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Legalweek continues to be one of the biggest and most influential conferences for the legal profession. According to Zach Warren, editor-in-chief of Legaltech News, this year’s event brought in over 8,500 attendees. Many out there will remember this conference as Legal Tech New York but it has evolved in recent years to provide a wider array of programming. Like other conferences, the organizers are constantly making adjustments to optimize the experience. One change from last year is that the main content tracks were reduced from five to three (Legal Tech, Legal CIO, and Legal Business Strategy). But that certainly didn’t seem to affect the quality of the programming nor did it ward off top-name presenters like former United States Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein as the keynote.
During the keynote, which was styled as a fireside conversation, Mr. Rosenstein addressed many key issues to the profession and our society including rule of law, faith in the judiciary, keeping politics out of our legal system, and his return to private practice after many years of government service (heavy emphasis on conflict checks). He also fielded many questions from the audience on topics like “What is the biggest threat to our democracy?”, “Why is the government hesitant to prosecute big tech companies like Google and Facebook?”, and “What do you think about President Trump’s tweets?”.
For his part, Mr. Rosenstein tried to keep political leanings out of his answers. In his view the biggest threat externally to the United States is interference in our elections. He believes that the government needs to be cautious when prosecuting big tech companies because they are so important to our country’s well-being. As for President Trump’s tweets, he understands the novelty of being able to see what the president is thinking. He does not see them as a threat to the country but is not sure if they are good or not. As for election cycles and what many perceive as chaos in that system, Mr. Rosenstein was optimistic and reminded the audience that chaos has always been part of our political system and, despite that, we always find our way through.
Although, I think it’s fair to say Legalweek is geared towards big law or at least larger firms, the information disseminated is relevant to practitioners everywhere. From our audio coverage alone, we learned about modern trends for law firm growth and the declining equity partner track. We also discovered alternative legal careers that don’t necessarily involve the practice of law. We heard about proposed regulatory changes in states like Arizona, Utah, and California that are aimed at closing the access to justice gap and potentially widening the definition of legal practice. We also learned from big firms like Orrick, Mayer Brown, and Clark Hill as well as client-sided Microsoft the whys and hows of being adaptable in a world of change. And speaking of adaptability, we also discussed the “Big Four” professional service firms (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers) and what attorneys can learn from their full service model.
Below is access to the complete catalog of our audio coverage from Legalweek 2020. It features nine episodes with 29 participants across all three conference tracks. Our guest lineup includes State Supreme Court Justices, CIOs from top firms, leading legal journalists, and influential entrepreneurs who are changing the landscape of legal practice.
Editor-in-chief of Legaltech News, Zach Warren sits down with host Ralph Baxter to discuss the evolution of Legalweek, the various learning tracks, CLE opportunities, and workshops focusing on specialty topics.
Host Dan Linna is joined by ALM’s Gina Passarella and Patrick Fuller for a conversation about what they’ve learned through analyzing 40 years of AM Law 200 data. Together, they delve into growth trends, empirical metrics supporting diversity, modern client demands, and what firms are doing to keep their talent. Tune in to hear how big law is innovating around practice whereas smaller firms are innovating around process.
Arizona Supreme Court’s Vice Chief Justice Ann Timmer, Utah Supreme Court’s Justice Deno Himonas, University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign’s Rebecca Sandefur, and ROSS Intelligence’s Andrew Arruda join host Ralph Baxter for a conversation about the efforts their various states are taking to close the access to justice gap and expand who can practice law. Stay tuned to hear about the 167 million new civil justice problems annually and how only 15-25% of those receive legal help.
Baker & Hostetler’s Michelle Dewey, Littler Mendelson’s Cynthia Brown, and Ogletree Deakins’ Jennifer Mendez join co-hosts Ralph Baxter and Dan Linna to talk about automating tedious practice tasks, why minimally viable products are valuable, and the innovation process at their firms. Stay tuned to hear about Carlos, the helpful chat bot with personality.
Host Ralph Baxter sits down with Thompson Hine’s Bill Garcia, LawWithoutWalls’s Michele DeStefano, and Ari Kaplan to discuss change management and the elements that go into successfully implementing it. Stay tuned to hear why instinct eats collaboration for breakfast.
Hosted by Dan Linna, this episode features Baker Hostetler’s James Sherer and New York Institute of Technology’s Jordan Thompson discussing tech competence and what lawyers are responsible for as well as what clients are demanding. Stay tuned for their talk about artificial intelligence and balancing privacy rights.
Co-hosted by Ralph Baxter and Laurence Colletti, this episode features Above the Law’s David Lat, ReplyAll’s Zach Abramowitz, and Taylor English Duma’s Chris Wilson discussing their decisions to leave traditional legal practice for different pastures. Stay tuned to hear what jobs are available for lawyers who don’t want to practice law.
Axiom’s Karl Kong, ALM’s Nicholas Bruch, Deloitte’s Luis Fernando Guerra, and ALM’s Gina Passarella join host Ralph Baxter to talk about the “Big Four” (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, KPMG, and PricewaterhouseCoopers) and what lawyers should learn from their mixed offering of services.
Orrick’s Wendy Butler Curtis, Mayer Brown’s Samuel Whitman, Clark Hill’s Joan Holman, and Microsoft’s Dominic Crosby sit down with host Laurence Colletti for a conversation about law firms and how they can maintain adaptability despite a constantly changing world. Stay tuned to hear about design thinking and how to successfully implement it at your firm.
List of Participants (in alphabetical order):
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.