South Carolina Bar
Organization Type: Association
Position/Title: Director, Practice Management Assistance Program
Functional Area: Consulting, Education, Finance, Management, Marketing, Technology
Year of Induction: 2014
950 Taylor St.
Columbia, SC 29201
Courtney Kennaday is the Director of the Practice Management Assistance Program (PMAP) at the South Carolina Bar.
Majoring in Theater and Speech as an undergraduate, her goal was to one day write a memorable inaugural address for a future Kennedy-esque politician. She participated in British Union style debates and also debated with the Clariosophic Society, a literary society founded in 1806 at the South Carolina College, now known as the University of South Carolina. In 1990, with law school diploma and license in hand, she landed her first dream job: speechwriter for two legislators in her home state of South Carolina.
However, the itch to practice law became too great (and writing speeches too repetitive) and she began working on a contract basis for small firms – conducting legal research, drafting pleadings, and eventually handling her own clients. Soon, she formed a consulting service with another lawyer, providing technology consulting, legal research and drafting assistance for lawyers in small firms. This led to a long-term contract with one of the state’s largest law firms, where she created the firm’s first electronic “brief bank.” It was the early 90’s, and the firm had just implemented its first central file server, so the concept of scanning paper files, using early document management software, and organizing electronic data for the benefit of all was considered innovative. Ultimately, the firm hired her as a staff attorney, and later named her as the firm’s first Manager of Legal Information Resources. In that position, she managed the firm’s seven libraries, but she is most proud of her work on the “brief bank” database.
In 1996, she was hired by another large firm as a litigation associate working with lawyers in intellectual property law. Her knowledge of and use of computerized research led her, in 1996, to write an article on lawyers using the Internet for the South Carolina Lawyer magazine. It was the first article on technology the magazine had ever published. She is also proud of leading the effort, as Chair of the South Carolina Bar Technology Committee in 1997, to overturn an earlier state Bar ethics opinion and issue a new opinion (97-08) permitting lawyers to ethically correspond with their clients using email.
During this time, she also became active in the American Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section. There she served on the Computer and Technology Division, the Nominating Committee, the Litigation Interest Group, and the New Media and Internet Board. She was a co-leader of the “TECHSHOW 101” track at ABA TECHSHOW in the late 1990’s and has spoken at TECHSHOW in three separate decades.
In the late 1990’s, she wrote the regular Law.Talk online tech column with attorneys Ross Kodner and Susan Ross for Microsoft and later Corel. Her articles have also appeared in GPSolo and Law Practice magazines, TechoLawyer, and in many statewide publications. Most recently, she co-authored the popular Sites for Sore Eyes column for the GPSolo Technology eReport with Jim Calloway.
Prior to Y2K, the opportunity to help a 20 lawyer firm transition from a fractured network in five separate old houses to a new, custom designed building, proved impossible to resist. She left her position as law firm associate to become the new firm’s first Director of Information Technology. In that role, she oversaw the design and implementation of the firm’s new, state-of-the-art, fully integrated computer and telephone systems. She also managed the procurement process, made all software and hardware decisions, and oversaw the implementation, training, and smooth transition to the new system.
In 2002, she joined the Bar staff and founded the South Carolina Bar PMAP to assist Bar members and their staff with questions about technology, ethics and practice management. Her PMAP pages www.scbar.org/pmap are a popular resource for practice management and technology information, and were once named in the top five among law office resources by the ABA. She arranges technology discounts and training for Bar members from popular vendors. She frequently speaks to lawyers and law students about ethics, law office technology and management issues. Her current passion is the SC Bar Solo & Small Firm Section, for which she is the staff liaison. She is in charge of planning the annual Section conference, which focuses solely on practice management and technology issues, and includes a vendor expo. She is also the course planner, moderator and occasional speaker for the technology sessions at the Bar’s annual convention.
In 2014, she was a recipient of the Fastcase 50 Award, which recognizes 50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law. She tweets at SCBar_PMAP and blogs at www.scsmallfirm.com. Being recognized for her accomplishments by being named a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management by her peers is one of her proudest professional honors.
CITATION UPON INDUCTION INTO THE COLLEGE
Courtney Kennaday has labored diligently in the field of law practice management for over 20 years. She was admitted to practice in 1990, just as law firms were discovering that personal computers could enhance both the practice of law and individual lawyers’ productivity. Her fascination with legal technology and its benefits in the delivery of legal services has led her from her own legal technology consulting firm, through employment as IT director of a large law firm, and, finally, to her current position as a practice management thought leader and founder of the South Carolina State Bar’s Practice Management Assistance Program. Along the way her writings, presentations, and one-on-one consultations have provided significant educational opportunities and assistance to many practicing lawyers. A long-time member of the ABA Law Practice Management Section, participating on the ABA TECHSHOW planning board and as a TECHSHOW presenter, her dedication to spreading knowledge about legal management and technology make her a great addition to the College of Law Practice Management.