Inspire.Legal 2.0

Inspire Legal

An extension to the New York Legal Tech Community and also held on the backside of Legalweek 2020, the Inspire.Legal un-conference made it through its second year. Although last year’s event went very well, this year’s seemed better put together and also more fun. Organized by Christian Lang and Joe Borstein with Matt Homann as master of ceremonies and help from its numerous volunteers, this un-conference with its un-panels, luminaries, and moderators took its impressive shape. 

Central to purpose was the lineup of attendees. Hailing from mega law firms like Paul Hastings and Clifford Chance, huge professional service companies like Ernst & Young and PricewaterhouseCoopers, top legal publications like Thomson Reuters and Above The Law, or key vendors that serve the profession like Casetext and Net Documents, the participants were leaders in their respective fields. One element that was noticeably not present were vendors in exhibition. Sure the event was sponsored (hat tip Ernst & Young and Clifford Chance), but the organizers wanted to prevent any notion of “being sold to”. Also absent was any sort of prescribed programming or booked speakers.

You might be asking yourself what’s the point of gathering all these superstars for an un-conference without an agenda? That’s where the magic happened. By removing the incentives to transact and focusing on topics important to attendees, the goal was to have open and honest discussions about ways to improve the legal profession. And that’s where the diversity of stakeholders showed its value. By inviting practitioners, service providers, educators, and yes prospective law students to the mix (shoutout Antonio Cavazos), a broader and more comprehensive set of conversations were had. 

These conversations were centered around five main pre-planned themes (listed below) but the topics within were generated on-location by the attendees after the conference began. In addition to the un-panels, Inspire.Legal featured fun and fiery debates during the lunch programming as well as a legal problems forum where 20 problems styled as questions were put to paper and attendees could go table to table and discuss (also listed below).

Five Un-Panel Themes:

  1. Technology Procurement & Adoption
  2. Platforms & Interoperability
  3. New Offerings & Client/Lawyer/Law Company Collaboration
  4. Experiential Learning & Training
  5. Collaborative Funding Models

20 Legal Problems:

  1. How might we demonstrate & articulate value from multiple stakeholder perspectives?
  2. How might we engage users earlier in the procurement process & maintain their engagement throughout?
  3. How might we get all stakeholders invested in successful adoption & use outcomes?
  4. How might we demonstrate & measure value for different technologies?
  5. How might we create a legal community around data standards?
  6. How might we reasonably add people to new & ongoing tech initiatives?
  7. How might we conduct needs assessment & incorporate stakeholder input before we buy something?
  8. How might we improve collaboration between law schools, firms, & clients to educate new lawyers on the business of law?
  9. How might we align firm hiring process with what clients demand & adapt law school curriculum to match?
  10. How might we prepare young lawyers to succeed as the practice fundamentally changes?
  11. How might we teach & optimize legal service delivery to align with customer value? (effectiveness, efficiency, & experience)
  12. How might we incentivize useful training for lawyers?
  13. How might we help founders create their own collaboration funders in our cash-rich/collaboration-poor ecosystem?
  14. How might we get law firms to invest in disrupting themselves?
  15. How might we identify & assemble willing & able stakeholders to orient around a concrete problem?
  16. How might we design new incentives and build effective change management that survives contact with lawyers & firms?
  17. WTF is value? … A.K.A. How might we define business value delivered to the client enterprise by legal teams?
  18. How might we help clients better communicate their needs, constraints, & expectations to their legal supply chain?
  19. How might we help legal teams focus on collective outcomes instead of individual inputs?
  20. How might we overcome profit-driven proprietary standards & frameworks that prevent / disincentivize open community-driven platforms?

Below is access to our four episode podcast series covering what was discussed at Inspire.Legal 2.0 and a list of those who participated. Another great source for information on this unique event comes from our friend and legendary legal tech blogger Bob Ambrogi with his post titled ‘In Search Of Innovation At 3 Legal Conferences’. We hope you enjoy!

About Inspire.Legal 2.0

Inspire.Legal organizers Christian Lang and Matt Homann join co-hosts Dan Linna and Laurence Colletti to discuss their un-conference model, what problems they are aiming to solve, and the all-stars in attendance. Stay tuned to hear about charismatic deviants.

Technology Procurement & Adoption

Host Nicole Bradick sits down with Haley Altman, Carlos Gamez, Sanjay Kamlani, and Lucy Endel Bassli to talk about how vendors, associates, and partners can help with law firm technology procurement while making sure to solve the right problems.

Experiential Learning & Training

Casetext’s Laura Safdie, Latham Watkins’ John Scrudato, Stegman Elliot’s Andrea Alliston, and Univar’s Jeff Carr join host Dan Linna to discuss the impact of future automations, the value of being a life-long learner, and characteristics that lawyers of the future will need to succeed.

New Offerings & Client/Lawyer/Law Company Collaboration

Host Ralph Baxter is joined by Microsoft’s Jason Barnwell, Ernst & Young’s Peter Krakauer, and Priori’s Basha Rubin for a conversation about legal services not keeping up with demand, new ways to deliver legal work, and selling to in-house legal departments.

List of Participants (in Alphabetical Order):

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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.