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Law Practice Magazine


Perspectives: Bringing Lawyers and Technology Together

Stephen E Embry


  • A community of like-minded people committed to helping one another. A network of expertise. TECHSHOW is all about both. And it consistently succeeds at both.
Perspectives: Bringing Lawyers and Technology Together Slanic

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As I write this, Jeannine Lambert and Gyi Tsakalakis, ABA TECHSHOW chairs, and Sofia S. Lingos and Cynthia Thomas, vice chairs, along with their committee, are hard at it, putting the finishing touches on ABA TECHSHOW 2023.

And make no mistake, barring anything catastrophic, the 2023 show will be, in the words of Ed Sullivan, “a really big show.” (I know, Ed didn’t say “show”; he said “shew.” He provided lots of entertainment to us in the Dark Ages. And if you don’t know who Ed Sullivan was, you might Google him.) Once again, our show will be at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of Chicago. It runs from March 1-4.

If the annual conference of the International Legal Technology Association (commonly referred to as ILTACON) is any indication, conferences are back to normal. The ILTACON, which I attended in August 2022, may be the ILTACON claimed it had over 3,000 registrants. It said that the conference was “sold out”—that it was the third most well-attended ILTA conference in history.

The exhibit hall was full of vendors. By and large, for the first time since 2019, the exhibit hall looked normal. Granted, ILTACON appeals to a slightly different audience than ABA TECHSHOW. But the attendance and participation clearly demonstrate our hunger to be together. The fact is we are social creatures, and that’s not going to change.

So, if this holds true for us, we should have a bang-up show. Jeannine and Gyi plan a multitrack show full of technology and other fascinating presentations. There should be plenty of vendors and time to get reacquainted in person. Gyi says, “In my experience, the value of TECHSHOW is technology, expertise and community. Since it is platform-agnostic, it can feature multiple competing technologies across the entire spectrum. But it’s not just product demos. It also brings practitioners, practice management advisors and technology experts together to share how to use technology most efficiently and effectively.”

I attend most of the legal tech conferences (in addition to ILTACON, Legalweek put on by ALM is another major legal tech show). But ABA TECHSHOW has always been my favorite. While ILTACON appeals more to IT-type folks in larger firms and Legalweek is directed more to BigLaw and sales, TECHSHOW is more about community and learning. It’s a little more laid back. It’s inclusive. There is such a feeling of collegiality and willingness to share and help at this show. Indeed, the show’s slogan is “Bringing Lawyers and Technology Together.” It’s “where lawyers, legal professionals and technology all come together.”

Not coincidently, I was first introduced to the Law Practice Division back in 2015, and the rest is history. TECHSHOW is not only a chance to get involved, though. Yes, there is a focus on technology, but there’s also a focus on learning and using tech for everyone at every level of expertise.

It’s a safe place to ask questions of the faculty, vendors and other participants. It’s a chance to learn new things, see the latest tech and maybe catch up on tech developments you may have missed in the rush of deadlines and work.

Gyi perhaps puts it best: “But mostly, it is about the community. The relationships you build at TECHSHOW can have a profound impact on not only how you use technology in your practice but how you run and think about your practice more generally. It can be a transformative experience.” Jeannine adds, “TECHSHOW 2023’s mission is to build a network of expertise to harness the power of technology in law practice. TECHSHOW 2023 is the leading conference where professionals connect around technology for legal.”

A community of like-minded people committed to helping one another. A network of expertise. TECHSHOW is all about both. And it consistently succeeds at both.

So, I hope to see you all there. Bring your questions and concerns and get ready for some great fellowship. Feel free to hunt me down, and let’s talk tech or anything else on your mind. Let’s have a REALLY big—and great—show.