Technology Q&A With LTN Editor-in-Chief Monica Bay

October 18, 2010
Salt Lake City, UT

I was very excited this week to discuss legal technology trends with one of the industry's most influential thought leaders, Monica Bay. I learned a lot and was fascinated by her knowledge on all topics ranging from cloud computing and social media to who will win the world series (although I hope her world series prediction is false).

Q: First off Monica, give me a little background on what you do?

Monica: I've been with ALM for almost 26 years; I currently am editor-in-chief of Law Technology News. As part of my duties, I write a daily commentary for the LTN Daily Alert, and write The Common Scold blog; broadcast Law Technology Now podcast, and twice-monthly LTN Videos; co-manage the EDD Update blog; attend and speak at conferences such as LegalTech New York and West Coast, and ILTA, and more.

Wow. That's quite a resume.

Q: With all this acquired knowledge, if you were to start a mid-size law firm from scratch, how would you build your firm from a technology standpoint?

Monica: I would talk to colleagues, read Law Technology News, attend LegalTech, and join ILTA, to learn as much as possible about current technology. Then I would hire the best possible CIO and project managers, have them take a needs assessment of ALL potential users, establish evaluation criteria, interview vendors, and give me their recommendations. I would devote a good chunk of our budget to technology, and would put special emphasis on remote access and "green" choices.

Well readers, there you go! Step by step guide to a green, technology forward law firm.

Q: What role should social media play in law firm marketing?

Monica: It is one of many marketing tools — firms and law departments must realize that social networking has tremendous advantages to any organization, but also has huge risks. We have had conferences on this and I wrote our April issue cover story on this. The next conference is Nov. 3

I actually remember reading that article. It's a must read for anyone interested in enterprise social media.

Q: What do you know now regarding technology that you wish you would have when you started your career?

Monica: Not to invest a lot of my disposable income into 8-tracks.

What's an 8-track?

Q: What are your thoughts regarding legal SaaS and cloud computing?

Monica: This is a maturing technology. It has tremendous growth potential as bandwidth becomes cheaper and more effective. Wonderful green opportunities.

I totally agree, especially regarding the value of green technology.

Q: Can the Yankees win the world series this year?

Monica: Knee-jerk answer: OF COURSE. Serious answer: We first have to get past the red-hot Texas team. If we do, I'm rooting for my hometown San Francisco Giants. My mom and I are NYY fans, it will be big fun to go to the World Series in NYC and SF and irritate my brother and sister-in-law when the Yankees take it all.

As a Dodger fan, that would be the worst case scenario but I guess we can let the Giants have one year right?

Thanks Monica for joining me. Awesome insight and very useful information.