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WHAT: The world’s premier legal technology conference and expo
WHEN: April 2-4, 2009
WHERE: Hilton Chicago
WHO: For you!
HOW: Go to www.techshow.com to find detailed information on programming, pricing and exhibitors and to register today. The early-bird registration deadline is February 28.
In early April, the 23 rd annual ABA TECHSHOW® hits Chicago–with three days of unparalleled continuing legal education and one of the best legal technology expos ever. On the schedule are more than 50 educational sessions, over 100 exhibitors, and countless opportunities to network with other lawyers while learning about the best legal technology tools, services and strategies in a fun and fast-paced environment. Law Practice asked Laura Calloway, ABA TECHSHOW 2009 Chair, to provide a preview of what the conference’s planning board has put together for this year.
Q. What’s the most exciting news about ABA TECHSHOW 2009?
Without a doubt, it is this year’s keynote speaker. Richard Susskind, who holds law professorships at Gresham College in London and the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow, has been on the “wish list” of potential ABA TECHSHOW keynoters for at least as many years as I’ve been attending (11, if you’re counting). The stars finally aligned, and this legal technology luminary is at last able to join us this year.
Professor Susskind is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the intersection of the law and technology, and he has written numerous articles and published seven books on the topic. In his keynote address he’ll be covering the subject of his most recent book, The End of Lawyers?, which deals with the ways in which emerging and maturing technologies are radically changing the delivery of services that once only lawyers could provide.
Any lawyer who is interested in knowing what the future holds for the practice of law, and which areas of practice may disappear in the next few years, won’t want to miss this plenary session.
Q. What are some other highlights of the educational content?
This year we’ve taken a very practical, step-by-step approach to our CLE programming.
For example, in addition to our E-Discovery Update track, we’ve added an E-Discovery Boot Camp, which—rather than discussing e-discovery in terms of theory or the latest court rules or decisions—is designed to take lawyers through each stage of the e-discovery process and give them the “nuts and bolts” of how to make the most of that stage. Our speakers, who are some of the most outstanding names in their fields, will address planning and implementing the litigation hold, discuss the latest in search techniques, cover appropriate strategies and technologies to keep costs low, and then move on to everything you need to know about production. This track will be a great training ground for law firm associates as well as any litigator who has to engage in e-discovery, or who wants to be up to speed for when that time comes.
Another highlight is the return of the hugely popular Paperless Practice track, which will cover everything you need to know to finally get to a truly paperless office—from the fundamentals of implementation through scanning hardware, best practices and products for document management and all things PDF. We’ve also added a new Day in the (Techno) Life track, which follows a primarily transactional lawyer throughout the day, focusing on all the technologies available to help her market to new clients, work from anywhere, and deliver client services more easily and cost-effectively. Other new offerings are Technology for Client Development and Technology for Financial Management. (In our meetings we’ve been calling that one the Show Me the Money! track.)
And, of course, the Mac track is back, for those who are considering, or have already made, the switch to Apple computers for either transactional or litigation practice. We’ll even be discussing whether the iPhone is right for lawyers.
Q. Are the roundtables back this year?
Yes, but we’ve renamed them Face-to - Face , to emphasize that our attendees are among ABA TECHSHOW’s best sources of knowledge about what technology does and doesn’t work in the law office and we want to tap that knowledge. We’ll be working hard this year to encourage roundtable attendees not only to take the opportunity to quiz the session leaders but also share their own hard-earned legal technology successes with the others in the audience.
Another great learning-while-networking opportunity that returns this year is the Concierge Booth and Help Desk. Board members, speakers and other longtime conference contributors will be manning the booth throughout each day to chat one-on-one with attendees.
Q. Are there any fun events planned for the evenings?
On Thursday night we’ll be hosting ABA TECHSHOW After Dark, a reception with food, music and prize giveaways. And on Friday night our board members and speakers will again be hosting the Taste of ABA TECHSHOW Dinners, Dutch-treat dinners that give attendees a chance to meet each other and our speakers while trying out some of Chicago’s best restaurants.
Q. Who should come to ABA TECHSHOW?
Everyone, from solo practitioners to members of the largest firms, legal assistants, law librarians and law firm IT staff, too! We’ve brought back Solo & Small Firm Day on Friday, with two concurrent tracks of content aimed especially at lawyers and legal assistants in the small practice setting, and there’s a wealth of other content on both Thursday and Saturday thatwill appeal to that audience. And, as always, there’s also lots of educational content for those practicing in large firms, and for their IT staff, over all three days of the conference. Our planning board members have worked very hard to make sure there is plenty of educational content for everyone. And there will be exhibitors to appeal to every segment of law practice, too.
Q. So how much will a trip to ABA TECHSHOW cost attendees?
Our pricing is an extremely good value for the cost. Where else can you choose from over 50 educational sessions, plus a vendor-sponsored track including product demonstrations, and get the most up-to-the-minute information on how technology can save you money and help you better deliver legal services? Early-bird pricing is the best value, so you should plan to register before the February 28 early-bird deadline.
There are also great discounts available for ABA and LPM Section members, as well as members of the state and local bars and other organizations that have signed up to be event promoters this year. You can find a complete list by checking the Event Promoters page at www.techshow.com. A new registration category this year will allow even solos and small firms to take advantage of “volume discounts.” It’s called SuperPass and gives group discount pricing to anyone who wants to organize a group to attend ABA TECHSHOW. Up to 10 people can attend on a SuperPass and get a considerable discount over registering individually—however, the group must self-organize and send in one payment along with a list of the names and addresses of all the people who will attend on the pass.
So come one, come all, we’ve got pricing and programming to meet everyone’s needs this year.
Laura A. Calloway is Director of the Alabama State Bar’s Practice Management Assistance program.