Tom Mighell: Senior Counsel at Cowles & Thompson and Author of inter alia, a Weblog by LawCrossing

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All About Tom Mighell The Senior Counsel Of Cowles and Thompson And A Writer Of Inter Alia The Internet Legal Research Blog And Information About Technological Breakthroughs, Defense Law Firm, Internet Research Techniques, Law Students And More.

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                             Tom Mighell: Senior Counsel at Cowles & Thompson and
                             Author of inter alia, a Weblog
                             [By Mary Waldron]
                             Tom Mighell, Senior Counsel at the Dallas, TX, firm Cowles & Thompson for the past 16 years and author of the Internet
                             legal research blog inter alia, is not just any lawyer. He is a pioneer in his field out to revolutionize the current legal system
                             by sharing technological breakthroughs and educating lawyers about how to become more effective. Mighell’s contributions
                             as an insurance defense attorney, as well as a litigation technology support coordinator and webmaster, have begun to
                             accelerate the entire law community’s advancement in terms of technological awareness.



Mighell realized that he wanted to dive into a       literally instantaneous. On the downside,             important, information available to help
career in law back when he was a member of           lawyers are now usually caught up in messes           them; they just need to know how to find it.
the debate team in high school. His passion          of emails and messages that must be                   In addition to assisting lawyers who wish
for fighting for the well-being of others            answered within 24 hours, which can prevent           to develop more technological expertise,
began developing then and there, and it has          them from getting other work done. “I think           Mighell publishes the “Internet Legal
not left him since. “Some would say that I           that it is a real double-edged sword because,         Research Weekly Newsletter,” which reports
like arguing a lot. I prefer to think of it as       on the one hand, it is tremendously powerful          on need-to-know technological methods
advocacy—advocating a position and working           and it allows you to keep in contact with your        and resources for saving lawyers time and
to solve health problems,” he said.                  clients, but on the other hand, it allows you         increasing their productivity. The passion
                                                     to keep in contact with your clients during           that Mighell has always had for helping
Working in an insurance defense law firm,            times when you maybe do not need to be                people has evolved into a desire to help
Mighell and his associates primarily deal            working, or you need to be concentrating on           lawyers improve their games so they can
with personal injury defense issues for              other areas of life,” Mighell said. However,          better serve clients.
various companies. Because of his interest           technologically educating other lawyers can
in looking after the health needs of others,         help ease some of the mechanical madness              Along with his weekly newsletter, for the
Mighell specializes in daycare liability.            that accumulates as a result of more                  past four years, Mighell has been posting a
He usually covers cases for places where             efficient means of communication.                     weblog called inter alia, Latin for “among
kids spend a lot of time, such as camps,                                                                   other things,” in which he shares information
gymnastics studios, and karate studios.              In addition to covering his usual cases and           regarding legal technology and computer
Mighell also visits daycare centers to train         keeping his firm’s website updated, Mighell           security measures. Publishing at least one
employees on how to avoid lawsuits and               has begun to transition himself into more             item every day, Mighell coordinates with
protect themselves and the children they             of a technical authority role, working with           other lawyers who write blogs, introducing
take care of. The majority of his work over          lawyers and teaching them how to make their           many new ways in which lawyers can use
the life of his practice has been centered           jobs easier, so they can focus on what really         their blogs to contribute to the legal field
on defense in the area of personal injury.           matters: studying cases and connecting with           and educating fellow lawyers and general
In addition to his love for law and helping          clients. Since he began this venture, Mighell         Internet users alike. The more today’s
others, Mighell also lends a strong hand to          has shifted his workload to “20% lawyer,”             lawyers read blogs like Mighell’s, the
his company in the area of technical support.        which has allowed him to dedicate himself             more they further their legal educations.
                                                     almost completely to the improvement of               Blogging is also useful in terms of educating
Currently, Mighell is beginning to use his           technology in his law firm. Lawyers are               current clients and marketing practices to
extensive knowledge of law to help others            usually too busy to educate themselves about          prospective clients. It can eliminate the tasks
in his field and in related fields, aiming to        the latest software, programs, and Internet           of creating and sending out newsletters to
promote technology as a tool to make the             research techniques. Oftentimes, lawyers              clients, potential clients, and other lawyers.
system simpler and more efficient. For               end up searching Google in attempts to find
instance, as a result of improvements in             information to fulfill their needs, eventually        Having been in the field of law for almost 20
communication technology, email and cell             running themselves in wasteful circles.               years now, Mighell has a wealth of advice
phones have made communications between              Mighell hopes to show lawyers that there              and information to share with young law
lawyers, their clients, and other law affiliates     is relatively simple, yet comprehensive and           students. He knows that there must be a



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concrete balance of work and recreation.           mentally healthy. Law students need to              ON THE NET
Before law students graduate, they must            research the types of law jobs they are
learn how to prioritize and decide how much        interested in and the constraints those jobs        inter alia
they want their social lives to be affected        may place on them. It is very challenging           www.inter-alia.net
by their jobs. Mighell advises, “Learn to          to get out of some jobs once you have
understand that it is not all about the work,      committed yourself. Mighell warned, “Once           Cowles & Thompson
unless you want it to be all about the work.”      you get into a job, it is often more difficult to   www.cowlesthompson.com/index_flash.cfm
It is important to do something that makes         get out of it. Usually, the handcuffs can be
one happy; finding a balance between work          quite tight once you get into a situation.”         Dallas, TX, City Hall
and the rest of one’s life is the key to staying                                                       www.dallascityhall.com




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