January/February 2020

Perspectives

How Attending ABA TECHSHOW Can Transform Your Law Firm

Rodney Dowell

My first ABA TECHSHOW still stands out as when I discovered how the ABA Law Practice Division could help transform my law firm by guiding how we adopted technology. At every TECHSHOW, I learned something new that made me a better tech lawyer and improved efficiency in the firm. I remember one of my first ventures into legal-related technology with Red Gorilla, a short-lived internet-based company providing web-based services such as timetracking and invoicing. Cutting edge and, apparently before its time, it shut down suddenly without taking care of its customers’ data. 

For those of us early adopters using PalmPilots and Handspring Visors, we could see the utopia of working from anywhere to access information and functionality. The names—Red Gorilla, PalmPilots, Handspring Visors—are for many readers completely unknown and speak to the rapid and ongoing transition of technology and its place in the legal workplace. As I look back at these first experiments with technology, I realize how much I learned from experience but also how I could have saved time and money by going to the ABA TECHSHOW earlier to learn best practices in implementing new legal technology.  

Legal technology continues to be a brave new world that requires attorneys and firms to stay up to date in the tech arms race. Unlike those now-defunct companies, now companies develop and market products and services specifically for the legal industry, and the competition for market share is intense. How do attorneys and the firms adjust and make decisions on the proper technology to choose, how to implement it most effectively and how to safeguard their client information? Where do they learn best practices? My experience is that they come to the ABA TECHSHOW.  

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