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Law Practice Magazine


Editor's Note: ABA TECHSHOW Is the Answer

Courtney E Ward-Reichard


  • The new year is a time when resolutions are made, whether to improve one’s appearance, organization or discipline.
Editor's Note: ABA TECHSHOW Is the Answer Mnich

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Happy New Year! January is a time for a fresh start for many of us, and for our magazine, it’s a time of transition in our editorial team. I am honored to begin my tenure of editor-in-chief of Law Practice for the next two years. I am an attorney at Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis, representing corporate clients in products liability, employment and commercial litigation matters.

I have served in many roles on the Law Practice team: issue editor, columns editor, features editor and vice-chair. Each has given me the opportunity to work with writers of tremendous talent and insight. I truly believe Law Practice is a uniquely valuable publication, and I am grateful for the trust and support of the Law Practice Division and for the wonderful role models who preceded me in this role.

Since the beginning of my career, I’ve sought to apply technology to my practice; in the early 1990s, I even brought my own laptop to replace the Wang word processor supplied by my first firm. When I became a founding member of my current firm in 1996, every attorney was issued a laptop—certainly not common at that time. I’ve been involved in our firm’s e-discovery and technology decisions ever since, and recently added the title of our firm’s Knowledge Management and Information Research Counsel to my role as a litigator.

So, it is especially apropos that ABA TECHSHOW is the theme of my first issue as editor-in-chief. I was introduced to the ABA Law Practice Division when I attended my first ABA TECHSHOW in 2011. I had never attended a conference like it and immediately felt at home. As an attorney in a midsize law firm, some of the offerings were not as relevant to me, but that’s the beauty of ABA TECHSHOW—there is really something for everyone. In addition to attending ABA TECHSHOW each year I was able, I became involved in many aspects of the Law Practice Division, which has expanded my network and my skills.

This issue’s features explore many aspects of legal technology. Electronically stored information fundamentally changed litigation and continues to evolve as communication platforms and methods change. In “Cutting-Edge Electronic Evidence Issues,” Heather L. King explores wordless communication like emojis, GIFs and memes, and private and hidden messaging in platforms such as gaming or social networking private groups. These types of communication can play as crucial a role in litigation as emails or text messages.

The new year is a time when resolutions are made, whether to improve one’s appearance, organization or discipline. There are two great features to help your firm maximize its technology potential. First, Sofia S. Lingos provides a guide to a legal technology audit, addressing your critical hardware and software needs in her article “Legal Technology Audit.”

Second, Rachel Edwards explores a related and equally import- ant concept in “Law Firm Glow Up: Optimize Your Current Tech Stack.” It’s not just about evaluating what you’re missing, it’s about using what you already have to its maximum potential.

ABA TECHSHOW 2023 Co-Chair Gyi Tsakalakis’ article, “My First ABA TECHSHOW,” shares wonderful details about what is in store this year and also shares perspectives from his first ABA TECHSHOW, which, like me, was in 2011. As Gyi notes, ABA TECHSHOW brings together lawyers and technology ... in person. This year’s event is not to be missed.

Effective use of technology is especially critical for an effective solo or small firm. In “Find Your Superpower,” Emily Amara Gordon writes about the first 10 years of her legal practice and how legal technology became her “superpower”—her skills in this area set her apart and made her law practice successful. Emily shares her tips, including her use of practice management software and virtual receptionists.

Finally, one constant frustration for tech-savvy lawyers is getting others to adopt tools you know will improve their efficiency and effectiveness—it can be even harder when the resistance comes from a client. Charity Anastasio provides great tips in “Engaging Clients With Tech Tools” to combat this problem.

I hope to see you in Chicago, March 1–4, for ABA TECHSHOW 2023!