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Adriana Linares of LawTech Partners [LexBlog Q & A]

March 7, 2008

Continuing with our series of ABA TechShow-centered LexBlog Q & As, we cap off the week featuring Adriana Linares, president of the legal technology consulting company LawTech Partners. Adriana, who runs the blog I Heart Tech, isn’t just presenting at TechShow; she’s also one of the nine members on its planning board.

The panels Adriana will be sitting on in Chicago next week:

  • “Pictures ARE Worth a Thousand Words: Visual Communication Tools for Lawyers”, with Ray Morgovan (3/13, 2:15-3:15 p.m.)
  • “The Lawyer’s Guide to Managing Client and Case Information with Outlook”, with Larry Smith (3/13, 4:15-5:15 p.m.)
  • “Outlook Tips and Tricks”, with Catherine Sanders Reach (3/13, 4:15-5:15 p.m.)

In a phone interview this afternoon, Adriana revealed some details on what TechShow attendees can expect. See what she had to say after the jump.

1. Rob La Gatta: I went to your blog, I Heart Tech, and it hasn’t been updated since August. What happened? Are you blogging elsewhere, or did you stop altogether?

Adriana Linares: No, I am not doing blogging elsewhere.

I’m going to start back up again soon…I’ve just had a lot of professional and personal projects that have merited my time and attention. I love the blog: I love blogging and sharing my thoughts and ideas with people in the legal community, so I’m definitely going to hop back on that…hopefully next week, as soon as TechShow is over. Because that has been one of the big projects that I’ve had, especially in the last two months leading up to TechShow…there’s a lot of work involved for us.

2. Rob La Gatta: As someone who looks at the intersection of technology and the law, do you think large law firms and state bars that discourage (or outright prohibit) lawyer blogging are inhibiting potential growth of the legal industry?

Adriana Linares: [That’s] such a tough question to answer, because I don’t know that not allowing lawyers to blog inhibits potential growth. I think it might change the way the legal industry grows. But I think part of the reason that we have these prohibitive rules and regulations is just a fear in law firms or state bars: a fear of what could happen, and what might be said.

It is, in my opinion, not understanding the purpose of the technology and the purpose of allowing lawyers and people who work in/for your firm to have a voice and talk openly. I think that’s really what hurts the industry more than anything, is trying to put a cap on how people communicate  (whether it’s internally or externally).

3. Rob La Gatta: At TechShow this year, you’re presenting in a panel on visual communication tools for lawyers. Why is using visuals important for lawyers today?

Adriana Linares: Today, the Internet has totally and drastically changed the way we communicate with each other and with clients, and lawyers really need to be able to use all of the senses when it comes to communicating.

Historically, lawyers have used the power of the word (whether it was written or spoken). [But] today, people

whether it’s a jury or a judge or your client are so familiar with visual communication, through the Internet and e-mail and PowerPoint presentations and their smart phones, that I think lawyers need to step up and start figuring out how to use the power of those things.

Everybody says it a million times: “one picture is worth a thousand words.” So with that session, I’m hoping to help lawyers understand that they can still use all of their knowledge and all of their expertise, but that it can be enhanced. Their message can be heard even louder if they use things like PowerPoint and Publisher, and even just Word, to better make their message heard.

4. Rob La Gatta: TechShow is generating some buzz on the Internet about the web tools (Twitter, Flickr, shared blog tags, etc) they’re using to encourage discussion about the event. As a member of the planning board, can you offer some insights as to how this came about?

Adriana Linares: For sure the biggest influencer in using those tools is Tom Mighell, who is our chair. Tom is a social networking junkie…he believes in the power of it, and really understands it more than the average person. He’s also a practicing attorney, and is the major thought leader in his firm when it comes to technology.

Tom was really excited about showcasing some of these technologies. We all know that an attorney or a group of attorneys are not going to sit around using Twitter or communicating via Flickr or But what we’re hoping to do is introduce them to these new technologies that people are talking about and that people are familiar with, and give them the opportunity to use them. [We want] to inspire lawyers to not be afraid of technology…it’s okay to use these tools, and they do have some value when used properly.

We’re going to have a page off, which I think will be up on Monday or Tuesday, where we’ll be showcasing four things:

  • A master blog feed through a Yahoo Pipe, wherein blog posts from anybody who is blogging about the show are going to all go through one feed.
  • A Flickr feed, so that any pictures that are uploaded during the show are also going to be funneled onto the TechShow Flickr feed at the site.
  • The Twitter feed is going to be pretty fun and interesting.
  • A feed, so that if anybody hears/listens to/is told about a cool website or tool on the Internet, that they can tag it with “ABA TechShow.”

5. Rob La Gatta: Are there any panels or panelists that you are particularly looking forward to seeing, or that you would recommend to other attendees?

Adriana Linares: Other than the keynote – which I think is going to be fantastic and interesting my two favorite things that I would encourage attorneys to attend are:

  • Office 2007 and Vista: any of the sessions that talk about making the move, what the move means, the new features in Office 2007, I think are going to be beneficial. Not to encourage attorneys to run out and buy a Vista PC (I don’t think I would encourage any attorney to do that), but at least to give them an idea of what their choices are going to be over the upcoming year or two.
  • Then, in stark contrast to Office 2007 and Vista, the other thing that I’m really excited about is our Mac Track. It’s a mini session and is on Saturday. We have great speakers…two of [them] are full-on practicing attorneys who use Macs all the time. I think that’s going to be enlightening, and a lot of people are going to walk away with a better understanding of what they can or cannot do with a Mac.

Interested in hearing more? Recent LexBlog Q & A posts:

Or, see our full list of legal blog interviews.

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