When most of us think about technology, we tend to fixate on our magical products today or dream about the wonders of tomorrow. So often we forget the development steps along the way or how we got things done in the past. Seriously… how did we ever find cheap five-star cuisine two blocks from our hotel without Yelp? Similarly, I bet most legal professionals don’t realize how long ABA TECHSHOW and its mission have been around or the significance of its longevity.
Thanks to our recent audio coverage and a related Above The Law article (hat-tip Bob Ambrogi), I learned that the first ABA TECHSHOW took place in 1986, the same year our culture met Oprah Winfrey, had “the need for speed”, and was graced with the birth of Lady Gaga. If you’re now starting to feel glacial, just think about your Apple IIGS computer or TI-60 calculator.
It’s from this vantage point and a recent interview with law students that I came to a new appreciation for a legal conference I’ve been covering for the last four years. Even during that short period of time, we’ve seen much proliferation of technology into the legal profession. Probably the best semi-recent example is the nearly universal acceptance of cloud-based technologies by attorneys. Today, the cloud is an obvious fit but when first introduced (like email), it was revolutionary and arguably controversial. As big as these doctrinal shifts were, they pale in comparison to what is coming next.
Unburying the lead and coming full circle, my conversation with four law students (Danielle Chirdon, Sara Agate, Ryan Dobbs, and Doug Lavey) may reveal the long play value of ABA TECHSHOW and other movements like it. It’s not the advent of new gadgets and software that will accelerate and modernize the practice of law; It will ultimately be about the base paradigm of practitioners. If lawyering culture, as a whole, stops seeing itself as the refuge for the tech-phobic, the industry will evolve to new heights. To that end, I believe the value of long-running programs like ABA TECHSHOW find their real mark. By perpetuating an ecosystem where new ideas and practical innovations can breath long enough to travel back with conference attendees, real modernization will eventually take root.
Future Lawyers #lawstudents panel on #legaltech #edu #innovation #collaboration @RyanDobbs @DanielleChirdon Doug w/ @MusicAdamT Thx @abalsd @LegalTalkNet @LaurenceEsq @AdamCamras @ABATECHSHOW 4 giving us a #seat to have a #voice👂🏽📲🤳🏽🎧https://t.co/V8gsQUvYMk @ChicagoKentLaw pic.twitter.com/5j5lw57ApU
— Sara Agate, MPH (@sara_agate) March 2, 2019
But so what? We’ve seen this for years. Why is this suddenly so important? Technology has already reached small firms, bar associations, and law schools but the industry still lags behind. Well, for the first time the legal profession has a new generation of self-identified digital natives that can no longer avoid technology. In fact, they embrace it in their everyday lives and expect everyone else to do the same. They are rapidly absorbing from the legal tech environment created by their predecessors.
With university mashups of science and law, tech competency at bar associations, and Global Legal Hackathons, there is no place for these new lawyers to go but forward. The big gift from long running movements like ABA TECHSHOW is that throughout the years, conference after conference, session after session, and meeting after meeting, their hard work spread and kept the ecosystem alive until its seedlings hit critical mass. With digital natives now entering their careers, this could finally be the moment when the legal profession sheds its reputation for antiquity and becomes a leader in innovative thinking.
The following comprises our audio coverage of ABA TECHSHOW 2019 and a list of those who participated. When it was all said and done, we recorded 19 episodes featuring 41 interviewees and hosts. Episodes are packed with tips, tricks, and ideas for running a better legal practice. Of special note was keynote presenter and 1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler discussing the direction of the legal profession as well as Judge Scott Schlegel, who is implementing innovative new methods to decrease recidivism with his Smart on Crime Initiative. In addition, Lawsites writer and podcaster Bob Ambrogi hosts the third annual Start-Up Pitch Competition (tune in below to hear which idea won). Other topics discussed include drones, automation, data preservation, privacy laws, firewalls, online marketing, gig economy, iOS, and Google Adwords. We hope you enjoy.
— Laurence Colletti (@LaurenceEsq) February 27, 2019
1871 CEO Betsy Ziegler joins the ABA Journal’s Stephanie Francis Ward to discuss tech advancements that will impact the legal profession.
Tech authors Brett Burney, Daniel Siegel, Ben Schorr, David Ries, and Dennis Kennedy join ABA Publishing’s Ashley Alfirevic and Legal Talk Network’s Laurence Colletti for a conversation about their experiences developing and writing technology books for the legal profession. If you’re an aspiring author, you should definitely tune in.
Noted tech aficionados Jeff Richardson and Brett Burney stop by for a rapid-fire back and forth about their favorite apps, tips, and gear for iOS devices (iPhone and iPad).
Google Adwords campaigns are not always straightforward. Marketer (and founder) of Attorney Sync Gyi Tsakalakis and solo practitioner (and featured presenter) Jess Birken share insights on picking key search terms as well as hiring SEO specialists.
Priori founder Basha Rubin and Kramer Levin’s Emily Wajert sit down with host Christopher Anderson to discuss the gig economy and how it’s affecting employee classifications.
— Legal Talk Network (@LegalTalkNet) March 4, 2019
Legal journalist Bob Ambrogi and noted legal technologist Nerino Petro share some of their favorite add-ins for increasing productivity in Microsoft Word and Outlook.
Judge Scott Schlegel from the 24th Judicial District Court in Jefferson Parish, Louisiana stops by to discuss his Smart On Crime Initiative which inventively implements technology to substantially reduce recidivism among criminal offenders. Tune in to hear how he does it.
Emails, texts, alerts, and phone calls… How is anyone getting work done with all the distractions? If you’re feeling overwhelmed at the office, you’re not the only one. In fact, it’s possible for some to be overwhelmed and not even realize it. OU Law Library’s Darla Jackson and Habitat for Humanity’s Amy Krieg sit down for a conversation about recognizing and properly handling information overload.
Websites are supposed to draw in clients who need your legal expertise. But for so many attorneys, this is not happening like they intended. Think Pink’s Julie Tolek (active practitioner) and Attorney Sync’s Gyi Tsakalakis (founder and marketer) join host Christopher Anderson to talk about tips and tricks for making your web presence more appealing for potential clients.
— Laurence Colletti (@LaurenceEsq) March 1, 2019
Florida State University College of Law’s Elizabeth Farrell Clifford and UNT Dallas College of Law’s Jennifer Wondracek sit down with host Gyi Tsakalakis to discuss the need for additional training of digital native law students so they can incorporate technology into their future practices.
Law students and digital natives Danielle Chirdon, Sara Agate, Ryan Dobbs, and Doug Lavey join co-hosts Adam Music from ABA Law Student Division and Laurence Colletti from Legal Talk Network to talk about the emphasis their law schools are putting on innovation and their expectations for tech in their future careers.
Don’t get scorched by non-use of firewalls! Stanley Louissaint (founder of Fluid Designs) and Jason McNew (founder of Stronghold Cyber) stop by to discuss the importance of firewalls, what they do for you, and how to implement them.
Steve Puiszis of Hinshaw & Culbertson and Judy Selby of Judy Selby Consulting join host Kelly Street for a conversation about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and what lawyers need to know about these new regulations emanating out of the EU.
— Laurence Colletti (@LaurenceEsq) February 28, 2019
Conor Malloy (founder of Chi City Legal) and Kimberly Bennett (founder of K Bennett Law) share their favorite ways to automate repetitive tasks in their legal practices. Tune in to hear how you could be saving a lot of time and effort in your firm today!
Legal journalist Bob Ambrogi hosts the 3rd annual Start-Up Pitch Competition at ABA TECHSHOW. Whether you want to hear about the latest in legal technology or you think you’ve got the next big idea, you should definitely tune in to this episode. Featured presenters include Lawble, dealWIP, DocStyle LLC, Connective Counsel, WarRoom, JurisBytes, OurChildInfo.com, TrialLine, Kinnami Software Corporation, Fixi Subscription Plans, Documate, dtour.life, EffortlessLegal, Your Firm App, and Contract.one.
In today’s legal practice, much can be gained through collaboration software whether you are collaborating with fellow attorneys or clients. Charity Anastasio (Practice Management Advisor to AILA) and Annette Sanders (big law trainer and consultant) join host Kelly Street to talk about their favorite collaboration tools.
Host Sharon Nelson sits down with ABA TECHSHOW chairs John Simek and Brett Burney (2019 and 2015 chairs respectively) to discuss methods for preserving and collecting data for discovery on mobile devices.
University of Oklahoma College of Law’s Kenton Brice and Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control’s Russ Cochran stop by to talk about drones, their use, and where to find information about regulations that govern their flight.
Could your legal tech startup use $100,000? Clio’s manager of product partnerships Andrew Gay sits down to discuss their Launch//Code contest for tech developers.
— Legal Talk Network (@LegalTalkNet) February 28, 2019
From our legal family to yours, thank you for attending #ABATECHSHOW 2019! We hope you’ve enjoyed yourself and went home with a wealth of knowledge, a solid network and new tech! See you next year! pic.twitter.com/BBfAQ5F32W
— ABATECHSHOW (@ABATECHSHOW) March 2, 2019
After receiving his J.D. and MBA, Laurence Colletti went into solo practice with emphasis in general business and commercial real estate. He has always carried a strong passion for web-based media with a particular interest in podcasting and video. Laurence leverages his legal background against that passion to help bring sophisticated, relevant content to Legal Talk Network podcasts. You can follow Laurence on Twitter at @LaurenceEsq.