summer reading

Summer 2018 Legal Tech Reading List

Summer is in full swing and what better time than any to catch up on some much overdue reading. This month our panel shares with us their preferences when it comes to summer legal tech reading.

Our Panelists

Steve Embry (SE), Dennis Kennedy (DK), Natalie Kelly (NK), and Mark Rosch (MR).

Which legal tech blogs are first up in your reading list?

SE: LawSites is usually at the top of my list, assuming you don’t count mine: TechLaw Crossroads. iPhone JD for all Apple related news. Above the Law and 3 Geeks and a Law Blog are always interesting. Law Technology Today always has a lot of good and useful stuff.  For non-legal material, I look at Tim Ferris’ blog and for travel, Johnny Jett and The Points Guy always have good material.

DK: Probably to no one’s surprise, I must confess to my bias in favor of the Law Technology Today blog. The others have suggested good blogs focused on legal tech, but I always encourage people to find blogs focused on technologies that interest you or your clients, on practical aspects of technologies you use (e.g., Ask Dave TaylorHow-to Geek, or John Simek’s “Your IT Consultant”), and trends and developments in tech in general. The cool thing about blogs is finding great blogs and curating your own list of blogs that help you and challenge your thinking. The recommendations of others are a good starting point, but finding your own path is especially rewarding. That said, I have to point people to the always-rewarding Cool Tools blog.

NK: I am usually all over Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites because his information is so current and intriguing. And when I’m interested in what’s going on in the parallel universe of Apple users, I check out Apps in Law by Brett Burney and iPhone JD by Jeff Richardson. Attorney is Work is also a must-read.  Finally, I’d be remiss and would likely miss something if I skipped reading the posts of  Law Technology Today—or LTT as we insiders call it!

MR: To echo the sentiments of some of the other participants, I’m an avid reader of Bob Ambrogi’s LawSites, Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips, Evolve the Law, Sharon Nelson and John Simek’s Ride the Lightning, our own Dennis Kennedy’s blog, Catherine Sanders Reach’s aggregation of blog feeds from Bar association Practice Management Advisors, Aaron Street’s (and Sam Glover’s) Lawyerist, and Steve Embry’s TechLaw Crossroads. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know many of those bloggers through the ABA Law Practice Division. My partner Carole Levitt is a law librarian, so she got me into law librarian blogs like Sabrina Pacifici’s LLRX a long time ago. While not strictly “legal tech” blogs, many like Three Geeks and a Law Blog and Dewey B. Strategic offer useful insight into technologies that are changing the practice of law. I also like to follow “general” technology sites—like Cnet and The Verge—to see what consumer innovations might be applicable to the practice of law.

Who are your “can’t miss” Twitter feeds for legal tech?

SE: Kevin O’Keefe’s material is usually good. Of course, Dennis Kennedy, Dan Lear, Kenneth Grady, Pat Lamb, Elevate, Andrew Arruda. There’s so many its hard to really pick.

DK: The legal tech Twitterverse is great for its generosity and the way people amplify the best Tweets by retweeting, liking, and commenting on them. As a result, following even a few people will give you access to lots of great content and help you build your own list fine-tuned to your interests. I hesitate a little bit on this question because my own interests are a little eclectic, but following @ronfriedmann, @jimcalloway, @danlinna, @inspiredcat, and @TheNakedLawyer will give you some great entry points to practical and thought-provoking ideas.

NK: On Twitter, I’m a fan of Andrew Arruda of Ross Intelligence, @AndrewArruda, and Ed Walters of Fastcase, Inc., @EJWalters.  I don’t know if it’s their travels around the world spouting robots and AI that gets me or just the breadth of information and wonderful musings their posts typically lead me to.  Anyway, I appreciate their posts as much as I appreciate those of my fellow Practice Management Advisor (PMA) colleagues like @OreLawPracMgmt, @catherinereach, @MassLOMAP, @SCBAR_PMAP, @pmaptechie, @attywashington, @lucasboling, @FloridaBarPRI, @MIStateBarPMRC, @jimcalloway, and @AZPractice2_0!

MR: Like my blog reading, my Twitter “can’t miss” folks for legal tech are a mix of lawyers, legal entrepreneurs, and law library types, including: @heidialexander (Heidi Alexander), @bobambrogi (Bob Ambrogi), @ibraryguy (John DiGillio), Steve Embry (@stephenembryjd), @denniskennedy (Dennis Kennedy), @sharonnelsonesq (Sharon Nelson), and @jogdc (Jean O’Grady). I feel bad because I know that of the 3,100 people I follow on Twitter, I’ve left some good people out… but I don’t want to monopolize the conversation here. You can see everyone I follow here and pick out some of the others who post topics of interest to you.

What “read it later” app, technology, or system do you use to stack up all the articles and blog posts you want to read so you can get to all the great content you squirreled away?

SE: The best one I’ve found is Pocket. It’s easy to use and find stuff in. Sometimes I will use the Safari read it later feature but Pocket just seems to lay it out better.

DK: I subscribe to RSS feeds in Feedly and save to read later in Feedly. For items I might use for blog posts, articles, or on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast, I dump them into EverNote. Lately, I’ve been using likes and retweets on @denniskennedy on Twitter as a way to “bookmark” interesting tweets for myself, especially those referencing articles or blog posts, to return to later. I’m happy for others to look through those to see what might be useful to them.

NK: I haven’t been able to settle on a reminder solution. And while I am familiar with the Boomerang for Gmail and other reminder apps, like Alarmed for my iPhone, I can’t seem to make up my mind. So, I have recently used a combination of these along with tagging in my online Diigo tools.

MR: I actually don’t use one, anymore. When I did, I found that if I didn’t read something right then, I usually didn’t go back to read it later because there was always something new to read that would take precedence.

Do you read paper books or e-books? Why?

SE: Primarily e-books. They are easier to carry and have more features. I do try on one day of the week to do without screens entirely, more or less. That day I try to devote to reading a paper book of some sort. It keeps me from being entirely consumed by technology all the time!

DK: Yes. Seriously, though, I still read both but have massively shifted over to e-books. Being able to read in a comfortable font and size has become very important to me as my eyes have aged. I also like that I can carry a mini-library of books with me on my iPad without lugging several books around. The public library app, OverDrive, has been a big driver for me in my switchover as has—a “Netflix for books” service.

NK: I’m ambidextrous.  I love both but for different reasons. When access needs to be easy and quick when I’m traveling, I like the ability to just log onto my pre-loaded Kindle book and go to town reading something I’ve uploaded. But, when I’m at home, it’s always ultra-relaxing to “curl up with a good book.” Something about the smell and feel of those paperback books!

MR: I probably do about half of my professional “book” reading on my iPad.  The closest thing to a reason might be that when I am looking for a work-related book, it’s usually because I want it to answer some question I have at that moment—and an e-book is usually the quickest way to get my hands on it. Almost all of my pleasure reading is in paper book form, though. I actually prefer paper books.

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