Did you know there is more to practicelaw than just forms?  practicelaw is designed to be a repository of resources intended to help your practice.  Similarly, the MSBA’s practiceblawg is a blog for the Association to share with you how the MSBA can help you improve your efficiency and grow your practice.  The MSBA offers members a number of products and services and is always looking for ways to better serve its members and provide greater value.

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  • Would you like to play a game?

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 28, 2015
    Hollywood has long predicted futures where computers and intelligent systems have made humans obsolete or usurped decisions and actions previously requiring human input. The WOPR was able to predict an adversary's actions and execute a responsive battle plan. Are lawyers among those professions likely to be replaced by machines? NPR says there's a less than four percent chance that happens.
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  • Ignore the blonde

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 24, 2015
    There are many demands on a lawyer's time (and money). There are a number of clichés that may offer some guidance on how best to deploy limited resources, including this old gem, "You have to spend money to make money." But perhaps the wisdom of Russell Crowe offers another option.
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  • Cloud computing and the 'reasonable care' standard

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 20, 2015
    "To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, including the benefits and risks associated with relevant technology, engage in continuing study and education and comply with all continuing legal education requirements to which the lawyer is subject." That's the relevant comment to Rule 1.1, but what does that mean with regard to cloud computing?
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  • What is cloud computing?

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 17, 2015
    Last month Sam Glover tried to come up with a 'plain English' definition of "the Cloud," or perhaps more accurately start a conversation to collectively define the term. His initial attempt was "If you cannot put your hand on the computer on which your data is stored, you are using the cloud," although Benjamin Wright's definition paints a good picture too: The cloud is like giving your briefcase to an intern. You can have them carry it around for you and give it back anytime (or you could tell them to give it to someone else), but they physically possess it. The internet is just your intern."
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  • Build it one tweet at a time, and it won't cost you a dime

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 13, 2015
    Social media. Some may feel that platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter are the four horsemen bringing about the end of days, but social media can be a valuable part of your marketing strategy and can help develop and expand your brand.
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  • Race to the bottom

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 09, 2015
    There is much discussion about the justice gap as well as increased competition from non-attorney services. In terms of access to justice two underserved segments are those who cannot afford legal services and those who can but don't know how to find an attorney. In a free market economy, companies succeed by identifying untapped markets or offering cheaper solutions or more efficient services. Companies like LegalZoom and Sam's Club, for example, partnered to offer discount legal services to consumers. As an attorney, can you go toe-to-toe with the LegalZooms of the world? And even if so, should you?
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  • Imagine

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 06, 2015
    On this day in 1957, during a heat wave and in between a dog show and a brass band, a chance meeting between two teenagers would change the face of rock and roll. Lawyers are often told of the importance of networking, both within the profession and amongst potential clients, but is all networking the same? Is it enough to shake hands, take business cards and connect on LinkedIn?
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  • Get to know the new MSBA Colleague Directory

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jul 02, 2015
    As noted on Tuesday, the MSBA launched its new member directories in January. In addition to the new public MN Find a Lawyer directory, the Association revamped its colleague program, creating a private members-only directory that is available exclusively to members and available 24/7 via the MSBA website. The new Colleague Directory includes the 'brief consult' functionality of the old program but offers members a number of other ways to connect, whether for expanded business opportunities or other reasons.
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  • MN Find a Lawyer by the numbers

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 30, 2015
    As discussed in recent practiceblawg posts, the MSBA launched two new member directories in January, MN Find a Lawyer and the MSBA Colleague Directory, and based in part on feedback from members is in the process of updating the directories to improve performance and functionality. With MN Find a Lawyer, over a thousand MSBA members have taken advantage of this free service, and the directory gets over 8,000 searches each month. But what other interesting facts and figures are available about the new MN Find a Lawyer?
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  • Failing to plan is planning to fail

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 25, 2015
    The capstone event to the MSBA Annual Convention and the June Assembly meeting mark the end of the Association's fiscal year. For the past several months the Association has been planning for FY16 and beyond. Whether you go by a fiscal or calendar year, how far ahead do you plan? 1 year? Two? Five?
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  • New partnerships, more practice tools

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 23, 2015
    The MSBA offers many practice tools and resources designed to help members practice more efficiently and successfully. This year, the Association released several major updates to some of these services, including the Directories and mndocs. In addition, the MSBA offers members discounts on a number of products and services through its Advantage program, which now includes two new relationships: Clio and Citrix ShareFile.
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  • MSBA Directories update

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 17, 2015
    The new MN Find a Lawyer and MSBA Colleague Directory launched in January. Since the launch of the new directories, over 1,000 members have added their profiles to MN Find a Lawyer, allowing potential clients to find them using a number of criteria, including practice area and geography. The directory gets over 8,000 searches each month, and offers members a great -- and free -- way to reach more potential clients.
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  • On this day...

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 15, 2015
    Perhaps you've seen something about one of the many events relating to the Magna Carta this year. (This Friday, the New Lawyers Section, along with several other organizations, is hosting an all-day summit at the Bakken Museum, for example.) On this day in 1215, King John put his seal on the Great Charter.
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  • MSBA Annual Convention underway

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 12, 2015
    The MSBA Annual Convention (formerly Nine Days in June) began yesterday in Lakeville and continues today in Brainerd. Next week the roadshow heads to Duluth, St. Cloud and Blaine, and then wraps up the following week with Rochester, Mankato and Minneapolis.
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  • A conversation on law school debt

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 09, 2015
    Hennepin County Bar Association, through its New Lawyers Section, recently released a video discussing the realities and ramifications of law school debt. The stated goal of the video is to summarize the results of a 2015 member survey but also to start a conversation about how the cost of law school is affecting this generation of lawyers and the legal profession in general
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  • Keeping up with the MSBA

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 04, 2015
    The MSBA maintains a number of social media channels as well as other publications and communications to inform members of the valuable services available.
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  • Leave the Office Earlier Day

    by Joe Kaczrowski | Jun 02, 2015
    Today, June 2, is Leave the Office Earlier Day. Never heard of it? Check out the backstory here. With the sun setting later and rain on the horizon, today is a good day to get out and enjoy the Minnesota weather.
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  • mndocs update

    by Joe Kaczrowski | May 31, 2015
    After extensive research and evaluation of the existing mndocs product, the MSBA decided to move its automated document assembly program -- mndocs -- to a new cloud-based platform, HotDocs Market. The new mndocs on HotDocs Market offers much greater accessibility and functionality to members while still providing the same content and a familiar look and feel. Following the move to Market, the MSBA will be rolling out hundreds of new and updated forms, in practice areas including family law, adoption, estate planning, business law, and criminal law, with more to come.
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  • With digital security, is it possible to have too much of a good thing?

    by Joe Kaczrowski | May 29, 2015
    Much has been written about the need for lawyers to get serious about security. Examples abound in corporate America of data breaches and compromised systems. The ABA Model Rules now include language concerning a lawyer’s duty regarding tech competence. Past practiceblawg posts and numerous other sources have discussed the importance of two-factor authentication and secure client portals. But is there a point where social engineering and human nature eclipse computer engineering and technological innovation?
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  • Convenient and Current CLE Content

    by Joe Kaczrowski | May 28, 2015
    As the 2014-2015 Bar year winds down -- or perhaps more accurately crescendos next month with the Annual Meetings throughout the state -- we look back at the more than 250 continuing education programs offered by the MSBA this year, many of which are now available On-Demand as well.
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