When I retired and the pandemic put my travel plans on hold, I started writing to amuse myself. I soon found that I enjoyed the freedom to say whatever I wanted to say without having to worry about whether it would please my partners, other lawyers, or the Law Society.
I also discovered that I enjoyed exchanging ideas with like-minded people and being part of an online community.
Before long, I observed that there are an awful lot of puffed-out chests on LinkedIn, so of course I posted that I was honoured and humbled to let everyone know that I had won no awards, hired no-one, and had no initiatives to announce.
Eventually I came across the ‘Thought Leaders.’ I immediately put out a post making fun of them by asking where I could get certified to be a ‘Thought Leader.’ (About that same time, I amended my LinkedIn profile to award myself the “Murray Gottheil Certification of Self-Defined Brilliance.”)
Without me really trying, my number of followers increased.
And then out of the blue, I was contacted by a legal tech company asking me if I would like to associate with them and become a “Thought Leader,” and presumably one who would have positive thoughts about the legal tech industry.
I immediately started canvassing my friends and family asking them what the appropriate dollar amount would be for me to sell out my independence. I knew that there was a number, but I had no idea what it was. (My wife replied that it was too late for me and that I had sold out 40 years ago when I became a corporate lawyer.)
Fortunately, I soon found out that the tech company that contacted me did not actually ask me to sell out (or offer me enough money to really consider selling out). All that they require is that I make myself aware of certain issues that are relevant to the legal profession, think about the role of legal technology in addressing those issues and write some posts which invite other people to consider those things as well. I don’t even have to try to sell their software!
Oh, I also have to link some of my posts back to articles of interest on the tech company’s website which helps my readers understand the role of technology in the profession.
I also discovered that some Thought Leaders who are associated with tech companies keep the association under the radar, which is definitely not my style. Others are more transparent about it
All of the foregoing by way of introduction to the fact that I have entered into an association with Appara, which supplies document automation and records management software. They have gotten me thinking about document automation. I will share those thoughts with you over the next few months.
Rest assured that the thoughts that I share will be all mine – Appara seems to value independent thought as much as I do. In fact they have insisted that they want no control over my posts, and they won’t have any!
For more about Appara: https://bit.ly/3kY0vup