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Law Practice Magazine


Editor's Note: ABA TECHSHOW 2024, AI, and Much More

Courtney E Ward-Reichard


  • Law Practice Division authors preview some of what is to be learned at ABA TECHSHOW 2024.
  • Advances in AI technology have been prominent in the past year and are top of mind for lawyers.
  • Lawyers must adapt quickly to AI advancements, balancing efficient use and preventing misuse.
Editor's Note: ABA TECHSHOW 2024, AI, and Much More

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As we all know, ethical rules in most jurisdictions require all lawyers to at least reach minimal standards of competence in the use of technology. Members of the Law Practice Division––and readers of Law Practice––tend to take this requirement many steps further, actively seeking out the most up-to-date technology to support their practices. The annual ABA TECHSHOW is the ultimate gathering for these lawyers. In addition to the excellent programming to keep honing those technical skills, TECHSHOW 2024 will provide an opportunity to connect with like-minded folks––it’s not to be missed.

This yearly issue of the magazine is intended to provide a tantalizing preview of what to expect at TECHSHOW, and this edition is no exception. Issue editors Erik Mazzone and Roberta Tepper have done an outstanding job compiling feature articles that address legal technology, especially artificial intelligence (AI), from many different perspectives.

This past year has seen tremendous advances in legal technology led by advances in generative AI technology. It is impossible to imagine any legal technology conference in 2024 not giving AI its due––given the tremendous speed of AI advance, lawyers of all kinds must work diligently and quickly to adapt. There are really two complementary, but different, issues: one is how to successfully utilize this new technology to promote efficiency and better work product, the other is how to prevent disasters through misuse. Both concerns must be top of mind for lawyers in private, public and corporate practice.

We begin with a roundtable discussion, featuring a panel of experts addressing how AI can be used by attorneys to improve access to justice. Underserved communities can be reached when AI technology is used to assist in legal research, create and analyze documents, manage online dispute resolution, predict outcomes and translate documents and conversations in plain language.

Next, Catherine Sanders Reach and Ben Schorr address the close connection between AI and Knowledge Management in “AI and KM: Two Great Tools That Work Great Together .” This article provides many useful examples of how law firms can achieve KM by automating the creation and generation of knowledge assets, and then accessing and utilizing them. Reach and Schorr also review some of the products and tools that use generative AI for KM––and briefly preview some of the submissions to the TECHSHOW Startup Alley Competition that will focus on the intersection of KM and generative AI.

Jayne Reardon and Tom Martin address ethical issues in “The Ethics and Regulation of AI,” exploring the ethical and legal challenges posed by generative AI, and the ethical obligations of lawyers who use AI tools, such as the need for competence and supervision of others, preservation of client confidentiality and whether to inform clients or the courts about the use of AI. These challenges have led many entities to attempt regulation of AI, but those policies need to be harmonized with the technological advancements.

Dan Siegel also takes on ethical concerns from the perspective of individual attorney practice in “Ethical Implications of Using Generative AI.” AI can help lawyers with tasks like legal research, document drafting, and case prediction, but there are also many potential pitfalls, including inaccurate or fabricated results, confidentiality breaches and unauthorized practice of law. He concludes by suggesting some ways for lawyers to experiment with AI tools.

We take a break from AI with Charity Anastasio’s article, “Here Comes the Sun: It’s Time to Change Multijurisdictional Practice Rule 5.5.” Proposed revisions to the Rule would allow lawyers to provide legal services in any jurisdiction if they disclose their admission status, comply with the local rules of conduct and do not assist in the unauthorized practice of law.

Finally, Becka Rich and Jenny Wondracek’s article, “AI as a Second Brain,” considers how AI can serve as a “second brain” for lawyers, especially those with cognitive or memory challenges. They also explore how to effectively employ detail, specificity, examples and context in AI prompts to obtain the most effective results.

Like this issue, this year’s TECHSHOW will advance AI skills and knowledge for lawyers––whether you are at the beginning or well along the way of your AI journey. I hope to see you in Chicago, February 14–16!