[Photo (CC) Enokson

Believe it or not, next week will be the one-year anniversary of the first Elephant Post. A year ago last night, Scott Preston, Toby Brown and I sat down to a curry dinner (and a few pints of beer) at the Red Lion in Houston and hatched this crazy idea of leveraging our diverse audience by asking them a single question and seeing how they answered it. Actually, it was pretty much Scott’s idea… Toby and I just take credit when things work well, and then blame Scott for when they don’t. In a run up to this anniversary, we asked what Elephant Post question did you almost answer this year. I know that many more of you out there should have answered this question because when I run into you at conferences or at speaking engagements, this is one of the first things that many of you tell me. So, if you missed your chance here, just add it to the comments this week and we’ll call it even.

Thanks to all of those that did take advantage of this second chance. There are some great answers, and one contributor went through a list of questions that he didn’t answer the first time around. For the 52nd Elephant Post question, we are going to have a little fun and let you test your skills at adding a caption to a couple of pictures. Read on through this week’s perspectives, and then take a look at next week and see if you can be clever in explaining what Mark Gediman and I are discussing in the two photos. I really look forward to seeing if you can keep it (somewhat) clean.

Cheryl Niemeier
How Did “The Great Recession” Change the Way You Do Your Job?

I lost my library assistant during the recession and had to become much more efficient in how the daily clerical tasks in the library got done, reduced the library budget (had to) and overall made the library a more time efficient and cost effective department for the firm. I am however happy to report that I do now have a library clerk again and the efficiencies created during the downturn are still serving the library well!!

John Gillies
Elephant Post: What Will the Law Firm of 2021 Look Like?

I think Richard Susskind has it right, namely that there will be a continuous (and inevitable) movement of legal services from bespoke to commoditized. That will mean fewer lawyers are more support professionals whose job is to ensure that the firm lawyers are able to deliver their services as effectively and efficiently as possible.   Those support professionals will include lawyers but will also include project managers, legal editors, law clerks, who have specialized expertise that is mobilized in the most effective way possible. Ultimately, the goal will be to do everything to ensure that the client gets the “best” service, but based on criteria defined by the client, not the firm.

Scott Bailey
How do you make sense of all the information in this overloaded universe?

I didn’t answer because Greg Lambert took my answer!  🙂  I use Tweetdeck columns too.

Bail Bonds Las Vegas
How Did “The Great Recession” Change the Way You Do Your Job?

We have definitely changed our ways of doing business in this tough economy. Working in the bail bond business, people don’t have much for collateral anymore since their houses are getting taken away and cars are being repossessed so bonds are getting written. We have had to search ads to find the cheapest office supplies, turn to cheaper forms of advertising and cut all credit! We now use only cash for purchases and if the cash isn’t available, then we don’t buy it!  It actually makes things a little less stressful because there are less bills to worry about!

Jeff Ward
So many, here’s a few…

Should Non-Lawyers Be Promoted On Law Firm Web Pages?
Yes, at top management levels. What Has Really Changed In Legal Education in the Past 20 Years? The students.
What Will the Law Firm of 2021 Look Like?
Each worker will be hidden behind three 40″ monitors, but they’ll be using their iPad7s instead of their Win10 desktops.
The Last 10 Years Have Really Changed _________!!
The rate of change and the acceptance of change. We still say that people don’t like change, and that is true, but compare it to ten years ago when people would cry (and some quit) at the prospect of a new application.
What Software Do You Wish You COULD Use At Work?
Social media for conveying information that affects IT. In IT, we have a difficult time conveying information, including tips, workarounds, discussions on problems, etc. E-mail doesn’t cut it.
What Software Do You Use That You Wish You Didn’t Have To?
Metadata cleaning software. It’s annoying to everyone. Although documents contain some risk, the riskiest stuff such as tracked changes and comments would not be in documents if people still proofed their work before they sent it out.
What Non-Traditional Conference Would You Like To Attend?
Any of several conferences offered by Chief Learning Officer magazine. It’s one of the best free mags out there, and the conferences always sound fascinating to me.
What Blog Do You Read That Others Should Be Reading?
What Do You Absolutely Love About Your Profession?
The people who I work with. I never imagined I’d be surrounded by such brilliant people.
What Are Your “Other” Predictions for 2011?
That I will finally answer an Elephant post.
Who Is Your Professional Hero? Tell Us Why.
Scott Preston. He’s influenced my ways of thinking for many many years.
What SNL Quote Have You Used At Work?
Makin’ copies…
How Is Social Media Changing Your Profession… Or, How Should It Be Changing Your Profession?
See above.
Which Fictional Character Would Be Outstanding In Your Profession?
Speed Racer (and crew)–imagine if the Mach 5 technology could be translated into businessware. Everything would happen at the click of a button, and when someone disturbs you, you push the button that brings out the radial saws.
What Drives You Crazy When Dealing With Vendors?
When, no matter what you throw at them, they say their software can do it. Yeah, if you give them 5 years and 50 developers.
“I think you need to look up the meaning of ________. I don’t think it means what you think it means.”
The backslash (): I’ve seen so many instances where someone uses it where a slash should be used. It’s not a real punctuation mark.
What Would You Tell a Law Student Before They Enter the ‘Real World?’
You are no longer writing just for yourself and your teachers. Learn to use the tools and procedures developed by the firm you’re with. Others may have to work in your documents, and it can be extremely difficult when you use weird options for formatting your text. (This was fun!)
Next Week’s Elephant Post:

What Are Mark and Greg Discussing in these Photos? (Add your own caption!)

Mark Gediman and I presented at this year’s AALL conference in Philadelphia. Here is a couple of photos of us talking to a room full of bloggers. Add a caption on what you think we are saying in each photo.

[Photo (CC) tracie7779]