Survey of Technology Used in the Food and Agriculture Law Office

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This discusses survey results from food and agriculture lawyers regarding technology choices. Presentation used for Technology Roundtable at the 2013 American Agriculture Law Association Annual Meeting in Madison, Wisconsin.

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Survey of Technology Used in the Food and Agriculture Law Office

  1. 1. Survey of Technology Used in the Food and Agriculture Law Office American Agriculture Law Association Technology Roundtable November 2, 2013 By Cari B. Rincker, Esq.
  2. 2. Who I Am • Food and agriculture lawyer based in New York City • Grew up on a beef cattle farm in Central Illinois • Solo practitioner • Client range from small to mid-size agribusiness, farmers, and start-up food entrepreneurs • Chair of the American Bar Association, General Practice Agriculture Law Committee
  3. 3. Survey to Food & Agriculture Lawyers • 3 day survey from October 3-5, 2013 – Advertised on the AALA Listserve, ABA GP Solo Agriculture Law Committee Listserve & Social Media • 35 Responses
  4. 4. How Many Lawyers Are In Your Office? Number of Lawyers Solo 2 to 4 5 to 10 11 to 25 26 to 75 76 plus
  5. 5. Do You Use a Mac or PC? Mc PC Both
  6. 6. How Many Computers Per Attorney? 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 3 plus 2 computers 1 computer
  7. 7. Do You Have a Virtual or Physical Brick and Mortar Office? 0 5 10 15 20 25 Virtual Physical Hybrid Other
  8. 8. What kind of billing program(s) do you use? (You may select more than one) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
  9. 9. What Email Program Do You Use? 0 5 10 15 20 25 Outlook iMail Other
  10. 10. What Techniques Have You Used to Manage Email? • I use folders and sort by client and matter. • Electronic filing to customer files • Flagging, saving to file • Delay send/receive function. – Only check it 4 times a day • Maintain an inbox by client • E-mail is like telephone calls. Done each day.
  11. 11. What Techniques Have You Used to Manage Email? • 1 hour block of time each AM. • Sub folders in inbox, batch saving emails as PDF • I use filters to sort e-mail. • Archiving • Folders • File emails in subject matter folders • Creating rules in Outlook; separate email for news
  12. 12. What Techniques Have You Used to Manage Email? • Prayer
  13. 13. What method(s) do you use for calendaring deadlines and task lists? (May choose more than 1 answer) 0 5 10 15 20 25 Outlook Time Matters Amicus Attorney PC Law Practice Master iCal Things Other Other responses: Mostly Google calendar or Paper calendar
  14. 14. Which of the Following Forms of Administrative Help Do You Use? 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 Virtual Legal Assistant Legal Assistant at Office Both Neither
  15. 15. What Kind of Phone Service Do You Use? Answer Number of Responses Response Ratio I answer my own phone! 23 63.8% Live in-office receptionist 14 38.8% Phone answering services (e.g., Ruby Receptionist) 1 2.7% Google Voice 2 5.5% Receptionist in Office Suite 3 8.3% Other 3 8.3%
  16. 16. How often do you use Skype or other video conferencing techniques with clients? • 68.5% - Rarely, if ever • 20.0% - A few times a year • 5.7% - A few times a week • 2.8%- A few times a month • 0.00% - Everyday
  17. 17. Which of the Following Conference Call Systems Do You Use? GoTo Meeting ATConference Free Conference Call Skype Google Meeting Other
  18. 18. What are Your Most Regularly Used Applications on Your Smartphone? • Emails • Text Messages • Social Media applications – Facebook – Twitter – LinkedIn • Westlaw Next • Google Maps • Casemaker
  19. 19. What program do you most frequently use for word processing? Microsoft Word Word Perfect Pages Other
  20. 20. Which of the Following Best Describes Your Use of a Scanner? 0 5 10 15 20 25 Never use it Only scan a few select documents I use it as much as possible Other
  21. 21. Which of the Following Payments Methods Does Your Firm Accept? 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Looks like a few attorneys take baked goods, Fruits/Vegetables, chickens or other bartering
  22. 22. How Do You Most Frequently Bill Clients? Via Email Mail hard copy Other
  23. 23. What Type of Contact Management System Do You Use? 0 5 10 15 20 25
  24. 24. If You Use an Email Marketing Program, Which Do You Prefer? • Very limited responses – Constant Contact (1) – Mail Chimp (3) – Aweber (1)
  25. 25. If You Use an Email Marketing Program, How Often Do You Send Updates? • Few responses – A few times a year (6) – Once a week (2) – Once a month (1) • Comments – “As issues arise, usually 6 times per month on average” – “Typically through seminars to trade group who is a client of the firm”
  26. 26. Which of the Following Back-Up Cloud Devices Do You Use? 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 Mozy Carbonite Dropbox External harddrive only Other
  27. 27. What Type of Hand-Held Tablet Do You Regularly Use? • Few responses – iPad (12) – Android (4) – Kindle (1)
  28. 28. How Do You Use a Hand-Held Tablet in Your Law Practice? • “Presentations, spreadsheets, mobile computing” • “Email, preparing documents, attending meetings” • “Email communication, research tools, meeting notes” • “Trial, work at home” • “Document review while traveling” • “Email, task list, review documents” • “Email, research, reading documents” • “Mostly to read news/blogs” • “I use my phone on house calls with no WiFi”
  29. 29. If You Remote Into Your Work Computer, Which Program Do You Use? • VPN (8) • GoToMyPC (2) • TeamViewer (1) • LogMeIn (1) • Other (4) – Citrix – VM Ware View – Microsoft Web
  30. 30. What Program Do You Use For Postage? Stamps.com I use a machine I use stamps I was the lone survey taker who answered Stamps.com. No responses for Dymo or USPO ClicknShip
  31. 31. If You Have a Blog, What Platform Do You Use? • Not many bloggers took the survey – Wordpress (7) – Typepad (2) – Blogger (0) – Tumblr (0)
  32. 32. Which of the Following Describes Your Use of Facebook? 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 I don't use FB I have a personal page & business page- promote business on both I have a personal page & business page- only promote business on business page I have a personal page for family and friends only
  33. 33. Which of the Following Social Media Platforms Do You Regularly Use? 0 5 10 15 20 25 30
  34. 34. What Have You Done to Help Build Search Engine Optimization for Your Food & Agriculture Law Practice? • A few people hired outside consultants • A few responses about blogs and backlinks • Lawyers.com • One survey taker thinks SEO is a scam
  35. 35. What Are Your Biggest Challenges with Technology While Running Food/Ag Law Practice? • Availability of wifi & cellular service in rural community • Learning so many new programs • Staying informed of all the tools available! • Understanding what our IT folks are saying • An old dog constantly trying to learn new tricks • Choosing wisely • Hardware failure & broadband failure • Keeping website up-to-date • Nothing stands out as a big challenge. • Getting boss who has practiced 40 years to update
  36. 36. What Are Your Biggest Challenges with Technology While Running Food/Ag Law Practice? • Document management, online research • Keeping up with advances • Content content content • Cost and maintenance • Case management system.. getting it up and running • Costs! I'm new: overhead must be minimal! • Client's lack of access to reliable Internet • Client information security Email management; doc management
  37. 37. Please Stay in Touch • Send Me Snail Mail: 535 Fifth Avenue, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10017 • Call Me: (212) 427-2049 (office) • Email Me: cari@rinckerlaw.com • Visit My Website: www.rinckerlaw.com • Read My Food & Ag Law Blog: www.rinckerlaw.com/blog • Tweet Me: @CariRincker @RinckerLaw • Facebook Me: www.facebook.com/rinckerlaw • Link to Me: http://www.linkedin.com/in/caririncker • Skype Me: Cari.Rincker
  38. 38. Oh, P.S. – I Just Wrote a Book Cari B. Rincker & Patrick B. Dillon, “Field Manual: Legal Guide for New York Farmers & Food Entrepreneurs” (2013) Available at http://www.amazon.com/Fi eld-Manual-Legal-Farmers- Entrepreneurs/dp/1484965 191 …and that’s marketing.

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