The legendary Robert Ambrogi, who has been talking about lawyers and technology in a meaningful way since the 90's, presented a thought-provoking look at how evolving technology continues to change the way lawyers think in his plenary session: "How Technology is Rewiring Lawyers' Brains...and What it Means for CLE." He then put these insights into application, discussing what this "new" audience means for CLE providers.
Without giving too much away since the program was recorded and will be available at the ACLEA website soon for review (I plan to make everyone in my office watch!), several of the changes that technology has inspired really struck home with me:
- With each new technological tool, the pace of work, and therefore the pace of our lives, has increased.
- Technology is engaging more lawyers in social media. In 2008 only 15% of lawyers had joined a social network. In 2010, that number had grown to 56%.
- Lawyers are becoming more and more mobile with tools like smartphones. In 2007 38% of lawyers were using smartphones. By 2010, that number had doubled to 76%.
- Lawyers are relying more on ratings - trusting "real friends and virtual strangers" and becoming more selective.
- I doubt anyone would disagree that lawyers (like everyone else) are less patient - the average audience attention span continues to decline significantly.
So why should we care? What do these changes mean for CLE? Mr. Ambrogi details 10 Tips for CLE Providers and discusses them in detail. The tips are:
- Engage in social media.
- Market through multiple platforms.
- Deliver through multiple media.
- Be transparent.
- Deliver service simply.
- Deliver value.
- Embrace ratings.
- Share knowledge generously.
- Be available on demand.
- Nurture your networks.
Practical and implementable - not sure that this is something I can say about all of the educational programs I attend! I look forward to re-watching the session with my colleagues and staff and to discussing the next steps for our organization.