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Professional Profile: LaVern A. Pritchard

Photograph: LaVern A. Pritchard  

Overview

LaVern A. Pritchard, founder of Pritchard Law Webs and publisher of LawMoose, is Minnesota's legal web technology pioneer, with experience designing and building hypertext sytems (now known as web applications) for law practice and legal knowledge publishing dating back to the late 1980's, before the World Wide Web existed. He also holds a license to practice law in Minnesota, and is the co-founder and moderator of the Minnesota State Bar Association's SoloSmall electronic discussion list.

One of Minnesota's first attorneys to regularly use a personal computer in law practice, Mr. Pritchard immediately realized its tremendous potential and began to explore how law practice and technology could be combined into a seamless whole. Mr. Pritchard has innovatively used and designed hypertext, web, search, and other knowledge management technologies for law practice and knowledge management for 19 years, making him one of the legal profession's hypertext pioneers.

Publishing and Writing

  • Through Pritchard Law Webs, Mr. Pritchard is the publisher of LawMooseSM, the Minnesota legal search engine and legal community knowledge server/portal conceived and developed by Pritchard Law Webs.
  • He is also the author of:
    • A Terabyte to Store Your Thoughts, But Not Enough Time to Think?, Minnesota Lawyer, (Special Tenth Anniversary Edition, June 9, 2008)
    • Beyond the Top "Great Law Sites" - The Real Wealth of Legal Content Is at the Base Waiting to Be Discovered, Nebraska Lawyer, February 2008
    • Lawyers Collaborate with Wikis, Law Technology News, May 2007
    • Do We Believe in Lowering Accessibility Barriers to Case Law?, Minnesota Association of Law Libraries Newsletter, October 2006)
    • Shake That Tail (preview and implications for the legal community of Web 2.0 concepts popularized by the 2006 business best seller, The Long Tail, Law Technology News/Law.com (August 2006)
    • In Search of Innovation in the Minnesota Legal Community, Minnesota Lawyer (2005)
    • Multi-Dimensional Knowledge, Law Technolgy News (2004)
    • The Web as a Marketing Device, Minnesota Lawyer (2004)
    • Building Better Law Firms, Law Technology News (2004) (law practice taxonomies)
    • What Can Lawyers Expect as the Internet Matures? Law Technology News (December 2000),
    • Business Beware! A Brief Guide to the Internet's Legal Frontier (July 2000)
    • Intranet-Powered Law Practice: What It Will Mean for Lawyers and Clients (1997), and
    • Litigation Risk and Cost-Effectiveness Assessment: A Decision Maker's Guide to Enhancing Litigation Decision Quality (1997).

Presentations

Mr. Pritchard has regularly made presentations to national, regional, state, and local legal audiences on a wide variety of legal technology, legal quality, legal marketing, cost-effectiveness, professional liability, law practice innovation, and future of law practice and legal marketing topics, including presentations on the future of the legal profession, new business models for the legal profession, knowledge management, intranets, extranets, and public legal web sites, strategic planning for the Web Era, attorneys and the Internet, litigation risk and cost-effectiveness assessment, effective inside-outside counsel relations, litigation planning and budgeting, legal ethics, legal malpractice avoidance, the technology underlying "E-lawyering" applications, and technology and techniques for legal marketing.

Among many other live and webcast presentations over the years, Mr. Pritchard was recently a keynote speaker at the Nebraska State Bar Solo and Small Firms conference in July 2007, was a speaker at the 8th International Conference on Substantive Technology in Legal Education and Law Practice (Seattle, 2004), where he was invited to present the LawSaurusTM technology Pritchard Law Webs uses in its authoring and publishing on the Web, and was a speaker at the American Bar Association TechShow (Chicago, 2002).

Prior Legal and Management Experience

Before forming Pritchard Law Webs and commencing his own private law practice, Mr. Pritchard founded and was the member in charge of the Minneapolis office of Clark Hill P.L.C., a firm of more than one hundred attorneys. At Clark Hill, Mr. Pritchard principally served as lead outside counsel to the Resolution Trust Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation on failed savings and loan director and officer and professional liability litigation in the Midwest. He also founded the firm's Cyberspace Commerce and Disputes practice area, served on the technology committee, and edited the firm's public web site.

Before joining Clark Hill, Mr. Pritchard founded and served as Section Chief of the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) Professional Liability Section in Minneapolis, supervising professional liability investigations and litigation arising out of failed savings and loan associations in eleven states and hiring, managing, and partnering with outside professional liability counsel.

During Mr. Pritchard's tenure, the RTC/FDIC portfolio of failed financial institution professional liability claims constituted the most significant group of professional liability claims in the nation.

Prior to that, Mr. Pritchard was an associate, shareholder, or partner at Thompson & Klaverkamp, P.A., Minneapolis, Minnesota and Oppenheimer, Wolff & Donnelly, Minneapolis, Minnesota, engaged principally in business and professional liability litigation.

Legal Education, Licensure

Mr. Pritchard graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1979, magna cum laude, where he was an editor of the Minnesota Law Review and a member of the Order of the Coif. He was admitted to practice law in Minnesota in 1979 and to the District of Minnesota bar in 1980.

Pre-law Background

Mr. Pritchard grew up on a Iowa farm north of Des Moines. He graduated from the University of Iowa in 1970 with a BA in history and political science with high distinction. Mr. Pritchard and his wife Linda served together in the Peace Corps in the Konkan coastal region of Maharashtra, India from 1971-1973. Before attending law school, in the mid 1970's, Mr. Pritchard was a disability examiner and specialist for the State of Minnesota Social Security Disability Determination Section in St. Paul.

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Pritchard Law Webs, 2100 Foshay Tower, 821 Marquette Avenue, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55402. Tel: (612) 332-0102, Fax: (612) 332-3225.

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General site terms and conditions apply to this page. 1998-2008 Pritchard Law Webs. All rights reserved. This site was re-generated with PLW/SiteBuilder on July 21, 2008.