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January/February 2019


ABA TECHSHOW: Learn, Discover, Network and Have Fun

We have never had more options for learning about law practice management and technology than we do today. Since the Law Practice Division (originally the Legal Economics Section, now colloquially known as LP) began publishing books in 1977, its educational offerings have expanded to also include this magazine, our monthly digital publication Law Practice Today, frequent webinars, occasional conferences and in-person events, and online articles and content from our various LP boards and committees.

As technology and ways of delivering content have changed, so have lawyers’ learning preferences. Most LP books are now offered both as e-books and in print form, and Law Practice magazine can be easily accessed online and through its mobile app for attorneys on the go. As Marcia Watson Wasserman’s article in the July/August 2018 issue of this magazine points out, many large law firms are currently partnering with e-learning vendors to create more innovative ways of educating their attorneys and staff—and building their skills. Bite-size and on-demand content is now being delivered through short videos, online talks and interactive training modules that meet the need for on-the-job and just-in-time training. Can you imagine a day in the future when LP—or the entire ABA—follows suit and offers videos and online learning modules, and when updates and revisions to LP books are delivered electronically on a subscription basis?

Learn Even More at TECHSHOW

Being able to access content on demand and virtually is wonderfully convenient, but nothing in the future is likely to outweigh the many advantages of attending live conferences such as the ABA TECHSHOW. Perhaps that is why TECHSHOW, now in its 33rd year, is more popular than ever. Educational opportunities abound. Last year’s conference featured 58 separate programs for attendees to choose from, covering every important area of law practice technology. Programs covered subjects as varied as tech tools for improving productivity and practice management, practicing in the cloud, using Macs, tech designed for solo and small-firm lawyers, using technology for business development, trending tech, emerging tech issues in litigation, cybersecurity, artificial intelligence, virtual reality and many other advanced IT topics. As well as learning how to become more productive and effective, many attorneys also receive CLE credit from their respective states for attending TECHSHOW programs.

Some of the most valuable and enjoyable learning occurs between sessions. A casual, serendipitous conversation with a fellow attendee during one of the many breaks, meals or networking functions can lead to a deeper understanding of technology trends and best practices, new information on upcoming releases of hardware and software, a solution to a tech problem that has been vexing you for the last few months or that one suggestion that will save you or your firm a lot of time, money and techno-angst. Throughout TECHSHOW, attendees have ways to discover new ideas, test their knowledge and benchmark their efforts.

Networking Is Just as Important

Learning may be the main reason people attend conferences, but it isn’t the sole one. TECHSHOW is a unique opportunity to meet experts and peers and make the kind of face-to-face, real-time connections that become key nodes in a lawyer’s robust and productive professional network. Some of the most useful people to network with are the knowledgeable vendors of legal technology products and services who are located in the EXPO Hall. Talking with them at their booths is a chance to not only learn about the latest trends and developments in legal technology but also to have them answer your questions about their products and services. It’s a convenient way to get a hands-on feel for how their products and services actually work, saving you time in the long run.

Be Sure to Visit the LP Bookstore

One of the booths you will not want to miss in the EXPO Hall is the LP Bookstore. (On Saturday look for its satellite location when the EXPO Hall is closed.) Be sure to check out several of LP’s newest and most popular tech and nontech titles such as the 2019 Solo and Small Firm Legal Technology Guide, Internet Legal Research on a Budget, The Best Lawyer You Can Be, Lawyers as Managers, Positive Professionals, Networking as Strategy and The Lawyer’s Guide to Increasing Revenue.

As a special TECHSHOW promotion, everyone who purchases a book at the show will receive the LP member discount. And when you pick up your conference materials bag, look in it for a much sought after Book Bucks coupon that will give you $10 off on one LP book in addition to the member discount! Many LP authors, particularly those who are speaking at the show, will be at the bookstore, answering your questions and signing your books on request.

If you can’t make it to ABA TECHSHOW 2019 or the bookstore at the show, visit the new online ABA bookstore, where there are currently over 100 law practice books available—and more are being added almost every month. We’re always looking for ideas for new and interesting books, and if you would like to author one, please send us a proposal by clicking here on the Book Proposal Form link. We’re looking forward to hearing from you!

Andrew Elowitt

Andrew Elowitt, managing director of New Actions LLC, is a practice management consultant and professional certified coach who specializes in leadership, career and talent development for lawyers, executives and in-house counsel. He is the co-author of Lawyers as Managers: How to Be a Champion for Your Firm and Employees (ABA 2017) and author of The Lawyer’s Guide to Professional Coaching: Leadership Mentoring and Effectiveness (ABA 2012). Email him.

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