 blocks to the Hilton en masse and through the crowd of Elmos in Times Square and got ready to tour the Expo Hall.

Although my swag gathering efforts were hampered this year due to an unforeseen “business opportunity” and apologies again to my cohorts in swagging: Laura Mann, Justin Meyer, Trippe Fried and Karel Karpe for my not hanging with you and having more fun, I was still able to gather some of the best swag being offered, including:  2015Swag

@Payne_Group multi dongle connector; a really nice pen by BoardVantage; rubber gavel stress reliever by Legal Workspace; and a teeny tiny speaker with tremendous volume and sound by iDiscovery Solutions. Missing from the pix is the Perfect Law lion stuffed animal -which I gave to @Justin_meyer to give to his baby boy and the daegis duck which I received via Fed Ex after the pix was taken <-Thanks James!!!!

Wrapping it all up, it is always a lot of fun running into New York City and meeting up with people I normally only interact with online (Hi Bob!); and I truly spent most of the day enjoying myself and the entire LTNY experience in 2015.

For those who care to join me next year – LTNY is back in the cold bleak winter of 2016 – mark your calendars now February 2-4, 2016 at the Hilton. The Legal Connection sponsored LTNY Lunch AND Expo Tour will be on Wednesday, February 3rd and I’ll post a link for registration as the year draws to a close.



The Rural Lawyer – A Techie Valentine To Me

February has announced itself with cold winds, wet snow and an absolute disregard to January’s rather mild precedent. Which hurries my steps along when I venture out of the little law office on the prairie and away from my Keurig – a wondrous fount of coffee, tea, and other warm delights; given the time of year, perhaps the most vital piece of technology I currently own. But I come not to sing the praises of the various bits of tech that keep me and the LLOotP working like a reasonable oiled machine or to wax poetic over my found infatuation with open source document management and private cloud software. No this time the love goes out to the work life balance. Work life balance is a bit of a myth out here in the little law office on the prairie for both work and life tend to blend one into the other for better or worse. But somewhere in this mélange, there are those times when me needs to take precedence. So, on the odd occasion I find it necessary to kickback at take some time to slow down in order to speed up. Now I’m not one for taking a spa day or heading out to buy shoes – farm equipment is an entirely different thing; I’ve been known to take a day, drive 300 miles just to look at a mower (now when I talk mower, I’m talking 100 horsepower and 14 feet of cutting width). I prefer to take my me time and learn about something entirely unnecessary. To that end, I fly planes and grow orchids. But if I really want to earn a few points, I’ll tackle something on the honey-do list (yet another use for Evernote). For those of you who’d like to play along and fit a little more life into your work there is a perfect opportunity heading your way. On February 14th, turn your tech off, let your social media go quiet, tell your staff you won’t be in the office, and spend the day getting to know yourself and your family again – remember a sitter and dinner out may earn you bonus points. And now for something completely off-topic – have you ever wondered how to check if your marketing efforts are working as hard as they can? Then Stacy Clark’s article Are your law firm’s Marketing Efforts Being Sabotaged? is for you. She provides a 10 question test to help you identify some of the common weaknesses in your marketing strategy, things like: -               Is your staff involved in your marketing efforts? -               Are you staying in touch with previous clients? -               Are you keeping your website up to date? -               What’s your value-add? It’s worth the time to google the article and to take the entire test. As solos, it’s hard to keep all the balls in the air and this may help you focus on your efforts as you start those 2015 marketing efforts. Speaking of updating your website, 2015 should be the year that you implement that responsive design website and stop losing those mobile eyeballs. While you’re at it, take the time to develop high quality content; once you get those new eyeballs, the very least you can do is give them something to read and you can stop worrying about keeping your content above the fold; mobile users are used to scrolling down. So as long as your content is compelling you are good to go long. By the way, the stodgy old law firm website has outlived its usefulness; try experimenting with typography. Google Fonts can give your website some visual impact without breaking the bank, Bruce M. Cameron Having decided that going to law school and opening a solo law practice would be a sufficient response to the male midlife crisis, Bruce now practices Collaborative Family Law and Estate Planning in rural Minnesota. When not in the law office, he can be found on his small farm where he and his wife are at the beck and call of a herd of horses, a couple of cats, a few dogs and one extremely spoiled parrot. http://www.rurallawyer.com

Jeff Lantz

Love and Website Security – WordFence and RSJoomla!

It’s February, love is in the air, and I’m a sucker for …. website security.

We all know that we need to use secure passwords for website administration login. Additionally, minimizing plugins (for WordPress) and extensions (for Joomla) should also be done, as each plugin or extension can serve as a pathway to core file manipulation. As a result, plugin and extension addition should be done very carefully.

There are, however, two great security applications that I would strongly suggest implementing – Wordfence (www.wordfence.com) if your site is on WordPress, and RSFirewall from RSJoomla! ( https://www.rsjoomla.com/joomla-extensions/joomla-security.html) if your site is on Joomla.

Why I Love WordFence and RS Firewall

Key features of Wordfence and RSFirewal! include:

Country blocking (done by IP address – my favorite) – Unless your firm has specifically-targeted traffic outside the US, consider blocking all non-US traffic (Hint: – those visits from Russia shown in your Google Analytics account probably aren’t from prospective clients).

  • With country blocking enabled, those trying to access your website (or your CMS) from blocked countries will essentially see a blank page informing them that the desired page cannot be accessed.  While IP blocking is not perfect, it can make it significantly harder for those outside the US to break into your site.
  • Malware detection – both of these applications have different protocols for scanning and detecting known malware.
  • Core file change detection – if the core files of your website have been changed, you’ll want to know about such change immediately.  RSFirewall!, for instance, sends e-mail notifications to website owners immediately when core files and other significant changes are made.
  • IP blocking in response to brute force attacks and attacks designed to shut down a website by overwhelming a server – these applications recognize “brute force” attempts to run scripts to hack into a website (brute force attacks consist of trying different usernames and passwords until the right ones are identified).
  • Additional firewall protection – both applications contain additional features and options to better “lock down” your site to prevent core file manipulation.  For instance, in addition to a username and password, access to a website’s CMS can also be restricted so that only whitelisted IP addresses can gain CMS access.


This Valentine’s Day show your website how much you care by helping to protect it and keep it more secure. The current, undiscounted cost of Wordfence is $39/year, and the current, undiscounted cost of RSJoomla! is $56/year. These costs are minimal in comparison to potential disruption and development costs resulting when a site is hacked (while there can be no guaranty that a site will not be hacked, each of these applications will make it harder to do so).

Both sites offer discounts for multiple sites, and discounts are also usually available for multiple year purchases. Before ordering, do a search for coupon codes, as you may be able to purchase an application for even less than the listed price.

We do not have any affiliation or financial connection to Wordfence or RSJoomla; our recommendations are based solely on using these applications for our sites and those of our clients.

Jeffrey Lantz, Esq. is an attorney in Arizona and CEO of Esquire Interactive, a company that helps law firms develop new business through branding, websites and strategic business development. To learn more about Jeffrey, visit: http://www.esquireinteractive.com




David A. Moore

Taking Back Control Over Your Day: 7 Steps to Laser-like Focus

Where are we going wrong?

At the end of day do you sometimes realize it’s 5 o’clock (or 6 or 7?) and you ask yourself, “What happened”?

You’ve been busy all day long doing exactly what needed to be done…answering emails, returning phone calls, going to meetings, reading, writing…yet the you never completed any of the items on your “To-Do” list. Your desk just got messier and the list just got longer.

No matter how hard you work, it seems there is really no end in sight. So how do you take back control of your day?

For me, personally, I try to do too much. I always over estimate how much I can do and how long it will take. My plan is to “knock out this task real quick” and then get back to my daily plan. NEVER HAPPENS. I don’t take my own advice about clearing the workspace, brain dump and time blocking. It’s makes the difference between being busy and being productive.

Dealing with daily chaos is normal.  We all have five or six issues that pop up and we get caught up dealing with them. This could be our own doing or forced upon us by others. In the David Allen – GTD lingo, it means fighting off the URGENT to get to the IMPORTANT.

If you feel overwhelmed or the wheels come off during the day, it’s time to STOP and make a plan. Follow the steps below to take back control and get that laser-focus you need:

1) Brain dump:  Start with a list of everything you want to get done. Get it all out there – start with big ones, then all the small ones. Make a list of your priorities that keep getting pushed back. By taking the time to brain dump, you will find your stress level decrease. Even when the list is overwhelming, you can get a sense of peace once it is written out.

2) Prioritize quickly: You should clearly see some priorities in your list. Focus on the IMPORTANT, not the URGENT. Use the Pareto Principle or the 80/20 Rule. Find the clients, items, projects which deliver the most impact. Devote 80% of your time to these areas.

3) Break it down:  If an item on your list looks more like a project, you should break it down into tasks or activities you need to do. Sometimes, we don’t know where to start, so we don’t do anything. As you get the mini-tasks completed, you will start to feel energized!

4) Pick 3: Your list might be pretty long at this point. That’s OK. Keep it simple. Just pick the three items that you would LOVE to get done. Imagine it was 5 o’clock and you didn’t get anything done today BUT those three tasks. Not a bad days work right? 

5) Set a timer: Now attack one of the three priority items. Use principles of time blocking and Pomodoro. Literally block off chunks of time to devote to the task. The hope is that this will be uninterrupted time. With Pomodoro you work in increments of 25 minutes of laser-like focus and then take a five-minute break. It takes discipline but don’t make excuses. Make it happen.

6) Be anti-social: Let others know you will be unavailable. And unless the building is burning down, you are not to be interrupted for the next 30 minutes, hour, etc. Now the hard part: avoid checking email, answering the phone or texting. No social media, internet browsing or TV. Close your browser if possible, shut off email notifications, silence your phone.

7) Schedule email time: If you’ve never done this, it sounds crazy. But this can make a huge difference in your daily outcomes. When do you normally check email for the first time? If you are like most people, it’s one of the first things you do each day. I promise you that if you will delay checking until 10 o’clock it will change your life. Ultimately, the goal would be to check email only 2-3 times per day with the first being 10 o’clock in the morning and then again late in the afternoon. Try it for one week and you’ll be amazed.

The rest is up to you.

We all have a zillion things we could be doing. And many things we should be doing. But forget about the things you COULD do and pick the items that will have the greatest impact. The rest of it can wait. If you do this on a daily basis, it will absolutely transform you results and mindset.

David Moore is the owner of APG:Legal, a division of Advantage Print Group, a full-service print and marketing services provider to solo, small and mid-sized legal firms. To learn more about David, visit: http://www.apglegalprint.com/