GPSolo Magazine - June 2004
TECHSHOW 2004 Wrap-Up
For the 18th straight year, the ABA Law Practice Management Section has conducted its annual TECHSHOW, the world’s premiere legal technology conference. Held in Chicago at the Chicago Sheraton and Towers Hotel, this year’s conference had more than 1,400 attendees and more than 100 exhibitors.
TECHSHOW is created by and for lawyers and legal professionals. The show benefits attorneys, in-house counsel, CIO/IS directors, judges, administrators, para-legals, litigation managers, and law librarians. Below are some of the highlights of this year’s show.
Lou Andreozzi (president and CEO of LexisNexis North American Legal Markets) and Mike Wilens (president of Thomson West) delivered the dynamic keynote presentation, “Visions of the Future.” Mr. Andreozzi discussed the future of legal research and information processing in the law office. He indicated that what lawyers do has not changed, but the way in which lawyers automate what they do is at the heart of the future legal technology landscape. Mr. Wilens’ address focused on the advent of instant messaging, blogging, and online collaboration tools, as well as how the changes in these new methods of communication will impact the profession in the future.
The transcript of the entire keynote session is available online.
With Lou Andreozzi and Mike Wilens acting as the guests of honor for the evening, the conference’s attendees and vendors enjoyed a well-attended reception on opening night. This social event is now in its second year, and it is proving to be a great opportunity for attendees to learn even more about legal technology—and also to network with the vendors and with each other.
Educational Tracks and Sessions
Top-notch educational sessions were provided in 11 different tracks.
• General, solo and small firm:A three-day program to educate on the technology concerns for general practitioners and lawyers in solo and small firm practice.
• Litigation: The latest trial preparation and presentation techniques, including a PowerPoint presentation by Craig Ball.
• E-discovery:A short track focusing on the issues involved with electronic discovery and computer forensics.
• Wireless: Sessions ranging from a beginner’s primer to a more advanced presentation concerning wireless technology.
• Security: Informative sessions on how to secure and manage your firm’s data in and out of the office.
• Artificial intelligence: A new track covering the best software, techniques, and concerns in this interesting area of legal technology.
• Strategies: A broad program on using technology for managing client expectations, ROI, knowledge management, and training.
• E-mail management: Dealing with spam and how to ethically manage e-mail.
• Advanced IT: A tour of the latest in legal technology in law firms of all sizes.
• Tools and tips: A fun and helpful session covering gadgets, Internet legal research, utilities, and technology bargains.
• Real property, probate, and trust: Informative sessions that were a joint venture with the ABA Section of Real Property, Probate and Trust Law.
The materials from each session are available through the TECHSHOW 2004 CD via a link on the CD to a live website containing most of the programs’ PowerPoint presentations. This information is only available to the owners of the CD. If you were not able to attend the show but want to get your hands on the session materials, you may order them from the store menu at www.techshow.com.
Plenary Session: 60 Sites in 60 Minutes
This standing-room-only session is always fun and useful. The master tipsters reviewed helpful sites, and they wrapped up their session with some very unusual—and funny—sites you might not know about. An archive of the sites from previous shows is available online.
Wireless TECHSHOW Cloud
This year, Echelon Systems provided a wireless cloud for TECHSHOW attendees. Not only did the cloud provide wireless access, but the process of configuring the cloud itself proved an educational opportunity for the attendees.
TECHSHOW Training Institute
The last sessions of this year’s show were devoted to the new TECHSHOW Training Institute, a slate of hands-on training sessions on various software programs. Vendors brought their best trainers to show attendees just how to use their products. The programs and developers represented in the Institute were LexisNexis, Summation, Case- Soft, Time Matters, and Billing Matters.
If you are interested in following up on the show and want to receive news about next year’s conference, you can sign up for the free TECHSHOW e-newsletter at www.techshow.com. TECHSHOW information also can be found in the online edition of Law Practice Today .These sites, maintained by the ABA Law Practice Management Section, have the latest news and updates on the registration, session faculty, exhibitors, and special events for the upcoming 2005 TECHSHOW.
Natalie R. Thornwell is director of the State Bar of Georgia’s Law Practice Management Program. She can be reached at email@example.com.