Last week, we held a Law Blogger Con Meetup in New York City. Though the event was hosted by the New York City Bar Association, I was concerned that not too many folks heard of the get together.

So in addition to spreading the word via email, social media and LinkedIn messages, I started a Meetup group a few days before entitled Law Blogger Con New York City.

  • I entered a name for the group, it’s location, a group description and my profile.
  • I selected up to fifteeen topics by which Meetup users in the area with relevant interests would be identified of the group.
  • I entered a description of the event, who may be interested (lawyers, law students, law professors and other legal professionals), the location and the time.
  • I approved Meetup’s announcing the group to Meetup users.
  • Meetup announced formation of the group and the Law Blogger Con.

About twenty people registered for the group with three or four rsvp’ing. In addition to others attending by virtue of other invites, we had a few come by virtue of Meetup. Some of them entered positive reviews.

The good part of using Meetup for me is that this group continues on. Users can continue to register, I’ll invite more New Yorkers to register and those registered will receive an invite to our next Law Blogger Con to be held the beginning of February.

We’re only thirty-one in size now, but I could see this group growing to two or three-hundred people.

As way of background, and I am sure you’ve received such Meetup invites, Meetup is an online social networking portal that facilitates offline group meetings around the world. Meetup enables members to find and join groups unified by a common interest, whether it be the law, business or even, law blogging.

Users enter their city or their postal code and tag the topics they want to meet about. The website/app helps them locate a group to arrange a place and time to meet. Topic listings are also available for users who only enter a location. The cost to the organizer is nominal.

Among other things, group functions include:

  • Schedule meetings and automate notices to members for the same
  • The ability to assign different leadership responsibilities and access to the group data
  • The ability to accept RSVPs for an event
  • The ability to monetize groups, accept and track membership and/or meeting payments through WePay
  • Create a file repository for group access
  • Post photo libraries of events
  • Manage communications between group members
  • Post group polls
  • Allow users to contact other Meetup group members.

Sure there are CRM’s and other organizing tools, but Meetup pulls in people with relevant interests you’d have never met. I met a lawyer from Merril Lynch and a legal marketing professional I would not have otherwise met.

Meetup also gets you out there, as the event organizer, as someone or an organization as a little more innovative in nature. After all, Meetup is a fairly new phenomena. But with over 28 million users and 261,000 groups, it’s impact is growing.

LexBlog is going to start Law Blogger Con events around the country. We’ll use email, LinkedIn and social media to get the word out. My gut tells me though that a Meetup Group for each city will be key in growing attendance and camaraderie.

Stay tuned.

Thursday will mark the 13th Annual Small Law Firm Practice Management Symposium for the New York City Bar Association.

From the Bar:

Whether you are just starting out or have been in business for decades, the Symposium is tailored to meet everyone’s needs. Workshops cover starting your own firm, growing your existing practice, law firm entity choice, optimizing your practice management software, social media, blogging and online best practices and more. Most importantly, network with colleagues throughout the day at the Exhibit Hall, “Seasoned Solo” Drop-in Center, the complimentary breakfast, luncheon and reception.

I’ll be participating on a panel regarding blogging and social media. I hope to see some of you there.

The symposium will run from 8:30 to 5:00. The cost for a good lineup of presenters is pretty reasonable, $65 for bar members and $100 for non-members. Walk in registration is of course accepted.

You may view the brochure here.

I have the pleasure of speaking at the Oklahoma Bar Associaton Annual Meeting in Oklahoma City this afternoon.

The topic as billed is “Client Engagement and Marketing – Everything is Different Today.” My talk will be on why evertyting is the same, at least from when I started practicing thirty plus years ago. It’s all about building a name for yourself and relationships.

Smart lawyers are just taking building a name and building relationships to the Internet. Facebook is more powerful than the Chamber of Commerce. Blogging is powerful than publishing a book, writing an article for the bar or using press releases to reach reporters.

Here’s a copy my Oklahoma Bar Association Presentation (pdf) I am using today. It’s in mind-map form as well as in a word doc which bullets out the items in the mindmap. You’ll need to stretch out the pdf for the mindmap, but it may get a little fuzzy in this form.

By the way, I moved away from using mind-maps for presentations because “everyone” thought a PowerPoint was better. But a mind-map is easy for free thinking and then organizing your thoughts.

For presentations, branches of the mind-map can be open and closed. Your audience can also get more detail, in an outline form with links, than you had time to “open up” and discuss in your talk.

I used a mind-map at the National Association of Bar Executives meeting a couple weeks ago and everyone liked it. So mind-maps may be back for me.

In New York City? Have an interest in blogging? Want to learn more about blogging? Want to hear how lawyers have built a name for themselves and a good book of business through blogging? Looking or a little inspiration?

The New York City Bar Association is hosting Law Blogger Con, a discussion and meetup involving seasoned bloggers and non-bloggers about how law blogs can be used by practicing lawyers, law students and other legal professionals for learning, networking and building a strong word of mouth reputation.

Law Blogger Con Details

  • Wednesday November 9 from 6:30 to 8 at the NYCBA, 42 West 44th Street
  • Free to members, $10 to non-members
  • Who should attend? Legal professionals including lawyers, law students, law professors who blog or dont’ blog.
  • Introduction to law blogging (Me, 30 minutes)
    • What’s blogging all about?
    • How can I start blogging?
    • How do you build a name for yourself from blogging?
    • Can you build a book of business (or get a job) as a result of blogging?
    • How do you learn from blogging so as to become a better lawyer?
    • How do you build a network from blogging?
    • Who are role model lawyers, law students and law professors who are blogging?
  • Panel discussion of legal bloggers
    • Peter Mahler, publisher of New York Business Divorce, myself and other law bloggers to be added (let me know if interested)
    • Their experiences: What’s worked? What hasn’t?
    • Their ideas
    • Inspiration
  • Open discussion throughout

A “Beer for Bloggers (and others)” hosted by LexBlog will follow around the block at the The Perfect Pint.

Law Blogger Con and Beer for Bloggers is the evening before the New York City Bar Association Solo and Small Law Farm Practice Management Symposium which runs all day on Thursday, November 10. A big thanks to the NYCBA and their sponsoring association committee, Career Advancement and Management, for hosting Law Blog Con.

I’ll be attending the NABE (National Association of Bar Executives) Communications Section Workshop (pdf) in Savannah this week.

If you’re not familiar with NABE, it’s the only organization of its kind providing professional development and networking opportunities to bar associations across the country. Founded in 1941 to serve the management staff of bar associations and law-related organizations, NABE’s mission is to enhance the skills and enrich the careers of bar association professionals.

The Communications Section is comprised of communications, marketing, public relations and publishing professionals getting the word out about what their bar organization is doing and how that impacts society. Not easy to begin with, let alone in this day of social media.

A number of folks including John Sirman, Legal Counsel for the State Bar of Texas, and Ed Walters, CEO of Fastcase, encouraged me to attend one of the NABE Communications Section workshops. So I am looking forward to meeting folks and sharing ideas I have on how they might better use social media, including blogging.

There’s a great group of presenters Wednesday through Friday. I present on Thursday morning on “Developing a Sensible Social Media Strategy.”

  • Identifying your goals
  • Identifying your audience
  • Engaging your audience
  • Creating raving fans who will carry your message
  • Leveraging your team and association members
  • Creative use of the mediums – blogging, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
  • Measuring results the right way

Think social media doesn’t allow you to meet the people you’d love to meet and to get the opportunities to speak at the conferences at which you’d love to speak?

My presenting in Savannah came as a result of my tweeting at The Bar Association of San Francisco (@sfbar) while walking down the streets of San Francisco asking if they met wacky CEO’s of legal publishing software companies while they were in town. I was told sure thing and to stop by right then. A discussion ensued on, among other things, getting me to present at NABE.

Look forward to warmth and sun of a few days in what I hear is a beautiful city. I get in tomorrow evening.

There are legal conferences. There are legal technology conferences. And there is the annual Clio Cloud Conference, which after wrapping up a week ago in Chicago has set itself apart from the pack — in a big way.

When you’re focused on providing the American lawyer inspiration, information, and innovation from the most interesting professionals, lawyer or not, you create energy and a vibe that’s not matched by tradional legal conferences, including legal technology conferences.

We at LexBlog had the privilege of serving as a media partner for the conference. By leveraging the social coverage of the 700 lawyers in attendance and our own Facebook Live interviews we aimed to share the ClioCon experience with our LexBlog Network and all of you,

On Monday, keynotes from Clio CEO, Jack Newton, kicking things off and introducing their Legal Trends Survey, and Kim Mottley, the first international litigator in Afghanistan and one the few lawyers who has had a grenade thrown through her window, bookmarked six other sessions.

Here’s our curation of tweets capturing the essence of of the speaker’s message in a “Storify” for each session.

Keynotes from Bloomberg’s Melanie Heller to the to sensational and high energy, Gary Vaynerchuk, sandwiched six more sessions on Tuesday. Here’s the LexBlog Network’s “Storify” capturing the best in Twitter for each session.

I had pleasure of catching up with a number of our industry’s leaders for Facebook Live discussions.

A big kudos to LexBlog’s Zosha Millman, Amelia Cornfield, and Mellina White-Cusack for their work in providing social media coverage of ClioCon. Storifies of each session, interviews of speakers in advance of the conference, and posts of sessions across our network’s Twitter and Facebook accounts — a job very well done.

If you’re interested in reading all the social recaps, as well as pre-conference interviews we featured, you can find them under the 2016 Clio Cloud Conference tag on LXBN. And it’s not too early to preregister for next year’s event, which will be held in New Orleans.

I’ll be attending the Clio Cloud Conference this Sunday through next Tuesday in Chicago.

Clio, a leading cloud based practice management solution, is probably right in billing “Clio Con” as the legal industry’s top conference. As a three year veteran, I can personally vouche for the tremendous experience of hanging out with business, legal and technology leaders for a few days.

Of course you’ll learn (and get CLE credits) in the educational sessions, but it’s the ideas you generate, the camaraderie and the fire you leave a conference with that makes an event special. Clio Con brings this in spades.

Though Clio’s users are primarily small and medium sized law firms,  the talks and keynotes on technology and innovation are thought provoking for lawyers and legal professionals from firms of all sizes. For those of you in Chicago, Clio Con is only a short walk or L ride to the Radisson Blu, just East of Michigan on the River.

Clio has invited over 40 industry leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators to speak at Clio Con. Keynote speakers include:

  • Gary Vaynerchuk, best selling author, entrepreneur, investor, public speaker, and internet personality
  • Kimberley Motley, first foreign litigator in Afghanistan, TED Speaker, and Founder, Motley Legal
  • Melanie Heller, Vice President and General Manager, Bloomberg Law
  • David Leary, Small Business Ecosystem Evangelist at Intuit

I really liked it last year where anyone who wanted to could sit around a conference room and “shoot the sh..” with the keynoter’s for an hour or two. I hope they’ll do it again.

Like Avvo’s conferences, Clio Con gives you a window into what it’s like bringing new technology to life in an emerging growth company. You’ll hear from Clio team leaders as to what they’re working on, the challenges they face and what their team is launching now and plans to launch in the coming year. This dialogue is not only fun to sit in for those not in the tech industry, but also provides valuable feedback for the Clio team.

Last but not least are the parties, food and drink. Clio CEO, Jack Newton and his team are known for the social side of conferences – whether it’s their conference or someone else’s. I’m convinced it’s because they’re Canucks – work yes, but have fun and welcome folks with open arms.

LexBlog is again serving as a Media Partner for Clio Con. Look for our coverage, including session stories on LXBN and Facebook Live interviews with speakers and attendees.

Yet to register? Use the LexBlog Discount Code on the Registration Page.

P.S. I’ll be in Chicago through Friday meeting with LexBlog Network members, other law firms and speaking Thursday at a Legal Innovation and Tech Meetup at Microsoft with a LexBlog Beer for Bloggers afterwards. Let me know if you’d like to get together.

LexBlog is honored to have Thomson Reuters co-hosting a Beer for Bloggers (and others) with us on Tuesday evening at ILTACON in Washington D.C.

I started Beer for Bloggers thirteen years ago as a way to meet a few bloggers when I was traveling. I also wanted to get a little publicity for LexBlog – which hardly anyone had heard of. Heck not that many had heard of a blog, let alone could figure out what a legal professional would do with one.

On the way out of town, I’d find an Irish Bar in my destination city on Google (not sure Yelp was around). I’d post on my blog that I’d be in the bar from 5:30 to 7:00 and would pick up the tab for beers for anyone who showed. There was no Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn, my blog was the only way word got out.

Subscribers to my blog spread the word in their town and people showed. We had a lot of fun – and LexBlog’s name grew, probably faster than if I traveled to conferences as an exhibitor.

A couple years ago, Gretchen DeSutter, team lead in media relations for Thomson Reuters, appproached me at a Beer for Bloggers in Chicago (co-hosted by the ABA Journal) about her desire to sponsor one of my “Beer for Bloggers.”

I was thrown off a bit. One, because I had been critical of FindLaw and WestLaw over the years here on my blog and knew that made me no friends in Eagan. Second,  it sounded a little odd to call it Kevin O’Keefe’s/LexBlog’s Beer for Blogger brought to you by Thomson Reuters.

But DeSutter was the real deal. She was down to earth, straight talking and an authentic voice for Thomson Reuters.

De Sutter also knew the lay of the land in the legal publishing world – something always of interest to me. Plus she was a highly respected communications/relationships/media professional, having worked for West Publishing since Dwight Opperman was publisher and owner.

My friend, Bob Ambrogi, who also knew De Sutter, closed the deal when he told me, “Don’t be a fool, co-sponsor a Beer for Bloggers with Thomson Reuters, it’s a sign of what LexBlog has achieved.” Or something along those lines. ;)

What started out as buying as many people a beer who heard word via my blog has now grown into a gathering co-sponsored by a major multinational mass media and information company, let alone the largest bar association in the country co-hosting one annually.

Beer for Bloggers, though with a few more attendees, remains the same – an informal gathering at a local pub in legal conferences cities that I am traveling to. An opportunity to break away from the pace of a conference or a day at work for a little camaraderie and an opportunity to meet people you known only online.

You’re all invited (blogger or not, lawyer or not, attending ILTACON or not) Tuesday night at 5:30 to Beer for Bloggers at Bobby McKeys at National Harbor.

Beers are on us.

Thanks TR.

I will be in Washington DC next week for the ILTACON 2016, to visit with some law firms and law bloggers, and for little break before the unofficial close to the summer holiday on Labor Day.

ILTACON, being held out at the Gaylord at National Harbor, is a four-day International Legal Technology Association educational conference that draws on the experience and success of technology professionals within law firms, legal departments and legal tech companies. The conference provides a good opportunity for technology companies, exhibiting or not, inside law tech folks and the media, including bloggers, to reconnect, collaborate and learn.

On Tuesday evening, Thomson Reuters and LexBlog are hosting an ILTACON 2016 Beer for Bloggers at Bobby McKey’s at National Harbor. It’ll run from 5:30 to 7:00 and you’re all invited, blogger or not, lawyer or not, attending ILTACON or not.

I’ll be at ILTACON all day Tuesday and then downtown DC and the surrounds Wednesday through Friday afternoon meeting some folks and enjoying the sites. If you’d like to get together to talk shop or socially, just holler, my email is kevin@lexblog.com and cell for calling or texting is 206-321-3627.

DC is a great place to visit for the sites, history and food. Especially good this time is that Bruce Springsteen is playing out at the Nationals’ Park on Thursday evening. I missed that one until Mrs RLHB, who is coming with, pointed that out.

Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of doing a webinar on blogging hosted by Smokeball–a leading case management software company for solo attorneys and small law firms. Like LexBlog, Smokeball’s committed to improving the lives of lawyers and the people they serve. 

With all the misinformation about law blogging being bantered about, Smokeball asked that I help lawyers understand what blogging really means, how it’s effectively done and how blogging can be a career changing event. Sharing blogging best practices and the stories of blogging lawyers on the Lexblog Network was a lot of fun.

Here’s a copy of my powerpoint deck for the attendees who asked and anyone else who may have an interest. I understand Smokeball will have a recording up soon as well.

Screenshot 2016-08-03 at 6.06.38 PM

If you’re not familiar with Smokeball and are interested in streamlining productivity as a solo practitioner or for your small firm, their case management solution provides tools to grow your business, including practice area-based matter management with integrated document assembly in Microsoft Word, email management and powerful tasks/workflow