Ernie the AttorneyMost of us want transformation without change.  We want to be healthier, so long as it doesn’t require diet or exercise.  We want more time for family, friends and community, but not if it means passing up new business or earning less. We crave new and better, but feel safer in our comfort zones.

True transformation requires change: change of practice, of pace, of place and of attitude. Change is occasionally exciting, frequently enriching, and change is always easier when we pursue and embrace it than when it’s shoved down our throats.

Change travels fast; transformation creeps.

Except, in the legal technology arena, change takes years, and transformation decades; that is, save for the fortunate few able to reinvent themselves by rejecting the notion that one is ever “too busy to learn to be more efficient.”  One such different drummer and visionary is Ernest Svenson of New Orleans (pictured above).  If that mild-mannered moniker doesn’t ring any bells, perhaps you know him by his superhero name, Ernie the Attorney.

Driven by wind and water (a/k/a Hurricane Katrina), Ernie transformed from bored big firm litigator to energized, automated and in-control solo practitioner.  Ernie invested the time required to figure out how to practice efficiently, tame the paper tiger and exploit the latest techno-apps, -tools and -services.  Ernie thought things over and identified better ways to do what we do every day.  He began blogging about his successes and failures and writing books, always eager to share his wealth of knowledge with any it might help.

But, though Ernie could foster change by blogging and writing books, spawning transformation demanded a more intense and intimate sharing of skills and insights; so, Ernie created the Small Law Firm Bootcamp, a two-day event in New Orleans between Christmas and New Year’s—a time when we take stock of the year gone by and resolve to do better in the next.

The 2015 dates for the Small Law Firm Bootcamp are Dec 29th (Tues.) and Dec 30th (Wed) at the Intercontinental Hotel in downtown New Orleans (on historic St. Charles Avenue).  The Small Law Firm Bootcamp is not only a great excuse to visit New Orleans and meet other like-minded lawyers, it’s also a way to jump-start your law practice in a relaxed setting, savoring the most charming and fun-loving city in the world.

Ernie recently invited me to join the fun; so, next month I’ll be in New Orleans to talk about low-cost ways that savvy solos and small-firm practitioners can outmatch opponents in e-discovery. Ernie and I, joined by talented technologists, Adriana Linares and Craig Bayer, will cover a whole lot more before we adjourn to ring in 2016.

If you’re a solo or small firm practitioner, join us in the Big Easy late next month and, instead of another plate of leftovers, try something fresh, new and transformative before the year’s end.  Better hurry, because Ernie tells me all seats sell out.  Laissez les Temps Nouveaux Roullez!

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