Originally published on Legaltech News

Welcome to marketing during COVID-19 (aka coronavirus), a time where face-to-face marketing efforts like conferences, seminars, and on-site sales calls are minimized in favor of safer, virtual forms of contact.

How will this affect marketing to law firms and corporate legal?

Digital marketing is crucial, yes. But face-to-face meetings – when they can happen – make immediate impressions, allow you to gain information quickly, and can melt time off year+ sales cycles for B2B technology companies.

Legal technology conferences put companies right in front of their prospects and clients – not only on the exhibit floor but during educational presentations, demo sessions, parties, and networking. Companies spend months planning for them to promote brand awareness, win leads, and close deals. But if these conferences and the chance for in-person meetings decrease, how can marketers fill the gap? Here are a few ideas.

Click to read the article on Legaltech News.

As a business owner, you are acutely aware of the fundamental risks and benefits of thinking outside the box. You know the pros and cons of taking that leap of faith and you have done it, successfully. You have carefully crafted your company and everything that entails, and you are, justifiably, proud of everything you and your team have accomplished.

So, then what?

With so many factors to consider (your company’s reputation and longevity, and employees who depend on you for their livelihoods, to name just two), it’s no wonder successful entrepreneurs can find themselves in a tug-of-war between contentedly trucking along the same safe, well-worn road as always, or forging into uncharted territory.

Here are three ways to nurture an innovative mindset, as you consider your firm’s “then what”:


Our December News with Edge article outlined some basic principles of sales and marketing that have remained constant over time, despite modern advancements in how we reach our target markets. Knowing your audience, refining your message and using a multifaceted approach to reach the segments of your audience the way each of them wants to be reached are some of the core tenets seasoned marketers have followed for decades.

But in fact, there is much that is new in marketing today.


Legaltech News published an article on November 15, 2019, by Frank Ready, a reporter on the tech desk at ALM Media, titled “For Legal Tech Vendors, the First Impression is Everything.”

What I found most interesting is that I probably could have read the same article back when I started working in this space in 1996, because it turns out that, with all the technology and advancements in the channels used to reach this market over the past 20+ years, nothing has really changed with respect to basic principles of sales and marketing.


Ah the holidays… the most wonderful time of the year! How do PR professionals make it the most wonderful time to maximize PR opportunities? Here are some tips to keep in mind to capitalize on the last weeks of the year.


Plus honorable mention in two additional categories

Minneapolis – November 1, 2019 – Edge Marketing, Inc., a Minneapolis-based public relations and marketing firm serving the needs of organizations in the legal and accounting industries, was recently honored with two prestigious 2019 MarCom Awards. The agency was named a Platinum Winner for a social media campaign in the Digital Media category and a Gold Winner for a public relations program in the Strategic Communications category. Submissions were for campaigns fully designed and executed by the agency on behalf of its clients.

The agency was also awarded Honorable Mention in two additional categories: Digital Media for a Business to Business website and Print Media for a Business to Business brochure.

MarCom Awards honor excellence in marketing and communication while recognizing the creativity, hard work and generosity of industry professionals. Since its inception in 2004, MarCom has evolved into one of the largest, most-respected creative competitions in the world. Each year about 6,000 print and digital entries are submitted from dozens of countries.

“We are thrilled Edge has once again been recognized as a top agency by MarCom. Our team has always believed that taking a strategic approach is the best way to exceed our clients’ expectations. As a Platinum and a Gold MarCom award winner, our agency has yet another proof point of the great results we have created with our services,” says Vicki LaBrosse, director of global public relations at Edge.

The Edge team’s past work has been recognized with MarCom Awards in 2015, 2016 and 2018, in Public Relations, Website, Logo Design, White Paper, eBook, Infographics and Social Media. The Edge Marketing team has also received a 2019 National Law Journal Award in Public Relations (Legal Marketing, Social Media).

Amy Juers, founder and CEO of Edge Marketing, states, “It is an honor being recognized alongside national and global brands like Cisco, Aflac, Dell, Hilton and IBM. Winning these awards should give our clients peace of mind that when they choose Edge, they will get the best-quality people and strategic services. While I know in my heart that we excel at what we do, having the affirmation of MarCom and the prestige of winning other industry awards will continue to energize and push us to new levels for our clients.”

About Edge Marketing
Edge Marketing delivers marketing and public relations expertise to clients in the legal and accounting markets. The company helps B2B organizations promote and sell their products and services to audience segments within each industry, including corporate legal departments, law firms, federal and state courts and legal associations, accounting firms and organizations supporting the accounting market. As a full-service agency, Edge provides strategic planning, public relations, marketing and e-marketing action plans, alliance building, website development, market research and advertising (concept and media plans). To learn more visit www.edgelegalmarketing.com or www.accountingedgemarketing.com.

Try catching a mosquito from the bed of a pickup truck that’s bumping over soccer ball-size rocks. To many, nailing this is easier than addressing today’s cybersecurity challenges.

How can organizations defend against or even stave off digital threats?

In honor of National Cybersecurity Awareness Month, I (virtually) sat down with the following five technology experts, who shared advice on how best to protect organizations:

  • Matthew Brothers-McGrew, CISO and EVP of technology of Reveal Data
  • Randy Johnston, EVP of K2 Enterprises and chairman and CEO of Network Management Group, Inc.
  • Mike Paul, CTO of Innovative Computing Systems, Inc.
  • Steve Salkin, managing editor of ALM’s Cybersecurity Law & Strategy
  • Tomas Suros, chief solutions architect at AbacusNext


Improving access to justice through the use of open source software

Denver CO, October 16, 2019—John Tredennick, longtime trial lawyer and former CEO and founder of award-winning Catalyst Repository Systems, today announced the formation of the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation. The Merlin Foundation is a nonprofit corporation in the process of registering as a 501(c)(3). Its simple mission is to improve access to justice and make legal and regulatory compliance more efficient through the use of open source software.

The Mission: Promoting Open Source for Legal

“Open source has revolutionized the way software is developed worldwide,” explained  Foundation Director John Tredennick. “It represents a new and powerful alternative to proprietary software and has great applications in legal. Teams of developers and legal professionals worldwide are collaborating to make software that improves access to justice for clients and makes legal and regulatory compliance less costly,” he continued.

“At its heart, open source is about collaboration. What makes it so powerful is that people can come together worldwide to develop and release free, fully featured software tailored to legal needs,” said Mary Mack, the former Director of ACEDS and now embarking on a new venture. “I am excited to support and be a part of this great new venture.”

The Merlin Foundation plans to achieve its mission by:

  • Fostering worldwide education about the advantages of open source software and secure cloud computing;
  • Providing a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and
  • Distributing open source software under free licenses to individuals and organizations around the world for legal and regulatory compliance processes.

The goal is to develop a central repository of active legal open source projects and provide a home for legal technologists to collaborate on great software that will benefit both the legal profession and those who need legal services at an affordable price.

“An Open Source Foundation like this has been needed for the legal profession for years,” stated Bob Ambrogi, an award-winning legal reporter, writer and podcaster who will serve on the Merlin Advisory Board. “Open source has been opening doors for efficiency and cost savings in just about every other part of the world. Legal is ripe for open source collaboration efforts. In fact, we are already seeing open source projects springing up across the globe,” he added.

Industry veteran Lew Visscher will act as Chief Financial Officer for the Foundation. Lew is a well known financial and accounting professional who served for more than a decade as Catalyst’s CFO. Before that he worked with a number of foundations and technology companies, beginning his career as a CPA with PriceWaterhouse. “As a nonprofit, Merlin has to be above reproach with respect to its financials and donations. My job will be to make sure the organization is in sound financial shape and to report on our books to the public,” Lew stated.

Starting fast out of the gate, the Merlin Foundation has already lined up a number of leading professionals to serve on its Advisory Board. “We are going to hold back until we have the board fully established,” explained Tredennick. “But we already have top names from major law firms, legal departments and open source technologists in the U.S and the EU. We hope to recruit in Asia Pacific and Australasia as well in the next few months,” he added.  “We are actively looking for great people to join our cause.”

Increasing Complexity and Regulatory Demands

As worldwide legal and regulatory requirements increase in both scope and complexity, there is a pressing need for technology that helps legal departments and law firms meet their obligations. Open source collaboration allows legal teams from different organizations to work together to build software that they can all use for compliance processes. It can also help us reach out to consumers worldwide, helping them navigate these difficult waters.

About the Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation

The Merlin Legal Open Source Foundation is dedicated to improving access to justice and making legal and regulatory compliance more efficient through the use of open source software. A worldwide, non-profit organization, the Merlin Foundation strives to foster worldwide education about the benefits of open source software; provide a central platform for legal professionals to collaborate on open source development projects; and distribute open source software under free license to individuals and organizations around the world to improve access to justice and for legal and regulatory compliance.

The Merlin Foundation is a non-profit corporation in the process of registering as a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization.

For more information about the Merlin Foundation, go to www.MerlinFoundation.org.

The CCPA, scheduled to take effect in January 2020, creates sweeping new rights for Californians and onerous transparency and other obligations for businesses handling their information.

While it’s natural to make the comparison, calling the CCPA California’s GDPR may be a bit of a misnomer. The two laws share some key components, yet differ in several aspects. If your company created a compliance program for GDPR, you may be a step ahead, but you’ll still want to take a thorough look at the new CCPA, adapt internal processes where needed and train employees
to understand and appropriately handle information requests from California contacts.


From the moment I stepped into the beautiful Bellagio Hotel and Casino for CLOC 2019 Vegas Institute, there was a wow factor that no one could deny.

While not new to the Bellagio, I was new to CLOC – this was the first conference I have been able to attend. When CLOC launched its first conference in 2016, there were many unknowns about the organization and also the power and influence this conference would have. Here are my takeaways from CLOC 2019:

  1. The Corporate Legal Operations Consortium is a 501(c)6 nonprofit organization that helps legal operations professionals and others optimize the legal service delivery models required to support the needs of law departments. The organization is comprised of 2,303 members across 45 countries including, but not limited to the U.S., UK, Australia and Canada. Its membership represents 65 Fortune 100 companies, 182 Fortune 500 companies and 242 of the Fortune 1000. The organization has seen a continuous increase in membership registrations year over year. If your goal is to connect with legal operations professionals, the buck stops here.
  2. Stats matter, and the numbers are evidence of influence and growth. There was an 80 percent increase in CLOC Vegas Institute registration from 2017 to 2018 and a 55 percent increase from 2018 to 2019. CLOC staff claims that this year they had more than 2,300 attendees present and 46 percent as in-house legal representatives.
  3. I attended the press conference with the CLOC board of directors, which includes Mary Shen O’Carroll, director, legal operations, technology and strategy, Google; Jason Barnwell, assistant general counsel – legal business, operations and strategy, Microsoft; Christine Coats, vice president of legal operations, Oracle; Mike Haven, senior director, ACG and head of legal operations, Gap Inc.; Lisa Konie, senior director of legal operations, Adobe; Aine Lyons, VP and deputy general counsel, worldwide legal operations, VMware; Jamal Stockton, head of legal innovation and digital enablement, Fidelity; and, Brian Hupp, CLOC board member. The message from the board – all volunteers – was clear: The organization is invested in the legal community. It encourages connections and breaking down barriers between practitioners and service and technology providers. This enables people to learn from each other and will propel and push boundaries to elevate the industry as a whole.
  4. Technology is changing very rapidly, and staying on track with it is a collective job, meaning CLOC, legal service and technology providers, consultants, media and other practitioners all need to help guide and educate and get everyone to the next level. I have seen technology and service companies come into the legal industry expecting big wins right off the bat from a trade show, email campaign or a PPC advertising campaign. When success doesn’t arrive overnight, they often get frustrated and leave the industry. What they don’t know or have the patience to understand is that this is not the legal operations or legal practitioners’ fault for not immediately buying into a new technology or system, but it is the industry’s nature, historically, to avoid risk and only make change happen once something is tried and true. Leaning on an organization that encourages education, collaboration and betterment, like CLOC, brings peace of mind when making a decision for change.
  5. As an executive director of Women in eDiscovery, I understand how much volunteer time goes into running an organization of this size. There are countless hours, increasing demands, growing pains and also a lot of excitement for the future and what could be! I feel that CLOC has done a tremendously successful job at the institute and look forward to how they will continue to improve things for its members and constituents alike.
  6. I met up with a good number of Edge current, past and hopefully future clients (you know who you are!), and the overall feedback I received regarding the conference, exhibiting, educational content and networking opportunities was positive. There were some complaints about not fitting everyone into a room for some sessions, but I say demand is good. Get there ahead of time or you might not get a seat! Meaningful conversations between our legal technology and service provider clients and CLOC members were prevalent. This makes me believe that the first and foremost goals of CLOC of networking, connecting and thinking are truly happening … which is a good thing!

CLOC 2020 Vegas Institute is scheduled for May 14-16, 2020, at the Bellagio, and I look forward to anteing up to experience it once again.