Fastcase logo

Time to get your Boolean search skills up to snuff, with Fastcase.

Two items to add to your calendar, each from companies that are State Bar of Arizona member benefit providers (see the complete list here):

1. On Thursday, Oct. 20 (10:00 a.m. MST), Fastcase offers its “Introduction to Boolean (Keyword) Searches (2016),” which is part of your legal research member benefit.

2. And on Tuesday, October 18, 2016 (11:00 a.m. PT | 2:00 p.m. ET), Clio offers a free webinar titled “The Shift to Mobile Legal Services.”

As Clio describes:

Clio logo

Mobile + lawyering? Yes, say Clio.

Mobile devices have fundamentally transformed consumer behavior across a number of industries—and legal is no exception. Today’s legal client expects on-demand service and a seamless client experience, and modern lawyers are harnessing mobile technology to help deliver. Are you? Join us to see how attorneys can utilize smartphones in their everyday practice to great benefit, and how to address the inherent security concerns that come from mobile lawyering, including:

  • Ethics to keep in mind when accessing client data in public
  • How to setup your mobile phone for secure access
  • What apps to choose for legal practice, including a sneak peek at Clio’s new app
  • How to protect yourself and your clients while practicing on the go

(These are the same folks who brought you the well-regarded Clio Cloud Conference. Read about it here.)

fastcase logoYesterday, I was pleased to see the announcement of some high legal honors. The occasion was the naming of this year’s Fastcase 50.

Not sure what that is? Here’s how the company describes the honor:

“The Fastcase 50 for 2015 highlights entrepreneurs, innovators, and trailblazers—people who have charted a new course for the delivery of legal services. In law firms—including some of the nation’s largest—with new delivery models, legal tech startups, legal publishers, academia, and the judiciary, these pioneers are giving the world a first look at what’s next for law and technology.”

The complete list is here (and how helpful that it includes links to the honorees’ Twitter accounts, where applicable!):

It would be easy to assume that such an honor is part of the legal research company’s marketing outreach. Because, of course it is that.

But Fastcase clearly puts substantial thought into locating folks who are on the forward edge of legal innovation. The “winners” do not occupy one narrow niche of the legal profession that might benefit the Fastcase bottom line. As I read about this year’s Fastcase 50 honorees, I could see that they are thinkers and doers who run the gamut in our profession. Many are practicing lawyers, while others are judges, law professors, entrepreneurs, and general rabble-rousers. Because, holy crap, the profession needs its rabble roused.

So I have three suggestions:

  1. Look now at the list of this year’s recognized folks. I was pleased to see how many I have previously spotted (and followed) in past years as cool thinkers worth knowing. And then there are the others, whom I look forward to learning more about.
  2. Then click the links at the top of that page to read about the Fastcase winners going back to 2011. I think you’d agree that, troubled as it may be, the legal profession has a deep bench of talented people who are committed to making it flourish.
  3. Choose at least five of those innovators to begin following, on Twitter and anywhere you can. (I followed more than five, but my capacity to engage with awesomeness may be greater than yours. Just sayin’.)

And if you have suggestions for other legal innovators I should be following, tell me at @azatty or at arizona.attorney@azbar.org. Let’s build that deep bench, and a farm system, to boot.

Congrats and thank you to everyone at Fastcase, including its innovative CEO Ed Walters and its President, Phil Rosenthal.

Fastcase 50 header logo

Fastcase logoSome easy watching for your Monday.

Fastcase has been a free member benefit of State Bar of Arizona members since, well, for years really.

Never ones to rest on their laurels, the Fastcase folks have created a video—90 seconds long—to urge you attorneys to make use of the member benefit.

An aficionado of digital presentations, I’m pleased to see that the Fastcase people have used Prezi (I’m pretty sure) to create their offering. Here it is:

Let me know if it pushes you over the edge and gets you to try it.

NABE Luminary Award given to Arizona Attorney Magazine, State Bar of Arizona

2012 Luminary Award, Arizona Attorney Magazine

Last Friday, October 12, 2012, Arizona Attorney Magazine received a Luminary Award at a national conference in Denver. Given by the Communications Section of the National Association of Bar Executives (NABE), the award “recognizes excellence in bar association communications by honoring the outstanding communications projects of the past year.”

NABE is an affiliate of the American Bar Association.

In each of the six competition categories, the Section gives awards in three categories of bar associations: large, medium and small. Our Bar—the State Bar of Arizona—is in the large-bar category.

A complete list of winners is here.

We won a Luminary in 2001 and in 2009. But as the challenges stacked up against print magazines grow, success this year is especially welcome.

Congratulations to our stellar staff and our talented Editorial Board, all of whom go above and beyond to produce a magazine that excels. And kudos to all of our great NABE colleagues on magazines and in communications departments all across the country. (Thank you also to the terrific folks at Fastcase, who sponsor the Section awards.)

What follows is the news from NABE (including the terrific judges’ comments about our magazine; I bolded that part!).

Actors have the Oscars. Advertisers have the Clios. Bar association communicators have the Luminaries.

REGULAR PUBLICATIONS

  • (Small Bar) DCBA Brief – The Journal of the DuPage County Bar Association Submitted by Jacki Hamler, Financial Manager Judge’s Comment: A truly impressive volunteer-written publication, the content of which is better than many state bar journals. This is a “by lawyers, for lawyers” magazine, and you can tell the contributors and editors bring tremendous energy and dedication to its production.
  • (Medium Bar) San Diego Lawyer – San Diego Bar Association Submitted by Karen Korr, Communications Director Judge’s Comment: Kudos! This publication is truly outstanding. Graphics, layout and design are superb. Articles are well-written and edited, and the publication features an eclectic mix of information that is informative and entertaining, in keeping with the mission of the publication. Congratulations on producing a highly professional publication! 
  • (Large Bar) Arizona AttorneyState Bar of Arizona Submitted by Tim Eigo, Editor, Judge’s Comment: Arizona Attorney continues to be the most innovative and interesting state/local bar publication in the country, and it has to be one of the most profitable. Tim Eigo’s embrace of new media has informed his approach to the magazine in an enlivening way, and Karen Holub’s remarkable design work is arresting but not distracting – her illustrations help tell, but never overwhelm, the story. And the ads, good gawd, the ads! Just an inspiring model of excellence from stem to stern.

SPECIAL PUBLICATIONS

  • (Small Bar) The Annual Membership Directory – Nashville Bar Association Submitted by Nikki Gray, Director of Communications Judge’s Comment: This directory clearly meets its goal and provides information in an easy-to-use format. For the editor/producer to be able to jump into this project and quickly create and invent the process, layouts, and design is truly amazing.
  • (Medium Bar) “Welcome to Your State Bar of Nevada” (new attorney orientation kit)  – State Bar of Nevada Submitted by Lori Wolk, Programs & Services Manager and Jennifer Smith, Publications Manager Judge’s Comment: Nevada’s approach to welcoming new attorneys to the practice of law is a perfect example of bar excellence. This welcome packet is visually appealing, innovative and has a wealth of pertinent information for new lawyers.
  • (Large Bar) “The North Carolina Constitution Explained” (publication for high school students and teachers) – North Carolina Bar Association Submitted by Anne Strickland, Assistant Director of Communications, Publications & Print Media Judge’s Comment: As a wife of a schoolteacher, this publication proves to be such a valuable resource to the intended audience. In fact, I found some of the “explanations” very valuable! Overall, I think it’s a great publication, certainly worthy of recognition.

ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS

  • (Small Bar) New Matter (monthly e-newsletter) – The Chester County Bar Association, New Matter Committee Submitted by Wendy C. Hoffman, Executive Director Judge’s Comment: I was very impressed with the quality and breadth of content in New Matter. Clearly the editorial board and staff work to address topics that are timely and topical. Additionally, I found the Uberflip layout easy to use and it was very well branded. The design is simple and clean. New Matter also has a very high readership, so it would appear that moving to an electronic format has been a very positive benefit for members.
  • (Medium Bar) This Week at the Bar (weekly e-bulletin) – San Diego County Bar Association Submitted by Karen Korr, Communications Director Judge’s Comment: San Diego’s e-publication has a clean, uncluttered design and provides its readers with targeted messages that are easy to scan. The content is excellent and I admire the staff’s ability to solicit and edit such solid content, including a weekly President’s Message, under such time constraints. The publication appears to be very effective, with online registrations up and less emails sent overall.
  • (Large Bar) OSBA Report Online (case digest e-bulletin delivered in a daily or weekly format) – Ohio State Bar Association Submitted by Nina Corbut, Director of Publications Judge’s Comments: The Ohio State Bar’s online report with case summaries, legal and association news, events and job openings is an extremely well-designed, content-rich, and targeted electronic publication. The ability to customize the interaction with the Ohio State Bar, including the type and frequency of content received, is an amazing member benefit. The staff’s editorial skills and ability to deliver case summaries up to six weeks sooner than a print publication are another invaluable member benefit. The publication is easy to navigate and a pleasure to browse.

PUBLIC RELATIONS

  • (Small Bar) Central Texas Wildfire Legal Response Team Free Legal Clinics (campaign to assist Central Texas wildfire evacuees with their legal problems) – Austin Bar Association, Communications Department Submitted by Kat Hinson, Director of Communications Judge’s Comment: This is an excellent example of crisis communications at its best. From recruiting volunteer attorneys to getting the word out to the public on where to seek help, the Austin Bar Association not only met but exceeded the need for legal help in the time of disaster. An effective public relations campaign is measurable by coverage by the media, but this was not only effective but really was able to help lots of people, evidenced by the need to expand the clinics as the disaster progressed. A stellar job and a model for all – showcasing attorneys at their best and having a plan to help in a disaster.
  • (Medium Bar) Why Lincoln Was a Lawyer (community outreach program which included attorneys speaking in elementary classrooms) – Indiana State Bar Association, Young Lawyers Section Submitted by Carissa Long, Assistant Director of Communications Judge’s Comment: The Indiana State Bar Association’s submission is some of the best PR I have seen recently, and not just for a legal submission, for its all-around excellence. The quality of the communication and design, the honing of the message, and an excellent and diverse collection of support materials, is all spot-on. The photo documentation within the classrooms is excellent and continues to carry on the message. This is a great example of a thoroughly researched and developed idea that is well implemented, and it should be used as an example for other bars. Excellent, excellent work!
  • (Large Bar) Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yah! Civics Resources for Texas Students and Teachers (interactive web-based project to assist Texas students in preparing for the new Texas Essential Knowledge & Skills (TEKs) standards) – State Bar of Texas, Communications Division Submitted by Kelley Jones King, Deputy Executive Director Judge’s Comments: The State Bar of Texas’s Oyez, Oyez, Oh Yay! program is a clever and successful civics resources initiative that is well-branded, catchy, educational, and wide-reaching. It is a fun rendition of important educational information that is well placed and promoted. The use of branded media and swag is effective and memorable. The brand and message are cohesive, well-communicated, and engaging. This is an exciting program and a great example of effective public relations and good design that show off the great concept and thoroughly researched and executed message. I love this program for its legal and educational successes as well as its PR and marketing successes. It is exemplary.

MARKETING

  • (Small Bar) Electronic Communications Campaign for a Collection of Events- Montgomery Bar Association Submitted by Jim Mathias, Director of Marketing, Communications & Public Affairs (and including Nancy R. Paul, Jack Costello & George Cardenas) Judge’s Comment: The online Member Resource Center defines a useful Bar member interactive experience and is so elegant. I wish the websites for every conference that I attend were as straight-forward and useful as this bar’s Bench-Bar webpage.
  • (Medium Bar) 2012 Solo & Small Firm Conference Social Media Marketing Campaign – Indiana State Bar Association Submitted by Carissa Long, Assistant Director of Communications Judge’s Comment: A very detailed and strategic execution of a marketing plan via social media channels and nice signage. Definitely one to copy!
  • (Large Bar) Membership Marketing Materials for Lawyers, Law Students and Paralegals – North Carolina Bar Association Submitted by Anne Strickland, Assistant Director of Communications, Publications & Print Media Judge’s Comment: Excellent campaign, messaging and layout. I was engaged throughout both pieces in their entirety. This is an example of branding consistency done right

WEBSITES

  • (Small Bar) Kane County Bar Association, Website Committee Submitted by Jan Wade, Executive Director (on behalf of the KCBA Website Committee) Judge’s Comment: Great website for a small bar. I particularly liked the splash photos that mixed current as well as historical bar pictures. There’s plenty of content available without having to login. I especially liked the history page for content. Overall, I like the way this website works.
  • (Medium Bar) San Diego County Bar Association Submitted by Karen Korr, Communications Director Judge’s Comment: I thought this was a great design. I liked the hub concept with the various groups on the outside and the connection point in the center. I particularly liked the use of black and white photos. These days, that makes it stand out. Throw in the fact that they change to color when your mouse passed over (just like in the Wizard of Oz!) and it’s a great design. I also liked that they didn’t try to cram too much on the homepage. Users can access a lot through the tabs without making the front page messy.
  • (Large Bar) State Bar of Georgia, Submitted by Sarah Coole, Director of Communications (on behalf of the SBG Communications Department) Judge’s Comment: This is a very appealing, well organized, and informative website, without being cluttered.  They’ve incorporated a great use of color and graphics and I thought it was a wonderful idea to have a calendar appear on every page. I also liked that the page is full screen. Great job!

Do you want One Really Good Idea Every Day? Who doesn’t?

That is the genius behind a blog from the folks at Attorney at Work. They have stumbled on the brainy notion that busy people may skip all kinds of content, even if it’s valuable. But if you promise to provide one genuinely good thing once a day—and then leave them the hell alone—people may sign on. Hence, their cheeky six-word motto.

And so I did. And I haven’t been sorry.

And it was yesterday, therefore, where I read an insightful post regarding the new Android app for the Fastcase legal research tool. You should read it.

Catherine Sanders Reach

The post was (very well) written by Catherine Sanders Reach, of the Chicago Bar Association. I had the opportunity to meet and learn from Catherine in November 2010, when she presented at a State Bar of Arizona Solo and Small-Firm Conference. At that time, she headed up the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center.

Besides the good writer, the app is also a product worth your attention.

Arizona-admitted lawyers have free access to the Fastcase library, as it is a State Bar member benefit. Given that, there is no reason at all for Android users to pause before giving this new web app a try.

Once you do, let me know what you think. Does it—and Fastcase generally—help to meet your research needs?