Who are you and what is your role?
Nicole Black, lawyer and Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase, law practice management software.
From who or what do you draw inspiration as a business leader in the legal marketplace?
Inspiration comes from my colleagues and peers in the legal technology space. Their innovative spirit and ideas help to shape my perspective on how lawyers can successfully use technology to improve their law practices.
What is the most enjoyable aspect of your role – and what is the greatest challenge?
My favorite part of my work is that I get to focus on a topic about which I am truly passionate: legal technology. Day in and day out I get to read, write and speak about legal technology and how it can improve lawyers’ lives by streamlining their workflows and simplifying their day-to-day practice. My greatest challenge, working remotely, is a double-edged sword. I work remotely from New York for MyCase, which is based in California. Although it can sometimes feel somewhat solitary, technology – especially cloud software – helps a lot to keep me connected with my co-workers. So in many ways I’m a living example of how cloud technology can provide flexibility and so many other great benefits to 21st century businesses and workers.
Would you care to share your greatest success – and how you made it happen .
I consider the 3 books I’ve written or co-authored to be my biggest successes. I co-authored Criminal Law in New York (Thomson Reuters 1999) and Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier (ABA 2010) and am particularly proud of Cloud Computing for Lawyers (ABA 2012) which I authored alone. All 3 of these writing opportunities emerged from my blogging activities and the connections I made as a result of my online interactions.
What changes have you see in the marketplace in the last 5 years – and what changes do you see in the next 5?
Cloud computing has revolutionized how people collaborate and communicate. Solo and small firm lawyers now have affordable access to powerful software that levels the playing field and makes it possible for them to compete with larger firms in ways never before possible. Over the next 5 years, artificial intelligence and machine learning will have a similar effect on the legal industry and will further streamline workflows by automating routine, repetitive legal tasks, so that lawyers can focus on what they enjoy the most: interacting with clients and practicing law.
Do you think the legal services sector is ready for change?
I think the legal sector doesn’t have a choice. The world is changing at such a rapid pace that lawyers who are unwilling to adapt will be left behind and their law firm’s bottom line will suffer.
Should legal leadership be more involved in the marketing of the organization?
Leadership should certainly play a part in a firm’s marketing, if for no other reason than to ensure that the firm’s marketing practices are ethically compliant.
If you had to do it all over, would you take the same path ?
I wouldn’t change where I am today for the world. I spend my days thinking, writing and speaking about a topic that I love: legal technology. And I work for a thriving company full of great, talented people who help to make each and every day worthwhile and enjoyable.
What’s the best book you ever read?
It’s too hard to choose just one.
Your favorite movie?
“The Breakfast Club” is still one of my favorites.
Your favorite quotation?
“Well behaved women rarely make history.”
Nicole Black is a Rochester, New York attorney and the Legal Technology Evangelist at MyCase.com legal practice management software. She is the nationally-recognized author of “Cloud Computing for Lawyers” (2012) and co-authored “Social Media for Lawyers: The Next Frontier” (2010), both published by the American Bar Association. She also co-authored “Criminal Law in New York,” a Thomson West treatise. She writes a regular columns for The Daily Record, Above the Law, and Legal IT Pros, has authored hundreds of articles for other publications, and regularly speaks at conferences regarding the intersection of law, mobile and cloud computing, and Internet-based technology. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The opinions expressed in this interview are those of the interviewee, and not of their affiliated organizations or of High Performance Counsel.