by Laurence Colletti
“When our justice system fails these people, we must answer their call and fight on their behalf.” – Linda Klein, President of the American Bar Assocation 2016-2017
The 2016 ABA Annual Meeting took place in San Francisco, California. Like previous annual meetings, the venue was large and spread out amongst multiple hotels and establishments. The sessions featured an amazing array of leaders and speakers whose voices carry great weight in the legal profession as well as our nation — FBI Director James Comey, GCs for Fortune 500 companies, U.S. and state representatives, national advocacy group leaders, and famous authors and writers to mention a few. Being an election year and with tumultuous police/citizen relations, a vacancy at the Supreme Court, an uptick in terrorism, and a worldwide refugee crisis, there was certainly a lot to talk about.
Our ABA Annual coverage spanned several days and involved 31 guests. Day one’s late day coverage began just following our arrival in San Francisco, when we talked about Terrorism, FISA Courts, and the Zika virus. On day two we opened with employee handbooks and election laws, and closed out with celebrity writers, Supreme Court vacancies, driverless cars, and national security. On day three, we talked to both outgoing and incoming ABA Presidents Paulette Brown and Linda Klein. In addition, we recorded interviews about immigration, U.S. tech GCs, and election laws. Before leaving town, we heard about militarization of law enforcement, Japanese Internment in America during World War II, and a personal story of achieving a law degree in the face of adversity.
A special thank you to the guests who joined us on the air each day for being part of our coverage and lending our listeners your voice:
- Cindy Cohn: Executive Director of the Electronic Frontier Foundation
- Judge James P. Jones: United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia and the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court
- Dr. Mohammed Hafez: Associate Professor at the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California
- Captain Kenneth Dominguez: Centers for Disease Control
- Professor James Hodge: Professor of Public Health Law and Ethics and Director of the Public Health Law and Policy Program at Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University.
- Kate Bally: Director of Labor and Employment Service, Practical Law at Thomson Reuters
- Matthew Schiff: Labor and Employment Partner at Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP
- Michael Lotito: Co-Chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute
- Sierra Spitzer: Partner at Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot LLP
- Jonathan Shapiro: Writer and producer for “The Blacklist,” “The Practice,” “Life” and “Boston Legal”. Author of “Liars, Lawyers, and the Art of Storytelling” and “Deadly Force”
- Professor Rachel Moran: Dean Emerita and Michael J. Connell Distinguished Professor of Law at UCLA School of Law
- Nicole Austin-Hillery: Director and Counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C.
- Laura Ruettgers: Special Counsel at Severson & Werson
- Professor Bryant Walker Smith: Assistant Professor of Law at University of South Carolina School of Law
- Stephen Wu: Of Counsel at Silicon Valley Law Group
- Gilman Louie: Partner at Alsop Louie Partners
- Marc Rotenberg: President and Executive Director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center
- Harvey Rishikof: Chair of the Advisory Committee for the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security
- Paulette Brown: President of the American Bar Association 2015-2016
- Holly Cooper: Associate Director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California, Davis, School of Law
- Elisa Massimino: President and CEO of Human Rights First
- President Linda Klein: President of the American Bar Association 2016-2017
- Cynthia Cwik: Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law
- Heather Rafter: Former Chair of the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law
- Rep. Paul Stam: Speaker Pro Tempore in the North Carolina House of Representatives
- Rashidah Grinage: Coordinator for the Coalition of Police Accountability
- William “Dub” Lawrence: Former Sheriff for Davis County, Utah
- Jeff Adachi: Elected Public Defender of San Francisco
- Cathleen Yonahara: Employment Partner at Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP
- Karen Korematsu: Founder and Executive Director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute
- Andrea Jarmon: Founder of The Jarmon Law Group
The following series of audio links will bring you to the interviews discussed above. We hope you enjoy these episodes as much as we had recording them:
Predicting and Preventing Terrorist Attacks
Cindy Cohn, executive director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Judge James P. Jones, United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, and Dr. Mohammed Hafez, associate professor at the Department of National Security Affairs at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, join hosts Sharon Nelson and John Simek to talk about terrorism and the FISA Court. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Predicting and Preventing Terrorist Attacks
Captain Kenneth Dominguez of the Centers for Disease Control and Professor James Hodge of Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, Arizona State University join host Joe Patrice for a discussion about the Zika virus and why lack of funding is slowing U.S. response to what would normally be a non-deadly disease. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Zika Virus
Minefield in the Modern Employee Handbook
Kate Bally, Director of Labor and Employment Service, Practical Law at Thomson Reuters, Matthew Schiff, labor and employment partner at Sugar Felsenthal Grais & Hammer LLP, Michael Lotito, co-chair of Littler’s Workplace Policy Institute, and Sierra Spitzer, partner at Schwartz Semerdjian Cauley & Moot LLP join host Laurence Colletti for a conversation about “landmine” issues in the modern employee handbook. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Minefield in the Modern Employee Handbook
Law School and Writing Legal Dramas for Television
Host Sandy Gallant-Jones interviews television writer, producer, and author Jonathan Shapiro about his experience as an attorney and how he leverages it to create new content both on and off the screen. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Law School and Writing Legal Dramas for Television
The Current State of the Supreme Court
Host and Above the Law Editor Joe Patrice interviews Professor Rachel Moran from UCLA School of Law and Nicole Austin-Hillery, the director and counsel of The Brennan Center’s Washington, D.C. to talk about Justice Scalia’s passing and the current state of the Supreme Court. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: The Current State of the Supreme Court
Laura Ruettgers, special counsel at Severson & Werson, Professor Bryant Walker from University of South Carolina School of Law, and Stephen Wu, of counsel at Silicon Valley Law Group join host Joe Patrice to talk about the morality and liability of driverless cars. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Driverless Cars
Emerging issues in Law Enforcement and National Security
Host Joe Patrice interviews Gilman Louie, partner at Alsop Louie Partners, Marc Rotenberg, president and executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, and Harvey Rishikof, chair of the Advisory Committee for the American Bar Association Standing Committee on Law and National Security. Together they talk about technology’s effect on law enforcement and national security. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Emerging issues in Law Enforcement and National Security
Outgoing President Paulette Brown’s Year in Review
Outgoing ABA President Paulette Brown sits down with hosts Sandy Gallant-Jones and Kareem Aref to talk about her year as the leader of the American Bar Association and the accomplishments along the way. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Outgoing President Paulette Brown’s Year in Review
The Global Immigration Crisis
Host Joe Patrice interviews Holly Cooper, the associate director of the Immigration Law Clinic at the University of California, Davis, School of Law and Elisa Massimino, president and CEO of Human Rights First. Together, they talk about the global immigration crisis and the failure of governments around the world to live up to their obligations. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: The Global Immigration Crisis
President Linda Klein’s Year To Come
Incoming ABA President Linda Klein sits down with hosts Lynae Tucker and Chris Morgan to discuss her upcoming year and goals as the leader of the American Bar Association. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: President Linda Klein’s Year To Come
What’s Next? Tech’s Top Counsel Reveal All
The current and former chair for the ABA Section of Science & Technology Law, Cynthia Cwik and Heather Rafter, talk with host Joe Patrice about what they learned from their power panel of tech GCs from Uber, Salesforce, and Oculus. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: What’s Next? Tech’s Top Counsel Reveal All
North Carolina Voter and Election Laws After Shelby
Host Joe Patrice interviews Representative Paul Stam, Speaker Pro Tempore in the North Carolina House of Representatives about election laws and redistricting. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: North Carolina Voter and Election Laws After Shelby
The Militarization of Law Enforcement
Rashidah Grinage, coordinator for the Coalition of Police Accountability, William “Dub” Lawrence, former sheriff for Davis County, Utah, Jeff Adachi, elected public defender of San Francisco, and Cathleen Yonahara, employment partner at Freeland Cooper & Foreman LLP sit down with hosts Laurence Colletti and Kareem Aref to talk about their session, titled “How the Militarization of Law Enforcement Has Affected Peace Officers and the Communities They Serve.” Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: The Militarization of Law Enforcement
Korematsu v. United States
Host Kareem Aref interviews Karen Korematsu, founder and executive director of the Fred T. Korematsu Institute about her father’s landmark case, Korematsu v. United States, and its applicability to the today’s climate in response to the War on Terror. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Korematsu v. United States
Overcoming Adversity to Pursue a Career in Law
Andrea Jarmon tells her story of overcoming homelessness, domestic abuse, and an unplanned teenage pregnancy to become a lawyer who helps others in matters of domestic abuse and family law. Listen here: ABA Annual Meeting 2016: Overcoming Adversity to Pursue a Career in Law
If you’re a fan of Special Reports, then you know that Legal Talk Network travels the country pretty regularly to cover the biggest conferences in legal. We’re excited to share that starting today, Special Reports will now be called On the Road with Legal Talk Network.
There will be a slight change in format and new artwork, but Legal Talk Network will keep bringing you the same great interviews with influential guests. We’ll be debuting the new format with coverage of this weekend’s ABA Annual Meeting in San Francisco.
You don’t need to do anything, change anything, or update anything, but if you haven’t subscribed (or weren’t already subscribed to Special Reports) you can do so below:
We’re very excited for this new change. If you have feedback on this or other shows, let us know in the comments or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll see you on the road…
by Kelsey Johnson
Let’s face it. Legal Talk Network makes podcasts for lawyers. We’re not ashamed of it. And as a legal nerd and podcast nerd, I love them, but when I’m recommending episodes to my non-lawyer friends, sometimes I run short. That’s why I’m so excited for our new podcast Planet Lex. For a podcast made by a law school (Northwestern Pritzker School of Law) with the dean as host, Planet Lex is surprisingly accessible and compelling to lawyers and non-lawyers alike.
The first episode is an interview with Steven Drizin and Laura Nirider, the post-conviction attorneys for Brendan Dassey, one of the subjects from the documentary Making a Murderer. Drizin and Nirider are central parts to the Center on Wrongful Convictions of Youth, having spent years working to overturn wrongful convictions and ensure evidence is reliable. They discuss the Brendan Dassey and other cases with host Dan Rodriguez, describing the events that happened and why, from a legal standpoint, his confession might be unreliable as evidence. For any Making a Murderer fans jonesing for more information, you will learn a lot about the appeals process from the lawyers who are directly involved. Listen to Defending Brendan Dassey of “Making a Murderer”.
Episode 2 features music copyright. Wait, stay with me. The evolution of how musicians make money, and why it has become increasingly important due to technological advancements, is not only important, it’s interesting. Whether you are thinking of pursuing your own musical career (after listening to the podcast, I recommend against it) or are simply curious about how artists make (or don’t make) money from your Spotify list, guest Peter DiCola offers in-depth and accessible answers to both. Listen to The Evolution of Copyright in Music.
On the third episode of Planet Lex, Dan Rodriguez talks with Emerson Tiller and Leslie Oster about the new Master of Science in Law Program at Northwestern, a program meant for STEM professionals. STEM stands for people studying or working in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or, in other words, people who traditionally think very differently than lawyers. But, as Tiller and Oster explain, when legal skills are combined with STEM backgrounds, it results in valuable business skills. Don’t know about you, but now I’m interested. Listen to Integrating the Law and STEM Focused Multidisciplinary Education.
If you’ve been thinking about trying out a new legal podcast or are looking for a recommendation for your non-lawyer friends or partners, Planet Lex might be just the podcast for you. I know I’ll be listening. Let us know what you think on Twitter or Facebook!
Chicago, IL – Legal Talk Network and Northwestern Pritzker School of Law are pleased to announce the debut of Planet Lex: The Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Podcast. Planet Lex is a series of conversations about the law, law and society, law and technology, and the future of legal education and practice. In other words, a bunch of interesting stuff about the law.
In the debut episode of Planet Lex, Defending Brendan Dassey of “Making a Murderer”, host Dan Rodriguez, Dean of Northwestern Pritzker School of Law speaks with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law Clinical Professor of Law Steven Drizin and Clinical Assistant Professor of Law Laura Nirider about youth interrogation, false confessions, and their representation of Brendan Dassey. Steve shares that he was contacted by a friend in the Wisconsin state appellate defenders office to represent Brendan and that because of the Wisconsin appellate process they had to do two years of intensive investigation before filing their appeal with the Wisconsin Court of Appeals.
Upcoming episodes will discuss the evolution of copyright in music, STEM focused education and law, and handling sexual misconduct on campus with guests Peter DiCola, Emerson H. Tiller, Leslie Oster, and Deborah Tuerkheimer, all of whom are professors at Northwestern Pritzker School of Law.
“This is a unique opportunity to dialogue around some of the most relevant legal topics today. Given the speed of change, it’s critical that we create access to the most advanced thinking in the field, and that is the primary goal here,” said Dean Rodriguez.
“We are delighted to partner with Northwestern Pritzker School of Law for the Planet Lex podcast. In addition to being an amazing institution, our new friends at Northwestern have made this such a rewarding endeavor,” Legal Talk Network Executive Producer Laurence Colletti said. “Their abilities to communicate and attract top minds will enable us to deliver content that both entertains us and arouses our intellect. ”
You can subscribe to the podcast via email or on iTunes, Google Play Music, RSS, Stitcher, on the Legal Talk Network iTunes app and the Android app.
About Legal Talk Network
Legal Talk Network is changing the way legal professionals consume content. The network features podcasts by award-winning hosts and some of the most well-known industry thought leaders and organizations, including the ABA Journal, American Bar Association, The Florida Bar, Robert Half Legal, and Above the Law. Legal Talk Network’s shows cover the important tools, technology, and events that shape the industry featuring high-profile guests and legal experts. Legal Talk Network is owned and operated by LAWgical, specializing in marketing, software and media for the legal industry. Follow on Twitter @LegalTalkNet.
About Northwestern Pritzker School of Law
Northwestern Pritzker School of Law is one of the country’s leading law schools. Founded in 1859, Northwestern Law advances the understanding of law and prepares its graduates to excel in a rapidly changing world. Northwestern Law prides itself on its interdisciplinary research faculty, low student-faculty ratios, and collegial culture. Its downtown Chicago location in close proximity to courts, commerce, and public interest activities enables students to experience the practice of law, as well as its theory, in one of the most vibrant legal and business communities in the world.
by Kelsey Johnson
In this fast moving world of legal technology, you may think that four month old podcasts are already passé, but technology doesn’t move THAT fast. And if you were thinking of trying out one of our podcast interviews from TECHSHOW 2016, why don’t you start with the ones favored by other listeners? These four podcasts were the most downloaded and they continue to be popular, even months after the event. Definitely worth a try if you are thinking about attending the conference next year.
During an innocent event involving legal bloggers and beer, we set up camp and dragged over these writers for a couple of on-the-spot questions. Whether you know someone we interviewed or just want to hear some fun banter, check out this super amusing and fast-paced round robin podcast. As a bonus, we’ve included blogs and twitter handles of people you might like to connect with.
Have you ever sent group emails back and forth exchanging various ideas and pleasantries, only to throw your hands up in exacerbated fury when trying to identify what you decided on weeks later? I have literally already done that once today. But Jonathan Tobin knows better, and he explains why collaboration tools can make all the difference in this podcast based on his ABA TECHSHOW presentation.
This is kind of a gimme, but obviously the first interview on collaboration tools was so compelling, our listeners came back for more. Adam Nguyen talks about how lawyers who work together in systems like Google Docs (a free resource) can really save time.
In my personal favorite episode from the conference, Jared Correia asks technology experts Heidi Alexander, Joseph Bahgat, John Mayer, Larry Port, Jack Newton, and Andrew LeGrand for advice on how to get started with automation. Many lawyers know that automating part of their practices can save tons of time, but don’t know where to start. Listen in for a few laughs and a few tips.
If you liked these, take a look at the rest of these great interviews from the conference. Most of them are very short (you can listen to one while finding parking) and cater to your personal legal tech needs. Who knows, you might also find a Legal Talk Network host you really like!
by: Laurence Colletti
Landing in Orlando to catch an evening Uber to the hotel marked the beginning of our time with The Florida Bar at their 2016 annual convention. In true form to their association, I didn’t make it 20 feet inside the lobby before I was greeted by Florida public interest attorney Kimberly Sanchez. Despite over 100,000 plus members, it seems that the Florida lawyers all know each other by first name.
Our early conversations gravitated to the recent mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub, which took place several days before our trip. In juxtaposition to that horrible tragedy, The Florida Bar seemed resolute to carry on and deal with the security challenges and speaker change ups that inevitably occurred. It was clear that the sadness and confusion wasn’t going to unmoor them from their duties.
All in all, we ended up with more interviews than we had originally planned. We regret not being able to talk with City of Orlando Chief of Police John Mina, but we certainly understand that his city needed him on more important matters. We wish to thank him for his service and also for the hospitality of Administrative Specialist to the Chief Evelyn Aponte. She made a special point to keep us apprised of Chief Mina’s situation and wished us safe travels during a very difficult time for Orlando.
Our coverage begins with leadership and The Florida Bar as Legal Talk Network host Adriana Linares talked to former, current, and future bar presidents Ben Hill, Ramón A. Abadin, and Bill Schifino. During the conversation, each president addressed issues and themes in their time as leader. They discussed the importance of trusting their executive director and why it’s important for young lawyers to get involved with the bar early in their career. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Past, Present, and Future Bar Presidents
Like many bar associations, The Florida Bar disseminates information and pertinent efforts through its committees, divisions, and sections. We had the privilege of talking to many of these groups to learn about current efforts, programs, and future events. Kicking things off, we learned more about the annual convention itself when 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention Co-Chairs Melanie S. Griffin and Renée Thompson joined us for a conversation about their recent security challenges, efforts to provide a family-friendly venue, and proudest moments during event prep. We learn that next year’s convention will return to Boca Raton and the top three reasons Florida lawyers should attend. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Organizing The Event
Our coverage continues with Pete Sweeney, chair of the Member Benefits Committee of The Florida Bar. Host Adriana Linares talks with Pete about his committee’s role, the offering of member benefits, and how companies can pitch new services and products to The Florida Bar’s member benefits program. Tune in to hear more about their offerings to Florida attorneys. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Member Benefits Committee
Next up, we hear from practice area groups within The Florida Bar as their leadership stops by to discuss their programs, why attorneys should join, and much more. Here are just a few examples of the topics discussed during this series of interviews with different sections and divisions:
Similar to previous years, the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention featured many wonderful speakers. Although the entirety of presenters would be too much to cover, we were able to catch up with many notable individuals:
- Former ABA President William Hubbard stops by to talk with co-hosts Adriana Linares and John Stewart about the future of legal technology as a way for lawyers to implement cost structures that will allow them to offer more affordable services through efficiency. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: William Hubbard on the Future of Legal Technology
- Barbara Leach discusses her bankruptcy law contributions to the Florida Law Update presentations. Among the many topics discussed, she touches on trends, reasons for financial difficulties, and student loan debt. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Bankruptcy Update
- Jay Kim stops by to talk about the stability of commercial litigation, business friendly climate of Florida’s legal system, and possible changes in the way attorney’s fees are awarded. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Updates in Business Law
- Kimberly Sanchez, the executive director of legal aid in central Florida, interviews CEO Bruce Blackwell and director of pro bono partnerships Ericka Garcia from The Florida Bar Foundation. Together, they talk about the underprivileged and their growing need for legal services. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Providing Legal Aid and Pro Bono Services
- Andrea Eliscu, founder of Dueling Dragons of Orlando, discusses her boat racing program that pairs at risk kids with volunteer police officers in an effort to enhance community peace through teamwork. Hear about decreased arrests, improved GPAs, and lower dropout rates. Listen here: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Dueling Dragons Outreach Program
- Denis deVlaming talks about his criminal law contributions to the Florida Law Update presentations. Among the many topics discussed, he touches on Hurst v. Florida, Miller v. Alabama, and their relative effects on the death penalty and life sentences in the state of Florida. Listen here to listen: 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention: Criminal Law Update
We hope you enjoy listening to our coverage of the 2016 Annual Florida Bar Convention!
We are excited to announce that Legal Talk Network Executive Producer Laurence Colletti has been selected as a panelist for one of the Legal Communicators Media Conference 2016 Media Panels. He is joined by four other media professionals.
The Media Panel (Panel 7) will be from 10:45 a.m. to noon on Friday, June 17th, and includes Jessica Gresko, a reporter with The Associated Press, Anneliese Mahoney, lead editor for Law Street Media, and Tom Taylor, the news director for Bloomberg BNA, as well as our executive producer, Laurence Colletti.
Laurence Colletti—Executive Producer, Legal Talk Network
Jessica Gresko—Reporter, The Associated Press
Anneliese Mahoney—Lead Editor, Law Street Media
Tom Taylor—News Director, Bloomberg BNA
Friday, June 17th—10:45 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
(Conference runs Thursday, June 16th through Friday, June 17th)
The George Washington University Law School
The Jacob Burns Moot Court Room
200 H Street NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20052
The conference was designed specifically for law school communication and PR professionals. Top journalists and education editors will present at the conference, covering making the right contacts, broaden your professional network, and helping you gain a better understanding of important, pressing topics in law.
The two day conference is held at the George Washington University Law School.
After much anticipation the EvolveLaw Client Driven Technology Conference kicked off with a networking event, where the hot topic of technology in law was already circulating the room. Many attendees discussed breaking into new markets, new pricing models, and artificial intelligence over drinks and appetizers just before the expert panel began.
Legal Talk Network CEO Adam Camras welcomed the crowd to the event, discussing the importance of the future of technology. “Even at the top level of technology they struggle with understanding their customer’s tech needs and finding ways to streamline and incorporate new technologies,” he said. Camras said he cannot stress enough the importance of focusing on technology and finding new, strategic ways to get those who resist up to speed.
In the above Special Report, Executive Producer Laurence Colletti sits down to interview Evolve Law Co-Founder Mary Juetten and the Evolve Law Client Driven Technology Solutions panelists at the Legal Talk Network’s Denver studio. Lawbooth Project Manager Joe Burchard moderated the talks and the panel was comprised of Davis Wright Tremaine Client Engagement & Innovation Strategist Kate White, Intensity Analytics CEO John Rome, and Bryan Cave Chief Innovation Officer Kathryn DeBord.
You can listen to all Special Reports recorded from the event here: Legal Talk Network Special Reports.
Expert Panel: Client-Driven Technology Solutions
- Frank Bruno (moderator), Iron Mountain Intellectual Property Management Director
- Kate White, Client Engagement & Innovation Strategist at Davis Wright Tremaine
- John Rome, Intensity Analytics CEO
- Kathryn DeBord, Bryan Cave CIO
The event’s expert panel kicked off with an important question: what are the biggest pain points for those who are practicing law?
“I think there’s a lot of disconnect between people who are viewing law from the outside and thinking about ways to make it more efficient, and then on the other hand you have the attorneys practicing pretty bespoke practices,” Kathryn Debord said. “They have clients who they’re advising on complex facts and complex litigations, and when they come up for a breath they’re told that technology can solve all of their problems.” Debord says that once we get lawyers understanding how technology can augment their practices and understanding those pain points we’ll see more success. “Right now there is no bridge right now between the lawyers who are sitting in this chair and the technologists who are sitting in that chair.”
Kate White agreed. “Change management is still such a huge issue, and a lot of it is that bridge between technologists saying they can build this solution and actually implementing that solution,” she said. “There’s a whole ecosystem around the change.”
The discussion turned to client driven tech, what it means, and how it applies.
“In our world [client driven technology] means technology solutions that are tailored to solve a specific client’s pain point,” White furthered. “A lot of the times the solution that solves the problem isn’t out of the box.”
What White touches on is the evolving demands for the clients. So, where exactly does that change come from?
“I think you have to look at what kind of law we’re talking about,” John Rome, who has dedicated his life to technology said. “If it’s a routine case I don’t think there’s any huge breakthrough coming for technology. But, on a larger scale some of the litigation and world events, that’s a game changer.” Rome was quick to point out that depending on the scenario the answer is different. “You have to pay attention to what’s happening in the industry,” he said. “We have to look at what’s going on with the world. It starts on the outside and comes in.”
Kathryn DeBord chimed in, with a point that there are different drivers for different sections of law. “Big law firms have far different challenges than a solo practicioner, and they have different practices. Their clients look different,,” she said. “From a big law perspective, what you’re looking at is a trend toward true business partnership with your clients where you’re going in and solving a systematic problem that has a tech component. With a smaller practice you’re going to be interacting with your clients on a much more personal level.”
Kate White describes two key opportunities: technology solutions that help lawyers do their jobs more efficiently, and collaboration opportunities with clients that help them solve their problems. “I see those as almost a bit different and requiring different techniques.”
But the panel was also quick to specify that it’s important to maintain balance between these two opportunities. “If you focus too much on externally facing technology for clients and you leave your attorneys behind you’re leaving your business model in the dark ages,” DeBord said.
The underlying theme here is that law firms have dual purpose in understanding advancing technology. “Law firms have a responsibility to invest in technology that is going to help them do better for their clients,” White said.
This all carries with the theme of technology and how far it has come for attorneys. John Rome gave some great insights into how technology in the practice of law has evolved, from the core advances that electricity brought to attorneys (something as simple as being able to work longer hours at night) to computer word processing and the amount of savings in labor it brought.
“Before 1970 automation might be a file cabinet,” he said. “Then along came electricity which had lights, telegraph, and telephone, and that changed technology in the law practice a lot. Someone at that era might have said, as we might say today, well what else could we need?”
Rome notes that lawyers use technology to make more money, provide better services to client, and to increase communication, and we’d be remiss to presume we’ve made it as far as we can. “Take time keeping and billing, keeping track of everything we do,” he said. “That took a lot of time, and now all of a sudden it’s automatic, and we don’t even have to think about it any more.”
The panel shifted from the history of legal technology to predictions of what we’ll see in the future.
“Technology is going to increasingly be used as a holistic package they are offering to their clients, and I think the next thing is that there’s a lot of opportunity for strategic partnerships between law firms and other technology companies,” Kathryn DeBord said. “We’re talking about technology internally within the firm, technology that firms like ours are building for clients to help them refine processes.”
Kate White furthered with some key specifics. “We are going to see a shift in Big Law becoming more like the Big 4 and focusing on consulting with our clients and risk management.” She noted that predictive analytics are going to be a core offering of law firms in the future. “The big challenge with that is how do we change our pricing model?”
The panelist had some encouraging words for those who are looking to get involved in the tech space.
“My view is that law firms should not be involved in inventing technology for several killer reasons,” John Rome said. “They put themselves in peril of losing the employees who built it. The problem is that somebody who works for a law firm who invents something cool is going to get bought away from that firm within six months.” Rome said that one of the surviving issues in technology is knowing where you’re going to be in the ten years.
“One of the opportunities is thinking about ways that you can partner with law firms, because we are looking at partners in the tech space for that reason,” Kathryn DeBord said. “I think that the law firms that identify strategic partnerships are the firms who are going to be able to play in this space without facing some of the perils.”
The last question had perhaps some surprisingly blunt answers: Lawyers are seeing technology improvements that are taking the attorney out of the picture. What’s your take on AI? Are the robots gonna take over?
– John Rome
– Kate White
– Kathryn DeBord
“AI is not going to replace legal thinking. It just isn’t,” Rome continued. White was also quick to point out that artificial intelligence will help lawyers provide more immediate, educated answers rather than legal analysis.
“Augmenting what lawyers do,” DeBord added. “As a lawyer is looking at a legal situation, you’re looking at a situation where you’re looking to change the law or refine the law. AI can expand your brain in terms of how you can approach a legal issue before the court. I don’t see AI going beyond an augmenting function.”
This provided a further question. Lawyers, in general, can sometimes be slow to adopt new technology. So, what are the costs of not using technology?
John Rome said it best. “Darwin. Death. That’s it. You don’t adopt you don’t eat. You don’t eat, you die.”
It was the perfect segue into an EvolveLaw Darwin Talk, a 5(ish) minute talk about technology in law.
Additional Discussion on the Panel
You can listen to an additional discussion of the panel below, or keep reading for a summary of the live panel.
Darwin Talk: Evolve or Face Extinction
Willy Ogorzaly, CEO of LawBooth
For the evening’s Darwin Talk, Willy Ogorzaly, the CEO of LawBooth, gave a quippy and smart presentation: “Evolve or Face Extinction.” Ogorzaly touched on the trends we’re seeing in the industry and how lawyers are evolving.
“We are living in the age of a technological revolution,” he said, “and it’s very similar to the industrial revolution, in that innovations are replacing humans.”
What does this come down to? Disruptions. What was once a toy is now the obvious choice for consumers, and those who fight it are displaced.
Ogorzaly shares a relatable story about Kodak, the film manufacturing company that once was the go to source in the film industry. “They created a toy. The digital camera,” he said. Kodak initially created the camera as a fun side project, knowing that people wouldn’t want to see their images on a computer screen and deal with memory cards. “But as time progressed,” he continues, “digital cameras took a chunk of the market share, eventually replacing film. 15 years later Kodak went bankrupt and 50,000 people lost their job.”
This disruption process is repeated across industries all the time, he notes, from the way we consume movies and television, order taxi services, and even how we practice law. Think Blockbuster > Netflix, Taxi Services > Uber, or file cabinets > hard drives.
The Darwin Talk wrapped up the presentation portion of the evening, and it was back to drinks, appetizers, and exciting discussions over the information presented. Attendees were busy analyzing the panel and talk, excitedly chatting with presenters, and taking down final notes before calling it an evening.
This was the 13th official EvolveLaw event and the first event in Denver, though not the last as Mary Juetton assured. “We are starting a little revolution,” she said. This revolution includes demo tables, showing rather than telling, and and featuring panels and Darwin Talks that inspire, rather than just reading about it and hearing about it.
We enjoyed the event and look forward to seeing how the predictions made tonight play out. Though there’s one thing we can all agree on: the robots are not going to take over the practice of law. Perhaps the world, yes, but not the practice of law. That much, we can assure each other, for now, is safe.
Denver, CO— Legal Talk Network and the ABA Journal have launched the ABA Journal: Legal Rebels Podcast to highlight legal pioneers who are remaking the profession by changing the way law is practiced and setting future standards
Listeners now have access to the show’s first three episodes, featuring a new segment of the ABA Journal’s Legal Rebels project — Legal Rebels Trailblazers. The Trailblazers will feature those who innovated and remade aspects of the profession before the Journal launched the popular Legal Rebels project in 2009.
“I’m excited about the extension of our Legal Rebels project into podcasting. Here we can have full and frank conversations with the people who are truly making a mark on the profession, shaking up the status quo,” said Allen Pusey, the editor and publisher of the ABA Journal, the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association.
The initiative, which began April 19, marks the latest addition to the list of collaborative shows between the ABA and the national media network. In October, the ABA Law Student Division launched the ABA Law Student Podcast, joining the ABA’s Modern Law Library and Asked and Answered podcasts on the network. With the addition of the Legal Rebels Podcast, there are now four collaborative shows on the network.
“I have always loved the Legal Rebels project and couldn’t be happier to continue to foster our growing relationship with the American Bar Association,” said Legal Talk Network CEO Adam Camras. “To help bring the association’s initiatives and projects to a broadcast format and reach those lawyers who are consuming content on the go is a no brainer. We’re looking forward to producing and listening to the profiles of some of the biggest leaders in law.”
The podcast adds a third major component to the Legal Rebels Project, which now includes Legal Rebels honorees, featured each September in the ABA Journal and on the Legal Rebels website, and The New Normal column, appearing regularly at Legal Rebels website.
Where to listen:
About Legal Talk Network
Legal Talk Network is an online media network for legal professionals with podcasts that highlight current legal news and analysis as well as provide high-quality educational content to its listeners. Legal Talk Network’s shows also cover the important tools, technology and events that shape the industry. With award-winning hosts and high-profile guests, listeners from around the world tune in for Legal Talk Network’s podcasts. Legal Talk Network is owned and operated by LAWgical, specializing in marketing, software and media for the legal industry. Follow on Twitter @LegalTalkNet.
About the ABA Journal
The ABA Journal is the flagship magazine of the American Bar Association, covering the trends, people and finances of the legal profession from Wall Street to Main Street to Pennsylvania Avenue. Follow on Twitter @ABAJournal and @ABALegalRebels.
About the American Bar Association
With more than 400,000 members, the American Bar Association is one of the largest voluntary professional membership organizations in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news atwww.americanbar.org/news and on Twitter @ABANews.
by: Laurence Colletti
During our recent trip to Chicago for ABA TECHSHOW, we “crashed” the Beer for Bloggers party with our portable gear and two mics in hand. We found a nice corner in the Chicago Hilton’s swanky 720 South Bar & Grill and once we set up and settled in, our team (Adam Camras, Kimberly Faber, Jabarie Brown, Kelsey Johnson, Adam Lockwood, and yours truly) walked around the room looking for bloggers courageous enough to join in on a fun little game.
Why such bravado, you might ask? Well, in honor of 30 years of ABA TECHSHOW, we decided to buzz the bloggers with a galant game of daring deeds. No, it’s not jousting windmills, besting giants, or reciting the rule against perpetuities . This game is far more harrowing, an epic duel of the minds… well, sort of.
The game was this: answer three questions in one minute or else we drop the buzzer. The first question was easy, the second was difficult, and the third was downright dangerous.
- Tell us about your blog.
- From this year’s ABA TECHSHOW to next year’s, what will your most popular blog post be about?
- Who is your ABA TECHSHOW professional crush?
All in all, we wrangled over 30 bloggers to play our game. Some of them won, some of them couldn’t beat the buzzer, and some were nearly disqualified. Tune in to hear fun accounts from leading legal bloggers, learn who harbors the most TECHSHOW crushes, and discover who likes to cheat during a game with no prizes.
List of Participants (In order of Appearance):
- Lisa Solomon – Legal Research & Writing Pro – @lisasolomon
- Tara Cheever – Lit Software – @LitSoftwareApps
- Adam Music – Before the Bar – @MusicAdamT
- Nicole Bradick – Curo Knowledge – @NicoleBradick
- Samir Patel – Legal RnD – @SamirPatelLaw
- Tom Mighell – Inter Alia – @TomMighell
- Ben Schorr – Roland Schorr Blog – @bschorr
- Dennis Kennedy – Dennis Kennedy Blog – @denniskennedy
- Allison Shields – Legal Ease – @allisonshields
- Sherri Davidoff – LMG Security Blog – @SherriDavidoff
- Jeannie Borich – Law In Order – @jeannieborich
- Sara Mui – ABA Journal Blawg Directory – @BlawgWhisperer
- Bob Ambrogi – Law Sites – @bobambrogi
- Rich Beem – Beem on Patents – @BeemPatentLaw
- Niki Black – Above The Law – @nikiblack
- Sam Glover – Lawyerist.com – @samglover
- Aaron Street – Lawyerist.com – @AaronStreet
- Jason Wilson – Jason Wilson – @jasnwilsn
- Gyi Tsakalakis – gyi tsakalakis – @gyitsakalakis
- Sheilin Herrick – Lawyernomics – @SheilinHerrick
- Tim Baran – Legal Productivity – @tim_baran
- Dan Pinnington – Avoid A Claim – @DanPinnington
- Kimberly Faber – Legal Talk Network Blog – @kimberlyfaber
- Joshua Lenon – Clio Practice Management Blog – @JoshuaLenon
- Brian Focht – The Cyber Advocate – @NCCyberAdvocate
- Christopher Anderson – How to Manage a Small Law Firm – @LawFirmBusiness
- Jason Marsh – Marsh 8 Blog – @_jasonmarsh
- Chad Burton – Curo Knowledge – @chadeburton
- Julie Tolek – Think Pink Law Blog – @Thinkpinklaw
- Carolyn Elefant – My Shingle – @carolynelefant
- Kevin O’Keefe – Real Lawyers Have Blogs – @kevinokeefe
Thank you to all of the bloggers who made this a fun production. We look forward to trying our luck with you next year… bloggers beware.
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