Ken Kennedy inadvertently entered the legal technology field when wife at the time’s law office was having issues with their Trust Accounting software and asked if he could help them out. Armed with his limited knowledge of computers gleaned mostly from his experience with music composition and financial planning software, he successfully identified and resolved their issues. These first happy clients referred him to other firms that needed support for their legal software, which, at the time, was a new phenomenon at law offices. While speaking with a software company to troubleshoot issues for a client, a representative asked Ken if he would be interested in becoming a certified consultant. Recognizing the opportunity to become the first certified consultant in his area and supplement his income as a full-time musician, he said “sure.” This same conversation happened five times with different software companies and planted the roots of Ken’s reputation as a top legal technology expert.
Eventually, after working with a few different software products, Ken became interested in the possibility of communication between products. Linking complimentary products to take advantage of the strongest features of each, he thought, would maximize benefits for his clients. This began Ken’s interest in coding and programming. Early on, while doing that work, Microsoft came out with SQL Express, the free version of Microsoft SQL Server. Prior to this, SQL, one of the most prolific programming languages, was just used by large enterprise environments. Once a free version of SQL was released, more people could use it in small or mid-sized environments, which was relevant to Ken’s increasingly growing clientele. Ken figured out quickly that SQL was where the future of legal technology was going to be so he jumped with both feet. Working with SQL, queries, and making programs do things that they can’t do themselves became and remains to this day one of his specialties.
“One of the main reasons that I enjoy reporting, working with SQL script, and that type of thing is because it clicks on all cylinders for me. There is the analytic side of me that was in financial planning and business management but there’s also the biggest part of me which is creativity. If I’m not writing music, writing reports is about as close to writing music as it gets. I can be creative but it also must be precise- it’s either right or it’s wrong. And, when I deliver the report, I’m singing (sometimes literally) to the client.” – Ken Kennedy
Prior to merging businesses with McCord Consulting to form Circle Management in 2006 and after years of doing client-focused consulting, Ken focused most of his time helping consultants troubleshoot issues. On his decision to merge businesses, Ken notes: “[after merging] we could expand our capabilities…but it was also nice to be able to call someone to help when real life took up some of my time- so I could take a weekend or time off, or take my child to the doctor.” Eventually, Ken and Laura realized their business was growing substantially and that we were either going to have to hire several more people or merge with another company. So, as of January 2017 they merged with the existing 3545 and formed 3545 2.0.
This post was written by MaryLaura Kennedy