Law Practice Today | February 2013 | Technology/ABA TECHSHOW
February 2013 | Technology/ABA TECHSHOW 2013
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FEATURE

Bringing Lawyers and Technology Together

By Britt Lorish


The last several decades have seen incredible advancements in technology and nowhere are those changes more evident than in the legal profession.  Lawyers and technology have become undeniably intertwined as the legal marketplace becomes more competitive. Lawyers are forced to leverage better software and hardware to be more efficient, improve client service, as well as just keep up with the times.  No one wants to be viewed by their clients (or prospective clients) as a technological dinosaur, and a savvy lawyer can leverage technology to his or her advantage, working smarter and faster, with more versatility than competitors.

The type of technology that benefits each firm may differ greatly, based on area of practice.  For instance, the type of specialty software used by a real estate lawyer may be different than that used by a litigator.  It is important to know the different products available in the market and understand what they can do to streamline your practice.  One size does not fit all.

But with all of the frequent changes and overabundance of information, how are lawyers supposed to keep up?  After all, their job is to practice law, and keeping up with technology can often be a full-time job. 

The ABA TECHSHOW 2013® is a great place to start.  Held each spring in Chicago, it is one of the many wonderful offerings of the ABA’s Law Practice Management Section.  It gives attorneys, judges and legal support staff an opportunity to network with their peers, learn from leaders in the industry and test drive the top legal technology products by perusing the hundreds of exhibitor booths at the show’s EXPO.  This year the show will be held April 4-6 at the Hilton Chicago.  Learn more at www.techshow.com and follow the event on Twitter using the hashtag #ABATECHSHOW.

The ABA TECHSHOW faculty provides an unparalleled variety of CLE sessions for all levels of knowledge.  Each presentation is earmarked as Introductory, Intermediate or Advanced, allowing you to select the sessions appropriate to your skill set.  From mobility, tablets and smartphones to paperless, e-discovery, speech recognition and security, there is something for everyone and much information to be shared.  Whether you hail from a large firm, corporate counsel’s office, a legal IT department or a solo or small firm, there are presentations that will fit your needs.

Over 50 educational sessions will be held over three days, including a wide array of topics on the following tracks:

  • Paperless & Productivity – Learn how moving to a less paper-filled environment can increase your efficiency and productivity
  • Litigation – The latest courtroom and alternative dispute resolution technology tools and tips will be highlighted
  • Large Firm – Discussions will be held on a variety of topics from data retention to project management
  • Social Media – Learn how to ethically leverage social media in your practice
  • Tech Grab Bag – Preview emerging technologies such as Windows 8 and Office 365
  • Cloud & Collaboration – Find out if the cloud is right for you and what it really means; learn how to share information collaboratively while being cognizant of security and ethical considerations
  • Solo & Small Firm – Find out what technology tools pack the biggest punch for the money in a small firm environment
  • Tablets & SmartPhones – Mobile devices are all the rage!  Determine which ones are the best and which apps will help you manage your practice remotely, more than you could ever imagine
  • E-Discovery – Discuss the latest case law updates, and the latest tools for e-discovery data mining including sessions on predictive coding and cloud-based products
  • Mac – If you’ve ever considered making “the switch” to Apple, this track will provide you with a wealth of knowledge regarding how other lawyers practice without being a slave to Microsoft
  • Advanced IT – Topics geared toward IT departments will provide insight on network penetration testing, geolocation technologies, Windows 8, and mobile device forensics
  • Meet the Author – Come meet the authors of legal technology books recently published by the ABA’s Law Practice Management section

Additionally, we will have a highly entertaining keynote address by none other than NY Times columnist, author and TV host David Pogue.  Several other plenary sessions are planned, including the ever popular “60 Tips in 60 Minutes” and “60 Sites in 60 Minutes.”  It is impossible to leave these presentations without at least a handful of useful tricks up your sleeve!

To help you keep up with all of the happenings, an app was introduced by the ABA TECHSHOW team last year and improved upon for the 2013 show.  It is available for iOS, Droid, and BlackBerry, and allows conference attendees to be linked at all times to the goings-on at the show.  Attendees can watch the live Twitter feed (#ABATECHSHOW), bookmark sessions and vendors not to be missed, and even organize attendance at social events such as the famous Taste of TECHSHOW dinners.  The TECHSHOW Planning Board and ABA staff have worked hard to produce an app that will make your ABA TECHSHOW experience that much more fun and organized, and really showcases the whole concept of how lawyers can use technology effectively. 

So, on behalf of the ABA TECHSHOW 2013 Planning Board, the ABA Staff, the faculty, and the vendors, we encourage you to join us this year, April 4th-6th at the Hilton Chicago for three days of learning how you can improve your practice and your quality of life with technology.

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About the Author

Britt Lorish is chair of the ABA TECHSHOW 2013 Planning Committee.


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