2018: ICYMI (In Case You Missed It)

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CATHERINE’S CALL

By Catherine Sanders Reach

The last week of the year is typically a time of reflection, and 2018 was no exception. Several popular blogs published their year-end wrap-ups, looking at the most popular posts and content from last year. While the exponential change wrought by technology means that the past is not a good predictor of the future, these compilations can help you at least get a focused glance at some useful news, trends and tips to apply to your new year.

Legal News

The ABA Journal team picked their favorite in depth feature articles from the past year. Their blog post summary states: “Some [articles] are on serious topics, like how courts are dealing with the opioid crisis and how unscrupulous notarios are taking advantage of panicked people in need of immigration legal services. Others are lighter, like the top 25 greatest legal movies and an explanation of why you can buy a bobblehead of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. We hope you enjoy curling up with these long reads.”

Some of the most read stories published on the ABA Journal website had a lot of interesting comments as well, and included topics such as law school rankings, a legal writing usage skills quiz, and the Making a Murderer lawyer acquitted on a stalking charge, though he did ‘meow randomly’.

Technology

Jason Tashea at the ABA Journal rounds up the most important legal technology trends from 2018 including privacy and data protection legislation, autonomous vehicles, the end of the smartphone patent wars, net neutrality and big tech mergers. Most of the cases cited are still ongoing and will continue to have impact on the legal world in the coming year.

This year the list expands from 10 to 20 as Robert Ambrogi enumerates legal tech developments, including smarter legal research, legal tech investments, ethics reform, maturation in the cloud practice management sector, and makes the provocative statement “we could be nearing the point where it would be malpractice for a lawyer not to use analytics.”

Based on blog analytics, Bob reveals his most popular blog posts in 2018 by the numbers. Topics include the shakeup at Thomson Reuters, Utah’s licensing of paralegals to practice law in limited circumstances, “Text a Lawyer”, and more.

Including predictions for cybersecurity and privacy, ediscovery, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence, data analytics, and blockchain plus collaboration and the influence of millennial attorneys.

Marketing

The most popular marketing posts from the Attorney at Work blog, including articles on LinkedIn tips, personal branding, law firm website trends and rainmaking for new associates.

William Hornsby writing for Attorney at Work looks at important advances in legal marketing, including some good ideas (educating the public about legal solutions, updates to Rules of Professional Conduct regarding marketing) and some very bad ideas (fake bar association lawyer referral, geofencing and hiring Lindsey Lohan as a spokesperson).

How To Keep Up in 2019

Looking for a way to keep up with the topics and trends that will affect the law and lawyers in 2019? You can subscribe to email newsletters for these blogs or use a feed reader like Feedly to get a daily briefing on just published legal news and highlights.

Catherine Sanders Reach is the Director of the North Carolina Center for Practice Management. NCBA members, click here to learn more about how the Center for Practice Management can help you. NCBA CPM: Practice Smart.