legal seminar

30th Annual Family Law Institute this week in Amelia Island!

The 30th annual Georgia Bar, Family Law Institute is this week in Amelia Island, Florida. There are already over 500 people signed up. This is the final seminar for my year as Chair of the Family Law Section in Georgia and I must thank Kelly Miles for putting together such an outstanding program. Click here for the entire agenda.  The whole seminar is filled with Cutting Edge topics in Family Law, Hot Tips, case law update and a surprise speaker at the end.  There will be ample opportunity not only to learn, but to network and meet other family law attorneys whom you may have litigated against, or with andothers who you certainly will meet for work in the future.  Why not come to the program and try to meet them now, while you have no cases against them.  It will make it much easier to handle cases together if you develop that relationship independent of any client directives or litigation which may make for a rougher start to a relationship?

I look forward to seeing those of you who have signed up and those of you who still may.  Let’s learn and have fun together.

Technology and Family Law

Today I served as Co-Chair for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education’s Georgia Technology Seminar (click here for a link to the program agenda). Steve Best, the Co-Chair really did all the work. He put the program together and invited the speakers, etc. So what did I do? I learned. I spoke a little on how technology is useful in a family law practice, but mainly, I learned. Chairing, speaking at or even simply attending continuing legal education seminars always offers a chance to learn and improve.

I learned that I should blog more often. I learned that we are really just in the beginning stages of understanding how much technology can improve our law practices, and more importantly, our lives.

It was also a time to reflect. I have chaired this program for about ten years. When I was first involved, many attendees did not have email and most did not have a website. How far we have come!

It seems much of the focus of the program was on remote computing, in addition to good law office management. Remote computing! What a concept. Computing as a concept is not new. But working on your primary computer, from any location? That is amazing, and common today. Today lawyers can really focus on what they do best, advise. They need not wait for a letter to come in the mail, or even by facsimile. They know what their clients want, not just because of cell phones, email and texting, but also because voice mail allows a client to let the lawyer hear the tone of their voice (and how desparate they may be).

The tips included how to talk into your cell phone and then receive an MSWord version of the document you dictated to your phone five minutes ago. Or how to translate, by simply speaking to your phone, and having it repeat it back, in another language! The materials for the program are probably still available, but if you missed it, come next year. And in April the big version is in Chicago, the ABA Techshow. That is one really worth attending.

I can’t wait to see what next year’s program brings. As my grandfather used to say “I was born too early”.

CPA Seminar

Tomorrow I will be lecturing before Georgia CPAs. Unfortunately, lawyers and CPAs often fear each other. This is a shame since we can so often both assist our clients, especially when we work well together (I have blogged about this previously). I get excited when I have an opportunity to meet other professionals that can help me do my job better. And that is how I view CPAs (professionals who can help me do my job better, and thereby help our mutual clients).

I am excited to be working with the Georgia Society of CPAs and AICPA (for a program in Boston in three weeks, and in Las Vegas in May) and NACVA on various programs. Every time I attend a seminar for professionals other than lawyers, I learn so much. Tomorrow should be more of the same. And the best part is, I always learn something, not only from the presentations, but from the interaction between sessions and before and after the program. All of our lawyers are encouraged to attend as many family law related CLE events as they can and I think and hope, it makes us a better firm.