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September 26, 2019

AI, disaster legal services and innovation highlights of Young Lawyers’ fall conference

CHICAGO, Sept. 26, 2019 — Artificial intelligence, the 45th anniversary of the ABA’s Disaster Legal Services Program and the ethics of innovation are among the topics that will be discussed at the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference Oct. 3-5 in New Orleans.

Young Lawyers Division Fall Conference
Sponsored by ABA Young Lawyers Division

Oct. 3-5

Sheraton New Orleans
500 Canal Street
New Orleans, La. 70130

This year, the Young Lawyers public service project is Wills for Heroes. On Saturday, Oct. 5, there will be training from noon to 1 p.m. on successions, powers of attorney and living wills, a review of waivers and best practices for creating wills. Then, from 1 to 3 p.m., volunteer attorneys will draft wills for veterans, first responders, firefighters and law enforcement. 

Also on Saturday, at 11:15 a.m., the closing plenary with feature a conversation with author Maurice Carlos Ruffin, a former corporate defense attorney, native of New Orleans and author of “We Cast a Shadow.”

Program highlights include:

Friday, Oct. 3

“AI: A Death Knell for Employees, or the Way of the Future?” Flying delivery drones, wearable tech, and robot workers. These are not futuristic concepts, but are rather becoming reality rapidly. Such technology is already a part of the workplace and will continue to shape the labor market. Employers, and lawyers, need to anticipate changes in job functions and be aware of pitfalls and advantages associated with evolving technology. We’ll take a look at trends in artificial intelligence in the employment context and look at ways to integrate this changing technology into the practice of law.

9-10 a.m., Rhythms 1 & 2, 2nd Floor

“The Ethics of Innovation” — This program will cover the intersection between the need for innovation in the legal industry and the ethical rules and obligations that bind our practices. It will explore topics such as the emergence of alternative billing structures (flat fees, subscriptions models, limited scope representations), digital marketing, AI & robotics, virtual law firms, and technological innovations that aim to improve the practice of law. This program will also discuss the dichotomy between a basic tenet of innovation — the ability to learn from failure — and a self-regulating industry that is risk averse and has created a culture that seeks perfection over innovation. Finally, the program will explore the impact of innovation on increasing diversity in the profession by providing alternatives to the traditional law firm model.

10:15-11:15 a.m., Rhythms 3, 2nd Floor

“ABA-YLD Disaster Legal Services Program Presents 45 Years of DLS” — An Introduction to Federal Disaster Benefits and the ABA-YLD Disaster Legal Services Program. This panel will explore the history of the program and its expansion over nearly half a century to address the legal needs of disaster survivors. This discussion will also explore the legal devastation in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, highlight invaluable lessons learned during the legal response and how that particular disaster shaped the DLS program moving forward. The panelists include Andrew VanSingel, special advisor to the Disaster Legal Services Program, Benjamin R. Rajotte, assistant professor of law and director of the Disaster Relief Clinic at Touro Law School in New York and R. Paul Tuttle, attorney with Southeast Louisiana Legal Services in New Orleans.

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Waterbury, 2nd Floor

See the complete agenda here.

There is no charge for media covering this event. To register, please contact Priscilla Totten at 202-662-1094 or [email protected].

The ABA is the largest voluntary association of lawyers in the world. As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law. View our privacy statement online. Follow the latest ABA news at and on Twitter @ABANews.